Happy Blogaversary to me…

Where has the time gone? I began this blog after a few months taking an online class with The Momoir Project back on January 4th,2010.  I used pieces that I worked on in class and I was off. I was impressed with myself that I could even start an essay. I was shy to start as an adult after an English Teacher put a negative cloud on my writing. There is where my writing and grammar lessons stopped. It is a flaw that you will see today and I don’t care.

Writing all year has saved me from the isolating world of being a stay-at-home mom. The motivation fueled by the fear that I will not be here to tell my daughters stories like my mom is not here. Being a motherless mother used to be my private shame. I saw everyone around me enjoy their moms gushing over their grandchildren. So I dared to write and hit publish. The overwhelming response came through the comments was the hug and validation I craved.

A blog is many things to many people: a journal, a rant or a portfolio for a future career. Mine became all of the above. I wrote from the heart which led to writing jobs with The Momoir Project, Women’s Post, Oh Baby Magazine, Wonder Moms and guest blogged on The Yummy Mummy Club. When I ranted about how unfair that my sister’s cancer has returned, people responded. I adore this blog. It is an unconditional friend that I typed as if no one was reading. Now I have many readers that I never would have met if not for my beginning. Now, I read their blogs of tribulations and triumphs.

A special place in my writing has been passionately derived from Twitter. The relationships that I have made through the social media ‘water cooler’ have been amazing. Yes there have been the negative people. The positive has shined so bright. Quite a few of those relationships have spilled into real life. I could not be happier.

I still fear for turning the age my mom was when she died. By allowing myself free to say it out loud has freed me to live in the moment now.

Thank you for the laughs, the cries and the good times. I raise my glass to you in thanks.

Cheers to all of you.

I can’t wait to see what is to come.

 Yes, there could be more grammar mistakes. One of my goals is to work on that this year.

Momoir Project

The Momoir Project came into my life when I was approaching the age that my mother died. I knew nothing of when I was a kid so it motivated me if I had the same fate as she did, my daughters would know the stories of their childhood. As a stay-at-home mom, I joined the online classes with Cori and loved being able to talk with the other women all the while changing diapers.

Since joining I have been published in many places. I am a regular contributor to The Momoir Project where I attend free workshops, coaching from Cori and even have ghost written a review for Today’s Parent. I began my own personal blog (www.justdworld.wordpress.com) to profile what I can write and to keep crafting my writing.

When I began interacting on Twitter, I got hooked seeing who was looking for writers. An average blog count out there is 300-600 words. I kept a notebook handy during the day so when inspiration hit I could jot a few ideas down and type them out at night when the kids were asleep.

I have blogged for The Yummy Club (no $ but great exposure and connections to terrific people). I have written for many great sites for the opportunity to be published where I have been promoted: Amotherworld.com, Sweet Mama, A Bit Of Momsense, 5 More Minutes With, Wonder Moms and Pro Youth worker where my teen story that was posted has helped other youths in trouble. I have been published on Oh Baby magazine online and in their print magazine which is distributed in nationwide Sears baby departments. It is not paid but it got my name in print.

When I first started getting compensation was through Mom Central through gift cards to Tim Hortons and Chapters. I am the main book reviewer for Women’s Post website where I am paid in free books and an average of $30 per post. I write SEO (Search Engine Optimization) web copy for Write Sourcing where I am paid an average $6.50 per 150 words per article. I have blogged for Microsoft Office 2010 this past summer on the Urban Moms website paid an average $50.00 per post. Other parenting site,  I have been paid $25 per post.

I have had fun writing and having the thrill of being published. Writing has kept me sane during the all-nights, tantrums (mine and the kids) and is therapeutic. Every writer tells me that if you write for money it is not as organic. I write what I love and enjoy.  I am not getting rich in dollars but am making a very modest part-time income. My scrapbook is full of the mom stories and technical writing that I have done. I am rich as writing fills a creative void that I didn’t know that needed filling until Momoir.

Chocolate Morning

If looks could kill, you think I just destroyed my netbook (my freelance Work-At-Home Mom lifeline.)I bury my head into my hands, elbows planted on the kitchen table in front of my dead, pink netbook.

At the opposite end of the table is my one-year-old finishing her toast. Her older sister, by two years, is playing a few feet away in her pajamas. This is normally my golden half – hour to work and to send off my writings to my clients back east.

My anxiety is roasting to maximum when I get off the phone with the big box retailer from where I purchased the unit. I have to bring it in. They were not able to help me over the phone. A glance at the clock over the table I realize I will need to rush my youngsters through the morning rituals to get out of the house.

It is poetic irony that there are dark clouds overhead and I have no car. Due to an accident weeks ago I am without wheels. So I will have to pack up the double stroller, and head up the road to walk the distance to get my computer fixed if I have any hope to finish my work.

We make it to the store dry. After a few tense moments with the technicians they tell me I need to bring in the router. It is nestled at home miles away. My anger at this insane situation reminds me to breathe. It is out of my control.  My cheeks remain burning with aggravation at the days just begun.

I am carless and computer less.

I bustle us out of the store and evaluate. Next door is a craft store. I whisk us inside to find a treat to take home. Each girl picks a coloring book and new markers. I eye the candy sitting there taunting me by the cashier. I know I deserve a mid-day treat. It is too early for wine. With my girls’ attention diverted to their new loot I slip a chocolate bar into the mix.

Just as we step out the door we hear a train whistle from the tracks behind the store. My three-year-old’s eyes light up and she  breaks into a run. We get behind the store to see the larger-than-life locomotive.

My one-year-old asks for snack. I dish out her fish crackers and am ready to give my three-year-old her snack. She digs out of the shopping bag from the store- my chocolate bar. I watch in shock as she unwraps it and takes a big bite.

I feel the breeze from the fast train. I can smell the humid  from the summer air. Watching the pure delight from my daughters is breath taking. We normally see trains when we are in the car.

The caboose passes us as my older girl tucks the wrapper in the stroller.

She turns to me with a big smile and says, “This is the best day ever.”

I return her smile without thinking and give her a big hug. She is right. In this day and age of modern technical distractions we need to unplug in real life. All it takes to remind me is a train and a chocolate bar.

Thanksgiving and my Birthday

What I am most thankful for:

1. My healthy household who surprises me everyday.

2. My sister who faces each medical test with courage.

3. My online friends through The Momoir Project, The Yummy Mummy club, Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

4. Reaching my 37th birthday since my mom only got 38.

5. Going a whole day on my birthday not changing a diaper.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sweet Sounds

As seen in The Momoir Project

Life as a motherless stay-at-home mom can be stressful. Trying to add working at home is just insanity. On a really extreme day, I am staring outside my kitchen window, my arms half-way into the sink of dirty breakfast dishes. I am watching the cars drive past on the slick road.With a huge heavy sigh, I release out my breath trying to calm my fried nerves.

I am trying to distract myself from the looming deadlines and the piles of housework still to do today.

My back is towards my girls who are at the kitchen table finishing their lunch. The morning filled with my half-attempts to clean house and referee my daughters. My sleep-deprived brain is fuelling my frustration.

I wish someone can watch my daughters so I may nap. My husband works an average ten hour days to keep our household afloat. There are no relatives around to call to relieve me for an hour. All my pre-natal friends have since gone back to work after their maternity leave.

My body aches with the craving of my quilt wrapped over me with my head buried deep into my soft pillow. The writing deadlines will get done as they always do. Maybe with a nap I can attack the work.

I go through the motions of washing the dishes and drying them. My body feels so heavy.

My ears perk up to an odd sound that shocks me out of my inner monologue. I slowly turn to the view of my one-year-old giggling at her older sister’s silly face. The giggle pierces the fog that enveloped the room.

They turn to me once they realize I am watching. Happy tears spring from my eyes when I discover that we are all smiling at each other.

A calm feeling wraps me like a hug from a loved one. If I had the nap I so desired, I would have missed the sweet sound of a belly laugh of my youngest daughter. That would have been regrettable for the rest of my life. I can sleep  later.