I heard my phone go off alerting me to new emails. I grabbed my phone and opened it, there was a message from a company I didn’t recognize. It was an offer to collaborate, they had found my Instagram account for Juicebox Confession and really liked it. The offer was a 10% discount code to give to my followers and 40% in cash of what people bought using that code. They were also offering me free product to promote them.
It all sounded great and I nearly replied with an enthusiastic yes until I stopped and actually considered it. The problem? It was a brand I wasn’t familiar with and the product, while beautiful, wasn’t something I wanted or needed. If I accepted the collaboration, it would be purely to make money.
That isn’t why I started this blog.
I know, and admire, a lot of people who make a great income from their Instagram accounts. I am in awe of their perfect photos and highly curated feeds. They make my Instagram experience beautiful and introduce me to a plethora of new products. I love that they do what they do and, presumably, enjoy doing it.
I DO love sharing brands and products I truly love. If Tula or Starbucks or Whole Foods were to ask me to collaborate, I would not hesitate. I rep and collaborate with a few small shops (stay tuned for a blog post about them) and really enjoy that.
But, again, that isn’t why I started this blog.
I started this blog and it’s social media channels to connect. I was an extremely isolated newer mom who had NO IDEA what I was doing. Six years and two more babies later, I still have NO IDEA what I am doing AND I have a whole community of people to stumble through all this with me.
I started blogging as an outlet; for my writing and for parenting. Over the years it has grown and changed, as things do over time, but the message has stayed the same: we are all in this together. I share my ups and downs with you all in hopes that maybe someone else will come across my small corner of the internet and say, “Oh! Me too! I am not alone!”
Sometimes life is messy, both literally and metaphorically. I try to be transparent and open about the highs and the lows. That is why I share about my experiences with postpartum anxiety and pregnancy losses. They aren’t easy things to talk about and I would have given anything to know that I wasn’t alone when I was going through it. So, I share. I push aside my own discomfort and share.
I would love to focus purely on the beauty of parenthood, and I truly believe that the majority IS beautiful. However, I am a believer in balance and in order to fully enjoy the sounds of my happy children I need to remember and honor the losses I experienced. In order to enjoy the light I need to remember the dark.
Today I sat down to nurse my youngest daughter. My oldest grabbed my phone and asked to photograph me. She took only one photo. It is the one you see in this post. It is real. It is my life, a life I wasn’t sure I would ever lead. A life that my husband and I worked hard and prayed harder for. When I look at that photo I don’t see the mess or my need for a shower, I see my life.
This photo was a reminder of why I do what I do. I don’t share snippets of my life to make money (although, let’s be honest, if the right collab comes along, I am looking at you, Trader Joe’s), I do it for the connection. It reminded me that the beautiful photos I see on Instagram might be gorgeous to look at and inspire me to redecorate the bathroom, but they aren’t 100% real life and they certainly are not my life. My life is messy. It is perfectly imperfect and it is that imperfection that I choose to celebrate.
Thanks for being here with me!