CHANGING LIVES

 Inspirational That Changed Lives

You’re down and out, in a slump, with nowhere to turn and no hope in sight. But then you discover that you’re not alone; someone else has been right where you are now. Through their story you find the strength, the sympathy, or the skills you need to get back on your feet, and perhaps the inspiration to tell your own story. Connecting with others in this intimate and immediate way is one of the core beauties of blogging. It seems unbelievable that a tiny piece of writing by a total stranger has the power to change your life, but it really does — as our Top 100 Mom Bloggers attest to again and again.

We asked them to tell us the one inspirational blog post — written by themselves or a fellow blogger — that changed their lives. Their responses are as enlightening for bloggers as they are inspiring for the rest of us. Listen in!

  • Fighting for special needs kids

I once did an experiment on Twitter where I tweeted at people who were using the hash tag “retard,” a word that is demeaning to kids like my son who have an intellectual disability. I got some heartening responses and some nasty ones. I detailed my experiences in the post “If You Ask People Not to Use the Word Retard” and got hundreds of supportive comments — along with more nasty ones. I’ve always been Max’s cheerleader, but that post seriously strengthened my resolve to continue to speak out for him as best as I can to help make the world a more welcoming place for him and other kids with special needs.

  • No one is troll-proof

I once wrote a post about hiring a cleaning service that got over 200 comments, many of them nasty. It was the first time I realized that no matter how kind and balanced I try to be, I am not troll-proof. It also urged me to be a lot less accepting of people coming into my online “home” and being abusive!

  • Letting your kids really LIVE
  • A woman wrote a guest post on my blog about what she learned when her 9-year-old suddenly died. We can TRY to protect our kids, but if the very worst happens, we will look back and hope that they got a chance to really LIVE.
  • Reclaiming my power
  • For a long time, I gave my power away to people in relationships and friendships, which left me feeling incapable and embarrassed. I wrote a post about taking back my power, and while I was nervous about posting it, I’m so glad that I did. I was shocked by how many women had felt the same way at some point in their lives, and it gave me the courage to own my imperfections and embrace my mistakes.
  • How far I’ve come
  • This is a tough call, but I’d probably say my blog post “My Journey Through Depression.” I wrote about it on a short-lived blog that I once contributed to, and I decided to publish it again on my personal blog. I often reread it just to remind myself of how far I’ve come. The women who have reached out to me because of it continue to make me very proud and very glad that I wrote it in the first place.
  • Confronting race

One post that changed my life after I wrote it was about experiencing racism and talking about my father. It was really the reaction from people who appreciated hearing about it from my point of view, but it also proved to me that these stories need to be more prominent in American storytelling. That gave me the push to talk about race with much more ease.

  • Encouragement to get help

Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress sent me an email asking me to promote her fundraiser Strong Start Day in 2011. For the first time ever, I perused her website, and stumbled upon “The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety (in Plain Mama English).” It was the first time I recognized the signs of postpartum anxiety in myself, and it spurred me to get medical help — talk about life-changing!

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