How Blogging Changed My Life – Meredith Napolitano
Our first submission for our Affiliate Summit 2013 Pass Giveaway comes from Meredith Napolitano of FromMeredithToMommy.com! Here is her story:
About a year ago, I’d made my move to stay-at-home mom official. I wasn’t a single girl, I wasn’t a wife, I wasn’t a successful music teacher, I wasn’t a working mom. I was just mom. This was a maternity leave that wasn’t going to end. I was thrilled to be home with my two little girls. But at the same time, I felt my adult interactions slipping away. I craved the connections I had with my colleagues – the friendships I felt I had at work. I didn’t have colleagues to chat with in the library or office before school started.
Sure, I had my husband, and I had my friends. I had one friend in particular who was also home with two kids, and she and I talked daily. But playgroup wasn’t doing it for me. I felt like I was either monopolizing the conversation, speaking in essays, or I felt like I was alone. I’m a talker, I’m a storyteller, and I felt like I was just unloading on my best friend every morning so I could get all that was in me out.
I needed a place to share my stories.
I was nursing the baby, reading on my smartphone. I read blog after blog. I started reading one. Then she mentioned another I checked out. And another. I was slipping into the world of “Mommy Bloggers”, and I was loving what I was reading.
I loved the connections these women were making. I loved the stories they were telling. I laughed. I cried. I felt as if I knew them. And I had a crazy idea.
“What if I started a blog, to share my stories about who I’m becoming? About this new stage, where I’m not just me, but I’m mommy too?”
It felt like crazy talk.
Who in the world would read it?
I had no idea where to begin.
On a whim, when the girls were taking a rare simultaneous nap, I ditched the chores and created an account. I wrote a post that I didn’t share.
Then I wrote another.
Then I took a chance. I started sharing what I was writing. I was so shy about it.
In the past year, I’ve evolved from an online journal writer, to a blogger.
I’ve moved from an uncertain, tentative, insecure writer, to someone who is willing to network, submit, share and promote.
I’ve connected with products, with authors, with bloggers.
Blogging has forced me to really put myself out there.
At first, I felt like a faker. I felt like friends and family were reading posts to be polite.
And then I started hearing from people who had found my blog, read my stories, and connected.
That is why I blog.
Because of my blog, I have a place to share things that I don’t want to forget.
I have a place to bring amazing people into my life.
And I have a vehicle that has let moms realize that we aren’t alone.
Blogging has changed the way I look at motherhood. I don’t stress as much. I don’t worry as much. When the crazy happens, I can laugh. I know I have a place to reflect and share.
When I was young, I loved to write. Then I received a pretty harsh critique, where a teacher I admired told me my writing sounded just like my speaking. I wasn’t formal enough, wasn’t detached enough, wasn’t precise enough. She could hear me telling her the story, and it wasn’t what she wanted a polished writer from her class to produce.
It made me nervous about sharing my writing. Was I really good enough?
Blogging let me know that sharing my voice, as I now recognize it, is a good thing. I am communicating. I am reaching out. And my voice is what draws people in.
Every opportunity I’ve gotten this year has not been about my size, or my reach.
It’s my voice. It’s my openness. It’s my honestly.
Now when someone tells me “It was like you were right there telling me the story”, I take it as a compliment. It’s me.
I’ve been on several big websites this year. Recently, I shared a story about a tough time in my life. I lost my daughter’s twin during pregnancy, and when it was happening, I didn’t know where to turn. I felt like I wasn’t entitled to grieve, since I had a healthy girl at home and one healthy baby on the way. I couldn’t find a connection. I told my story recently, and suddenly, connections were flooding my way. Comments, emails, virtual hugs and strangers sharing their stories, all pouring out their thoughts, thanking me for letting them know they were not alone. That story has been picked up by two major sites, and I am so proud to say that a story that was so personal, so emotional, has reached those who need it. And it’s helped them.
That’s why I blog.
Sometimes I’m funny. Sometimes I’m serious. Sometimes I tell stories. Sometimes I reflect.
But it’s my voice.
And blogging helped me find it.
And most importantly, blogging let me know that my voice, my true voice, is what makes the connections happen.
I’m not alone. I’m not an isolated mom.
I’m a blogger.