Momania Flashback: Sharing, fighting, caring and learning!

Congratulations! We have been together for five years!

In the course of more than 1,300 blogs we have discussed the mundane – do we like the white-shirt family beach photos? —  to the serious – should a mother kick out her teenager when she’s had enough? We have fought, disagreed, judged, but also often supported and cared for each other. We have shared intimate details about our lives, our families and children, and hopefully some people have learned from the stories. I know I have.

When I proposed this blog and column five years ago, I thought I would simply be writing funny stories about my family and gabbing with other mothers online. But the blog has become a much bigger part of my life, one that I use as a touchstone. Am I making the right decisions? Am I doing the right thing for my kids? Am I the crazy one? (Often the answer is yes!) I appreciate everyone’s input and think about the community’s advice as I go about my daily life. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the outlet and support system that this community provides.

For the next eight days we are going to flashback to some of our favorite blogs and columns. Some of the stories made people angry, others touched their hearts, but all of them got a reaction. When possible, I am linking to the original discussion so you can see all the comments.

As I was selecting old columns and blogs for our flashback I enjoyed seeing how much some things have changed and how some things have not.

The biggest change was that we added a whole other child to our family in the course of the blog. It was a joy sharing the pregnancy on the blog and even her birth! (That story will run next week.) I cried re-reading milestones in Lilina’s life that I shared and was so glad that I have will have a written record of my feelings and worries about her birth, her laugh and milestones from walking to the first time she talked back. (I did a terrible job keeping a baby scrapbook for her, but I have everything I need in the blog.)

I think that my relationship with my husband is actually stronger because of the blog. I worried that we would end up getting divorced because we were sharing so much, and often being judged by others. However, because we developed the rule that if it was about him he had to read it before it ran, the blog actually helped us air our grievances in an organized, unemotional way. We are better communicators now than we were five years ago, partially due to the blog.

It was also heartening to see times when the community helped a parent in need of information or support. We had one mom who didn’t know how to stop her daughter from stealing. Another mom had kicked her rebellious teen out and was looking for reinforcement that she had done the right thing. We’ve talked about how much help to give with homework, if it was OK to spy on our kids online, how to discipline all ages and whether to use medicine for kids with ADHD. We were there to offer our experiences and give support whether we agreed or disagreed with the decision.

We talk a lot about how to make our children independent and strong. Thanks to all of you, I have finally gotten it through my head that I AM a helicopter parent. But I am working on it, and I think of you guys often as I confront things – can I let them play in the game room at the Y without adult supervision while I work out? Can I let Walsh walk up the street alone to deliver a note to a friend? (Yes, Theresa you can. Let them do these things!)

Besides thanking you guys for being such an awesome community, I want to thank my husband for being such a trooper through the last five years. Our whole lives have been out there, and he took a beating for it from his friends and co-workers! (Sometimes I think half of my page-views are from his co-workers searching for what new embarrassing facts I revealed each day.) He not only was willing to laugh at himself, he sometimes he even helped write the jokes.

It is true that we haven’t always agreed on the blog, but I think we are better, less judgmental parents, for the discussions we have had. Maybe we have seen things from a new viewpoint. Maybe we have learned things from each other. I know I have. I am grateful for all the input from my blog family and appreciate all your ideas and support. My oldest is getting ready to enter puberty (I kind of think she’s already in it.) so I need you all to stick around to help me through it. I think we have many wonderful years ahead to share and discuss (and also to judge my husband).

Today’s Momania Flashback: How the blog started with a story about my boobs!

More Momania Flashbacks

29 comments Add your comment

Memories....

October 22nd, 2010
1:44 am

I have loved your column from the beginning. It is even one big reason that I kept my AJC subscription for awhile. Love your sense of humor and stories. My kids and husband do many of the same things so nice to be reminded to laugh about things. Also wonderful to know my worries are shared and I am only a little crazy myself! Can’t wait to see what the next five years bring!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania, Hector Rafael and Victoria H, ajcparenting. ajcparenting said: AJC's Momania blog: Momania Flashback: Sharing, fighting, caring and learning! http://bit.ly/8YXGyw [...]

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 22nd, 2010
2:57 am

That is sooo nice! You made me tear up! Thank you!

Sheridan

October 22nd, 2010
6:18 am

Theresa,

Congrats on five years! What an awesome accomplishment. I have also enjoyed reading your entries. They have made me laugh, cry and sometimes cringe :) You’ve done a great job with this blog. I can’t wait to see the favorites.

Sheridan

motherjanegoose

October 22nd, 2010
8:12 am

TWG: always remember that you are the one who has been here for 5 years. Even through those that whine about your topic choices….they were yours and you made it. You also gave others a chance to step up to the plate…some have and some have promised they would but YOU delivered. KUDOS.

DB

October 22nd, 2010
8:56 am

Theresa, congratulations on five years, and thanks for letting us share — sometimes less than politely! — in your adventures in motherhood. It takes a rare and open heart to offer themselves and their family up for public inspection on a daily basis to the entire world. Thanks to you, Michael, Rose, Walsh and Liliana for being so generous with your lives!

YUKI

October 22nd, 2010
9:10 am

Great Job! Five years is something to be proud of. I enjoy reading your blog and will continue to do so!

Photius

October 22nd, 2010
9:27 am

Congrats Theresa! I enjoy this blog and the views of others. Have a great day!

mom2alex&max

October 22nd, 2010
10:13 am

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! Congrats Theresa! And thank you to all posters for making me laugh, for making me angry (lol), for making me think, and for (sometimes) even make me reconsider some of my positions!

JJ

October 22nd, 2010
10:17 am

Happy Anniversary to us!!!! I just can’t believe it’s been 5 years already…..

I agree with Mom2Alex&Max.

Kate

October 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

I just started reading this blog a few months ago, but I really enjoy it. No matter what the topic I always learn something new or look at things a little different because of something I read in the comments. You make it look easy, but I know it isn’t, Theresa. Congratulations!

Becky

October 22nd, 2010
10:45 am

Congrats Theresa..I love this blog and really enjoy “hearing” what you and others on here have to say..

No, we don’t all always agree with each other, but if we did, boy would this blog be boring..So again, thanks to you and everyone else on here (as Mom2Alex&Max said) for making me laugh, tear up, learn to “see” things in a different light and all around enjoy my other family for 5 great years..

Jesse's Girl

October 22nd, 2010
10:55 am

You know how I feel about you. You are more like a sister…I simply adore you. And since the universe threw us together….I have been ever blessed. Blog on my sweet friend. I love ya girl!

Michelle

October 22nd, 2010
11:08 am

Congratulations on 5 years! That’s a big milestone for any job, but especially when you get feedback on a daily basis (some good, some bad, and some just plain stupid!)

FCM

October 22nd, 2010
1:59 pm

WOOOO HOOOOO You have come a long way baaaaaaaaaaaby! Congrats on 5 years. I echo the others that the blog has made me laugh, cry, shout…and well FEEL something. Any time a writer accomplishes that they have done their job.

Like many on here, I have re-evaluated how I approach things.

I am happy to announce that that my daughter did stop stealing…in fact she has made SO MUCH progress that her current teachers call her “resposible, honest, and trustworthy” so much that they give her those “coveted” assignments like flag duty and hall monitor. I thank the blog for giving me the courage to ask, even though I knew some would (and did) redicule my parenting skills.

There are so many on here that I “talk” too daily that I have come to regard y’all as friends. After all we sometimes have lunch, or coffee, or whatever together…even if it isn’t in person.

TWG–I mentioned the first blog I ever recall responding to the other day—thinking back I took Michael’s side in that one. I know I do that often, but I value the things you share and bring to the table.

Here is to this blog helping those of further back on the sidewalk than MJG and DB get through puberty and to college. I truly do know that I want to do it without ya!

FCM

October 22nd, 2010
2:00 pm

er that should say I truly do NOT know that I want to do it without ya! Leave it FCM to blow the moment! ROFL

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

FCM — you just outed yourself — I don’t think we have revealed it was you before — I know we didn’t in the original blog —I’m glad your daughter is doing so well — We may need an intervention for my son — His teacher watched him put a tack in her chair the other day (a la the Incredibles) but then he thought better of it and took it out. she was very nice about it but he could have gotten in a lot of trouble!!! I’m glad he took it out but a bad decision to put it down — these are the things I worry about — bad decisions — FCM — it is totally OK to side with Michael — I need to know when I’m wrong and I think sometimes it’s easier to believe that from outsiders than from him. He’s got a stake in it of course he’s always going to say he’s right.

JJ

October 22nd, 2010
2:21 pm

Theresa – I tried to send you an email, but it’s going to Rana Cash….

I think I may have found a great topic for next week..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 22nd, 2010
2:47 pm

well that is a problem — do the ajcmomania@gmail.com —— I will get them to fix that — I’m not sure I can — hmmmm.

JJ

October 22nd, 2010
2:54 pm

Ok, I just sent it again.

Thanks.

FCM

October 22nd, 2010
3:14 pm

TWG–I knew I was outting myself….just goes to show that even one considered a “good” parent on here can have troubles/issues that need to be fixed.

Wayne

October 22nd, 2010
3:45 pm

Hey! I was on the other topic – wondering where y’all went. Couldn’t take my eyes of the other subj… errr… ummm…

Happy 5 years! I’m glad I found this blog as it’s been very helpful to listen/read about other folks thoughts on different subjects. Thanks for having me along…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 22nd, 2010
4:04 pm

Wayne — we love having you!! we’re glad to have dad’s/men’s perspectives and probably would rename if it weren’t for 5 year status on the search engines.

deidre_NC

October 22nd, 2010
6:43 pm

five years!! wow that is fantastic. and i love this blog. i loved it the first time i came here and still do. i have learned a lot and hopefully shared some things that may hve helped someone. i hope it goes for a long time…we parents who have grown kids want to watch yalls younger grow…

catlady

October 22nd, 2010
7:23 pm

Although at times I don’t agree with your take on things, I think you are a very brave woman to put it all out there!

newblogger

October 22nd, 2010
8:44 pm

I’ve only been on here since summer but I really enjoy all the blogs. I kept up with it daily before August and now my family knows that I don’t always have time to read it every day during the week so if I’m on the computer for awhile on the weekend I’m “mommy blogging”. Keep up the good work and congratulations!

Tiffany

October 22nd, 2010
9:29 pm

Theresa I think that you are a great mom and I really enjoy hearing about your family. You are a brave woman to always put such personal stuff out there for everyone to read! It always makes me feel better as a mom to hear the opinions and stories of so many others. I look forward to many more of your blogs. Keep up the good work!

HB

October 23rd, 2010
12:04 am

Happy Anniversary, Theresa! Here’s to another 5 years!

JATL

October 25th, 2010
1:23 pm

Congratulations! 5 years is a long time -keep it up!