I've noticed that this blog has become largely devoted to documenting the life of Mr. Noah--which is fine, but I also want to occasionally write about what I've been up to. I do have lots of thoughts beyond nap schedules and baby milestones. Today, I want to tell you about how I recently got involved with the website Power of Moms.
A few months ago, I was surfing Pinterest one night, and I started to feel very overwhelmed. The sheer amount of information and ideas that are available through the internet is a bit paralyzing to me; once I know that something exists, I feel like I should be doing it. For example, when I discovered that there is a website called 100 Days of Real Food, I suddenly felt pathetic for feeding my son processed granola bars. I had never given a second thought to the "real food" movement until I found out about it on Pinterest--and all of the sudden I had yet another thing to feel guilty about in my life. (I have problems.)
I've heard a lot of women say that the crafts and party ideas on blogs and Pinterest make them feel like they aren't measuring up--but for me, it's not so much the photos of the crafts and fantastic parties that make me feel inadequate (I gave up on that dream a long time ago)--it's the ideas about better ways to live. Each new website about health, service, scripture study, learning activities for kids, gardening...the list goes on...just adds to my mental list of things that I "should" be doing.
So that night, as I was surfing Pinterest and feeling grumpy, I decided to get off of the site and actually do something productive with my time--like check Facebook. (Yes, I am making fun of myself here.) For once, my quick check of Facebook did in fact prove productive because I noticed that an article was being shared by many of my friends, so I decided to click on the link.
The article was titled "Your Children Want YOU!!!" and it started like this:
"There's this crazy phenomenon going on right now. Good, devoted mothers get on Pinterest...and blogs...and Facebook...and Twitter...and then they flip through parenting magazines and TV channels (full of advertisements and media hype)...and they're convinced they're not enough."
I was hooked. And as I read on, I became more and more touched. The author writes about moments with her husband, her children, and her own mother that have convinced her that the only person that she needs to be is herself. She points out that she doesn't care that her mother "didn't specialize in home decor and gourmet cooking" or "lift weights or run marathons," and neither do her children. "At the end of the day," she concludes, "your children don't want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else...Your children want YOU." (If you haven't read the entirety of this article, you really should. It's awesome.)
I was so inspired by this essay that I went to the website where it was originally posted, and I started reading other articles. I noticed that they sold programs for mothers, and I eventually bought a few. Then I subscribed to their email newsletter, and it was there that I noticed a listing for an editor. I applied for the position--and I got it.
I really love the work that I am doing for them. I thought that I would just be editing for commas and run-on sentences, but I actually get to help make decisions about which articles are published on the site, and I get to make suggestions for revisions when articles need to be tweaked. The work that I am doing for them draws on some of my favorite aspects of being an English teacher.
Also, as I edit the submissions, I am so inspired by the mothering insights and experiences that are shared. Unlike Pinterest, this site doesn't make me feel overwhelmed and inadequate--it makes me feel empowered and excited. The ideas are doable. The essays acknowledge the difficult realities of motherhood, while also presenting some ideas for solutions.
If you are my friend on Facebook, I'm sure you've gotten tired of my "liking" a million articles from the website. I can't help it--they are just so good. If you look above, you will see that I've added a tab for "Power of Moms" to my blog homepage: I am going to use that page to continually add links to some of my articles that are published on the site (so I don't have to write a blog post announcing each one, which could get really annoying), as well as some of my favorite articles that are written by other people (there are so many great ones). Don't forget, anyone can write for the site! You totally should!
Through this editing work, it's also been super rewarding to "get to know" some of the other women who work for the site. I hope to meet them in person someday! Who knew that I could make friends with people I work with online? We live in a crazy (but cool) world.
They recently asked me to write a "Spotlight" for the website, which I did. It was published this past week, and the title that they came up with made me laugh: "Rachel Nielson: A Mother, A Writer." It's so dramatic and serious, and it just makes me sound so legit. Click on the link if you want to read my spotlight.
Now that I am a legit editor, I can do a giveaway of one of their programs on my blog--so stay tuned for more info. They really have some awesome resources, and I am so glad to be working with them.