When I first read the email from Red Tricycle congratulating my blog for winning "Most Influential Parenting Blog" on a national category in their Totally Awesome Awards, I was at first delighted but then ultimately intimidated by it. Maybe more so the title? An honor by all means considering how any people vote in this thing, but also a solid reason to give pause and wonder what it is I'm actually "influencing..." Everything I know about my writing and social sharing - by now - tells me that the second I start to think too hard about these spaces I keep, or question what it is I seek to gain from a public account of my life as a mother essentially offers new reason for paralyzing responses. In other words, I won the award and stopped writing in reaction to it. Which is pretty silly right?
The thing is I've never thought of myself as a great photographer or writer for that matter, so whenever I tend to question my online "appeal" I start second guessing it all and tend to want to retreat instead of expand. All I am sure of, however, is that the more honest I am the more rewarding it's been and after six full years of sharing on this blog space I still genuinely like being here. Even if my time these days doesn't fully support it like it did in the beginning. When I started, I had three boys under the age of five and couldn't physically leave the house much at all so this outlet became a saving grace as a main portal to the outside world. Now, on the rare occasion we are home - the list of do-tos always threatens to topple any desire to write. A luxury at times I have to fight myself for. These days I do what I can when I can. Accepting that my topics and opinions, emotions and tones can shift and falter, dissolve and break, all depending on the month so long as I still enjoy putting forth a voice dedicated to both the perils of raising kids and the highlights that come attached to the daily grind, in this little interboon all my own. And while I don't think I've ever offered much in way of valuable parental advice or answers here, and likely never will, I do feel honored that the soul of this whole endeavor has transpired the way it has. That people come and find something worth their while to sit and read or reflect on through the week. That what started as a loyal readership based solely on the handful of friends who dropped by in the beginning to keep up with a friend's family they know and liked, has grown into something close to 35,000 monthly subscribers from all over the world - a few of which felt moved enough to take time out and vote us in. And for that, in what this award represents, I am most grateful for.
Thank you for reading, voting, supporting.
And thank you, Red Tricycle, for the good honor bestowed.
Photo By Ashely Jennett