Thursday, January 27, 2011

Big Things!

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Back five years ago when I started this blog (can you believe it's been five years...me neither!), I didn't know anyone else who had a blog. People didn't read other people's blogs really. It just wasn't the thing back then...you know, in the dark ages.

But things have changed! Now everyone has a blog and blogs have become tools of marketing, and ways to launch businesses and big ideas. And honestly, I often feel left behind. Because my blog hasn't changed much in five years.

I still blog about the same things I always have. This blog is basically my personal journal of our family...the little things that make up our days that add up to our lives.

It often isn't big or exciting. It is just LIFE (and sometimes death).

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Lately I haven't been writing about what is really going on in my head. Why? Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I'll be judged. I wonder if so and so will read it and get it in their head that I am this or that.

But really, if so and so comes to my blog and is looking to judge me...well, I can't be bothered with that. I have to worry about me and not worry about the hypothetical (maybe inevitable) judgement that might come my way.

This blog is my voice, and if I can't say what I want to say on my own freaking blog, then when can I say those things? And if I can't say the things I want to say, I might just go crazy. And craziness is not something I want to usher onto my doorstep.

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So, here are a few things I want to say.

The first is that we are trying to conceive (TTC for all those who know the lingo). It sucks basically. We have been trying for about a year now, and it's obviously not working. It's really stressful and yet I feel guilty for even wanting another child. I think I should feel grateful for the two living children we have and be willing to call it a day. But the truth is that since we were pregnant with Vivian and Annemarie, we have envisioned ourselves as a family with at least three living children. And it breaks my heart that it probably won't happen.

For the past six months we have been working with a doctor to try to get pregnant, and I am so tired by it all. I just don't want to stress about it anymore. The next step for us would be more invasive treatments, and I just don't want to go there. It's a lot of time, and money and heartache for an outcome that isn't even likely. It is more likely than not that we will spend thousands of dollars and still not get pregnant.

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The past few months we have seriously been talking about adoption. We have researched domestic and international adoption. We even looked at the file of one child who was available for adoption and came quite close to saying yes. But we didn't. Right now I just don't think that path is the right one for us, although I'm not saying we wouldn't consider it in the future.


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All of this TTC business has given me a case of the have nots. The have nots are what my best friend Ann calls when you constantly compare the worst in your life to the best in other people's lives.

It's no big secret that many people I know have become fabulously wealthy, famous, or successful in the past few years. I have friends who have sold scripts, who have launched successful businesses, produced big movies, started thriving legal practices, become partners at law firms, and created TV shows.

The struggling actress who used to hang out at my apartment way back when has just been nominated for her third Academy Award. Yup. Not to mention that most of the women I'm talking about also had babies, and got back into their Size 2s moments after the baby emerged from the birth canal.

It has all left me with a big case of the have nots. The big pity party that I so should not be having. I do not begrudge anyone their successes...I mean, I am not out there writing scripts, pitching TV shows or going to acting auditions, you know? For the most part, the successes have been because that is what these people have been focusing on. It's what they've been pouring their time and energy into on a daily basis. The culmination of years of hard work after facing a lot of rejection.

So, all this has had me thinking...where do I want to focus my time and energy?

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I started thinking about all the kids I read about while I was researching adoption. Heartbreaking, tragic stories that left me sleepless. Stories I couldn't (and still can't) get out of my head. If we adopted one child...that is a great thing for that one child. But what about the thousands of others who are left behind?

So, that is when I got the idea to launch a business benefitting children in need throughout the world. My plan is to design and make personalized jewelry (I'm selling it on Etsy, of course)...and 50% of all the profits will go to help pay for life-saving medical treatments, food, clean water, and care for babies and children around the world.

I am going to work on the shop after the girls go to bed, so it won't impact my time with them...which was a big concern for me.

Since I started thinking about using my time and energy for good, I have felt such a weight lifted from my shoulders. I am still sad that we are not able to conceive. I just am tired of wallowing in it. I want to use my free time and my talents to improve the world, and so I am super excited about this creative endeavor. It is definitely a distraction that I really need right now and I am hopeful that something good (hopefully great) will come from this.

I am hoping to get my shop launched in the next month (or let's be realistic...within the next three months). Stay tuned. ;-)

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18 comments:

becca said...

Thank you for you openness and honesty - I'll be praying for you and Mr. Mustard as you TTC - it's not a fun journey, I know. It's how I met our dear friend, Devon.

Praying for your business and can't wait to see what you create!

No judging here - you are who you are and I feel honored to read your blog and see your beautiful babies every day.

Sheila said...

Sounds like a fun,creative,from the heart and soul kinda plan. Look forward to seeing you on Etsy.
An open heart leads to great joys!

Raising happy,content children who are what they are meant to be does not make you a slacker or marginalize your talents. This is the drum all Mommies bang deciding on stay at home or working Mommy status. I've done both. Here's a bit of hind sight for you...
Are the kids who they were meant to be, or are they who they are because their lives adapted to the demands of our schedules? It's the latter with bits of the other. I can't under estimate the free flow creative expression, of being a child, living life on their own time. My kids are grown and taking care of themselves and their lives.
As their Mom who raised them, who remembers the very essence of them individually, I can tell you they are not "living THIER lives" as the people they truly are. Most of us assume the responsibilites of adulthood and it's structure. Teach your children how to have themselves with the responsibilites that are coming. How? Daily, adapting the best way for each as the person they are. How delightfully different they are from one another, yet connected. Here's the rub... it becomes YOUR life's purpose if it matters to you. You'll be exhausted no matter which path you choose. Most of the Mommies don't have the choice. Mom's who work outside of the home are spent and torn every day. Mom's who stay home as a choice and are engaged and involved in their choice are also exhausted, but not as torn. If they were working they think how much their salaries could benefit the family. Families aren't made up of "things" but people. I needed to work for financial necessity. I was happy and proud to do my part. MY dreams for Mommyhood were drastically changed. I think of it as cliff notes. We all got a key part of every days experience. If I had been home, it would have been the full story with illustrations.
Only you can give someone else the power to make you feel small. Say this to yourself whenever you are plagued with that feeling. Embrace feeling happy for friends and colleagues successes. It's a win/win for both of you.
Wow, I guess you hit a tender nerve with this post. Sorry for the rambling nature, I mean every bit of the content. (20/20 can be such a no it all bitch)
By the way, I think this is what makes being a Granny so sublime. I get back the sweetest part of my babies through their babies. Again it's a BIG win/win. How did God know we would need this special love at this time in our lives? Genius!

Sheila said...

Paprika's photos... Joy,joy,joy.

Lauren said...

I'm glad you felt like you could really speak your mind on your blog. Like you said, it is YOUR blog.

I'm sorry that I didn't know that you had been struggling to conceive. That is an exhausting time, and I totally get how it can lead you to having a case of the "have nots".

I love your idea of helping children in need though! That's a great way to help many children and to make a difference. I also think that getting your mind off of trying to conceive always helps your chance at getting pregnant. It did for me and I know it's worked that way for many others - SO, you never know! ;)

In the meantime, I hope that you can fully enjoy the life you have. I know you already know this, but you are so blessed with a beautiful family, health, and so so much more. I know another baby would enhance all this, and I hope and pray that it happens for you.

Love,
Lauren

mommy4boys said...

I am sorry your TTC journey has been long and hard.

I am excited about your new business and am really looking forward to seeing the jewelry.

And please know that we don't judge you. It's something I have really pushed out of my head as I've written many posts. And I just always remember that it's my blog, about my life, and how I feel. You do such an amazing job and I really enjoy reading about you and your family. You are an inspiration to many of us, and your honesty helps so much.
Thank you!!

Jerilyn said...

..speak it! We all thru our times..venting is one of the best stress relievers. Congrats on ur shop..know ur things will be wonderful, u have such an eye for photography, i am sure that same eye will pass onto ur peices. I am for sure not a conception expert..but i saw a program about a year & it has stayed with me ever since..this women had tried for years to conceive..then all the sudden she became pregnant..come to find out, she had decided to change a few eating habits..eating mainly green..the doctor said, bringing so much folic into her diet is what made her system change & conceive..just found it interestin & have always kept that in my mind....no not for me, i am a grandma..just wanted to wish u the best with all things u have on ur list.

Cristy said...

I read your blog regularly, but am SO glad you decided to open up with what's going on. That's what these things are for! I'm so sorry to hear that TTC has been difficult. I know they always say "don't give up hope" and I hope you don't, yet, I completely understand your frustration.

As for the etsy shop, PLEASE post when you start it because I promise I'll be looking. ; )

Kim said...

I'm sorry you're having a tough time with TTC. You have every right to have those feelings about not being able to have another child, regardless of how many children you have or what you should be thankful for. You know how amazing they are and you know what a beautiful experience it is and you long to have that again. I think especially after experiencing a loss like we have, you sort of want that more. I think it's great what you're doing with your creativity and I hope you don't give up on your dream of having another baby. Thinking of you:)

Noo said...

I just loved your honesty on on this post erica! I am sorry that you are having troble trying to concieve. Perhaps now that you shifting your thoughts into different areas you will fall without even trying! You are a beautiful mother and I get great inspiration from you all the way here in Australia! Love to you x

Adrienne said...

Good for you! I'll be praying, and anxiously waiting to see your creations! I <3 Etsy. :o)

ferfischer said...

Oh! That is a lot going on! Hugs to you, and i'm very excited for your new venture!

Faith said...

I'm sorry to hear about the TTC troubles. I think it's exciting to think about the future and a new venture. And what a wonderful cause. I am a SAHM too with a *very* small sewing business but I have found that it helps give me an identity besides "mom". Not that I don't love that part of me, but I think mentally, for me anyway, it's important to have something that is just for me. Even if I break even or lose money every month. :)

m&msmommy said...

I am very excited to follow your new venture. I am SO sorry that you have been going through what you are going through and it just goes to show you that you NEVER know the trials someone is walking through...you don't know how many times I read your blog and think, "Wow, I wish I could do that with my children..." :) And I never knew, while I was reading in envy, you were struggling with something like trying to conceive and being unable to.

You seem like such a sweet person and I wish you all the success with your jewelry! :)

Stunningly Sweet said...

I've been silently following your beautiful blog for a few months now and am so glad you are able to open up and use your blog as an outlet. I can't wait to see what goodies you have in store for Etsy; such a weakness of mine-I'm so addicted and have a shop as well! Praying for your family!

Naomi said...

so great to find your blog and I love this post. those pictures are just adorable. good luck with your decision and journey. Naomi xd

Hollywood Farm Films said...

All in God's immaculate timing.

Sarah said...

This is a beautiful post. Thanks for commenting on our blog so I could find you.

Mimi said...

"I am not out there writing scripts, pitching TV shows" ..., you're not, but you've been doing a much more important job raising your two girls.
Good luck with the Etsy shop.
This is easy to say, but have faith that the conceive/adopt issue will resolve over time. Relax and have faith. Snd I'm not judging you, I think you're a brave, open and honest person.