Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Yesterday, one of my of my favourite bloggers, Laura (Harassed Mom) wrote a really beautiful post about the lessons she's learned this year. It got me thinking... I have learned so much, but a lot of what I have learned has come to me because I have read something that resonated so deeply it inspired me to change a habit or behaviour. 

That's pretty powerful, right? I mean often I read things and this, "Oh that's nice", but I never do anything about it. 

Well, this year I have read thousands of blog posts. I have cried and laughed and watched from the sidelines as so many amazing bloggers have opened their hearts, their homes and their lives to the rest of us. I couldn't possibly list every single post that has stood out, trust me when I say my Facebook "saved" list is a mile long. But the posts below have really affected me. They are the ones I think about constantly. The ones I go back and re-read when I feel myself slipping. The ones that have helped me be a better person and mom in 2017. 

I'm not going to spend too much time introducing Sharon's blog, if you don't know about her then you need to educate yourself hehe. Sharon's has blogged extensively about her struggle with infertility. At times, her posts were emotional, at times I laughed at her humorous way of dealing with her pain. But often, they are educational. One of the stand out posts for me this year has been about pregnancy. I read it at a time where I was feeling HIGHLY emotional. We struggled to get pregnant with Gracie and when it finally happened I let myself fall face first into that bubble of sheer bliss. But you know what I realised after Grace was born? It fucking hurts when you are on the outside looking in. And truthfully, as Sharon's posts outlines, the emotional exclusions aren't where it ends. There are systematic exclusions that happen when you don't give birth to your children. You don't get the same amount of maternity leave, your medical aid is not as straightforward as it should be, the media's take on motherhood is so single-minded. The articles we read, the articles we as bloggers write, they all focus on birth and pregnancy. What about the millions of mothers who have adopted or used surrogates or or or? We need to open the circle. 

I have tears welling up in my eyes already. This is such a loaded thing for me because, like many people on this planet, I have lived such a selfish life. I have made a ton of mistakes, big mistakes, little mistakes. I tuned out and turned away from being the kind of person I know I needed to be. I have built a life devoid of compassion. And then suddenly, that all changed. I started working again and my new job has set me down a path where being selfish is impossible. Every single day I open my heart to the suffering of others. Every single day I allow myself to feel. I used to try and hide my tears, I would cry with a little bit of shame. But not anymore. I cry openly now. I let myself be vulnerable because letting someone know how deeply their pain affects me is important. Compassion is important. Leigh from The Mom Diaries wrote a post not too long ago about her experience at Red Cross Children's Hospital and I cried my eyes out reading it. Not because it was incredibly sad (it is) but because I knew after reading it that Leigh had gone through an experience that would shape her life and the way she allowed herself to feel. Leigh opened her heart and an amazing thing happened and that is so incredibly powerful.


It's no surprise that someone as lovely as Leigh would teach me not one but two valuable lessons this year. If you are every lucky enough to spend time with Leigh and her husband Brendon, one thing will become very clear, very quickly: they are so in love and it is so incredibly magical to just watch them. Leigh wrote a beautiful post to Bredon about what a rock he is and continues to be for her and reading this post and spending time with them as a couple has really inspired Regan and me to be a little more in love with each other. Often I get so stuck in the day to day humdrum of life that I forget how incredibly lucky we are to have each other. To have found a person who fits in your heart so perfectly.... Who is your equal in every way. If I think about it too much it takes my breath away a little. 

When I was little, Sunday's always followed the same formula: church, doughnuts, lunch, relaxing on the couch. It never changed. It was the one day of the week that wholly focused on family. While I am sure that during my teen years, there must have been a lot of grumbling about going out and what not, looking back now, these Sunday's hold some of my dearest memories. Cindy blogged about how her childhood Sunday's were quite similar. Reading it left me feeling so reflective because up until now, I have not really been doing much to cultivate that sense of tradition and family with my kids. Yes they are quite small, but if we don't start now, when will we? We've been making a marked effort to be better about creating memories for our girls, especially memories of emotion. Things like Sunday family time. I really loved this post and it pushed me to action, which is something that doesn't often happen right?

Megan is one of those amazing people that lives in my phone. I often feel like I know her. I've never met her. Sometimes she writes things that make me feel like she knows me, like the me I am inside my soul. Her post about her birth story and struggles with her postpartum body came at a time where I was feeling exactly the same way. I had embraced the body positivity movement and while I believe in it 100%, I now see that I was using a healthy approach to self-acceptance to mask my unhealthy self-esteem and anxiety issues. Megan's post is so powerful and raw and painful. Especially if you are going through something similar. But it's also hopeful. And so inspiring. If you find yourself reading this, feeling less than about your postpartum body, read this and know that you are not alone. 

It's normal for parents to be truly affected (like on an emotional level) by time. The baby/ toddler years seem to fly by. With every birthday I find myself desperately trying to hold on to the small child, I feel fearful of their growth. Like if they grow, I will lose them. They won't be little, they won't need me, they will leave me. It fills with so much anxiety. Laura (who blogs over at Harassed Mom) wrote the most beautiful post about why she is ok with her kids growing up. Flip, it filled me with so much hope. It will be ok. While I am still holding on to each and every second of the little years, I am feeling a lot more excited about getting to know the people they will grow up to be one day in the very far away future. 

2017 has been a year of amazing things.
It's been a year of incredible heartache.
I have made new friends.
I have said goodbye to old friends.
I have grown and learned more than I ever thought possible. 

I feel so incredibly grateful to be a part of this little community of parenting bloggers. To feel surrounded by advice and support shared by women who I have never met, women who seem to know me, women who share my struggles and my joys. It's been the greatest blessing. So thank you for sharing your journey, and please, never stop. 



  1. This is a lovely post!! Such a beautiful tribute to your favorite bloggers. Please consider entering our SA Mommy Blogger Awards. You can find our group on FB. X

    1. Thanks so much Jacqui! I really appreciate the comment. I will go have a look for the awards page!

  2. Nikki, you've warmed my heart yet again. Thank you for this beautiful post.

    1. Awww thank you so much Melissa. This comment has made me smile! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  3. What a beautiful, heartfelt post! I knew *exactly* which posts you were referring to in some instances (because they affected me in similar ways), and have just bookmarked a couple of posts for some bedtime reading later this eve. Thank you for sharing - and a BIG shout out to you as well! Your blog posts are always so relevant and never fail to make me take a step back and think. So thank YOU! x


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