Ani Defranco once sang that we find strength in the differences between us and comfort where we overlap.
Well last night, while suffering from a New Year’s Day hangover brewed only by transatlantic jetlag and the ill effects of travelling with a self-directed two year old, I found myself astonishingly and happily comforted and strengthened by an unanticipated outpouring of support and interest in my first foray in the world of maternal blogging.
Just after dinner yesterday, only moments after I pressed send on my call for help from working mothers, and after indulging in a touch of shameless self-promotion on Facebook, Linked-in, and elsewhere, I started to do the washing up when…ping, ping, ping, ping…ping ping…my email started to make little comforting and strength inducing noises.
Well hello world…
In the few hours after posting I heard from women, lots of women. I heard from wonderful stressed-out women just like me and simultaneously totally different than me. Personally, I found strength in hearing a little bit about your different experiences and comfort in the familiarity of your stories. I heard from mothers who are also workers, and also keepers of all details and the big picture, from all over the world. I heard from a Diplomat in Munich, a government worker in Washington State, a lawyer from my home town Toronto, a Tech manager in Chicago, old friends from England and Ireland, South American expats, teachers, bureaucrats, writers, bloggers, etc. etc. etc. I heard from mothers of 1, 2, and mothers of 3. I heard from moms with twins and moms of children with special needs, and moms with all of the above.
In their responses, all of these women expressed an interest, excitement, and even a need – to participate in this little social experiment that is WorkLifeMom 2014. Most of them forewarned me in their responses that they don’t think they are managing any of it well and don’t know exactly what they will contribute…but regardless they expressed a willingness to share, to expose the truth of what their version of working motherhood is.
Let me reinforce what I said to all of the women who kindly took the time to respond to my post – this blog must be about honesty first. It is not going to be about dressing up motherhood like a rogue toddler on Christmas day or about stifling your feelings of failure or the thrills of your successes when they do occur. I want this blog to expose the broad range of realities for working mothers, the key themes of motherhood today, and to highlight challenges, opportunities, and new ideas. I want this blog to help mothers feel understood.
It’s in your honest contributions that I have every confidence that I will find comfort and strength and that I hope you will also find the same. So my fellow working mothers of the world THANK YOU for making me feel a little less space alien and a little more understood. I’ve got numerous interviews set up already; they will take place in the form of an email questionnaire with 10 questions about working motherhood, and a summary of each working mom’s weekly schedule.
I’ll start posting their outcomes this weekend, and I will post them in your own words. Tomorrow – I will post my own reflections on the 10 questions and will show you what my schedule looks like. It makes sense to me to kick this thing off with my own honesty in the hope of inspiring you to show us what your life looks like.
And then -- I will try to make this platform all about you and start posting your responses…. Doesn’t that sound nice to mothers everywhere? This will blog will be all about you – all about us. Please subscribe to this blog and watch our progress and help me find other working mothers to interview. My contact info is in my first post.
With thanks for your responses, enthusiasm, support, and comradeship. Can’t wait to hear about and reveal your lives.