The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

I have been reluctant to write anything either here or on Mom Nation for the last few weeks. My last few posts brought out some strong emotions in a few people and some of the comments made either directly to me or indirectly and very passive aggressively on various social media platforms gave me my first taste of the dreaded 'trolls'.

And although I heeded the advice of many a blogger who has walked that bridge before me and did not feed the trolls, I would be lying if I said that the comments that got personal, the ones that questioned my integrity, my compassion and my right to say what I mean and mean what I say, well... they got to me.

Now don't get me wrong, I knew when I wrote that particular post that what I had to say might make some people uncomfortable. I am not a subtle woman, never have been, and never will be. I do not like to play games or mince words (I am way too old for that!). I did appreciate that my words made people think, that they did indeed illicit an emotional response and that perhaps they made some people look at themselves or others in a different light, be it good or bad.

I love a lively debate as much as the next person and these days, what better way is there to connect online and discourse than within the "blogosphere". A blog post is the starting point and the comments are the conversation. I truly do love that about this medium!

And also, it can totally suck! People can hide behind pseudonyms and anonymous comments. They can completely miss the point of a post and forget to click on the links to get the whole story or background information needed to understand what is being written and why. They can have knee-jerk reactions, spurred by their own feelings of resentment or guilt or regret or what-have-you THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH what was written by the blogger and they send out into the universe words, tweets or comments, that are personal attacks and that live on in perpetuity.

This whole aspect of blogging, and social media in general, the part where it gets ugly, really makes a person rethink why they are doing this, why they are putting themselves out there for all the world to see and read.

And then comes some perspective for (and from) the writer.  In this case, me.

If you had asked me two years ago if I considered myself a writer of anything, I would have given you a funny look and said, "Uh, no, NOT at all!" When the Natural Urban Mama blog was started in 2009 it was a struggle for me to write anything. And to be perfectly honest, I had not really written anything of substance since my university days in the late 1990's, and what I was writing then was mostly scientific in nature (yes, I once had aspirations of being a lab/research geek).

It wasn't until I was invited to participate in the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival of Blogging in the Summer of 2010 and had to write a post a day for 14 days about my nursing experiences and thoughts and advice about breastfeeding that I really started to find my writing 'voice'. I realized then what blogging is about.

It is about telling a story. My story.

And what I found was that my story resonated with others. People started commenting on my posts, asking me questions, thanking me for sharing and in turn sharing my posts with others. And that felt good.

Here is the thing...I became the parent I am and by extension the parenting advocate I am very organically . I did not 'plan' to do a lot of the parenting practices that I now think are very important and yes, even essential in our world and definitely in our household. I was not a cloth diapering mama, I did not have a ridiculous baby carrier collection, let alone a babywearing business. And I had planned on breastfeeding for 6 months max!! Oh, how these little beings we bring into the world change us...

And so I began telling my story and sharing my passions and my experiences and my learnings here on my blog.

And more and more, my story has evolved, as have I as a person...and a mother, a business owner and a writer.

I blog for me, to get my thoughts about life and parenting out of my head and onto the screen. To make these thoughts and ideas more clear to me and perhaps to others too. It is a very public journal of sorts!

I blog for my readers and customers. I want to share my experiences. I want others to learn from my mistakes and my triumphs. I want to share my expertise and educate others about the things that I am passionate about like babywearing and breastfeeding and natural childbirth and cloth diapering and elimination communication and gentle discipline. Parenting practices that, believe it or not, can be done without trading in your designer boots for a pair of Birkenstocks and signing up for your Hippie-Mom Card.

I blog for a cause. What is that cause you ask? I blog for women. For mothers, for girls, for daughters, for wives, for women of all colours, creeds and yes, parenting 'styles'. I write to empower others to find their own voices, to live their dreams, to own their choices in life and live without regret. To be the kind of people they want their children to be.

I don't believe in hiding behind a facade of perfection. I don't believe in striving for a life/work balance just to be constantly disappointed and exhausted. I don't believe in being a fake friend or pretending that we all must get along just for the sake of appearances. I don't believe in living with regret or allowing negativity to permeate my head space or my online space!

I was in Canmore this weekend for my sister-in-law's wedding. Canmore is my happy place, where I witness magic and majesty at every turn and where I can just stop and breath and appreciate all the beauty that is around me. We took the kids to our favourite tea shop for lunch and on our way out I saw this card.

And it hit me to my core....

It was as if the universe was speaking to me and about me.

THESE are the things that I strive for in my life. How I choose to live and how I want my children to live too.

This is perspective to me and what matters and why I will not let the noise of a mere handful of people, drown out my inner or my outer voice!


All work and no play makes for...

....late nights alone with your computer!

The other night a fellow blogger posted on her Facebook page that she gets all her best writing and work done between the hours of 10 PM and 1 AM.

I totally agree with her, as this also happens to be my most creative and focused time of the day as well.


..this kind of schedule.... well.....

It does nothing for one's love life!

Let's face it. We are up at the crack of dawn with little ones (often after an interrupted night's sleep, because of said littles). We feed them all day, play with them, take them to play dates and the park and various other activities. Some of us work full-time jobs, some of us work from home. We make dinner for the family, give baths, read books and finally put them all to bed. And then it is grown-up time....

Or so we think.

For those of us who work from home, or write a blog, or try to maintain some kind of social media presence, after this kids are down and the dishes washed and the laundry sorted, it is often time to get down to business.

And if we are working till the wee hours on most nights, well, there goes any shot of spending quality time with our spouses.

And as I sit here and write this, I .....

....actually, you know what? I'm not.

I am going to make a choice tonight. I choose NOT to stay up until 1 AM. I choose to actually go to bed at the same time as Natural Urban Dad and {ahem} cherish some time with him (at least until one of the kids wakes up!) So this is all you get tonight!

Good night everyone, get off your computers and go snuggle with your loved ones!

I mean it!



Summer Blog Challenge posts for August 14, 2011

DAY 30!!

Wow, I have actually done it! I have written and posted 30 blog posts (both here and on Mom Nation) in the last 30 days. I know I would not have done it had I not been Triple-Dog Dared by the ever-fabulous Jennifer Banks. And I can't thank her enough for the 'push'!

Moving my blog from Blogger to Wordpress was a big deal for me and this 30 day challenge was the perfect way for me to really immerse myself into Wordpress and really figure out all the ins and outs and cool things that can be done with their great open source blogging service. If you are thinking of making the move, I can only say one thing. GO FOR IT! It is a learning curve, but one that you will master in no time and is so worth it!

And as of today (and thank you VERY, VERY MUCH everyone) my little blog has had just over 6000 all-time views. Not bad for five weeks right? I really hope that you will all stick around for a while and keep reading and visiting!

Blogging and writing is not something that I ever thought I was any good at and what I am finding out is that I am actually not that bad at it and I am truly enjoying this form of expressing myself! I have to let you all know that all your comments, here, on Facebook and on Twitter have all been read and I do so appreciate your encouragement and I am humbled by your compliments!

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the search terms that have directed people to my blog. Some of these have given me quite a laugh! Some make total sense and some are just kind of well....wierd!

Here they are:

  • natasha breastfeeding (Okay, I really hope this was a mommy!)
  • woven wrap canada (This one makes me happy and I hope they found what they were looking for!)
  • hemorrhoids and babywearing (Not a problem I have had or something I think is a big BWing issue.)
  • hebammenzeitschrift 2010 pdf (I have NO idea what this means??)
  • hot milf pictures (Yeah baby, that's right!!)
  • and my all time favourite one....

Regardless of how people are finding my blog, I am so glad that they are and I hope that those of you who are reading on a regular basis will subscribe via email so that you never miss a post. (See that nice little button up in the right hand corner? CLICK IT!)

I am going to write one more post this weekend and then will be taking a week off from blogging. I think I deserve it and I promise to be back regularly after that.

Thank you again for reading and sharing.