Why I’m thankful for blogging

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I am very pleased to introduce you to my blog friend Andrea Bates of Good Girl Gone Redneck! Andrea is filled with the kind of online skills that make a writer like me envious at best. Not only does she know her way around the technical jargon of social media platforms but she is also a whiz at creating opportunities for bloggers to professionally network and socially connect. You want to know what’s going on in the blog world? The you want to know this marvelously kind and wonderful lady!

If you are just tuning in, the House Guest series introduces emerging and established voices in the mom blogger world to the Housewife Plus audience. The writers featured here share their stories about parenting, marriage, and life in general. They are sometimes serious, other times funny, but always real.

By Andrea Bates of Good Girl Gone Redneck

andreaI’m a mom. And I blog. Which for me, does not necessarily make me what you would necessarily refer to as a mommy-blogger. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I started blogging because I was a stay-at-home-mom who had a little girl who was a few months over two years and I was itching for connections. Itching for conversations. Itching for anyone that wasn’t my two-year-old to talk to.

And I missed writing. I had always written. In journals. Notebooks. Scraps of paper here and there. I was supposed to be writing, still. I kept notes on my daughter’s growth. I kept a baby book that lasted a few months before one of our cats peed on it. I needed to write.

So I started a blog. In reality, I had been blogging ever-so-briefly for a friend who ran the blog of a moms’ group I was a volunteer for. It was fun, writing book reviews on my own for whomever might be clicking on that day.

But I needed more.

I desperately needed more.

So I did it. I clicked create blog or whatever it was and I wrote the tiniest little post. Something that said, “So. I’m a blogger,” and then I set it to private so nobody could see it.

Eventually, obviously, I decided to go public with it. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Blogging as a mom has been critical to my well-being. It’s helped me establish friendships like you wouldn’t imagine, many with people I have never met face-to-face. In fact, most of the unflappable friendships I have made are with people I haven’t yet met. They’re the kind of people who offer unconditional support. They get me. They know what it’s like to be a mom, at home, with a child, and nobody to talk to.

Some of them probably started writing for the same reasons I did. And so that is a huge road we followed to each other. We’ve taken our friendships off of the blog. They’ve moved to social media, to phone calls and texts. To letters and cards. To real life conversations.

And the people I actually HAVE met? When that first face-to-face moment happens it feels like old friends connecting. Hugs are long and hard. Tears flow freely. Laughter is present.

Bloggy friends are real. And blogging as a fairly new mom? It led me to this community – these communities where the connections and understanding and emotions flow freely and the love is true and real. And for that? I’m truly thankful.

AndreaBates_aviBIO: Andrea is a native New Yorker living in NC who has become quite accustomed to wearing flip flops year-round. A licensed clinical social worker, she spends her free time volunteering for a number of organizations supporting women (more specifically, mothers) in need of a reminder that they are not alone.

Andrea blogs at Good Girl Gone Redneck, where she writes from the heart, sharing the ins and outs of parenting, family and relationships. She also devours books and regularly features her honest reviews, ensuring that her readers are intrigued and ready for more.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.