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My Intention and Purpose for Mama V

There are so many things that I want to write about and share, but upon self-reflection, I’ve realized that I’ve strayed or at least become somewhat unfocused with the primary intention of my blog. I have many things I wish to write about (and do write about), but I recognize that this may not be the ideal venue for such meanderings.

When I started this blog, I called it Mama V. I chose that name because I intended this blog to be a place where I can write about parenting-related issues, but it goes beyond that. My oldest daughter has a rare and serious condition called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. She is developmentally delayed, autistic, and nonverbal. When she first began having seizures and began to exhibit many of the symptoms that have become our new normal, as a parent I was overwhelmed. I was scared about the worst-case scenarios and uncertain about her future. What helped me find the strength to put my fears aside and advocate for her so she can have her best educational, medical, and therapeutic support was reading the experiences of other parents going through similar trials and tribulations. Joining online support groups for parents, reading other blogs written by parents, have helped me tremendously. I’m not the only parent to navigate the IEP process or go to bat with insurance to ensure coverage of necessary services. She is not the only four-year-old who is nonverbal, nor is she the only child who experiences daily seizures. I write about Maggie to give voice to my voiceless child, but I also write in hopes that sharing our experiences will help other families raise their special babies with complex conditions. That was my primary motivator to start this blog in the first place.

My second daughter, Hazel, is two years old, and like most two-year-olds, she has very strong opinions and will not hesitate to say so. Her vocabulary grows exponentially daily and she amazes me with her tenacity to master whatever strikes her interest. Her love for reading stories, especially fairy tales, often leads to pretend-play similar storylines with her toys. She is learning and growing every day. When Hazel is amid tantrums (she is two and prone to screaming spells when denied a want, which I do often enough) or lost in the imaginative world of pretend play, I imagine the world through her eyes. Hazel is often my inspiration and muse for my children’s stories, most of which I’ve put aside in hopes that they will be published traditionally in the future.

I watch my children grow and see their relationship develop and blossom. Their relationship was rough for a while, typically instigated by Maggie behaving aggressively with Hazel. What turned it around is now when Maggie shoves Hazel, Hazel will shove her right back. If Maggie takes a toy away from Hazel, Hazel will take it right back. Not that I necessarily want to condone this tit-for-tat dynamic, but explaining or demanding that Maggie be nice to her little sister is fruitless because she lacks understanding. What she understands is cause and effect and recognizes that if she commits an action to her sister and her sister reciprocates, she shouldn’t do it if she doesn’t like the action. This has developed what appears to be mutual respect for one another that is now turning into direct play and interaction. Maggie is learning how to play and interact with others by practicing with her sister and Hazel is learning how to stand up for herself and not let others push her around because she’s smaller. We’ve successfully transitioned them to be roommates. I feared at first that I might be welcoming Thunderdome into our home with this new arrangement, but instead, they are comfortably co-existing. This new development is an answered prayer.

In addition to my children, I also write about my faith. I do this because faith is interwoven in all aspects of my life, especially my parenting philosophy. I’ve typically reserved Sundays for posts about faith, and I’ve gone into depths on several posts about faith and Biblically related topics since I started this blog, but moving forward, I plan to redirect my faith posts to those related to life, family, parenting, children, and other related topics. As I’ve reminded myself during this period of self-reflection, I called this blog “Mama V” for a reason and my future posts will align with this parenting direction, including faith posts.

Likewise, I also have very strong opinions about politics, current events, social issues, and many debatable issues. Frankly, I enjoy a good debate from time to time. Although I have written about several opinions, I recognize now that this is not the ideal venue for such essays. I am not shy about sharing my political stance, but veering off about a potentially controversial or divisive issue does nothing more than alienate prospective readers when my primary purpose is to share my family’s experience and discuss parenting-related issues. I may write about a controversial topic from time to time, but if I do so here, it will pertain to some lesson or purpose related to parenting or my children.

When I first started writing Mama V, my goal was to post daily, mostly because I wanted to build content. At this time, I have posted 160 blog posts (including this one). Instead of posting daily, I intend to post a minimum of two times per week (although I can easily post more frequently if I choose to). I’m doing this because my ultimate writing goals are beyond this blog. I have novels that I’m writing and revising, literary agents that I’m submitting queries, and other projects that I’m developing. In other words, I want to maximize the time I have available to write for other projects. Like other parents juggling career pursuits at home with small children, I am mostly limited to naps and other sleepy times if I don’t want my two-year-old to bang on my keys while I type. Even if my children are playing independently, they are still a distraction from the thought process that best flourishes during windows of uninterrupted time.

I’ve also reconsidered promotion with my blog. Up to now, what I have done is share my blog posts on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Instead, I’m going to stop sharing it in this manner. Using FaceBook as an example, I have over 500 friends. I know every friend personally and everyone that is a friend of mine on FaceBook has come into my life during a particular chapter or life stage. I have friends that I’ve known since childhood, family that lives around the world, friends, and colleagues from past cities that I’ve lived in, and friends that I’ve made through other friends. Despite this number, FaceBook has changed its algorithm and how its content is shown. When I post something, instead of it being visible to all of my friends, it is shared with approximately 30 random friends. If I scroll through my News Feed, what I mostly see are sponsored content (a.k.a. paid content), posts from groups that I’ve joined, and a few posts from the same handful of friends. For me, that’s not what I want from a social media platform and so, I’ve decided to simply post on my blog and if anyone wants to read it, they can open their browser or add their names to the email list, which will automatically email any new content, rather than posting and sharing from FaceBook. I welcome readers, feedback, and discussion, but I don’t think that’s successfully happening off of FaceBook.

I’m looking forward to seeing my readers' list grow and I hope you spread the word to those that want to share a part of my family’s journey with me.



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