On being authentically myself

We often hear the advice when people are going on dates or for job interviews or any other first impression situations – “just be yourself”. As if you could be anyone else anyway. But nevertheless, I still have been asked a lot about how I’m so open on this blog. I talk about so many things, from parenting woes to post-baby sex to postpartum depression. And yet, I hesitate every time I post a picture (or video) of Harley online. It’s a strange balancing act, but an important one.

There were many years when I would try to fit in. It’s not that I would change who I was, but I did try to adapt to my environment a bit more than might have been necessary. Each time I reclaimed my true and authentic self, it felt like I could finally breathe again. It’s part of why I love the geek and gamer culture so much – it’s a bunch of weird and wonderful people who get excited about niche things and don’t try to hide it. It’s why I hope for Harley to be a natural born geek – not just because I hope she finds some of those gaming or geeky things interesting, but because I want her to embrace those things that might make her different without ending up feeling weird. But I have to lead by example.

Part of that comes down to how I present myself here, in my little corner of the internet that I’m carving out for myself. When I started this blogging journey, I was determined to share an open and honest view of pregnancy and parenting. There are great days, and I wanted a place to share that joy, and there are awful days, and I needed a place to share those moments, too. This is a unique journey that I’m on, so why not take the time to examine it from all angles along the way?

At the same time, I don’t want to share too much of Harley. I’ve explained this before, but what it boils down to is that whatever goes out on the internet is there forever in some way, shape or form. I don’t want to put her in danger, I don’t want to exploit her, and I also don’t want to create an online identity for her that might not align with how she ends up seeing herself. If I’m hoping for her to be true to herself, I don’t want to impose my views of her onto her identity.

But while this blog is, in many ways, about her, it’s really about me. It’s about my journey, it’s about my ideas about pregnancy, parenting, motherhood, marriage and whatever else. I love sharing what I’m thinking, mainly because I love seeing what you all respond with. Sometimes my ideas resonate with you, and sometimes they don’t, and it’s just so intriguing to have you with me on this journey.

There are also brands and other people who want me to write about them. I’ve talked about how cool The Book Owl is, and Schnooky Pie clothes, and Kid Got Style. I’ve also written about my experience with the latest (and not so greatest) Pampers nappies. It’s been a tricky thing because I know many bloggers make a lot of money from punting all manner of things to their audiences. So, this is my promise to you. Yes, I might accept goodies or even money for some content, but I will never promote anything I don’t believe in or that doesn’t align to how I live my life. I will always be authentic, and I will always be honest and let you know what I get for free or when I get moolah for my words. It’s part of being real and honest, and hopefully why you guys keep coming back to read more about my journey with Harley. But I also won’t tweet or Instagram or Facebook stuff that I don’t genuinely think is awesome, so please feel free to follow me there if you don’t already.

Now excuse me, Harley is napping and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity to get some much needed work done.


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