I’ve been posting the funny things my kids say on Facebook for years. If I post about the state of affairs in Iran or where I ate for dinner, nobody responds but the crickets. But if I post that Zaffy thinks the Wicked Witch of the West is after Dorothy’s shoes because “she wants a splash of color,” the comments section goes wild.
I don’t like putting something “out there” and being met with silence. I rely on validation. I need to hear I’m doing a good job, or I’m doing the right thing. I need verbal support. That’s my crutch; that’s my incentive. So, I stopped posting much of anything except the funny or cute things my kids said. I basked in the glow of the replies and often friends would encourage me through the comments section to write a book or collect these sayings somewhere.
Then out of the blue someone said, “Are you and Russell doing okay? You never post anything about him. It’s like you live separate lives.”
Then another friend said, “How have you been? I mean just you… all you talk about is your children. They are precious, but what’s up with you?”
I was confused. What do you people want?
Wait. What do I want?
I want to be something other than a wife, mother, and nonprofit COO. Is it bad that I need more than the great stuff I’ve already got?
I don’t know.
A very dear friend of mine remarks often about our first world problems. I have food, clean water, shelter, safety, a loving family and a rich social life with friends who care about me. Why isn’t that enough?
No clue here either. Because I’m greedy? Maybe.
But what I do know is this. Until I went to Paris in September 2010, I was terribly unhappy wandering through my life on autopilot, checking in if things went too awry. If I remained unhappy, if I ignored it, what good was I doing anybody? What example was I setting for my children, who I want, very much, to grow into confident, self-fulfilled women?
So, here is what I did. I took the transformation that began in Paris and used it as a catalyst to become Post-Paris Kristine. I am now living, not merely existing. And suddenly, I am more than a wife. I’m more than a mother. I’m more than an adoption advocate. I’m Post-Paris Kristine and I really like me.
And I want to express myself.
So, I started this blog. And yes, the foundation is parenting. Many of the posts are the funny things that my kids say. After all, parenting is what I primarily do and it’s my most important role. But it’s not everything. I’m throwing in quite a bit of “me” into this blog. And you know what the response has been?
But that’s okay. I am Post-Paris Kristine and I don’t need validation.
Right? You agree, right?