Writing The Hard Stuff

posted in: Blogging, Motherhood, Parenting, Writing 131 comments

In my last post about having a difficult day with my son, I added a PS at the end of the post, stating that I do not suffer from depression or any other form of mental illness. Some readers commented that they felt sad that I had to add that, as surely, even mothers who don’t suffer from depression can have a horrifically bad day, I did not need a disclaimer. 

They are right and I agree, of course. I am one of millions of mothers who occasionally go through a difficult time with the kids. We are allowed to have bad days. We are allowed to lose our shit. We are allowed to crumple into a fetal position on the floor and ask for the day to be over already. We are only human. We do not have to apologize for speaking up.

But this is how it is when you put yourself out there in the blogging world. You write your truth in hopes that someone can relate, commiserate, and assure you that it’s okay, tomorrow will be better. You write with honesty, hoping that maybe, just maybe, you have touched someone with your words, and make them realize that they are not alone. You write with your heart on your sleeve because that is the only way you know how to. 

Cicero quote

Just because someone else has it harder than you, or are in a worse situation, does not make your own any less important. It is YOUR truth, YOUR reality. It matters to you. There is no corner on the market for feeling miserable or sad. You don’t have to go through a horrific loss to feel the depths of sadness. You don’t need to struggle with infertility and miscarriage to know what loss and yearning means. 

And, you should also be able to talk about things like feeling overwhelmed when your child talks too much (OMG child, stop to take a breath), without worrying about offending the mother whose child is struggling with speech. You should be able to write honestly about how you wish you had one-on-one time with your first child, instead of ending up with twins as a first-time mother and struggled with giving them both 100%, without getting judged by women who are still trying to get pregnant, or only have one child. 

This is writing the hard stuff. When you put yourself out there openly, you can expect that not everyone will agree with you, or see your point of view. You are not living their life, they are not living yours. 


Can’t we as parents give each other the grace of “to each his own”? Can’t we allow for people to be open about having a bad day? Can’t we just offer comfort and support, instead of judgement? Can’t we just write our hard stuff without fear?

Paul Wellstone quote

I have been mulling this topic in my head for months, afraid to hit write it and hit publish. I decided to do it since I should take my own advice, right? I’d like to add that I do applaud the brave souls who tell their stories of loss, grief, depression and other forms of mental illness.


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Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • October 7, 2013 Leigh Ann

    So glad you tackled this, Alison. It is a very important thing to say. Some of those commenters made my feelings feel completely invalidated, and that sucks, because they are real struggles! And I did acknowledge that my hardships are mine and your are yours, and what I have is all I know. I think some people just chose to ignore that part because they got so fired up over BlogHer’s title.

    So thank you for writing this and validating ALL of our feelings!
    Leigh Ann recently wrote…Some StuffMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      It was a shame that BlogHer changed the title just to generate more ‘discussion’, causing so many people to miss the point. I’m sorry that your feelings were invalidated, because that is unfair and unfortunate. I applaud you for sharing your story!

  • October 7, 2013 Nicole

    I’m so glad you pushed the publish button on this, Alison! YES, we as parents should have the grace and good manners to let every parent vent, bitch, moan, or break down about the bad days. It’s funny because I’m writing something for tomorrow that is similar, but is more about supporting each other when it comes to the good things. Why are we as humans so insecure that we have to project our insecurities on others by knocking them down instead of lifting them up?
    Nicole recently wrote…100 Reasons to SmileMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I wish I knew the answer to the question. But I can just hope that by hitting publish on this post, it will touch a few people and get them to think about lifting up rather than knocking down.

  • October 7, 2013 Kerstin

    A wholehearted YES to this post. And – I don’t think it’s going to happen. I don’t think parents (or people in general) will give each other the the grace of “to each his own”. Unfortunately.
    It doesn’t cease to amaze me how judgemental and mean people can be when you either show vulnerability or an opinion. Just like our kids, we don’t always do the right thing and sometimes we even write stuff that was insensitive to some people or that we shouldn’t have written. But you know what? That’s life and like you said – each of us is living her own life and a little more respect would go a long way.

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Respect – YES. That’s all it is, really, isn’t it?

  • October 7, 2013 Adrienne

    Thanks for the link, Alison! That post was hard to write and over the weekend, I still worried that someone somewhere would be offended. Blogging has helpd me come SO far in the area of worrying too much about what others think about me, but there’s still a part of me that can’t fully let go, I guess. I even worried that my son would possibly read it, and he wouldn’t understand my heart. How could he? He’s only 8?! He would be able to actually read it, but he’d never be able to understand beyond the words of the title. I second guessed hitting publish a thousand times, and even consided changing the title. But, in the end I left it alone. Thankfully, my readers could relate. Thank God for them AND you! You’ve so perfectly put words to how I feel about writing our individual stories of motherhood with this post! Thank you!! XO
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    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank YOU for writing your post, and just being honest about life and parenting. xo

  • October 7, 2013 Kim

    I agreed with you for the most part until I read about not judging the mom who has only one child and wants another or the mom who has twins while some of us still struggle to get pregnant.

    I don’t judge but I am, honestly, occasionally fed up with the complaining. These women have been blessed with these wonderful miracles. Is their life a challenge at times? Absolutely. But to frequently complain about those struggles while women like myself are still unable to get pregnant gets old after awhile. It comes across as unappreciative or ungrateful. That may not be the case but sometimes that’s what it seems like. The same goes for women who post about all things pregnancy every day, every week, every month until the baby is born.

    We all have feelings and should be able to share those feelings but there should also be consideration for others when posting. I’m not suggesting self-censorship or to care more about what others think but rather just being aware. Sharing struggles and frustrations a few times is understandable. Too much, too often gets old and tedious after awhile.
    Kim recently wrote…Five Minute Friday: WriteMy Profile

    • October 7, 2013 Alison

      Kim, I agree – constant whiny and complaining posts turn me off too. Debbie Downers, I don’t read. The specific examples I cited here are the one-off posts of moms who DO NOT complain all the time. In fact, they never complain. These posts are not reflective of their overall blog and writing voice. But these were the posts they found the hardest to write, but were brave enough to put it out there anyway. That was the point of my post. That just because it’s mostly good, doesn’t mean we can’t talk about when it’s not.

      Yes, we should have consideration for others, and be aware. But we shouldn’t let worrying too much about other people’s judgment to hold us back from the truth.

    • October 7, 2013 Leigh Ann

      Hi, Kim. I do appreciate your honesty and I was very aware of how it could be perceived my those who struggle with infertility or who have lost children. And that’s one of the reasons why I struggled to publish that piece – because the last thing I ever want to seem is ungrateful that I have these blessings. And BlogHer changed the title to draw more attention and conversation. But what I did make sure to mention is that my hardships are my own, and others, theirs. This is all I know, and to not write about MY life for fear of offending someone else IS censoring myself. The whole point of the piece was not that I’m complaining about having 3 kids or about having twins (I think having twins is an amazingly special experience), I only feel sad sometimes that I didn’t get one on one time with any of my babies. Which I can see how that could sound to someone who struggles with infertility. I DO. But this is my truth and my story. A very, very small part of my story, but still a part. Thanks again for speaking up your own truth. πŸ™‚
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      • October 8, 2013 Blond Duck

        I’m with Kim. I just had surgery to try to correct my infertility, and while I know Moms have a tough road to hoe and deserve to complain, it’s heartwrenching to hear people who easily have babies grousing about it. (Not that Allison was doing it at all!!!!) The fact that she had to put up a declaimer she wasn’t depressed is also sad, because it seems like everyone wants to vindicate mothers for having feelings. Mothering is as much of a job as going to the office. My only wish is that those who are lucky enough to have the job recognize it– after their venting, of course. πŸ™‚
        Blond Duck recently wrote…Pumpkin BallMy Profile

        • October 12, 2013 Alison

          I do think that mothers recognize that they are fortunate to bear children, and raise them. I’m referring to mothers who never, ever complain about their children. They are merely writing about individual experiences. And just like everything in life, it’s not always beautiful and wonderful. As much as parenting is a blessing, it is also a struggle. To never talk about the struggles, I feel, is disingenuous. It’s not venting.

  • October 7, 2013 MomWithaDot

    I hear you Girl, I do. I’ve been wanting to write about the mean teacher my son is having to deal with everyday, but I am going to write about his earlier teacher who was a blessing, instead. I admit, I’m wary of writing the reality that has dampened our daily lives for weeks now. So yes, I admire women out there that write not only about illnesses mental or otherwise, but even bitter feelings about their parents, siblings, friends, spouses ….. anything in fact, that they truly feel and experience. Stigma is one of those useless things that benefit no one, but control many. Pat on your back for this post!
    MomWithaDot recently wrote…Intra-inspectionMy Profile

    • October 7, 2013 Rachelle

      I would encourage you to write about both – – your child is struggling and that needs to be a part of the history of your family. We’ve struggled with teachers and loved teachers. I think writing about the coping and the concerns might be beneficial. As a teacher reading blogs, I benefit from reading what parents/students perceive as issues that I might not realize.

      I love an uplifting post. I appreciate the not-so-happy reality posts.

      Just a thought…
      Rachelle recently wrote…Naked bums: birthday suit babesMy Profile

      • October 15, 2013 MomWithaDot

        Thank you for the comment Rachelle. You are right that the struggle needs to get into my chronicles too. I’m sure, eventually, it will. A year later or two maybe? Time is a wonderful healer. Right now,his struggle is draining me out – I don’t have the strength to risk putting it out there. Am going to write about this feeling tho’ Thank You for the inspiration :)!!

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I hope that one day, you will feel able to write and publish that post. xo

  • October 7, 2013 Serenely

    OMG… I immediately clutched at this post because it echoes what I often think about almost to a tee! I popped baby #2 just a couple of months ago and had been going through a really rough patch post-natally… I mean I’ve just come through from carrying a whole person inside me for 9 months and squeezed her out with pure mommy-power on my own! Then followed the endless chain of long sleepness nights. I found the only outlet I knew… I blogged about it. I poured my heart out. I ranted. And I clicked the ‘publish’ button. However after putting it out there, I received some major flak from a few family members who insisted that what I wrote was about them… when the truth was, it was actually about me. But the whole thing made me think twice of clicking the publish button with certain posts…
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    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I’m so sorry that you had to deal with the not-so-supportive comments, considering that you’re in a hard place now. I know all about the first few months post baby #2 is HARD. Hugs, Mama.

  • October 7, 2013 Ilene

    We all have our own brand of hard stuff that is hard for us. I actually needed to hear this tonight. I have been feeling judge-y about something I had read a few days back – not about motherhood, but another topic completely – and in the end, this blogger had a right to speak their peace – even if it didn’t jive with my belief system. But on the motherhood topic – thank God I’m allowed to lose my shit every now and then, or else who knows where I’d be?
    Ilene recently wrote…Good StuffMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Right?! This gig is hard, we should be allowed to lose it once in a while. And tell the whole blogging world about it. πŸ™‚

  • October 7, 2013 Ma Teresa Grech Racal

    I have been wanting to blog about WHAT I TRULY FEEL, me about being a STAY AT HOME MOM, WIFE. But there are those times that I am afraid of how other people would think of me, as a mom and wife, that sometimes I have to tell them too, that hey I am a human being too, with patience that I don’t know up when I could be patient and all. Thank you for opening up, cause now I believe that I am not the only person who feels this way. Thank you so much.
    Ma Teresa Grech Racal recently wrote…Cupcakes… Anyone?!My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      You are most certainly not alone. Write your truth. Hugs.

  • October 7, 2013 Christopher D Drew

    This is well said, we all struggle with various things. Just because someone thinks my struggles ought to be seen as blessings doesn’t mean everyday I feel the blessing, sometimes I just feel the struggle.
    Christopher D Drew recently wrote…Pink Shoes ContinuedMy Profile

    • October 8, 2013 Leigh Ann

      I love this comment.

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Christopher, perfectly put, thank you.

  • October 7, 2013 Ado

    Sending you xoxoxs.

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank you! xo

  • October 7, 2013 Carrie


    YES to all of this! I always feel this way too…and I’m guilty of tip-toeing around my own thoughts sometimes because of how it might come off to someone else in a different situation, but YES. You are so right.

    Thank you!
    Carrie recently wrote…So Much to Celebrate – How about a Cloth Diaper Giveaway?My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Carrie, thank you for your sweet comment!

  • October 7, 2013 Kimberly

    Thank you for writing this.
    That’s what is so wrong with society. I wrote a post just like this (almost) last week on how we aren’t “allowed” to complain about life struggles. Like we should always be conscious that there is someone else is having a hard time. They are struggles no matter how big or small. My bad can be someone’s cakewalk. My cakewalk can be someone’s hell. We all have different coping skills. In the end, we all need support for whatever it is that is bothering us.
    I hope that I didn’t make you feel like I was downplaying your struggle. I just wanted you to know that the disclaimer wouldn’t have changed a thing about how people want to help you through this time. You have bad days just like I do. xo
    Kimberly recently wrote…Things She Could’ve SaidMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Oh hon, I definitely did not think that you were downplaying my struggle at all. I know we’re on the same page. Love you. xo

  • October 7, 2013 Tamara

    It is sad to sometimes write with the trolls in mind, because there are people out there who feel so empty inside that they like to judge and criticize. I am not as controversial or in-depth as I could be at times, with them in mind. And I’ve never even had trouble with that. I just know that to open yourself up, it’s nearly inevitable at some point.
    Anyway. I loved your post. This one too.
    Tamara recently wrote…The Words Crawl In.My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I’m lucky I haven’t had to deal with any trolls yet, so I’m just going to keep writing my truth. Even if one comes long, well, screw ’em. πŸ™‚
      And thank you.

  • October 7, 2013 Michelle

    So very true Alison. We are all so afraid of offending the next person and doing the “correct” thing by societal standards, when in reality it shouldn’t be that way. I know often times I think to myself I shouldn’t complain about something because I know there are people out there struggling with something far worse than me. We all have our difficulties in life…can’t we just allow each other to vent once in a while? Stress, if allowed to go unchecked, can unleash all sorts of problems. It’s not a good thing to hold everything inside.
    Michelle recently wrote…Meandering Mondays 15 {Link Party}My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Yes! We should definitely not keep stress inside, or we will implode, and that’s no good for anyone. Thank you for understanding. xo

  • October 7, 2013 Alexandra

    One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Teresa, “We can’t compare sufferings.” It’s so true. But all we know is our own reality. When I hear someone complain about their child only eating PB&J’s, I bristle. Honestly, it’s a gut reaction, no matter how adult I think I am, I”ll cringe and think “at least yours can eat PB and not die.” We’re all guilty of it, none of us saints. I understand someone with twins missing the one on one with each child… how everything comes at them in twos and pop pop both have lost their first teeth at the same time and the onslaught of milestones is x2. I understand the pain to someone who has never had children along with the pain of someone with one, so desperately wishing for a second, while the one without wishes for just one. We all have our own sufferings… and they are painful to us. I have written of my father’s suicide and someone emailed me and said “you were lucky. yours killed himself when you were young. mine did it when I was an adult and I had a lifetime of memories with him.” Lucky? I think not. Loss is loss, pain is pain, we don’t have this on a spectrum. We’re all guilty of it, it’s tough to grow a thick skin, but when you’re on public media, them’s the stakes, right? Keep on doing your thing, A, people find solace in it. xo

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      That quote? Yes, exactly. Our pain is OUR pain, our struggles OURS. I’m sorry about that email you received, that’s absolutely too harsh, and just uncalled for. Love you. xo

  • October 7, 2013 Natalie

    Oh my goodness…this is so spot on! B/c we are so worried about hurting someone else’s feelings or offending others that we won’t speak our truth. I am with you…let’s give grace to one another…understanding that we all have our own struggles and just because it might not be as worse as the next person it is our own. Love this post!
    Natalie recently wrote…When Are We Enough?My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Natalie!

  • October 7, 2013 Stacey

    I love that you said this. Good for you for hitting publish. I think it is so important to be able to talk about your struggles, whatever they may be, and be supported. We are all different with different struggles and one does not diminish the other.

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Yes exactly! Our struggles don’t diminish someone else’s, and vice versa. Thank you.

  • October 7, 2013 Bev

    I really appreciate open, honest posts about parenthood, especially as I prepare to become a mother. As you said, motherhood is “not all sunshines and rainbows,” and I think parents can take comfort in the fact that everyone has these moments (I think what’s worse is being a parent and having these moments and wondering if you are the only one, and then thinking incorrectly that you are a bad parent for having these types of feelings). Even though someone may indeed have it harder than you, this is about YOUR experience and YOUR feelings, which you are definitely entitled to. As you mentioned in a comment later, it’s not about complaining all the time, but about sharing a difficult moment. I think this is something most of us can appreciate–I know I can!
    Bev recently wrote…Designbcb: An Interview with Beverly BochenekMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I’m so excited for you, Bev! It’d be the most amazing adventure, and I’m looking forward to reading about your future experiences. And yes, know that when you live through the hard times, you are most certainly not alone. Take comfort in that, and in knowing that it will pass.

  • October 7, 2013 Greta

    Oh my gosh, it’s SO TRUE. We can’t be ashamed to share because we might be judged. Everyone is judged by someone. But, someone else will relate and know they’re not alone.
    Greta recently wrote…Project 365 (Week 40)My Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Wise words, Greta! xo

  • October 8, 2013 Kristin

    If we always write thinking of who we could offend, no one will write anything. I think it’s important to put out the hard stuff because if not, everyone will believe everyone else is perfect. And that is not true. I have a finicky eater. I confess that when I read posts about HOW AWESOME AN EATER someone’s kid is, my stomach clenches with both jealousy and inadequacy. However, I don’t expect that people never write about their kids’ dinners; it’s just that I may not read that particular blog when that topic is covered. And, hey, maybe there’ll be a tip that will actually help my finicky son.

    Bloggers are writers; and like every writer, we can’t censor ourselves for our readers, because everyone’s got a perspective and hardships and celebrations.
    Kristin recently wrote…Brown-Eyed GirlMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I feel the same way reading about good eaters, verbal children, and amazing crafts done by both mother and child. πŸ™‚

  • October 8, 2013 Julia

    Alison, I know I was one of the ones who mentioned the PS. I actually appreciated the PS and it made me feel like there is another mom out there who knows how I feel and have felt sometimes. When my son was first born and I was having a hard time adjusting to life with a colicky infant and lack of sleep, the first words out of peoples mouths would be “are you depressed” or “She’s depressed”. When in fact I wasn’t, some days were just hard and like you said we all have a right to vent, and a right to vent without being judged or labeled. And my labeling every mom who is having a tough day as having a mental illness we are doing a disservice to the women who do struggle. Rant over : ) love this post.

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Julia. We’re absolutely on the same page. xo

  • October 8, 2013 Shell

    I read a quote somewhere about how saying that someone can’t complain when there’s someone who has it harder than you do is like saying you can’t rejoice when there’s someone who has it better than you. That thought has really stuck with me.
    Shell recently wrote…Parent Teacher Conference Tips for When You Feel Like Losing Your CoolMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      That is an awesome way of thinking!

  • October 8, 2013 Arnebya

    We have to be true to ourselves. Thank you for this, for being true to you and honest to us as readers. There will likely always be someone who dislikes something we do/write/say. We have to know that our words are our own, that we can’t always write from the angle of not hurting someone, of not alienating someone. As long as our intent is clear, we are fine, even if it still rankles someone.
    Arnebya recently wrote…BlogHer SyndicationMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, my friend. Thank you. xo

  • October 8, 2013 Kristen

    One of my favorite things about blogging is when I put something out there, thinking I’m the only person in the world who feels that way, and yet I have people leave comments saying, “No way. You too? I’m the same exact way!”
    Kristen recently wrote…Things I’m obsessed with right nowMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      I know!! I was really worried about publishing this post, but I’ve had nothing but support. So glad.

  • October 8, 2013 Allie

    I’m so glad you posted this. So many times I have written something and thought about this very same thing! I’ve thought about writing disclaimers and the like but then I put it out there with the hope that everyone feels the way you do. I think that if I’m honest in my writing then my personality will shine through and readers will no that I’m not trying to offend anyone but I have opinions and this is life the way I see it and live it. To each his own for sure!
    Allie recently wrote…VITA Does VegasMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      You sure do shine, Allie!

  • October 8, 2013 Ashlee

    Even though the hard stuff is hard, it always feels better after it’s written down. And if you have a blog and hit publish, it’s so nice to see reassuring comments to make you feel less crazy. I’ve written a few personal posts and have gotten great response from it. Now, I don’t hold anything back. We all have bad days : )
    Ashlee recently wrote…One Week Down, Nine To GoMy Profile

    • October 12, 2013 Alison

      Yes, we sure do. πŸ™‚

  • October 8, 2013 Kathy Radigan

    I agree that one of the downsides of blogging and writing our truth is that it does open us up to judgement, but I also believe it’s so important for those having a bad day to remember that all mothers have them. Thank you for sharing your occasional tough moments, I always find it helpful to know I’m not alone!
    Kathy Radigan recently wrote…Spilling the BeansMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I think that’s one of the most important aspects of sharing the hard things – to let others know that they are most certainly not alone. Thank you, as always, for your support.

  • October 8, 2013 Leslie

    Well put! I have so much admiration for you in that you are willing to put it all out there on your blog. And you’re such a great support to so many others at the same time. We all struggle with so many things each day…there’s no need to add snarkiness with each other! Here’s to a happy week!
    Leslie recently wrote…{30 Things} Childhood MemoriesMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Well, I don’t put it ALL out there πŸ™‚ But what I do write, it’s my truth and my story. There’s no shame in that. Hope you had a great week!

  • Preach! lol – I couldn’t agree with you more. Your blog, your voice, your experience and there are many of us that are loving your honesty.
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    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Pamela!

  • October 8, 2013 Keely

    Ku. Dos. KUDOS to you, sister. This drives me nuts. We are each of us doing our own thing and being driven crazy by our own batshit lives. Our jobs on the internet are only to connect, to empathize, and to applaud. Otherwise- what’s the frickin’ point?
    Keely recently wrote…Superstition & Terrified Hitchhikers.My Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      YES. EXACTLY. You said it. xo

  • October 8, 2013 Maureen

    This post couldn’t come in a much better timing. I’m drafting a post that totally scared the shit out of me. Thank you for writing this Alison. People just need to take some chill pills and read what they want to read. If it’s not their cup of tea then by all means go grab some frappucino for Pete’s sake. I love reading honest posts, even if it’s the hard stuffs, the light stuffs, the positive lifting the spirit stuffs. It all depends on how we react to what we read. I read shits that I don’t agree on too sometimes – freedom of writing? – but I appreciate that as his/her point of view and I get on with my life.Salute you for writing this, my friend!
    Maureen recently wrote…The Day My Heart SoarMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Getting on with our lives – YES, EXACTLY. I find it a little strange that some people are so invested in a stranger’s life, that they get offended by something that they don’t agree with. Just move on. Thanks Maureen!

  • October 8, 2013 Christine

    I’m really glad that you wrote this too. We can’t compare. We don’t fully know everyone’s stories but we should be able to express our thoughts and experiences (because they are our thoughts and experiences) on the one hand and to offer grace and compassion to each other not only as parents but as human beings on the other hand.
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    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I wish everyone was so yogi-like in their interactions – grace and compassion. That would truly make our world a better place.

  • October 8, 2013 Amy

    Good for you for writing this, and other posts, with honesty. I’m just going to second what Alexandra said, because she said it so well.
    Amy recently wrote…The mask of professional parentingMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Amy. xo

  • October 8, 2013 Kim

    I just wrote a post that felt very personal to me and I was afraid to publish it. What made me finally do so was thinking that others might relate. I know some will not – and they may tell me so – and this is to be expected when we put our hearts out there. But I think that honest stories resonate and even if they do not speak to each individual, sharing our collective experiences strengthen us as people.
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    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I love that – stories strengthening us as people. You have the right words, as always, Kim!

  • October 8, 2013 Christine Organ

    Definitely needed to read this before hitting publish on today’s post. Thanks.
    Christine Organ recently wrote…On Getting Messy and Awkward ConversationsMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad, Christine. πŸ™‚

  • October 9, 2013 Tracie

    I think that being open, and honest, and sharing the hard feelings is healthy. So I’m with you on the “to each his own” grace. It is possible to look outside of the space where you are in your life, and see the space where someone else sits – sometimes it can be hard, but it is possible. This is what people need. To be seen. To be heard. To be loved and supported. It makes a difference when someone gives you that.
    Tracie recently wrote…We Dreamed Of Flying AwayMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I just ditto what you wrote here, Tracie. Love it. xo

  • October 9, 2013 heidi

    I read your previous post and I’m glad you shared it. I’m also glad you shared this post. No one is an expert on pain. We could all benefit from less judgment and more acceptance, more understanding. Thank you, Alison, for your voice here. Clear and brave.
    heidi recently wrote…making room for quietMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Heidi, thank you so much for weighing in, it means a lot coming from you. xo

  • October 9, 2013 Jennifer

    Sometimes I think people have forgotten the beauty and love of grace. (I think this mostly about the church, but I’m sure it is beyond that as well.)
    Jennifer recently wrote…Summer Loving, Creative WritingMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I think so too. It makes me sad.

  • October 9, 2013 Lili

    I am a great fan of you and your writing. I’m not brave enough to pour myself out on my blog. Too many consideration and most of my writing end up in my “unpublished” folder.
    I admire you for being honest and brave about whatever you write, I am truly inspired by you yet I still can’t move from my seat, sigh…

    Please do keep writing Alison. xoxo

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Lili, thank you.
      I urge you to hit publish on one of the posts you dare not. Maybe one that is less… controversial? You will be surprised at how supportive people can be. Hugs.

  • October 9, 2013 Leah Davidson

    I’m so glad you posted this. I truly believe that the weight of your burdens does not take away from the weight of my own. And vice versa. When I was going through my divorce, my best friend told me one day, that she wanted to support me through what was likely going to be some of the toughest times in my life. But, she also needed me to share in her life – and while she wasn’t going through a divorce and *maybe* her burdens seemed “lighter” than mine at the time, they were still hers and she still carried them. She needed to complain to me about her renos, how her daughter wasn’t sleeping, how her son didn’t make a certain team. I am so glad that we had that conversation as it opened up the doors for us to always support the “big and the little” because whatever is happening in your own life – is the most important – the most difficult or the best thing.
    Leah Davidson recently wrote…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I’m so glad that you and you friend have that kind of friendship – one where you can open up and talk about such things. Too often, I feel that I can’t say something because a friend is going through something bigger or worse. But you’re right, we should be able to support each other, whether it’s ‘big’ or not. xo

  • So glad you hit publish! What you say is so true. All too often I have the feeling that I’m somehow ‘not allowed’ to vent about a bad day as a mother/wife/person because there are others who have it harder.
    We have an expression : ‘Each house has it’s own cross to carry’, meaning everybody goes through a rough time.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…About a dressMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      That is a great saying, Tinne!

  • October 9, 2013 Katie E

    Thank you, Alison. This is as always a perfect post. I do wish I could feel like I could write my hard stuff – maybe one day I will.
    Katie E recently wrote…Catching Up #iPPPMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Katie, I hope you give it a shot. πŸ™‚

  • October 9, 2013 Cheryl

    Thank you for this post, Alison. I have an embarrassing number of drafts that I can’t hit “publish” on because of those fears. I’ve always admired bloggers like you who can hit that button, and it’s helpful to know that it’s hard for you, too. I think one of the most beautiful things about blogging is finding other people in this virtual community who can make you feel less alone with whatever your truth is. But we all have to share our truths to unlock that power. Thanks for sharing yours.
    Cheryl recently wrote…This is the faceMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for your kind words, Cheryl. I hope that by writing and publishing this post, many more will come forth and do the same. We need more honesty and love and grace.

  • October 9, 2013 sarah reinhart

    yes. yes. yes. yes. yes to all of it. yes a thousand times. we’re human. we’re allowed. live and let live. to each her own. write it all down on your heart your sleeve and for goodness sake hit publish. glad you did.

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Glad I did too. xoxo

  • October 10, 2013 Jen

    I adore you and your writing. You put it all out there and that’s what you SHOULD do. I myself am a bit chicken (shit) about it, which is why I do crafts and recipes!! πŸ™‚ Ha! Seriously, I love your quotes, your realism, your everything. I could only hope that if we lived semi close (or even in the same hemisphere) we would be once a month lunch buddies. Until then, I will enjoy reading your posts over lunch!
    Jen recently wrote…Accountability,Count Me Healthy! How Do You Keep Track?My Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Wouldn’t that be awesome? To be regular lunch buddies? Sigh.
      Also, you could teach me a thing or two about crafts – I am TERRIBLE at them.

  • October 10, 2013 Jin Ai

    You’re so right, Alison. I find encouragement just by reading other people’s hard stuff, knowing I’m not alone. Which is why a post like this (and your previous one) is worth hitting publish. The days I’m facing the hard stuff, I end up crashing into bed and not writing! Maybe one day writing will happen.
    Jin Ai recently wrote…Character Education #1: TruthfulnessMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I hope you do write, my friend!

  • October 10, 2013 Amber Day Hicks

    What a fantastic piece! Thank you for speaking your mind and the truth and what I have thought more than one time. Thank you again!
    Amber Day Hicks recently wrote…The Liebster award nominationMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Thank YOU for reading!

  • October 10, 2013 Jenni Chiu

    “Can’t we just write our hard stuff without fear?” Oh Alison, I wish that were so…
    but that’s what makes those like you who do it so brave.
    Jenni Chiu recently wrote…Set The TaTas Free Any Damn Day You Want Because It Has Nothing To Do With CancerMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Jenni, you are one of the bravest writers I know. xo

  • October 10, 2013 Andrea

    I admit that I hold back when writing the hard stuff, because I’m afraid of reactions. Thank you for pointing this out. I am saving this so I can refer to it when I need an inspiration to write more truth.
    Andrea recently wrote…DIY: The Most Delicious Quickie LasagnaMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      You keep doing what you do, Andrea, because you’re already awesome.

  • October 10, 2013 Tonya

    Wow! Talk about applauding someone for their courage and bravery… this is outstanding! Suffering is suffering, it really is as simple and as complicated as that.

    My favorite lines: “You write with honesty, hoping that maybe, just maybe, you have touched someone with your words, and make them realize that they are not alone. You write with your heart on your sleeve because that is the only way you know how to.” <— This? This is the whole reason I blog/share/write.

    Brava, lady! xoxo
    Tonya recently wrote…I Was AttackedMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      You are one of the bravest and most honest writers I know, Tonya. It’s people like you who inspire me to tell my truth. xo

  • October 10, 2013 Stasha

    Oh absolutely. Our blogs are our own. They should be a safe place to publish our thoughts. Nothing wrong with sharing the good as well as the hard. I am sometimes more saddened by my feelings of failure then some might deem reasonable. Then again, nobody else is in my slippers so whatever…And this new world loves to meddle so it is always good to write a PS or two.
    Stasha recently wrote…Better with petsMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      It does, doesn’t it? The meddling? xo

  • October 10, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Hi Alison!!!! I’ve missed you…
    I need to write the hard stuff too, because in between all of my happy little photos, there’s hard stuff going on too. It’s hard to write about that stuff though.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…I’m Back!My Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      It is hard. But the best things in life, ARE hard.
      Missed you too!

  • October 11, 2013 Lady Jennie

    Love you lots, Alison. And there is always so much grace and wisdom in what you write.

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Thank you Jennie. Truly. Love you too. xo

  • October 11, 2013 My Inner Chick

    has the right to bitch, scream, yell, cuss, give opinions (nicely) & complain without judgment in her own damn space.
    Depression. PPD. Bi-Polar. Or one who is just plain NUTS, exhausted, and fed up.
    Yes, She should be able to write her own truth.
    every. single. time.
    So, if you are thinking about judging… STOP now.
    Look in the mirror, inhale, exhale & think again.

    But what I’d really like to say is ***Shut the F up***

    Love you, Mama A.
    You ROCKKKkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. x
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…13 Things That Turn Me OnMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      Hahahaha!! I love you hard, Kim. xo

  • October 11, 2013 Shefali

    Haven’t we all been there. Typing furiously and deleting and then typing some more and then never hitting that publish button. Its hard to put yourself out there. Its hard to open up to judgments and nasty comments and trolls. Its hard to still be honest and open, at least as much as I would like to be.
    I get why you needed to add the P.S at the end. But I love you for this following post.
    Shefali recently wrote…I Told You SoMy Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      It is hard. But such is blogging isn’t it?
      And thank you. xo

  • October 11, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    Haha…me again! Some of your older posts wouldn’t let me comment, but your photography has gotten SO good!! I loved your outdoor vacation photos, so beautiful! Anyway, I think I’m all caught up πŸ˜‰
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…I’m Back!My Profile

    • October 14, 2013 Alison

      I close comments on older posts to prevent spam, but thank you so much for going back to read!
      And thank you! I am loving my new DSLR and I took a 7-week photography course, which was SO helpful.

  • October 18, 2013 toi

    I love you and everything you share. Thank you so much for sharing even the hard stuff, because you make us feel human for real.
    toi recently wrote…Wednesday On Writing: Mingling With Other WritersMy Profile

    • October 18, 2013 Alison

      Thank you for reading, Toi. xo

  • October 24, 2013 erin margolin

    Lovely, Alison.
    You know I struggle with this.
    So much so lately that it’s stifled me, prevented me from writing anything of substance.
    I don’t know where the line is. Or if it’s blurred because my perception is blurry right now w/ everything I’m dealing with.

    And I agree—we should just all BE NICE to each other, give each other a pass, not jump all over someone for something.

    I want to write without fear, and without the fear of being judged.
    So yeah, I feel this. I’m glad you shared.

    • October 24, 2013 Alison

      I think you are brave and beautiful, and I love that you always, ALWAYS, write your truth, even when it’s scary. xoxo

  • October 24, 2013 Jennifer Hall

    I think you and I are on the same page lately, Alison. Glad you wrote this!
    Jennifer Hall recently wrote…Please Stop Being JudgyMy Profile

    • October 24, 2013 Jennifer Hall

      Wait. You wrote this on October 7th? How did I miss it??
      Jennifer Hall recently wrote…Please Stop Being JudgyMy Profile

    • October 24, 2013 Alison

      I just read your piece, totally same page!

  • October 24, 2013 Ally

    Glad you hit publish. I agree. I can’t count the times I’ve reworded something or chosen not to say something because I felt like someone else had it harder than me and I shouldn’t say it.

    (stopped by to read your post thanks to Erin Margolin’s link πŸ™‚ )
    Ally recently wrote…I’m Questioning The MediaMy Profile

    • October 24, 2013 Alison

      Ally, thank you for stopping by, and I’m glad you relate.

  • October 24, 2013 Thekitchwitch

    We judge too quickly and too often. Even when i know there may be consequences, it feels liberating to express MY truth and my immediate feelings on my blog. It’s just powerful to be able to say, “Hi. This is me. I’m totally flawed. But awesome.”
    Thekitchwitch recently wrote…The Wolves Howl at Night, part 2My Profile

    • October 24, 2013 Alison

      Yes, yes, YOU ARE!

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