Well, my five-year blogiversary (I know, it's a weird made-up word but I’m using it anyway) is coming up soon on September 8th. Lots of things have changed over the past five years. My youngest child was a tipsy-toddling one-year-old when I started this blog, and now he’s in first grade and going to school all day for the first time. I sailed through the first day of school with completely dry eyes. But I cried yesterday, after my three kids had completed a whole week of school, when the realization hit me in full force that this is the end of a phase of parenthood and the beginning of something new. New things are hard for us as well as for our kids, aren’t they? I totally admit that I was never great at mothering infants—that was not my groove—and the newborn stage especially made me feel desperate and dysfunctional. But somewhere along the way in the past eleven years, I felt like I found my parenting rhythm. I was more or less happy problem-solving, researching methods for various parenting-related topics (education, nature therapy, healthy eating, travel, technology use, spiritual formation) and then putting those things into practice in my family, connecting with other parents and their young kids, and visiting the library and the zoo and botanical gardens and museums. That’s what I know how to do, and what I feel most comfortable doing. Now all that is changing, and yesterday I was feeling a bit sad and panicky about it. What if I’m no good at anything else? What if I fail at everything new I attempt? The majority of my time during the school year now will be spent apart from my kids, and that feels strange. My tears subsided when I sat down at my desk, pulled up my blog website, and looked at the title. I immediately felt more like myself again. Writing and drawing and creating—making stuff—centers me and gives me a sense of inner calm and peacefulness. Since I was maybe five years old, what’s in my head and heart have been spilling out onto the written page, and it is the clearest way for me to communicate thoughts and feelings and ideas (the truly important things in life, from an introvert’s perspective). Social media can give me angst sometimes. Writing a blog and reading actual books are much better for my mental health. I haven’t had as much time to read or write as I wished in the past five years (or really the past fifteen years of marriage and adulthood). I’m looking forward to more writing and reading and art-making on the horizon in this new phase of life, so stay tuned for more posts in the future.
For now, I have 5 new copies of some of our favorite books to give away to mark the occasion of This Urban Life With Kids turning 5 years old. If you know me personally, you know I love to share great books with people. Three of the selected five are children’s picture books that celebrate city life and urban childhood, and two are nonfiction reads: Walkable City by Jeff Speck and The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. Here’s how you can enter to win a prize book (do one or more of the following):
Like and follow the FB page for This Urban Life With Kids, if you haven’t already.
Post a comment either here, on the Facebook page or Instagram @thisurbanlife_withkids. You could let me know if you prefer a kids’ book or nonfiction urban theory, or share one thing you love about urban living in Indy (or elsewhere).
Share the link to this post on your social media account to let others know.
You can do one of the three options listed above between now and Sunday, September 8th to be entered to win a book. On Monday September 9th I will announce the 5 winners! Thanks for reading, friends! Have a great weekend!