How Are You?

How To Wear A Tunic Sweater
By Jess
28 Oct 2020

I wanted to take a minute today to check in on all of you and share some honest feelings. I’ve received so many heartfelt, thoughtful comments, messages and notes in the last few weeks, really the last few months, and I have such immense gratitude for that. I really do not take that for granted. I think it’s safe to say this is not the year any of us expected. It’s certainly not how I anticipated spending my first year as a mom. Most days I’m ok with that. Now more than ever I am truly trying to focus on one day at a time.

Being a mom is easy. It’s also really hard. Does that make sense? I love my daughter. I love spending time with her and watching her grow and change, sometimes so quickly I feel like I blinked and I missed it. I feel lucky I get to witness so many things, but also a constant pull of other responsibilities. Feeling like everything else is suffering or taking a backseat, work especially. I feel like there is no such thing as “balance.”

I know how many of us are in the same boat. I have a work to-do list a mile long, there are just not enough hours in the day to do them. My inbox is a NIGHTMARE. The number of people I haven’t responded to is embarrassing. I used to be the person who always had to have her unread messages at zero, right now it’s hovering in the high nine hundreds. Was I naive to think that I’d be able to work the way I did before I had a baby? Probably. Eventually we will get some form of childcare but at this point we want Marin to see her grandparents so it doesn’t make sense to take that risk (not judging anyone else for their choices just explaining where we’re at).

There’s something else that’s been gnawing at me and I guess there’s no better time to discuss it than now. I don’t know why I feel compelled to share it. I guess because I feel like this is pervasive and goes beyond just “the nature of my job.” It’s mom shaming. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been personally attacked by people online since I started my blog six years ago, that is until I shared I was pregnant and had a baby. Maybe I was just lucky to fly under the radar. I have a decent blog readership and IG following but it’s not huge. This community feels intimate and connected, and I really love that. So maybe that’s why it stings a little more.

When I was pregnant I was a bit naive as to the roll motherhood would play as it relates to my job. I really did not know what to expect, but I love my daughter and she is a huge part of my life, how do I not share that? Of course I also want to protect her. It is something I struggle with daily. I am my brand. My brand is my business. That is my livelihood. It is our livelihood. Craig left behind 8 years in the construction industry to help me run this business together. I left behind 5 years in a good paying consulting job. We love what we do and we are grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY. I think becoming a mom has made me a better person. A more compassionate and sensitive person (I am not saying you need to become a mom to be those things, just something I’ve noticed about myself). And yet, the attacks against me and how I parent, what I share and how I share it have never cut so deep and felt so personal.

I know what you might be thinking “who cares?” or “it doesn’t matter what others who don’t know you think.” You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t. Trust me I know I can’t please everyone and I would never try. But I guess I keep coming back to the question of why? And especially, why do women do this to one another? The constant pressure and judgement around personal decisions about how we raise our children and the need to point out what we could be doing better or what we are doing wrong. I think the majority of us are really trying to do our best (and I mean that in general not just about those of us who have kids). I do have a point here, let me get back to the why.

I’ve spent (probably too much) time thinking about the why. I guess in some ways understanding why someone would say hurtful, judgemental or just outright hateful things helps me move on from it. I know there can’t always be a why, but here’s a few things I try to consider. Does this person have support? Maybe they are lacking the support they need at home. Is this person unhappy in their personal life? Maybe they have an unhealthy relationship. Is this person in an unfulfilling job? Maybe they are miserable at work. I’m not making excuses, I guess I’m just trying to have more compassion. And of course, there’s always the chance that they’re just an asshole.

We are all going through tough stuff right now. I know a lot of my friends in this industry would say the amount of online hate they’ve received since the beginning of Covid has increased quite a bit. I have a feeling we are all experiencing this in one way or another regardless of whether or not we work in this space. I wish I had something more profound to say about it but I guess my hope is that we try to find a little more compassion for one another (with the exception of Trump and his evil administration they can all burn in hell).

And really I just hope you are doing ok. And if you’re not, I’m sorry and I understand. It’s ok to not be ok. My general response when someone has asked how I’m doing is “I’m fine.” And generally, most days I am, but some days I’m not. So if you want to share how you’re doing, I genuinely want to know, how are you?

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