Building A Village

When I had tiny babies and we’d just moved to this house, I found blogging.  I read quite a few blogs back then and it may sound silly to say it, but it made my life better.  I found this community of women who were raising children and working and writing and many had the same feelings and concerns and worries and joys that I had on a daily basis. 

They had great ideas for house projects and recipes and advice on parenting and shared funny stories about their kids that mirrored my own.

I didn’t have a real-life community in my town yet, but even when I didn’t know many other moms in real life, I had moms online who made me feel like I was not alone.

Last week, I was overjoyed to be featured on one of the blogs I’ve been reading from the very start — for almost 8 years in fact.  Every week, Gabrielle (Design Mom) runs a “Living With Kids” series and I was so honored and excited to participate.  And being involved in the process made me look at my home and our lives just a little bit differently.

Design Mom is one of those sites that never, ever gets boring.  There are always inspirational ideas, projects, products, and pretty pictures, encouraging posts, and a community in the comments that embraces everyone.  It’s a really great website.

In fact, it was a dreary winter day a few years ago when I was reading about how the Blair family was moving to Europe that the idea popped into my head that moving overseas with kids was possible.  I made Matt read the post.  And we talked about how we’d love to do that same thing someday.  Back then our kids were all little and I wasn’t working and it wasn’t an achievable goal.  But we’ve been working since then to make it a reality, and now, in just a few weeks, we’re going on our own grand adventure.

People blast social media sometimes, saying it creates an overinflated sense of self-importance.  It encourages narcissism.  It causes people to measure their realities against other people’s carefully crafted online lives and feel inadequate.  All of that is potentially true.

But social media also allows such a wide and far-reaching sharing of ideas and the potential to find a new perspective that you hadn’t thought of before.  It lets people across the country and around the world support and encourage each other. 

On the day my home was featured on Design Mom, I had three women who I’ve never met from three different parts of the country email me directly to tell me that they’d also moved to England with their families.  Each one offered to answer any questions I might have, provide advice, and generally gave me tons of encouragement that we were going to love this new period in our lives.  It’s an amazing thing to have that sort of support come from all over the world, all because they read our story on a website.

So, while I hope people enjoyed my home tour, and while I loved doing it, the real bonus from the whole process was that it cemented in my mind WHY I blog, WHY I believe that social media is important and good, and WHY I’ll keep using my precious time to write this blog, even when I have eleventy billion other things I could be doing.

If you’re reading here, and you think you might know someone else who may enjoy reading along, I’d love it if you shared this site with them.  I’d love it if one day, someone reading my blog reached out to another mom half a world away with advice and encouragement, the same way those women reached out to me after they read about our upcoming adventure.

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3 thoughts on “Building A Village

  1. Jessica's husband

    I can’t wait to start this adventure with my wonderful wife. She has been a machine making this thing happen from coordinating painters to packing up the house, all while getting kids ready for school, sports, piano lessons, not to mention continuing to work her own job. I appreciate what she does so much and knowing I have her keeps me from losing my mind over all the things that need to get done. I encourage everyone to read her blog because she does it right!

  2. Mish

    I agree with your post. When i first had my son I was in a post partum depression and was too proud to ask for help. It was silly of me but saved my sanity. They have groups for anything you could possibly think you need help with. I got so many great ideas on there and even made a dear friend (who sadly died of cancer) that was my rock during some really tough times.

    I actually read only your blog. I browse another because it is my boss’ wife’s fashion blog and i like getting some insight into their life.


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