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Mom Confessions

Happy New Year Everyone | 2017

Happy New Year Everyone! From A Cotton Kandi Life

I am very much looking forward to whatever 2017 brings! There are going to be big changes on the blog and a whole new series of goals. Thank you everyone, for all of your support throughout 2016. I cannot believe how far my little blog has come in 12 fast months!

Mom Confessions

CLICK for Babies Campaign | The Period of Purple Crying

Why I do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Hat Awareness to prevent Shaken Baby SyndromeI was really ready to be a Mom. I totally “knew” everything already… like most all 20-Somethings. When my babies came out, they were both crying, loudly. Of all the things I was prepared for, I greatly underestimated the amount of crying. Wyatt actually has not stopped screaming crying since the day he was born, and he turns 2 this month. I actually came across the CLICK for Babies Campaign late one night when I was feeding Wyatt. It was one of those many, long nights where he just wouldn’t sleep and kept crying and crying.

Finally, while rocking there he fell asleep and of course, I could not get up for fear of waking him. So, like most moms I jumped to my phone and scrolled. Someone had shared this website, Click for Babies.

CLICK is the sound that knitting needles make as they work

The CLICK for Babies Campaign revolves around these beautiful little purple hats. “Hey! I make hats!” Said the tiny, exhausted Mom in my mom-brain…

I read on…

Women, all over the country are making purple hats and giving them to hospitals in their area.  Hospitals are then giving them to new parents.

As new parents we know nothing, we really don’t. We know nothing of the all-night struggle and the torture of a crying baby until we live it. As a mom, my body still aches when my children cry. It hurts me all over. #thestruggleisreal

Little Purple Hats

The CLICK for Babies Campaign promotes making PURPLE hats for babies because the word PURPLE represents the stages or period each child goes through when crying. I pulled this graphic right off the official website to illustrate:

Graphic from ClickforBabies.org

When you see PURPLE

The idea is that new parents see the Purple hat on their crying newborn and are reminded that it is just a stage. It too shall pass.  There is a beginning and an end. Breathe.

Wyatt needed a Purple Hat. He needed one for every single minute of every single day. He nearly broke me and I’m pretty sure he’s still trying to. What happens to us parents in the early morning hours of exhaustion is the real torment. We lose ourselves emotionally, logically and even our sanity leaves us briefly. It is in those moments that we need the reminder, and to see the Purple, before we regret it.

Purple is Prevention

“Frustration with infant crying is the number one thing that triggers a person to shake or harm a baby, so it is important for parents and caregivers to know what to expect from newborns. That way they can be prepared to handle this incredibly stressful and frustrating time.

All babies go through a normal period of increased crying in the first few months of life. This increased crying typically begins at about two weeks of age, peaks in the second month of life, and becomes less in the third or fourth month. Some infants cry more than others, and in some infants, you may not even notice the increased amount of crying, but ALL infants do cry more during this period.” -CLICKforBabies.org

Shaken Baby Syndrome is the danger for a crying baby, and it could affect anyone, not just new parents. Frustration and exhaustion can do terrible things to all parents of any amount of children. Often I think having my one baby was easier than life was after the second; after I already knew what to expect. I was more easily frustrated at the second born because I was exhausted by the toddler.

Why I make the Hats

I participated in this Campaign for the first time in 2015, the year I had Wyatt. They begin hat collections at the hospitals in the fall, so that they have them ready for delivery to parents before the cold winter months {although I’m sure they now give them out all year now} My first round I made three hats…

I hauled both kids to the hospital {Wyatt 8 Months, Cash 1.5} and I tossed them at the nurse behind the desk, both kids screaming, mauling me with their arms and tears.

“HERE!” I grunted at her before I clumsily made my way out of the lobby like a drunken elephant… and I considered myself to be a mom who “had it together” all day.  

Everyone needs a Purple Hat

My story only proves that all moms need that damn Purple Hat once in awhile. We’re all struggling. We could all use a little reminder on a daily basis that “this too shall pass” so to speak. So now I start in January of every year. I make as many hats as I can, here and there until it is time to turn them in.

You can find a Drop-Off Location and Deadline near you.

Why I take the boys

Last year I still took the boys to the drop-off. {cute little bag this time too! #MomWinning} I explained to them that these hats were for the Babies and their parents. Cash asked, “Our hats are saving babies?” I thought for a moment… and said, “Yes. Yes, buddy they are.” Cash proudly carried our hats that he watched me make all year to the Hospital.

WHy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome

He wanted to help Save the Babies. He carried them through the elevator and then we waited for Marge to receive us.

Watch Cash’s Instagram Video <HERE>

Why we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome

He said to her, “We made these to save the babies! Here you go!” 

Why we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby SyndromeWhy we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome

…and we all got a bit weepy.

Why we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome Why we do the CLICK for Babies Campaign. Purple Crying Awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome

 

Cash was pretty disappointed that he didn’t get to see any actual babies, but the trip was valuable to him nonetheless. I love giving him opportunities to be selfless and think about the well-being of someone else. Even if he doesn’t completely understand, he saw us hand over something we worked on for a long time. He felt the effort even if the cause is unknown to him. Right now, that’s all I can do.

How to participate in the Campaign

Why we do the CLICK for Babies CampaignThere are 3 steps to the Campaign: Make, Tell & Give. I make mine out of a super soft baby yarn. You can knit or crochet your hats in a soft yarn, making sure at least 50% of it is purple. They actually really need a lot more boy hats than you’d think, so last year I tossed in a bit of gray yarn.

You can read their Guidelines HERE

The next part is to tell people about it. That is exactly what I am doing now. Sorry it took me 2 years to share but I made it! I wanted to tell you as a part of what I’ll be doing in the New Year. Maybe you can add this to your New Year game plan too 😉

Then finally, you give. You either drop them off to a participating location or you can actually give directly to the cause. {please do not send me any of your money}

Why we CLICK for Babies. Purple Hat Awareness Campaign for Shaken Baby Syndrome. Click fr Babies Campaign. Purple Hat Awareness. Crochet Hats for a Cause. Teaching ToddlersNow go forth and CLICK

Get all the details HERE at their main website. Truly, every parent needs this support. It is a small, purple hat that can save a life. Why not make a few dozen?

~Thank you for reading

 

Mom Confessions

12 Differences Between Being 20 and Being 30 {Happy Birthday to Me}

Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of being in my
30’s {I’m 31}. Last year, about this time, I said goodbye to my 20’s and have spent the
last 12 months experiencing what it means to be a 30 year old. Let me tell you
there are some big differences between the 20’s and 30. Now my experience of
this year is probably very different than that of some, but maybe pretty
similar to others. For my 12 months of being 30 I spent about 2 months of them
pregnant with our second son and then the last 10 with a growing infant in
addition to a toddler. SO some of my changes from a 20 something into being 30
might be parent related. Perhaps some of these things you’ve been doing all
along as a 20 something, if so, Congratulations, you’re ahead of the curve. But
for me, these simple, and silly {some serious} things came to light and self
realization for me throughout the year of being 30…. In honor of my last 12
months I’ve listed my top 12 Ah-Ha moments and epiphanies from this year about
the difference between being 20+ and being 30. Do any of yours align? …. We’ll
see! Or at least we’ll get a good laugh at my expense trying…
1.      
Boobs: In your 20’s it’s all about making them
look bigger and better… you’re in Victoria Secret every weekend and their
website practically opens for you in your online browser window. They know you
by name in the store and a pink bag can be found in every corner of your house.
In your 30’s, after some odd 36 months of either being pregnant or breast
feeding you’re really just glad they’ve gone away! And, you’d really be okay
with it if they never came back. Your lingerie now consists of sports bras from
Target. Which you think is awesome. {Check back in at 35 and we’ll see if this
is still true!} I can’t remember the last time I walked into the mall, let
alone the VS Store. The catalogues have stopped flooding my mail box under wires
{which were terribly uncomfortable anyway} are a thing of the past.
2.      
Crime TV: In your 20’s you can handle and are
perhaps even drawn to the thrilling, suspenseful traumatic events that occur in
Crime TV. I was glued to all manner of shows including Criminal Minds, Without
a Trace, CSI and others…mostly because I’m a multitasker and if I’m going to be
watching TV during the day I better be solving a crime to while I’m at it…  NOW, having the 2 babies, these terrify me and
turn everything into a massive “What If” nightmare. No, literally, I have nightmares.
Have you yet had the dreams where you’re running, dodging arrows, carrying your
kids like a Heisman trophy winner, stiff arming zombies? Just wait… watch a few
popular TV shows and you’ll get your own unique little blender mix of tortuous
slumber… In my year of being 30, trauma really sinks in and sticks with you,
day AND night. It is hard to even read the newspaper anymore!
3.      
Disney Plots: Speaking of traumatizing…have you
ever noticed how traumatizing the plot to Finding Nemo actually is? Or that
Disney must have had some serious Mommy issues…. no character has a mother or she
was forcibly removed by the plot twist {Dumbo & Rupunzel}. Just wait until
you’re explaining why it isn’t called, “Finding Coral” to a toddler after the
opening scene…. And then, said toddler continues asking, “Where’s his momma?”
for an hour. I think the overall consensus here is that I am much more aware
and cautious about what I watch and how it affects my daily life. It’s a scary
world out there man… even Disney can haunt you!
4.      
Food: In your 20’s you’re just happy to have
food, no matter where it’s coming from. College is pizza and later 20’s it is
microwave lasagna. When you hit 30 you start to acknowledge how the food you
eat actually makes you FEEL and you stop eating crap. And it isn’t expensive
low and behold…. You learn to use your crock pot and make actual edible dinner.
Everyone is also pleased by this. Your husband in fact comes home on time and
isn’t swinging by to pick up yet another pizza. In fact you begin to want pizza…
never. Until it becomes your toddler’s favorite food…. Sigh*
Tropical Chicken Tacos
5.      
Friends: You let go of popularity contests {if
you ever entered them in life, some of us… not} and accept that you are who you
are and if someone wants to be your friend they’ll find you, hang around you as
much as they want without you even asking and it will be effortless. Friends
shouldn’t be work or constant phone calls and elaborate gift giving on
holidays. You call them when you need them and they are there, even if you
haven’t spoken in months. And, you really only need 2-3, not hundreds. Just today
as I’m writing this, a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in 11 months called and
we’re scheduling birthday pedicures J
See, those are the people you keep in your life. They hunt you down at exactly
the right times.
6.      
Name Brands: I don’t know if this one is just me
but for some reason, as if by magic when I turned 30, I was just DONE using
knock off brands… Maybe I was spending more time working in the kitchen… but I
am so DONE using cling wrap that doesn’t cling, freezer bags that don’t stop
freezer burn and toilet paper that disintegrates. There is a reason Name Brands
are more expensive and it’s because they are BETTER… and worth it… magic change
at 30… but maybe just for me.
7.      
Socializing: In your 20’s this is a huge fact of
life. It is supposedly important to have a social life. In my year of 30, I accepted
and owned that it’s really not meant for me. If I’m going to spend a spare
precious minute of mine in a conversation that talks around in circles and
never really concludes with an intellectual point but just idol banter… I’m
going to spend it on either my toddler, or my 80+ year old grandparents. Now
the exception here is of course family and my few friends. What I specifically
mean is attending a situation that is pitched to me as, “it’ll be fun!” or my
favorite, “we’ll meet new people!” I know plenty of people. Maybe not enough
yet, still welcoming more, but chances are the people who will develop into my
friends {like me} are also NOT going to be at those social situations. We’ll
find each other eventually, probably while crafting, working, volunteering,
parenting, or at the same kid’s function. Not likely an idol social gathering.
But, who knows, perhaps I’ll have a social explosion at 35… stay tuned.
8.      
Socializing Part II: Here is the epiphany part…
because I’m NOT anti-social {though that is probably easy to think} I am
actually extremely social, like husband having to physically pull me out to the
parking lot social if I’m in the right event where I’m passionate about the
agenda. I have a hard time going to unstructured social events where there is
no identified “point” other than talking to other adults you don’t know for the
sake of ‘fun’…. Yeah, I can’t do that. If I am going to leave the house for a
social event I need to know when it starts, what will be happening, especially
if there will be food, what the dress code is and most importantly when it will
be ending. Your 20’s are a fantastic time to partake in those functions because YES you are meeting new people and bouncing around ideas for your self-identify.
The tendency is to go with the flow {life long struggle for me} and just go
“hang out” in some undecided location. Totally great for you… me, I’m done J
9.      
Make-Up: In your 20’s you frequently visit the
MAC counter and likely have a whole Pinterest Board dedicated to your face {and
hair}. When you hit 30, your most frequently used cosmetic becomes WATER. You’re lucky if you even get to shower every 3rd day so the idea of
putting makeup on your face, which will then have to be washed off, just
doesn’t happen. My ENTIRE makeup bag consists of concealer, eyeliner {MAC!} and
mascara. I have some really old eye shadows that make an appearance once in
awhile if I know I’ll be in a picture that day.

Shout out to Nommies by Mommy for my teething necklace!
10.  
Confidence: Speaking of your face, when I hit 30
it was like this awesome weight of perception was lifted off of me. {Probably
thanks to the little munchkins attached to me} But when I left the house, I
didn’t really want or feel the need to wear makeup. I’ve never worn much
{probably why I sucked at selling Mary Kay, also in my 20’s} but I remember
being totally anxious when I was out in public and realized I forgot to put on
makeup! How mortifying right?! I even have some {somewhere} hidden in my car
for the negligent occasion. Not anymore. Now I can proudly strut out of the house,
babies in tow with a blank face if I feel inclined… or if I’m running late. You might get eyeliner… on a good day! 
11.  
Perspective: THIS now totally grosses you out {if it didn’t already} …. 
And THIS is the most attractive thing on
earth!
12.  
Safety Awareness: I’m not entirely sure if this
one comes as a direct result of being 30, or motherhood. It may have some
overlap. I think the 30 part is apparent in that you’re officially in charge of
yourself and your own safety. In some cases, you’re married and then your
safety is in fact a huge part of someone else’s life too. Here is what I mean…
Things I did/do now that I probably never would have done in my 20’s: Memorized
all of the gas stations where you don’t have to get out of your car to pay so
you’re not leaving your kids in the car… You also ALWAYS fill the tank up
whenever you’re out and about just so that in the event you have to drive a
distance in the middle of the night or in an emergency {with those kids} you
don’t have to stop for gas. When I was 7 month pregnant we took a trip up to
Spokane, WA… I pre-registered at EVERY hospital along the 9 hour drive just in
case something happened with the baby. I approach parking lots entirely differently…
I never take a front parking spot that is open because there MAY be a pregnant
woman who needs it and I don’t want her to have to walk across a long parking
lot… and I never park next to big white vans! {See #2}
Well there you go! That’s what I’ve
learned, realized and changed in my year of being 30. Who knows what the future
will bring! After 10 years of being a 20 something, and all the massive changes
a person goes through then, I can only imagine who I will be when I’m writing my
post for my 41st birthday! Oh man… 10 years is a long time! I better
get started!

Mom Confessions

World’s Biggest Hypocrite {Why I Joined Facebook}

#Worldsbiggesthypocrite
HUGE, HEAVY read ahead…. you’ve been warned….
I know, I know, I am the world’s biggest hypocrite… I’ll
take it. Last night I saw a post from one of my close friends who happened to
be at the same baseball game I was at and I wouldn’t have know that if I hadn’t
been following her on social media…. I missed seeing her because she posted
where she was after I had already left.

I even said, “Get on those Instagrams faster next time! I’m
all high tech now!”

Then she wrote back, “HAHAHA I’m still laughing at the irony of
you being a social media advocate!”

So there you have it, Hell had a snowflake, I confessed an
appreciation for Facebook…. That sounds weird to some, but to others who have
known me for the past 11 years it’s a big deal. I have had a very open and
obvious hatred of Facebook for a long time and some people know why, others don’t
and others still refuse to be my “friend” or “like” anything I post because
they think I’m a hypocrite. Fair enough. But here is the back story, the
history and the evolved apology:


Facebook has come a very long way since the beginning… I
remember the dawn of this internet beast happening in the 2003-2004 college
year of my life. It was the new big thing. {HUGE
Back Story Footnote at the bottom that further explains my lack of enthusiasm
to jump on board}
At the time I lived in a house with 6 roommates and
Facebook notifications were dinging all over like you were standing in a menagerie.
At the time, you had to be a college student with a college address to be a
member (I’m sure those of you who have seen the extremely accurate “documentary”
movie know the basis of it for sorority face voting, yaddah, yaddah) and mostly
it was used to track co-eds and their relationship statuses.

My introductory year to Facebook consisted of this:

  1. Girls making their profile picture their
    cleavage or butt.
  2. My house SHUTTING DOWN for a WEEK in a mess of Kleenex
    and rum because some boy either didn’t like the cleavage picture, randomly
    changed his relationship status, or posted some flattering comment about a
    DIFFERENT, rival cleavage profile picture.
  3. Irrational, emotional, violent and highly
    regrettable decisions being made by girls because of pictures being posted of
    their boyfriends, by someone else (usually the rival cleavage owner) doing
    things they had promised they would never do (again).

So when the popular thing to do in my early 20’s that “everyone
else was doing” presented itself to me, I was less than convinced to jump on
board. In my 20’s I still had the same ideals I have now, which for a 20 year old
translates to being very weird, square, stick in the mud, boring, whatever. But
I like to surround myself with positivity, celebrations of female qualities,
and actually not be submersed in constant reminders of emotional (self
manifested or not) betrayals… The Facebook addiction became infectious and
caused girls to come running into your room breaking down about a picture you
HAD to come see RIGHT NOW and then join them for an hour to comfort them until
they were done sobbing… Facebook was exhausting.

*************MAJOR DISCLAIMER HERE************* I am in NO WAY saying that the girls, many of whom are still my close friends today DON’T
think the above things because they DID do Facebook in college. NOT AT ALL. What
I am saying is that Facebook was a hotbed for negative interactions AT THE TIME
IN MY PERSPECTIVE. Though many, many wonderful things probably happened on
there too: relationships bloomed, people fell in love with sweet comments,
rainbows and unicorns, etc, etc. But that wasn’t my exposure… maybe it was the
friends I had? (wink, wink, just kidding… maybe, at least one). I saw,
disagreements erupt into campus wars, the action of not liking someone’s
picture cripple self esteem, I experienced MY OWN FRIENDS post pictures of themselves
that later destroyed their relationships. I myself fell victim to making one highly
emotional, extremely irrational decision in reaction to a picture I saw that
has permanently damaged my relationship with that person. Trust was broken that
will never, ever be repaired…. Thanks to Facebook. (so my naïve 20 year old
brain believed)

Facebook was damaging, enabling bad behavior, promoting
conflict, making it easy for people to hate one another, developing habits for
solving conflicts with another human irrational and violent, and crippling the
self confidence of the women around me. (Not all, many came out unscathed) But
it was this giant beast of discomfort that I wanted nothing to do with AT THE
TIME. {I guess that is what you get when you throw such powerful things at
drunken, testosterone and estrogen?}

My grad year of college I was earning my Master’s degree in
Behavior Management. Though toxic this beast of social media still fascinated me.
I decided to title my thesis: The Affects of Multi-Media Influence on the Developing
Conflict Resolutions Strategies of Adolescents.  The college years are obviously a crucial time
for a person’s mental development and the scaffolding that occurs between ages
of 17-23 is what we are left with for most of our adult life. We get great
scaffolding between ages 3-8, 7-14 and of course 15-18 in many different areas
too such as how we handle violence and how we learn to solve problems. But the
college years are where we actually learn to interact with the world
independently (away from our parental role models). We shift our learning to
peers more dramatically than in high school…. (now that was a VERY brief psychological
explanation because I don’t plan to bore you with the depths of my thesis….)

Anyway, my research taught me a lot about the psychology involved
and it didn’t make Facebook look any better or tempting to join, in fact much
worse.

I continued to avoid Facebook after college, which took me
into the High School Coaching phase of my life. By this time Facebook had
opened its doors to the non-college world and everyone from grandmas to
toddlers were joining. This ushered in the era of Coach/Player conflict of
interest with High School Athletics. Each season we had to take seminars for
dealing with cyber bullying, parents “friending” you as the coach to earn their
kids playing time, and my 2 epic coaching experiences that left Facebook scars:

  1. A COACH, a full grown adult male, posted a video
    of one of my key players being humiliated in an attempt to “rally” his team to
    play hard against us… that’s a fantastic way to be a role model for teenage
    girls, not to mention the trauma, tears and recovery speeches about integrity
    that haunted my team room for a week… glad there was a ready forum for you,
    adult role model, to devastate a teenager for the sake of a laugh or whatever
    you hoped to gain… How dare someone post a humiliating picture of another person?
    How dare someone EVER post a picture of another person without their permission
    on the internet? How dare someone violate another person’s privacy and
    integrity so easily?…. Answer = Facebook. They even make it into a cute
    little paper airplane. Then…. Other people get to LIKE that you humiliated
    someone else! A teenager, and you are supposed to be a responsible adult role
    model in a position of great power and leadership…I’m obviously still angry. That
    was 2010.
  2. The season that still haunts me due to a poor
    moral decision I made which negatively affected the entire team, the entire
    season: A picture was printed and left in my office box of a returning player drinking
    alcohol ON Facebook… REALLY? You thought that would fly? It happened, really
    with or without Facebook I’m sure that I would have been delivered the picture
    regardless. But someone ELSE put her out there, exposed her for viewing without
    her knowledge to be caught or to heed consequences. Though illegal behavior,
    she didn’t expect it to be made public and probably (stupidly) trusted the
    other party goers to keep her secrets. But because it was posted publically I
    had to take action. VERY long story short, my actions and decisions about that
    season still haunt me today and every time I see those seniors I wish I had
    done the opposite. That was 2011.  
I resigned after the 2012 volleyball season (not because of
Facebook) but because we were having our first son. I also decided to pack up
my business office location and move it into my home so I could be the day care
provider for our baby. THIS WAS THE TURNING POINT….

Previously, as a professional Wedding Coordinator/Rental Company,
I had this major presence in the community, an office, a huge sign out on the
street and a walk in accessibility to every bride and party thrower in Lane County.
I was easy to find, easy to hire and convenient to work with because I was open
every single day. Brides could literally stumble in and spill their planning
pages all over my desk begging for help. It put me above other competitors. It
gave me a professional edge to have a physical location. That went away with
the decision to work at home, and so did my edge. My exposure, storefront
retail sales and income plummeted. I had to wake up and realize what other
coordinators had over me…. And imagine my devastation when I learned it was a “Social
Media Following”…. 3 words that made me cringe and overflow with emotional gut-check….

It took me 2 years to come to grips with reality and with
struggling to be a WAHM, communicating with clients strictly over email, trying
to promote my retail with only email blasts and the tiny blogs that had
literally no followers. I would be up into the wee hours of the night doing all
sorts of Etsy promotions but only within Etsy itself which is limited. I needed
help. I needed a break through. I needed to evolve my thinking, as my financial
responsibility had in no way decreased simply because I was now at home with
the kids! In fact now we needed more income! Yikes!

Once upon a time, in December of 2013 my sister posted one
of my blog posts on HER Facebook and all of the sudden I see in my stats that
it was read over 200 times…. Holy Cow that was impressive! I made about $0.07
and was so excited! Where did that come from?! I check my stats for referring urls….
Facebook…. Ugh…..really? Could there still be rainbows and unicorns on
Facebook? And could they be willing to help ME! But I’d be the biggest
hypocrite in the world?

My sister created me an account in January of 2014 right
before the big Bridal Showcase… primarily for a business page for GEG. She then
sends me a message to say, “You already have # Friends!” so apparently the
world hadn’t shunned this hypocrite entirely. Though I was still pretty leery,
self conscious and for lack of better words, overwhelmingly terrified as to how
people would react to seeing me on there. One person even commented, “Is this
really you?” in the first few days. Yep, it’s me! Over here all vulnerable with
a target on my back!

It’s been a year and a half now and truth be told, I have
found more rainbows and unicorns than anything else. I joined Facebook at
apparently a great time. Nowhere and probably thanks to my age difference and
new/different/matured peer group do I see negativity or the interactions I have
feared for so many years. My lack of experience and acceptance had left me
blind to the developments of people being able to connect across state lines,
follow along with a pregnancy and babies growing, moms who can see the faces of
their babies fighting for us overseas and so much more beauty. Facebook has
changed into a place for businesses to share and grow. Facebook is a place
where we announce our joys and sadness so that we can gain empathy and public
celebration. I personally have used Facebook now to promote my charitable
causes and it has HELPED. It has made a bigger difference than any other
campaign I have tried to promote awareness for all my causes, charitable and
domestic. Facebook connects me to friends living in other countries that I don’t
speak to regularly. That is what it should be for and I support that. I support
this new age of socialized interactions among humans. It is completely
different than the Facebook I met back in 2004, completely. But it is also
different than the Facebook I experienced in 2011… maybe not, but the people I
know using it are. I’m no longer affiliated with many people whom I knew to use
it abusively. Everyone I have had the privilege to interact with and whom have
accepted me as a media “friend” after everything, have been incredibly supportive
as every day is still a little bit traumatic for me.

Every day I’m terrified there will be a humiliating picture
of me posted or some secret revealed that I was better off never knowing, a
trust broken forever…I still DO NOT approve of anyone posting a picture of me
without permission, nor do I like to throw out personal stories (when I do
realize the people who are wanting them now in my life do not judge). It
terrifies me to be judged and to be addicted to this phenomenon of being “liked”
socially. I’ve fought so hard to not be drawn into whether people like me or
not, and come running to see how many likes my posts get. I don’t want to be
attached to how many people “like” a picture of my children and then be up all
night wondering “why she didn’t like my post… is she mad at me? Are we in a
fight I didn’t know about? Did I offend her? Does she think my kid is ugly? Did
I forget to tag her or her business so now she’s not speaking to me?”….
uncontrollable spiral of self doubt that stems from one tiny “cute picture” of
myself or child. It’s exhausting and what I didn’t like to begin with at the
roots. Weekly angst about a picture… it still exists on a smaller scale, but
now it is a lot different, and a lot more positive and I am different too. The
difference is that now I need it. I need it to connect professionally. But the
kicker is…. The real kicker…. I like it. “Like” it a little too much. It is
nice to see everyone and be connected, especially now that I work from home. I
can actually have an adult conversation once in awhile in my (home) office.
Thank you Facebook for that opportunity. You still scare me, but I know it’s
me, not you.

So there you have it… my history, my confessions, and my
apology. I’m here, socializing with media, fully accepting my scarlet title of the
world’s biggest hypocrite.
{HUGE Back Story
Footnote}
My senior year of high school there was this huge controversy on
a forum called Oregonlive.com where high school students could start threads
and post things anonymously about teams and other people. I was a major target
unfortunately. There were posts about me that suggested I was sleeping with my
coach (female) for playing time, was a “disgrace” to the sport, should be shot
in a dark alley for missing that play, etc. These were all posted by anonymous people,
whom I actually knew to be my own teammates at the time, which made practices
super fun. There is more, but that’s for another day. Bottom line: I had
pre-developed impressions of online forums where you could post and reply to
comments. Oregonlive no longer allows anonymous posters thanks to our reactions
and complaints for my case. I’m sure I wasn’t the only HS athlete to ever be humiliated
on an internet forum, but regardless I am now super sensitive and permanently
scared, so when my name is on the internet I instantly panic. It also
dramatically affected the way I went on to coach and teach girls to respect
each other, so I guess I came out with the win.