She looked so tired, but I was pleased she had agreed to come and have a coffee with me. I hadn’t realised she was having a tough time, she always seemed on top of everything, so I had been surprised when her voice faltered on the phone and the tears started. So there we were, at my insistence, having a coffee (decaf of course), while I nodded along at all the familiar things she was telling me.
She told me about her exhaustion, the depression, her short temper with the kids. “I’m just not enjoying being a mum” she said. I could see the tears brimming and quickly diverted the approaching waitress with a quick signal for two more coffees. I gave her a break and took over the conversation for a while.
I told her about my adrenal fatigue, my breakdown and the time when I just wanted to drive into oncoming traffic. She raised a surprised eyebrow and continued to listen intently as I described my journey into blogging.
I explained how it helped me take inspiration from other blogs and websites and use that inspiration to make actual changes in my everyday life. How, at first, it was just things to occupy my time with the kids and get a little more organised. Little crash tests here and there.
Then I shared with her the unexpected outcome, the community of women I discovered online, and how supportive they were. How I actually started to feel the difference my blogging was making.
Because slowly I started to feel better, less tired, more energised. Little achievements from my crash testing improved my confidence weekly.
Quitting sugar in my sugar crash challenge resulted in not only me and my fellow crash testers feeling the difference, but every time CrashHubby hugged me he could feel the difference six fewer kilograms made!
Helping myself and others to “March to the beat of our own drums” meant it wasn’t just me who could feel the difference after a journey of self discovery and revelation.
Knowing my pap test scare prompted more than twenty women to tell me they had made their appointment meant we all felt the difference as the collective worry lifted from our shoulders.
I told her how my community cheered me on, joined in and shared their own stories of change and triumph with me.
I paused, and felt an overwhelming feeling of pride and relief that I had started Crash Test Mummy. I knew she needed to set off on her own discovery. I could have recommended dozens of blogs that were deeper, funnier, sadder, prettier, or more organised than mine.
But, I knew it was mine she needed to read.
She would find inspiration, solidarity and escape in other blogs, but in mine she would find the ally she needed. Someone to hold her hand and show her that change was possible. An ally who didn’t have a perfect house or perfectly behaved children, but who was giving it a red hot go and was slowly finding contentment in the home and family life she was creating.
On my blog she wouldn’t find a resident expert telling her what to do. She would find me. Someone who was willing to be the experiment in a bid to find what feels right for herself and her family.
If she read my blog she would belong to a community of supportive women who were doing their best to get organised, take care and have fun. She would feel the difference.
So I pushed my newly printed business cards across the table and said,
She managed a tired smile and there was a glimpse of a familiar spark in her eyes. She looked a little like this:
Hi! I’ve come a long way since then because of my blog. That photo of me was taken just over 8 months ago, as I was re-starting Crash Test Mummy after my break down. If you’re new here you can read why I started my blog here. To my much loved regular readers, thank you! Motherhood isn’t always a smooth ride and you can’t get off! So we just have to go with it, no matter how hard it gets. I love that you guys are buckled in right alongside me.
This post will be judged by a panel on its merits to determine if I get into the Top 5 for the Kidspot and Ford Territory Top 50 Bloggers competition. But telling my story is only part of it, I also need your vote.
Don’t vote for me just because I asked you to. Don’t vote for me because you like the name of my blog or the colour yellow! Don’t vote for me just because you could win $5,000 (you totally could!).
Vote for me if you want to come on the ride too. Vote for me if you want to see me continue on my blogging journey, and take a delightful little detour to New York courtesy of Ford. I’ll use the money I save from having to pay my own way to help take you on a video tour as I crash test New York. And if you’re lucky I might take you for a ride in the new Ford Territory ;)
If I was to write a song about my journey into blogging, this would be it! Enjoy listening to it while you’re voting for your favourite blogs, but before you go . . .
Can you feel the difference since joining the Crash Test Mummy ride? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :)
Thank you and take care,