I’ve been MIA, like REALLY MIA. I know. It hasn’t been for lack of want. When I first started Life’s Etc. blog it was because I really wanted to share authentic stories about motherhood and mental health, doing my part to break down the stigmas associated with moms who feel they’re failing, and maybe help us all laugh along the way.

But this past year, I’ve found myself struggling to draw the line. Where does my story end and my children’s stories begin?

I don’t know the answer. And so I haven’t written any stories. I haven’t posted any “adventures in parenting.” I haven’t written an epic mental breakdown confessing all the things that scare me in today’s society and how I’m trying to work through it all. I haven’t used this medium as a cathartic release for the stressors we’ve all endured from COVID-19 and how it’s sincerely impacted our children.

I worry that to divulge anything, is to cast speculation on which of my children it’s about. And so I don’t write. And that bugs me to no end, because I know that I am NOT alone in what I’m going through and that somebody else out there doesn’t have the support system I do. Their family, friends, employers, etc., might not embrace the lifelong journey that is mental health and so they struggle in isolation. Unwitting members of my own circle have made cutting remarks about antidepressants and the weakness of people using them. So I know. More than that, I know that working on your own mental health is infinitely easier than helping a child address high anxiety and depression.

I thought Dyslexia would be my crusade. I thought I would get involved in the local chapter of International Dyslexia Association and throw all my energy into making interventions standard for the 1-in-5 children who are (often undiagnosed) Dyslexic. But that all changed when my daughter’s anxiety related to Dyslexia, intensified by loss of self-esteem building activities outside of school, escalated to a mental health crisis.

ALL of my energy has been poured into helping her this past year. Getting her the resources she needs. Recognizing the signs of educated, but not intelligent, mental health professionals and protecting her from them doing more harm than good. Being her advocate with family and friends so that she won’t feel shame over what she’s enduring.

The people closest to me already know what she’s been through. So I feel comfortable posting that very basic summary here, and do so to say…this is it. I’ve realized many stories I’ve enjoyed sharing on this blog are not my own, and so my very personal posts are going to be very, very few and far between.

Instead, I’m going to use more of this space for something else I’m passionate about: supporting authors.

Several friends have asked me to create genre reading lists (my fav being WWII, fantasy, romance & women’s literature) and share more detailed book reviews. That’s what I’ll do here. I’ll start using the #bookstagram hashtag on Instagram instead of being all shy about my thoughts. But I’m really only going to review books I LOVE, REALLY LIKE or REALLY DISLIKE (looking at you City of Girls). Why? Because there’s enough people in the world to tear down writers brave enough to publish their work. So if I’m “ho-hum” about a book or author’s writing style, my plan is to simply let it exist in its space.

I’ll still share silly misadventures when they’re mine alone, but really look forward to sharing my love of books and favorite authors with you here.

Much Love – H