I’m feeling all the emotions sitting down to finally start Momma To Go. This post isn’t just the first of my site, but the first page of my story – the culmination of so many factors that have pushed and prodded me to this point in my life.
I seriously might cry.
Okay, I should probably back up a little. My story begins way before I was a weepy, emotional, ball of mush. I arrive here having previously been (in this order): a math teacher, mom to 1, baby travel blogger, mom to 2, part-time math tutor, full-time teacher and now… well the next Chapter I’m about to write.
The longer version of the tale goes like this. Once upon a time… when my son was born, I left my teaching job to stay home. I’ve now had enough distance to look back on that time with total nostalgia, almost forgetting the sleepless nights, the loneliness that staying home with an infant can bring, and the fact that I spent many months as a human pacifier. Either way, I know I was lucky to have that time with my little man. I just put that boy on the school bus to second grade. It’s true how fast it all goes.
While home, I was also lucky to find a creative outlet – blogging. In 2010, I spent my
little free time writing pieces about the adventures with my son. The blog was called Baby To Go. And for a little hobby, it did all right. I loved writing the content, telling stories, sharing travel tips with other moms, and connecting with fellow parents. I guest posted, got some freebies, and had a little following. I was even in a Honda commercial, all because of my blog!
Unfortunately, after about a year of being dedicated to Baby To Go, the site quickly landed into the abyss of forgotten blogs. From the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was too sick to write, and I was too tired to have any blog worthy adventures with my little man.
Fast-forward a few years to 2013. At this point, my kids were in pre-school and I felt that my stay-at-home-mommy tenure was done. I returned to full-time teaching feeling that pull to get back on the “career path.” Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize I hated working full-time. Suddenly I was juggling a 50-60 hour workweek, all while trying (unsuccessfully) to give some attention to my own family, and salvage the last shreds of my sanity. My small paycheck, which did afford us some nice luxuries & extras, just did not seem worth the growing list of sacrifices.
The problem was- I did like working, just not so many hours. I liked doing something professional, having a paycheck and learning new things. Although teaching no longer felt like a good way to spend my day. Teaching is grueling and relentless. It drains you both physically and emotionally. And worst of all, it seemed to me that over the last ten years, being an educator had shifted away from actual educating to… well…. to a lot of other nonsense that I just wasn’t interested in. I needed a change.
But to what?
I really didn’t have the answer to that big question, so I kept plugging along, trying to figure out my next move. Which is precisely when life happens and you sort of find yourself, accidentally, on the right path.
Since my son was born (and my days on The Nest & The Bump <— remember those?) I have always loved reading blogs, “meeting” people online and engaging in social media. While working, math blogs became my go-to resource for teaching. I frequented several websites that inspired me. I started spending a lot of time online and on Pinterest gathering up ideas for my classroom. It was there, on Pinterest, while scrolling through “engaging middle school math activities” that I started to notice a friend, and former blogger, who was pinning up a storm. Tons of posts with titles like, “How to monetize your blog,” and “How to launch a freelance writing career.”
I was intrigued.
I clicked. I read. The wheels in my brain started turning.
I was reminded how much I loved blogging, and writing. All my childhood memories of CONSTANTLY writing, all the handwritten stories I stashed away in my closet, the “magazines” I wrote, and even how I enjoyed writing in college, literally began to flood my brain.
But doubt is inevitable. Change is scary.
What would I write about? Baby To Go was a little site with posts like, Awesome Baby Gear and How to Fly with an Infant. My kids were no longer babies. My interests are so varied. What was my niche? My angle? Would anyone care what I had to say? Plus, could I really write as something more than a fun hobby?
I still needed a push. And ironically, the last piece of the puzzle is ultimately the one that let me break free- but was initially the main reason I stayed at a job I hated.
The great state of Hawaii.
For the past year and a half, my family has been planning a three-week vacation to Hawaii. My husband (who works for the best company ever) recently celebrated his 10-year work-iversary, which afforded him a month long sabbatical.
We had our flights booked – flying into Maui one night and flying home from Kona, on the Big Island, three weeks later. With summer coming, it was finally time for me to plan the details. This is the crap I love to do, choose accommodations, book rental cars, and research activities – basically travel is my love language.
This was a big trip, with a lot of logistics. Just a tad overwhelming at first. I started my research on Pinterest by entering “Hawaii and Kids” into the search bar.
I expected to find articles on this tropical paradise. I did not, however, expect that with a few clicks, I would see my dream life staring back at me.
Well, okay Hawaii itself is a dream life, but I’m talking about family travel blogs. Lots of amazing sites that not only gave me awesome insights for my trip, but allowed me a glimpse into the lives of moms that were doing what I wanted to be doing!
It was literally the light bulb moment for me.
So many things had brought me to that spot- to finally say I can do this.
Or at least try to do. I have to go for it. It’s a bit cheese-ball, but life is too short to do crap you hate. It really is.
So I spent the summer reading everything I could about starting this blog and freelance writing. I bought a domain name and paid for hosting. I even recently wrote “writer” under occupation on my daughter’s Girl Scout registration form. I think that makes it official?
I’ve always been a storyteller. I love reading about other people’s lives and listening to their stories. I want to share my many passions – mostly travel, fitness and parenthood here on this site. My site.
I have a notebook of bullet points, and ideas, and stories, and enough travel tips swirling in my brain to fill a large book (hmm… that’s an idea).
So today I launch. A blog. Momma To Go. A new career. Me.
Since this is the “official” first post I wanted to tell the story of how I went from teacher to blogger. If you want to read more about me and my family, click here.
Lastly, please introduce yourself in a comment below. And please, bloggers & writers, any advice for a newbie like myself?