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Because Some Of Us Can, And Some Of Us Can’t

Back in my smoking days, a long time ago, over twenty years ago, my best friend from high school got married.  At the rehearsal dinner, one of her bridesmaids had quit smoking fairly recently. Like within the past year.

She was one of those holier than thou, Oh My God, get away from me, smoking is so disgusting, how can you still be doing that to your body kind of people.

That’s not me.

I mean, I can’t imagine being a smoker now. Having to leave the room, sneak around, trying to hide it from people and the kids. Carrying gum, mouthwash and perfume wherever I go. Determining my participation in anything based on whether or not I’d be able to smoke or how long I’d have to go without a cigarette. Not having enough money to buy a pack of smokes and dumping $6.00 in change (mostly pennies) on the counter of the Mobil station.

I still love the smell of cigarettes.  When I walk past someone who is smoking, I take a big, deep breath. Or three. I think it will always smell good to me.

But that’s enough for me now.

In the last thirteen years, I have smoked about five cigarettes.

The anticipation of them was always incredible.

But then the actual smoking of them was such a let down. They were gross. Completely unenjoyable. Nothing like what I remembered back when I was in the thick of it.

So I’m happy to have arrived at that place where, when given the choice, I wouldn’t even think of smoking a cigarette anymore.

It feels good to have gotten to that point.

Because I never thought I’d be able to quit. I used to be a heavy smoker.

Like close to two packs a day when I was in my early thirties.

Smoking was a part of me. It was part of my identity. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant five times in seven years, I dont think I would have been able to quit. Giving it up was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

But I was never like that reformed smoking bridesmaid.

Yesterday I shared this blog post on the Facebook page, and some people didn’t really like it. They found it to be negative and judgmental.

I get it. Not everyone agrees on everything.

I identified with many parts of it, which is why I shared it.

But just as with the smoking, I’m also not one of those I-quit-drinking-and-now-I -think-everyone-should-quit-drinking-kind of people, either.

I just hope I can maybe help people who are struggling, too. And let them know they aren’t alone. That’s why I share my stories/struggles/experiences. I also know I’m gonna need a whole lot of support if I’m going to succeed.

It’s also largely cathartic.

Plus, before I started writing yesterday’s blog post, I was like I’m not sure I really have a problem, and then after I was done writing it and I read it I was like HOLY SHIT WOMAN, what took you so damn long???

So every time I write a blog post I end up learning a little more about myself.

Anyway, I’m not here to judge anyone.

I wish I could handle alcohol.

But the truth is, I can’t.

I don’t care if you drink. I don’t think it’s bad.

I mean, unless you are a raging, booze guzzling, suicidal psycho who is putting other people (namely my kids or my family) in danger.

That’s bad.

But I’m not trying to convince the world to live a life of sobriety.

I’m just choosing to share this newest part of my story, and maybe help a couple people along the way.

Look cute while you manage the chaos. Click here.

 

Next stop — world domination (or at least six figures).

I’ve spent the past couple months in blog limbo.

Like many things I do, I started this blog on a whim with no plan.

I also knew nothing about blogging.

But I always had the goal of supporting my family from it.

I’m not quite there yet.

And now I’m at kind of a crossroads.

I have been writing a post every single day for almost five years.

Every single day.

You know who does that?

Nobody.

It’s a little insane, actually.

But I told myself that I’d keep writing a post each day until I had 20,000 Facebook followers.

I’m currently at 19,831.

Almost there.

So I guess I did have a plan. It was to write a post a day.

Other than that, though, there was no plan.

Things kind of randomly evolved from there once more people started reading the blog.

And I started to make some money. Not a lot. But at least I was generating income.

I get money from being an affiliate. My e-course has been fairly successful. I’ve had a few paid speaking engagements.

And I’m always coming up with new ideas. Some of them are pretty good.

My problem is I’m all over the place.  And before I finish one thing, I’m starting another.

I’m totally fragmented and without a plan.

That’s no way to run a business.

And on the business end of things, I’m kind of clueless.

I’ve gotten pretty good at writing posts. I have a decent audience. But I’m scattered. Lacking focus and direction.

About a year ago was when it really dawned on me that I’m not capitalizing on what I’ve built.

But I didn’t know how to go about doing that.

Then, about nine months ago, a small web design and marketing company offered me a proposal.

They’d redesign and customize my site (something I desperately need if I want to move to the next level) and they’d help me reach that goal of supporting my family.

The problem was I had no money to pay them.

So they proposed an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds and get people to invest in the site.

At first, it seemed like a good idea.

They were super enthusiastic and we were all excited.

And then, little red flags started appearing.

It wasn’t that this company didn’t know what they were doing. They were definitely experts in web design and marketing strategies.

The problem was, they didn’t 100% get me. Or more precisely, they didn’t get my audience. You guys.

And so there were things they were asking me to do or write, and I wasn’t comfortable with them.

Because it just wasn’t me. And readers were starting to sense that and be turned off by it.

But instead of trusting my instincts and cutting ties with them, I moved forward. We launched the Indiegogo campaign.

It did not feel right.

And so, less than two weeks later, I “broke up” with them.

They were understandably upset. They had invested time and money. They were excited about the possibilities of our partnership.

But I knew in my gut this was not the right thing. It just was not the right fit.

This was back in October.

Now I was single, I had no one to work on my site, no one to help me implement some of the new things I had planned for the blog, I had no back up plan at all, and I was slipping into a depression.

Where was I going with this blog?

I was at the point where I was putting lots of time into writing posts without a whole lot of return on my investment.

I needed to either shit or get off the pot.

Up until this point, I had never put any money into my site.

I had several people volunteer time and services.

I did quite a bit of bartering.

And while I didn’t really have any other options at the time,  by bartering, I was sending out a message out to the people I was doing “business” with, to myself, and to the Universe that I’m not worthy of being paid for my services.

I was devaluing myself and other people.

So I had invested tons of time. But I hadn’t shelled out any cash.

Even if I had been in the position to pay someone to help me develop my site and come up with a focused strategy, I’m not sure I would have done it.

Because putting money into this changes the ballgame. Then it’s serious. Then if it’s not successful, it’s a failure.

Plus there was the voice in my head telling me that if I were really good at this, I wouldn’t need help. I’d have been able to figure everything out on my own.

But the truth is, I can’t. Or at least I haven’t been able to so far.

If I want to take this to the next level, I need help.

Michael Phelps didn’t get to the Olympics alone. Why should I think I have to do this alone.

If I wasn’t willing to ask for help, then I would never get anywhere.

And being at a crossroads, I needed to make a decision.

Invest in this site, or shut it down.

There was still that money problem, though. Designing and customizing a website isn’t cheap.

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the last five years be for naught.

And I do have a much bigger vision for Not Your Average Mom.

I really, really REALLY want to make it a site that helps moms not just survive motherhood, but navigate it more successfully.

And happily. At least more happily than they have been.

Because I think motherhood should be as fulfilling as it is exhausting.

I spent too many years just trying to make it to the kids’ bed time.

That’s not very fun.

Or fulfilling.

So now I am putting myself in the position to move forward.

I have hired someone to help me get the site to the place I’ve envisioned for the last few years.

I had to ask my parents for a loan to do it. But I’m doing it.

Dammit.

I’m investing in myself. I’m totally worth the gamble.

The odds are in my favor.

I’ll still be writing posts.

But maybe not every single day.

Because I want to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.

But I also want to do stuff I’ve never done before.

There will definitely be some changes.

Good ones.

Not really changes, but improvements. Enhancements.

Among other things, I want to start a podcast. And a book club.

I want to provide a forum where members of the NYAM community can support each other, ask questions, and receive recommendations.

There will still be the stuff that made people like the site in the first place.

I still want to help remind moms that we are all in this together. That none of us are alone.

That sometimes being a mom is great, but other times it’s imperfect and messy and sometimes, it’s just downright shitty. And it’s okay to say that out loud.

I want to continue to remind moms that we are all fucked up. All of us. And our degree of fuckupedness fluctuates.

Some days or weeks or months or years we have our shit together. And some days or weeks or months or years… we don’t.

But what I also want to do is provide parents with tools.

Tools to help their kids. Tools to help themselves.

I don’t want to force them on you.

But I want to make them available to you. Available for you take advantage of them, if and when you are ready.

I want to be able to offer people the opportunity to invest in themselves. I want to provide people with opportunities to improve their health and fitness. I want to offer parents more effective parenting techniques.

I’m going to revamp my fitness courses.

I want to continue to help people openly discuss mental illness and do what I can to help destigmatize it.

You know I love Positive Discipline. I 100% believe in it. I have seen how effective it is with my own children.

In a couple weeks I’m going to Fort Lauderdale, and I’m getting certified to teach parenting classes.

I am so excited about this!!!

It’s one more tool, one more resource, one more opportunity I will be able to share.

So you know how I told you yesterday I was going to let you in on what I’d been up to?

This is what I’ve been up to.

Thinking. Evaluating. Assessing.

And now, I’m officially leaping.

I’m jumping in 1o0%.

It’s not going to be easy. And there are no guarantees.

But fuck it.

Go big or go home. Move out of your comfort zone. The biggest risk is taking no risk at all. Don’t be afraid to fail; be afraid not to try. A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

and —

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

This is just the beginning.

No regrets.

 

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