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An Open Letter to The View

Dear The View,

My name is Susie Johnson, I’m forty six years old, and I live in Connecticut.

Why am I telling you this?

Because this morning a friend of mine posted on my Facebook page and told me that a post I had written here on the blog last year, If My Kid Is Being An Asshole, I Want You To Tell Me, was a topic of conversation on your show today.

Please keep reading. I’m getting to my point…

But first, let me rewind a little bit.

At the end of 2011, my husband and I were about five months into the beginning of the worst financial situation we had ever found ourselves in. At the time, I was a stay at home mom raising seven children. Five of them were six years old and younger.

Having seven children in one home can be a little stressful. Having seven children in one home in combination with massive financial problems can be a lot stressful.

Especially on a marriage.

Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure my marriage was going to survive.

The cost of child care for all our kids negated any money I’d be able to make if I found a job. So, back in November of 2011, I began trying to find something I could do that would allow me to stay home with the kids, but that would also make me some money.

If the marriage survived, it would help our financial situation. If the marriage didn’t survive, well, then I’d have my own source of income.

That November of 2011 was when the thought of writing a blog first made its way into my head.

For a long time, I had been envisioning a place for moms to come where they could have a tiny little break. A place to laugh. A place for moms to see that they are not the only one making mistakes, or doubting themselves, or losing their cool, their minds, or both. A place where moms didn’t feel so alone.

And seven children will provide you with a lot of writing material. So I had lots of funny stuff to write about.

But I knew nothing about blogging. At all.

I had a friend from high school who was a pretty serious blogger. I hadn’t seen her since the 80’s, but we were friends on Facebook.

I sent her a message asking for advice.

She replied with:

… write what you know, be honest, don’t try to impress anyone and write often if you can but never write just because u feel like you have to. hope that helps.

That was November 13, 2011. It took me a few months to take action.

But after one particularly bad fight with my husband I figured, it’s now or never. I jumped in head first. I came up with a name for the blog, somehow figured out how to purchase a domain name, and I started writing.

In April of 2012, the blog was born.

I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I originally intended to only make people laugh. And to let other women know that this mom thing sucks sometimes. And to know that it’s okay to say that out loud.

I intended to let moms know that there was at least one other mom out there whose kids weren’t always (or ever) neatly dressed. Who sometimes fed her kids Goldfish for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.

Who, on occasion, sent her kids to bed without brushing their teeth because she just couldn’t deal with it. Who couldn’t remember the last time she had changed the sheets. Who found sippy cups filled with cottage cheese under the crib. Who didn’t realize her daughter attended the first two weeks of first grade without any underpants on.

What I didn’t intend was for the blog to take a turn in the direction that it did.

In December of 2012, the Sandy Hook shootings took place just a couple miles from my house.

And when that happened, I wrote a post different from any of the posts I had written before.

It was a serious post. A post with some thoughts about mental illness. And then, not wanting to be a hypocrite, I wrote another post entitled I think it’s time I shared this with you. It was a post about my own struggles with mental illness.

Now I had really put it all out there. And once I did that, well, I just went for broke.

Sure I still wanted to make people laugh. I still wanted to give people a little break. But, more importantly I wanted to put it all out there. I wanted to be open, and honest, raw.

So that’s what I did.

I remembered the advice my friend had given me.

write what you know, be honest

I wrote about the good, the bad and the ugly. The happy, the sad, the sentimental.

The blog took a different path from there.

It became the documentation of an evolution. Not only of a blog, but of a person.

Of me.

Laughing, swearing, and crying my way through parenthood, marriage, and life, one post at a time.

The more open I was, the more people started to relate.

I still wrote plenty of funny stories. Like the time my husband inadvertently ordered a Good Old Fashioned Orgy for the kids to watch. Or the time I had to do the drop off walk of shame at Number 5’s school, braless and in my pajamas.

But I also wrote about other stuff.

I wrote about the times I spent in the nuthouse.

I wrote about my failed first marriage and divorce.

I wrote about how I know I’m a bitch to my husband sometimes.

I wrote about how my kids almost got killed in traffic because I was talking on the phone.

I wrote about the two years of my life I wasted being in an abusive relationship.

I wrote about having to file for bankruptcy.

And I wrote about having to go on food stamps.

I wrote about running my first (and second, and third and fourth marathon).

I wrote about my weight loss journey (and showed pictures of myself in a bikini).

I wrote about losing a brother to leukemia.

I have been through quite a bit in my forty six years.

And at this point, I have written about pretty much all of it.

And the more I write, the more people can relate.

What started out as funny stories that only my friends and relatives were reading turned into something more.

People across the country were reading it.

Then people in other countries were reading it.

And then, yesterday, that Asshole post I wrote was discussed on national television on your show.

That’s crazy! And awesome.

Okay, so I told you I had a point…

My point is that you have different ladies discussing their views on your show.

You’ve got different nationalities and religions and colors and sizes and ages.

You’ve got models and comedians and actresses and news anchors.

But you know what you don’t have?

A regular mom.

A regular mom who’s been through a ton of crap and who is highly relatable to your target audience.

Because she is your target audience.

A regular mom who isn’t afraid to express her view, who is funny and ballsy and attractive and hard working and tenacious,

and a regular mom who will definitely tell you if your kid is being an asshole.

That’s the view you are missing from your show.

And whenever you are ready to fill that in, you know right where to find me.

Email me — susie@not-your-average-mom.com!

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