You know, when I was younger, I was pretty closed up. Even my good friends didn’t know much about me. Me, me. I just preferred to keep the Me me hidden.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the value in sharing myself. I’m still not great at it. But I can talk about what’s bothering me, about things that are going on, about things I am struggling with, things that make me happy, etc. There’s very few people at this point, for example, who don’t know I’m adopted, which is a dramatic shift from when I was a teenager.
The benefit isn’t just to me, though clearly it’s better for me to be open with those around me. There is a benefit to the relationships I have with others, as well. It’s not much of a friendship (or marriage) if you don’t know the real heart of the other person. I cannot have true friendships without being willing to share some of me with the other person. It’s called trust.
Along with that has come a willingness to share more and more of me with the world. Part of that has been blogging, for sure. When I started blogging several years ago, it kind of opened the floodgates of thoughts that I had never been able to share with other people.
Then at some point, as I was reading the blogs of other moms, I realized that blogging can actually be helpful to others. That sharing some of my life – joys and struggles, but things that are TRUE – can actually be a blessing to those who happen across it on the internet.
Then in December, I found the blog of another kidney mama. A breastfeeding, babywearing kidney mama. What a blessing her blog was to me during those first days in the NICU. Her blog wasn’t meant to help me out, its purpose was to document their experience and share information with family members. But it did help me out, and I realized even more how sharing Teddy’s story could help out others.
Being open about Teddy, his struggles, our struggles, and our successes (when we eventually feel like we’ve had some, lol) has so many benefits. This is why I do it.
1. It benefits ME. Yes, it helps me cope to talk about it. It helps me to know that others are praying for us. It helps me to have those prayers, because I know that God listens when His people shout! It helps me not feel alone, even if I don’t know anyone in real life who is dealing with what we’re dealing with, I know people who know what’s going on. I know people who, when I say that things are challenging right now, know that I mean they’re REALLY challenging. That helps me cope.
2. It benefits TEDDY. First, all those prayers. People can’t pray if they don’t know there is a need. And those prayers are making a difference. Second, it helps his health and his care if I can seek advice from those who’ve been there, done that. Not necessarily just other kidney moms, but other moms whose kids have a G-tube, other moms whose kids have a central line, etc. Even just other moms whose kids aren’t “regular.”
3. It benefits OTHERS. Kidney failure is pretty rare in kids, even rarer in babies. It’s hard to find others going through what you’re going through. Even on the internet. As I said, having that other blog to read made our early NICU days so much easier. Reading this mom’s honest struggles. The days she logged on and just said “Dammit, this is hard, and it sucks,” and the days she was happy because things had gone right for a change.
I don’t think Teddy would be unhappy about my decision to share his story openly and honestly, and frankly I would hope that I’m raising my children such that they would be HAPPY to give of themselves if it would help others going through a difficult time.