4/3/09

A friend revealed

Posted on Friday~April 3, 2009

After publishing my post on Mom Guilt yesterday, I felt uneasy about something. (No, surprisingly it wasn't the fact that it takes me 427 paragraphs to say something. I felt fine about that.)

But I felt a little off about sharing a quote from the person I had emailed while I was having a mothering meltdown without identifying who that person is. Something was gnawing at my gut, saying, "Isn't it possible that many of your readers will know who this is, and you're not giving her any credit at all?"

So I said, "You're right gut, I suppose there's a small chance some people will know who she is, so when I share the advice she gave me, I should maybe give her a mention, just in case."

I did ask her permission to share her identity, just in case you were wondering.

I'll show you her picture so you can search the corners of your mind, trying to see if you recognize her. You know how that can be, someone's vaguely familiar and yet you just can't quite place them...Good luck!

Ready?


....just a second, I've got that picture here somewhere...




...




...




...Ope, HERE it is!!!





...





...








Her name is Debbie, and she's got a little-known blog called,
Suburb Sanity
laughing...and still going insane

(pssst! she doesn't really look like that!)


Once upon a time, back when 5 people read my blog and 10 people read hers, Debbie and I became blog friends. I love her humor, and how she tells stories from her life with such wit and wisdom. Ever since we bumped into each other, I've been impressed by Debbie's talent for writing, her sense of humor, and the way you can just sense what an amazing person she is when you visit her blog. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure those of you who read her know exactly what I'm saying. She's got "it." You know, "it."

So yes, Debbie is the one I quoted yesterday, the one that took the time to respond to my panicked plea for help with such grace and kindness, it made me cry (in the good way). Even as she's gotten blog famous, she's continued to respond to me and my crazy emails in the exact way she always has, quickly and thoughtfully, always with a hit of that rockin' humor and loads of kindness.

Many of you know that Debbie has 18 year old boy/girl twins, and 15 and 13 year old boys. (She's been very busy for many years.) Debbie's motherhood stories not only make me laugh, but they resonate with me, because I can sense how IN LOVE she is with her kids. She talks about loving to spend time with them, really being present, and has the most fun with her kids. That's inspiring to me. Not every mother has this attitude come so naturally, and for most of us it's a big struggle in the early years because our job is mostly about meeting physical needs, constantly, coming up for air here and there, and being bone-tired weary.

This is one of the things that I've been open about struggling with. I really have trouble being present, and many of you have expressed the same frustration. I don't have a whole lot of real-life friends who have kids much older than mine. Most are still in the toddler/preschool trenches with me, feeling guilty for not having the energy to enjoy playing Hot Wheels and Go Fish.

Sometimes I'm scared that if I can't sacrifice and learn how to be present now, I never will. But the email from Debbie gave me hope. In explaining how she handled the early years, I had, as Oprah would say, an "AH HA moment." It was simply my moment to finally have something really CLICK.

There are some things I know I should do that I just keep forgetting. (Or maybe I just don't want to do what I know I need to do.) One of those things is consistently fighting off the guilt and negative thoughts that take over my noggin. But there are other practical things I should be doing. They are things that make all the difference in the daily grind, changing both my attitude and the behavior of my kids.

And now that I've gone on and on (again), I'll share those tips from Debbie with you tomorrow. I really will. Today, I just wanted to be sure to shine the light on a friend of mine who rocks. Because she does. Sometimes I can't believe that I've made real friends through blogging, but I have. Many of you know I truly consider you my friends. We connected on the world wide interweb for a multitude of reasons, and I love it. I want a new term other than "blog friends." That just doesn't give these relationships enough credit, making them sound distant and a little hard to believe, especially to people who don't blog. So yeah, let's think up a new term...

So I can say things like, "I got the most encouraging email from my ___________, Debbie."

cyber pal? interfriend? blogkin? Hmmmmm...WAIT! I've got it!

"I got the most encouraging email from my friend, Debbie."

There. That's just perfect.

(You can go visit Debbie by clicking on the big red Suburb Sanity above. If you don't know her, you'll be oh so glad to have found her.)

28 clicked right here to comment:

Peanut said...

That's smart having a mentor with kids that much older than yours. Mostly we surround ourselves with people who are at the same stage as us, which is good too, except then no one has the answers to all our questions!

I like Debbie too :)

And I know what you mean about the blog friendships. Even though non-bloggers totally don't get it, I always talk about what my blog friends mean to me. A year later, my husband is really starting to see the value in these friendships. (You being one of the first, I think he's sometimes surprised that I haven't had you over for dinner yet... Until I remind him that you're two time zones away!)

Kristina P. said...

I ADORE Debbie. In fact, I just commented on her blog and told her that I definitely have blog envy of her. She and I are cut from the same cloth.

Jenn said...

I have truly made some deep connections with other moms through blogging. I know that I can always find support from those who take the time to read my blog and that is such a comfort to me.

Lara said...

I love Debbie! She is really amazing...has a rare gift of being insightful while making me roll on the floor with laughter all at the same time.

My very best friend, whom I talk to every single day, is a friend I made through blogging. We live a couple states away, but have managed to meet each other for lunch a few times in the last four years. She's truly a kindred spirit, and the fact that I don't get to see her in real life very often shouldn't negate our meaningful friendship. I am thankful every day for blogging because I meet a lot of wonderful women this way that I wouldn't otherwise meet. They ARE my friends. :)

Debbie said...

Who do you think you are? Barbara Walters? Now you've gone and made me cry. And yes, in a good way.
Look at this glowing post about me. You are just the sweetest thing ever! I am subbing today but got to sneak home (hello, Central Office? Yes, I am at school. Promise) for lunch and was greeted with this nice post. You are just too kind to me. I may print this off and carry it around with me. Just in case.
You know how that goes:)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Sheryl said...

the fact that you care about what kind of mom you are, shows that you ARE indeed a great one!

Janelle said...

Oh I loved this post. I just gained greater respect for blogging relationships last month. Why shy away from a good friend just because they live miles and miles away?

jubilee said...

Looks like it's "Let's all love on Debbie Day" because I love her too!

Your thoughts about her are spot on.

Have I mentioned lately that I ♥ the look of your blog? Some bogs you read via feed burner and some you have to click over to read just for the aesthetic beauty. Your blog falls in the latter category.

Melanie J said...

I love Debbie's blog. She is a great writer and she's so awesome. She makes me smile all the time.

Tooj said...

If I search my life and don't find a good mentor with kids older than mine, I might be turning to Debbie too. In the meantime...I'll enjoy a new blogger to visit. :) I can't wait for the weekend so I can catch up with all these new blogs. Happy Friday.

Elizabeth said...

We TOTALLY need a name for what we are. Mainly because I need some way to explain it to my husband, who thinks my blogging relationships are completely weird. I refer to you as my friend-who-I-know-through-her-blog, but that doesn't suffice. I don't have any suggestions, but surely your creative self will come up with one!

Wendy Kae said...

You sound to me like you are an awesome mother. I agree with you about Debbie, I love her blog. She has a way with humor and real life that really appeal to me. I'm just beginning my blogging journey and people like you and Debbie really inspire me,thanks. Oh,and lose the guilt, you deserve some peace of mind, bloggerkin, cyberfriend, Heather.

Muthering Heights said...

I too LOVE Debbie's blog!

Kazzy said...

Yes, Debbie is great! And I hope the guilt is dwindling.

Heidi Ashworth said...

YOU rock!

Mammatalk said...

I can't wait to hear her advice.

LisAway said...

I recently dropped the "blog" in favor of just friend for some of my favorite/closest blogging friends. I think blogging is such a fabulous way to meet and really get to know people.

I haven't paid Debbie a visit in a while. I think now's a good time for another one.

blueviolet said...

Debbie is wonderful. You're not kidding. I'm glad she said exactly what you needed. :)

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Hey FRIEND!

I'm also going to stop with the "blog friend" business. A friend is a friend is a friend - even if I've never seen her face-to-sweet-face!

Hey, here is my somewhat unsolicited take on the Mom Guilt:

First of all, I think it's somewhat an American (USA) thing to think we have to really LOVE and ENJOY what we do. Follow your bliss and all that. When I was teaching, there were parts of my job that I really, REALLY loved. Great class discussions, watching a student's mind be changed by literature, reading some really amazing writing from a seventeen year old. But you know what? There was a whole bunch of CRAP (sorry) I did NOT love about teaching. Dealing with unreasonable parents, budget cuts, snarky faculty members, inconsistent adminstration. But I didn't sit around every day thinking about what a bad teacher I was because there were parts of my job that I hated.

Now. Having said all that . . .

I battle the Mommy Guilt, too!

There are parts of this job that I love, love, love. Not having to get out the door when it's cold and dark, spending an afternoon on "art," hanging out with other moms, and other things. There is plenty I do not love! When I try to make myself fill my day with the things I am "supposed" to love then I am miserable and crack under the pressure and the guilt.

I try to schedule in 30 minutes of Mommy Play Time with the girls each morning. Just focused time playing with them. The rest of the day, I encourage them to come up with their own entertainment while I do the other parts of my job. Even if playing My Little Pony games or puppet show AGAIN for the eighty-fourth time isn't something I LOVE, I can still do it for 30 minutes.

In conclusion to this out-of-control comment ;), my mom was a SAHM back before it was "cool." She also had 4 kids in 6 years and the youngest was/is special needs. Do you know how much focused play time she spent with us? Very, very little. Looking back, that's not what I remember. I remember her just being there. Being the mom who brought cupcakes to class parties because she could. Having a pan of rice krispie treats ready for us after school. Never, ever missing a dance recital or choir concert. Being the Best Car Pool Mom because she would take us all for Sonic slushes after school.

I don't know if she was really "present" in the sense that you are talking about being "present," but she was THERE. Physically there whenever we needed her. That's what I remember. That's what I aim for. That soothes my Mommy Guilt.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I'm a fan of both you and Debbie! Yet I found you separately... It's a small Internet I guess.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I adore you both <3

LexiconLuvr said...

I loves ya, Heather. You know I do.

You filled in the blank just right.

I'll hop on over to Debbie's and get to know her better. =]

CC said...

I really like Debbie too. But I didn't know I could got to her for parenting advice. Score! Now I know who to ask. ;)

Kimberly said...

How well I remember the moment I stopped calling people my online friends or my blogging friends and just called them what they truly are...friends. And often dear ones.

What a lovely tribute this post is!

That Girl in Brazil said...

Three cheers for Debbie!

(And you. Friend.)

a Tonggu Momma said...

Debbie rocks the party. And I call all y'all my imaginary friends. Because that's what the husband calls you. :)

MoziEsmé said...

Virtual friends in my virtual reality - according to MY husband. But it is so much more than that...

T & T Livesay said...

Uh. Virtual friends have held me together lately. For real.

*you* my darling are a real live person with a voice I have heard ... so YOU are a BONUS friend --- I love your thoughts.... they make me smile.

I gotta go play frickin hot wheels now. (no not really - I won't do it either)

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