Friday, December 27, 2019

Farewell for now

I started Frantic Mama back in 2011 when my first child, a little boy, was about 2.

Blogging was still somewhat new back then. It was almost 10 years ago. Creating Frantic Mama, and the brand around it, was one of the most life-changing decisions I've ever made. Not that I pictured it would be so monumental at the time.

What started as a small online journal to air out my thoughts and creativity while documenting life as a first-time mom turned into a recognizable brand. Not as huge as say, Scary Mommy, but definitely with more readers and followers than I ever imagined early on.

Here's a grainy photo from my son's first Christmas, almost 10 years ago.
How life has changed!
So many wonderful moments so many challenges.
I am grateful for all of it.

It meant a lot that so many mothers around the world reached out and connected with my words and my story. It was like having a group of friends who you could share the day's long journey with-- and laugh and cry and laugh/cry/snort-- without any kind of judgment or fake glorification of parenting.

I started the blog during a time when I found very few mothers out there willing to tell it how it really is-- how long the days with babies are-- and how the nights are even longer. That Motherhood with a capital M isn't what Pottery Barn Baby depicts in its glossy catalogs. That it can be lonely and exhausting. That you sometimes miss the days before you had kids, when you could do virtually whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted.

That babies aren't just cute little teddy bears all the time-- they cry a lot. And spit up. And there's endless diapers to change and so very little time to shower or blow dry your hair or put make-up on.

There's so much beauty in Motherhood and Babyhood, of course, too. More beauty than challenges. The 1,000's of photos on our phones are evidence of that. So are the picture-perfect Christmas cards, and all the big "firsts"-- that first gummy laugh, the first word, the first time walking...and then it all speeds up:

You get to the first day of preschool, and the first day of kindergarten, and the first basketball game...

It doesn't slow back down. I never thought I'd miss the days of putting little toddlers in shopping carts and fighting the good fight at the grocery store. Or the days of traveling with tiny children. And, no, I suppose I don't miss the constant colds. Or the sleepless nights feeding a new baby. I don't miss recovering from two c-sections. I don't miss suffering from postpartum anxiety that led to insomnia even when I had the chance to sleep. And I don't miss the long, lonely days of being alone with a baby and a toddler without any other adults around. I'm not so far gone as to forget the challenges. I know how hard it is for those moms with tiny ones right now. I assure you that.

But I do miss the innocence of that time, if I can call it that. I miss the giggles of babies. I miss the stumbling around walking of a toddler. I miss preschool days. I miss tucking my babies in their beautiful cribs each night. I miss having my son sit in my lap and holding my hand without thinking about it. I even miss feeling the kicks of active babies swirling in my stomach.

I will never ever be the one to tell a tired, overwhelmed mother "enjoy every second. It all goes by so fast." Because I know better. It is an impossible set-up to tell someone to 'enjoy every second' of anything. There are hard times with young kids. Stomach flus to live through. Spouse work trips to survive. Newborn phases to pass. Frantic Mama has always been the anti-Pollyanna.

But I will say this-- I'm grateful I had so many good times with my kids when they were little. Now my son-- who you can read about as a toddler in the first several posts-- is 9.5. He's in 4th grade. How can that be?! And my second baby, my daughter, is now...unbelievably SEVEN. I'm truly grateful to have the chance to be a mother and to watch and help my children grow. It's the greatest gift I've ever been given no matter how difficult it can be.

Which brings me to my next point:

I haven't found much time to blog for fun in the last couple of years. I miss it often, yes. I am a writer through and through and few things bring me as much joy as writing just for the fun of it.

I am grateful for the new writing opportunities that have come from this passion project. I am also grateful for the memories this blog will preserve for me, and for my husband and my children to read as they grow. I might print it all out and bind it for them someday.

I am not deleting anything, and I'll still be Frantic Mama on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Those are fun little people-connectors for me. I still feel like I do it differently and offer something quintessentially 'me' to the online Motherhood space-- it's light, it's fun, it's real, without the heavy snark and sarcasm. It's healthy and not swimming in alcohol or anger or ingratitude. But it is first and foremost Real.

But I am going to take a little break from the blog. The pressure of knowing it's out there, without time to add to it, is a stress for me. My kids are getting older, as I keep saying, and because of that and their activities, life is going by at warp-speed. I know it won't slow down, and I want to be there when I can, trying to lock the beauty of it into my memory the best I can.

Thank you so much to all of my readers over the years. I'm not really going anywhere. I'll be here in spirit. I'm with any of you who need someone in your corner who gets it. And who knows, I might dive into the blog again later this winter, or spring, or 3 years from now.

Look around carefully in a crowded room of kids and adults, and you'll see me and my kindred spirits-- I'll always be the Frantic Mama!

Here's a recent photo of my family: we're all grown up now.
Infinitely bittersweet.
All my best,