editor’s note: I am in the process of giving my website an overhaul. I’ve revised my “about” page which will be published when the new site is up.
Until that happens, I wanted to share the new and improved version with you here. Check it out!
Welcome to Not Your Average Mom.
My name is Susie, and I’m 47 years old.
I am a mother, stepmother, wife, divorcée, blogger, swim coach, inspirational/motivational speaker, Positive Discipline parent educator, mental health advocate, failure, and success all wrapped into one.
I live in Connecticut with my husband and our big a$$ family.
Our kids range in age from 5 to 19 years old.
They are smart, funny, gorgeous, talented, inspiring, motivating, challenging, frustrating, infuriating and exhausting. (Sometimes all in one day. Or hour.)
Our life is not usually as pretty as this picture.
Almost never, really.
And that’s why I started this blog in 2012.
Because being a mom can be really fucking hard, and because there aren’t a whole lot of people out there being honest and realistic about what motherhood is like.
Five years ago, I noticed there were a lot of blogs and websites and Facebook pages and Instagram accounts that showed perfection.
But they didn’t portray (or even address) reality.
So when our youngest was about fifteen months old and I was in the thick of it, I resolved to create a place, and honest and relatable place where moms (and dads) could come when they were feeling alone or overwhelmed or like they were failing or when they just need a break.
And I decided to write about the stuff that most people don’t want to talk about. The stuff that most people don’t want to admit. The stuff that people are thinking but are too afraid to say out loud.
You know, the stuff most people wouldn’t dare post on Instagram or Facebook.
When I first started writing, five of the kids were under seven years old and I pretty much told stories.
I wrote a lot about the disasters. This is the infamous powdered sugar incident of 2012.
I wrote about the meltdowns.
I wrote about the messes.
I wrote about the boxes (and boxes) of feminine products the kids went through.
Because if you can’t laugh at the shit that happens once you become a parent, well…
Then you’re fucked.
If the word fuck bothers you, this is probably not the right place for you.
If you are looking to judge, please go somewhere else.
If you are looking for perfection, um, I can give you The Pioneer Woman’s website.
She’s pretty perfect.
(But she’s not really perfect. She just shows you the stuff that is).
Which brings me back to how Not Your Average Mom came to be.
About six months after I started the blog, the Sandy Hook shootings took place. I live about ten minutes from Sandy Hook, and at the time, Number 4 was a first grader, the same age as the children who lost their lives that day.
It hit very close to home.
And that’s when I felt it was important for me to write about my battles with mental illness.
This consequently led to me writing about pretty much anything I felt like writing about either for selfish reasons (because it’s therapeutic for me) or because I thought by sharing my stories, I might be able to help someone else.
So I wrote about my experiences with depression. I wrote about miscarriages and divorce and being in an abusive relationship and about how I think being married is way fucking harder than being a parent. I shared my weight loss ups and downs. Our financial difficulties – filing for bankruptcy and almost losing our house to foreclosure. Having to ask (a lot of) people for help.
And I wrote about this stuff because I knew I was not alone. I knew there were other people out there feeling the same way (but who thought they were alone in their experiences).
Every time I wrote about any of these topics, I received emails and messages from both friends and strangers.
Thank you for making me feel normal.
It’s like you are living inside my head.
Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to not be perfect.
And that’s when I really knew that a place like this is important. A place that reminds people that perfection is unobtainable, and that all of us, to varying degrees, are fucked up.
Now that the kids are getting older (the oldest is out doing his own thing and the youngest in is kindergarten), the stuff I write about is changing.
The oldest kids don’t really want to be talked about (why you rarely see Number 1 or 2 mentioned). A pre-teen eleven-year-old is a little – okay a LOT — more self-conscious than a three-year-old. So I respect their privacy and their requests to be kept out of things. (You know — like that other Osbourne daughter that nobody ever knew existed).
Five years later, there aren’t as many powdered sugar incidents, and almost all the kids now know what “those things that look like tiny diapers” are actually for.
As life changes and evolves, so does Not Your Average Mom.
My goal now is to do more than tell stories and share experiences.
I still tell stories.
But I also share what I’ve learned that works and what doesn’t work. I share my successes and my failures. I encourage people think outside the box. I encourage moms to not give a flying f*ck what other people think, and to do what they need to do in order to take care of themselves, their children, and their families.
Being a mom is never going to be easy. You don’t have to have seven kids to know that.
And my mission here now is to make momming easier.
To help you enjoy the highs of parenting while more more easily navigating the lows.
To celebrate the successes and support each other.
To give the finger to mom guilt.
To find ways that work better for each of us.
And to not beat ourselves up when we make mistakes, but learn from them and move forward.
Because we all know that life is like a roller coaster.
And if we’re going to be on this roller coaster together, we might as well do whatever we can to make sure we enjoy the ride.