Around my house, the only talk of something going viral is when all six of us contract a nasty stomach bug. Viral is usually a word I try to avoid, but that all changed last week. This blog post going viral was the most surreal experience. I am beyond grateful for everyone who shared the post, and I was floored by your kind comments.
I blog because I love to write. And I love to write to moms who feel the crushing weight of parenting pressure, in hopes that everyone who reads my words breathes a bit easier. It’s never about the numbers for me. Encouraging just one mom is worth it.
But the numbers don’t lie. And judging by the numbers, we are all tired of the ridiculous standards we feel we don’t measure up to. I cannot tell you the joy it brought to me to hopefully give you a little bit of freedom in how you feel about your parenting today. We are all doing the best we can. Some days that looks like a lovely homemade dinner around the table followed by family game night. And other days it looks like you locking yourself in the closet to bawl your eyes out because it all feels too hard.
But the bad moments and the hard days don’t get to define you.
You are a good mom, and it is a privilege to hear the relief you felt from reading my post. And I am seriously so amazed at the power of the Internet to be able to spread a message that is so important to me.
There is no way to rebound from a blog post that resonated on such a broad level, so instead I will share with you my observations from going viral last week.
- A few days after my blog post gained a lot of attention, my son randomly pooped in his pants and then tried to clean it himself. Which you can only imagine made a much bigger and grosser mess. The poop incident was par for the course in raising kids, as you well know, but in the wake of achieving blogging success I’ve only secretly dreamed of, it quickly reminded me that life is still messy, even when it’s awesome!
- I could see some of your Facebook posts and comments when you shared my blog post, and I was blown away by your kindness. The Internet can be a mean and dark place, but I did not experience that at all. People were more wonderful than I would have ever expected, and my sensitive self much appreciates the love I felt.
- The coolest part of the Facebook posts I could see was when the person sharing would tell of a recent situation where she felt like a failure. And almost always her mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa would tell her what an awesome mom she is. I think we are all just hoping that we are doing an okay enough job of raising kids, so when a close relative is affirming, it just means the world. And it was great to see older generations being so generous in their compliments.
- On that same note, I loved how moms were kind and affirming to each other. Vulnerability is very hard, so when a mom opened up about her struggles and it was met with compassion and kindness, my heart exploded. Thank you for being awesome. In a world where people are harsh and mean, I want to personally thank you for being the best of friends to each other.
- People are very passionate about their stance on Goldfish. I know food is a controversial subject, which is partly why I addressed it. So I somewhat expected this, but I was so tickled to read people’s disclaimers about Goldfish…whether you love them or hate them or secretly hate to love them. You could all tell that it wasn’t about the Goldfish, of course, which is why I was so amused (in a good way) by this.
- There are a high number of animal killers among us. Who knew we moms had such homicidal tendenices??
- My friend, Anna, said this…and a few others did, as well…and it’s worth passing on to you. She said, “Stop should’ing all over yourself.” Friends, those are words of life. Don’t let the guilt of what you should be doing override what you are doing. You are already an awesome mom!
- I am very hopeful for the future. When I first became a mom, the mommy wars were at an all-time high. As we’ve realized that moms can make different choices and still raise awesome kids, the mommy wars have died down quite a bit. So I have to believe that our culture of perfection will eventually do the same. Which makes me very happy for our future! And maybe, just maybe, our daughters won’t feel so much freaking pressure to do this insanely hard job perfectly.
- Going back to #4…text or call a mom friend of yours and tell her how amazing she is. Kind words are life giving, and changing our culture will happen when we choose positive and hopeful words over judgemental, awful ones. I am seriously so inspired by the love you showed one another on just my small, piddly blog post…and to know that’s happening every day in real life contexts makes me so happy.
- Thank you. I cannot say it enough. Thank you for sharing my blog. Thank you for buying my book. Thank you for making this small-time mom blogger feel valuable. Thank you for your e-mails and text messages. Thank you for sharing your struggles with me. There are no words to adequately express how much fun it was for my blog post to go viral and for the kindness and camaraderie that followed it. I am sorry to be so gushy, and I keep telling myself, “Act like you’ve been there.” But I haven’t been here. And I would be lying if I said it wasn’t really, really fun. I know it’s the Internet, and in the scheme of life, it’s a flash in the pan. But for now, thank you for letting me have my moment.
Now that I’ve rebounded (albeit, not well) from my viral blog post, I will now resume my normally scheduled programming…and will continue to write about being a very average mom with average (but amazing to me) kids.
My six-year old son has been pretending to smoke all week.
And my boys’ bathroom smells worse than ever before.
So I definitely have no shortage of material.