20 Feb Ariels World and what the blog means today.
Estimated reading time 6 minutes
Wow, Ariel turned 2 last weekend. My life has been changed in such a profound way since Ariel blessed me with her presence. She is such an incredible gift and I am truly blessed with an earth angel.
When I first started this blog, it was my way of telling the people in my life about Ariels diagnosis. It really helped me through a difficult time. I guess, knowing what I know now, I should have named the blog a different name. I was wanting to call it Ariel after her branded namesake candle but that was taken, so I went with Ariels World. I had plans to bring out more branded products and share our stories of “our” journey with Down syndrome. Actually, to be honest, I was about to fall into a trap of exploiting my daughter and myself as inspiration porn.
When you become a parent of a baby with a disability you want to relate to others who are in the same position as you. Your feelings are in overdrive and it is easy to be a victim of them and a distorted reality. Your child and situation can easily become a ”project”, especially if you have a personality like mine.
Over the last 2 years I have read quite a few blogs written by parents of kids with disabilities but not a lot written by people who actually have a disability or chronic illness. So, when I found the Carly Findlay Facebook page on Facebook last year and read some of her bog posts, my view of my blog was changed.
Please click and read Parents blogging about their kids with disabilities written by Carly Findlay.
OK, so hopefully you just read it. I actually recommend looking through all of Carly’s blog when you get the time. I feel her writing is groundbreaking in our genre of blogging. I certainly have learnt a lot about disability and what it may feel like for my daughter in the future. I stopped being well-meaning and started thinking. Was I over sharing? How would Ariel feel about the things written about her?
I have always been very careful about photos I post (no naked ones) and I don’t share posts about toilet training etc because I myself would be mortified if my parents had done that. I also cringe when I see parents post photos of their children’s skin rashes or details of sickness and ask for advice from other parents (not doctors) on public forums. For many reasons ……
I had already decided to tone things down and not to write too much about Ariel and her milestones. After all this was a personal blog, written by me, her Mum.
To inspire and be inspired.
This was always something I wanted from my blogging. But I do not want to be inspirational for loving my child despite her having Down syndrome. The amount of people who congratulate parents of kids with special needs is weird. People say shit like “I could never do what you do. You are an inspiration…..” What? For loving my child?
Being a mum, especially a single mum, is inspiring. This shit is hard! I am inspiring because I am a 42-year-old single mum who gets off her arse and does things. I don’t have family here to help me and I and giving it a good go. I work a part-time job as a receptionist and I have my own home based business. I take Ariel to as many places as I can and I also manage this blog. All those things are sort of inspiring but the fact I love my child (even though she has a disability) is not.
I do feel inspired to help others through this blog which is fulfilling. I love to receive messages from people who are pregnant and have been put in high risk for having a child with DS. One girl wrote to me and said that she would have no hesitation in keeping the baby and that was because of my blog. That is inspiring.
So, the blog is a personal blog about me and my daughter and things that we do. It will be about being a single mum, a working mum and a mum of a little girl who has Down syndrome. Later when Ariel s old enough she may take over the blog – that is up to her. I hope she does, but in the meantime I’m doing my best to be a good mum, just like all of the other (inspirational) Mums and Dads out there.