I have to constantly remind myself why I decided to make my blog public. There are a few reasons. One of them is to help change the dynamic for me. I feel like a visitor in someone else’s community. I’m a non-mormon in a largely mormon community. I’m a Democrat in a predominantly Republican area. I have a special needs child which makes it hard to relate with other parents. I’m a stay-at-home mom in a society that applauds working women. All of these things make me feel isolated. I’m hoping that by sharing more about my life I might find others that are feeling similar.

Over the last couple years, especially after the election of Donald Trump, I have made a real effort to conduct myself in a very neutral way because I ‘know’ I’m in the minority with most of my opinions. I listen, I make jokes and I ask questions. It’s pretty rare for me to say anything of substance in a social situation when I feel like a ‘visitor’. Neutrality has also made me feel like my friends don’t know that much about me. I have created a bit of a dynamic where there are people who feel close to me, but I don’t feel close to many. I do have many thoughts about what is happening, but there’s nowhere for me to voice them comfortably. The blog, I’m hoping, will be part of the solution for the feeling of loneliness that has grown over the last couple years.

The problem is I’ve never really been an active user of any social media platform. I have spent most of my time being an anonymous observer if I did any browsing at all. I have always been very mindful of what I ‘like’ or read for fear of exposing my genuine views about something. I say all the time that it’s so much easier to like everyone when you don’t know everything about them. I’m probably mostly talking about myself when I say that.

Since launching the blog I have opened Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and created a Facebook business page plus the actual website for the blog. I have become active on my personal Facebook page. I have gone from essentially no social media presence whatsoever to sharing not only my personal thoughts about my family, but also my political views across multiple platforms.

I didn’t realize how uncomfortable this would be for me. I didn’t anticipate how exposed and vulnerable I would feel. I didn’t know how much time and effort it would take to figure out each of the platforms. I didn’t realize how against my nature this whole project would be. The constant anxiety of being ‘out there’ is all consuming. I’m hoping it might feel better with time as long as I continue to feel like I’m doing the right thing.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, great post! I wanted to comment on the statement that society applauds working woman though. I understand where you are coming from and agree that stay at home moms are often wrongly stigmatized, but unfortunately so are working moms. As soon as a woman has a child her gross earning potential drops dramatically, raises and opportunities for growth grind to a halt, many woman are criticized in the work place as being “no longer committed to the job”, and some woman are even fired (see these articles, there are many more like it,: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/upshot/even-in-family-friendly-scandinavia-mothers-are-paid-less.html and https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/01/health/fired-pregnant-parenting-strauss/index.html). There is signifcant research showing that mothers who work are still doing the majority of household chores and child rearing, leaving a woman who perpetually feels inadequate… she doesn’t have the time she wishes she had to parent, to have a successful career, and manage a household. The guilt and exhaustion that accommpanies this lack of ability to “do it all” is gut wrenching to read and is something I hope to minimize as I enter into this adventure called motherhood.Finally, look at the way our society is set up… there is no paid maternity leave, absolutely no such thing as paternity leave at most jobs, and child care costs are skyrocketing. I am pregnant with my first child and work full time for a state institution where I have worked for 12 years. I have no option for paid maternity leave so just have to save my money and PTO, and am only offered 12 weeks maximum time off following the birth of my child. I will have no PTO when I return to work… so I guess I’ll just hope no one gets sick or wants to leave town for a good 6 months (families come first, right Utah?!). My husband will take a week of his 2.5 weeks annual vacation and try to work from home as possible. I am fortunate to have a relatively flexible working schedule, as does my husband, so we will only need daycare 2 days a week. However, infant daycare is very difficult to find. We are on 2 year waitlists for 3 different daycares, and will pay $600/month for twice a week care. My coworkers that didn’t make it on to lists in time for a reputable daycare pay nannies $18/hour, reducing their take home hourly rate sometimes to $10/hour or less. An article written on ksl talks about the “sticker shock” of daycare in Utah ( https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46339317&nid=148). The comment section literally made me sick.The majority of comments were about how selfish it is of families to have 2 working parents, and how mom should be home with the kids. There was no mention about a dad staying home. People said that families who have 2 working parents are just money hogs, and should get rid of their new cell phones, campers, and vacations so someone can stay home. The average home price in Salt Lake City is $350,000, in Davis County it’s over $300,000. That’s a $1500-$2000/month mortgage! How many people making Utah’s median income of $65,000/year can afford a mortgage that size with just one income, especially when taking into account car payments, student loans, and other expenses typical of US life? The finances aside, I don’t want to stay home full time, and don’t feel like I should be shamed for not choosing to do so(I know you are not shaming working moms, but it feels like the world is). I have more earning potential than my husband, so in the long run the focus will be on my career while my husbands focus will be flexibility/working from home. In the meantime I am worried sick about burning through savings for 12 weeks, how I will return to long hours and a stressful job after putting my body through a huge ordeal, what we will do if the 2 day a week day care waitlists don’t come through in time, where and how I will continue to breastfeed working these long hours and running on little sleep, and how I will manage the guilt I will feel over not being home with my little one every day. I love my career and my life, and am much more fortunate than many women to have the flexibility I have, but am still faced with a lot of hard choices and a lot of stigmatization. I can’t imagine what woman in less fortunate situations deal with. I hate that society seems to feel that the burden of raising kids falls almost exclusively to a woman, but then offer no support to facilitate working and parenting. And then, of course, there is all the judgement that goes on toward women who choose to “just be a stay at home mom”, one of the hardest jobs out there. None of us can win, and none of us have it easy no matter what path we choose. Long story short, I think it’s sad that society thinks there has to be a “right” choice, and that no matter what we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I’ve been thinking a lot about how so many of us live in our own silos about race, gender, sexuality, whatever. In these instances I have been trying hard to recognize that we mostly all have the same objective. In this case, we all want woman to be respected and supported in their choices both by society and political decisions. Even if we have chosen different paths, we have the same common interest and are strongest when unified in that message. Anyways, I digress, but just some food for thought:) I’m so glad you have put yourself out there and given me yet another perspective to appreciate, consider, and emphathize with!

  2. It’s so hard to read the comments section! I really appreciate your comments. I would love to talk to you more about your experiences with being a working mom. Thanks for reading and congrats on your pregnancy! P.S. I am the author of the blog.

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