#PPDChat Topic 01.06.14: Word of the Year

One of my favourite movies this past year was Rush, directed by Ron Howard. The movie tells the tale of two Formula One drivers: Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Both driven men, passionate adversaries. The 1976 season was the height of their fight against each other.

Howard plays up not only their competitive spirit but also reflects the way these men managed to become good friends despite their fierce battles against each other on the racing circuit.

In 1976, Lauda was involved in a serious crash at Nurbergring. He suffered severe burns over a good deal of his body. His lungs were also damaged as a result of being trapped inside his car as the flames consumed it.

Six weeks later, however, Lauda was back on the track. He finished well in his first race back despite starting with blurry vision and unable to fully push himself the way he had prior to his accident.

Seeing Rush was one of the highlights of 2013, as I was able to see a preview in NYC prior to widespread release. As an avid F1 fan, getting to see Rush in an IMAX theatre and have the engine sound reverberating all around me as the cars zoomed by on the screen – sheer heaven.

I still follow the FB page for Rush. Today, they posted a still from the movie with a question:

“What will drive you in 2014?”

Several bloggers I know are choosing words to represent what will drive them in 2014. I’ve been brainstorming the past week about what my word should be for the upcoming year. I picked one a couple of days ago and it is sitting well with me so I think I will keep it.2014 word

My word for 2014 is:


After my divorce in 2011, I checked out of life. I stayed somewhat connected but as a reflex, I checked out. I ended up in therapy and did a lot of introspective reflection. Then I met J. I started to come out of my shell because finally, here was someone who accepted me as I stood, mess and all. No front, no bullshit, just me. Then Sandy hit and I retreated into my shell. I started the introspection thing again and stopped writing. I wasn’t ready to share my journey because heck, I wasn’t even sure where it was going.

I recently called our doctor after a particularly tough bout with darkness. I am back on medication for the time being. It is making a difference. So is my Happy Light. To be honest, so is J. It’s healthy for me to fall apart here, but it’s just as healthy for me not to – we allow each other to have emotions and do not judge for whatever they may be because well, emotion is emotion.

My goal for 2014 is to engage. To engage with others, with life, with writing, with myself. Instead of retreating back into my hole, I am going to reach out. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone according to Neale Donald Walsch. 2014 is the year I leap from my comfort zone and dive headfirst into living life.

I am challenging the ladies of the #PPDChat Community to do the same along with me – not necessarily dive out of your comfort zone but choose a word for the upcoming year. In fact, that’s what we’ll be talking about on Monday night. I’ll be discussing it in the closed FB group as well.

Get to brainstorming and I look forward to seeing all your words for 2014!!!


When Spam Happens


It’s not just a delicious canned meat (yes, I said delicious. YUM!). No, if you’ve been on the Internet for any amount of time, you’re familiar with the other meaning of Spam. Unwanted contact from marketers for anything from a request for a link share or the darker side of spam, such as the seedy overseas national with a ton of money to send you if you’ll just please share all of your personal information with someone you have never met. (Don’t do that, by the way – just don’t.)

I have seen an increase in what I consider to be “spam” hitting my inbox lately, particularly associated with this blog. Usually I delete and move on but occasionally, I respond with a polite no and even more rarely, I respond as I chose to do yesterday.

Until yesterday, the emails which annoyed me most were of this nature:

“Hi! I’m Patricia and I’m a hard-working mom of a wonderful kid who is blah blah blah blah and blah blah blah…was reading your blog…blah blah..noticed you had a broken link… blah blah…while you’re fixing your broken link, would you mind adding my link as well? I put a lot of love and hard work into….”

Wait just a damn second.

I’m all for bloggers working together and letting each other know when a link isn’t working. I am. That’s awesome. That’s called friendship. But…when you’re tossing it in there to add your link and I don’t even know you?


I checked the link out, (I know, I know, don’t click the links!) glad I decided to do so. The link, while presenting decent information, had NO sourcing for said information, no credit for any of the pics used on the page, nothing. Total hot mess. You would think after one email it would be over, right? (I deleted it, didn’t respond). But no. I received at least two more emails from this person, the third one practically demanding I respond because I hadn’t responded yet.

I received another email like this from what appeared to be a different address but I am pretty sure it was the same person. That, or there’s a disturbing new trend in the spam world of “Hey! I’m trying to be friendly and help you but oh, by the way….”

No. Just no.

Fix the link if it’s broken (it was, through no fault of my own – the website I’d linked to had changed the page URL), and move on. Delete, delete, delete.

Then there are the fabulous people who email things like this:

“HEY! We’re having this awesome contest and if you’re one of the first 25 people to blog about our recommended topic, you’ll get on our front page with a link and a bio! Oh, and by blogging about said topic in 200 or more words, you’ll earn a chance at a grand prize of 1k or other smaller prizes! DO IT!”

How about no? And how about I send you an email that reads a LOT like this:

Hi, Rex.

Thank you for your terribly considerate email about your upcoming contest at your website. Really.

There’s nothing I would love more than to write an absolutely meaningless post about a cheap Mother’s Day present that’s 200+ words long because I’m a “Mom” blogger and covet a chance at entrance into a contest for 1k and other smaller prizes.

My blog has depth. It conveys hope and inspiration to mothers who have been through hell. The last thing I want to do is toss them a bone with a post that means absolutely nothing to me (and therefore will mean nothing to them). It’s not what I do and if you were at ALL familiar with my blog, you’d know that.

Here’s the thing, Rex.

I’m a writer.

Not “just” a blogger.

My writing isn’t free.

Want a post on my blog?

It’ll cost you $2.00/word. At 200 words minimum, you’re looking at least $400.00. Sure, a chance at 1k would more than cover my fee, but it’s not a guaranteed 1k, now is it?

And let’s not forget the chance at being featured on your home page if I’m one of the first 25 respondents. Exposure. YAY. I get that on my own. Probably not at the level you’re offering, but hey, I’ll take it because it means something.

I’m not a numbers girl. Never have been, never will be. I’m an “engagement value” type of gal unwilling to sell out space on my blog for some sort of cheap chance at money and exposure. If I wanted a cheap shot at money, I’d play the lottery. Less work is involved.

This is the problem with the world today, Rex. People think bloggers will work for free, for scraps from the table. Newsflash. We don’t. Some of us may, but the more savvy of us refuse to sit on the floor waiting for someone to toss us scraps like “exposure” and “a chance at a prize.”

All the best with your contest. I won’t be entering.

I have better things to do at my blog, like save lives and bash stigma in the head.

 PS. This response is a minimum of 350 words. To whom should I send the bill for $700?

I tweeted about this situation yesterday. The above email is how I decided to handle it. I wrote it, held it for a bit, then sent it off. Why? It’s a waste of energy some will say. But for each non-response they get, they don’t get the idea that bloggers are no longer willing to work for a “chance” at a prize. Maybe some are willing to do that – I’m not. All I want is for companies to simply respect what bloggers do and to genuinely check out the websites to which they pitch their ideas and campaigns. If it fit with the mission and general goals of my blog, I may have considered it. But this? Fits of laughter then anger.

The take-away from this post?

  • Recognize Spam as Spam.
  • Delete it if it’s inconsequential.
  • Respond if you feel it’s the proper thing to do.
  • But above all, laugh at the idiocy of it all, and then move on.

Spam is the underbelly of the Interwebz. Occasionally it deserves a post or two about the dangers of it or the ridiculousness of it all, but mostly, it deserves to stay in the dark corners of the Interwebz, barricaded away from the rest of all the good out there.

Postpartum Voice of the Year Voting: Round I

Welcome to the first annual Postpartum Voice of the Year Awards!

Here at My Postpartum Voice, I believe strongly in encouraging and supporting other parents who decide to share their journeys through Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders. Each week, on Thursdays, I would highlight a different post or submission from around the web as part of my Postpartum Voice of the Week series.

In order to be included in Postpartum Voice of the Year, your post or submission would need to be a Postpartum Voice of the Week. This year there are only 18 entries as the Postpartum Voice of the Week did not start until May.

Next year, I imagine there will be several more entries. Although in 2011, there will be a Postpartum Voice of the Month, as determined by you via voting. Only the Postpartum Voices of the Month will be eligible for Postpartum Voice of the Year in 2011.

This year, there will be voting in three rounds.

All entries are combined in groups of six according to chronological appearance as Postpartum Voice of the Week.

The top two posts will move on to a final round for a total of six finalists.

The finalist will receive bragging rights as Postpartum Voice of the Year, a spiffy badge for their blog, a dedicated blog button here at My Postpartum Voice linking to their blog, and a to-be-determined prize. (I’ll update on that as details are made!)

Beneath the poll below, you will find a list of the posts including a direct link to the post at the author’s blog. If the posts were submissions to My Postpartum Voice, the link will lead to their post here.

If you have been nominated and want to grab a Nominated badge, feel free to email me for it!

I urge you to read each post again before voting.

Happy voting!

Based on a True Story Part I & Based on a True Story Part II by Pamela at 2 much Testosterone

10 questions for a Partner of a PPD Survivor: My Husband by Walker Karraa

Life as we knew it from Carrying Me Through

Label Me & Put me in a box (submission)

Please don’t take my Sunshine away (submission)

The “D” Word by Raising Little Women

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Postpartum Voices of the Week: @heirtoBlair & @momgosomething

This past week saw the best #PPDChat yet (I got tossed in Twitter jail – meaning I tweeted one too many times for Twitter within an allotted amount of time – WOOHOOO!), and now, I’m sitting here trying to decide between two absolutely amazing posts for Postpartum Voice of the Week.

You Mamas are rockin’ it this week. What’s in your Kool Aid???

I made up my mind – I’m not deciding.

This week there will be two Postpartum Voices of the Week.

Both of these wonderful posts offer up insight into what it’s like once the fog of Postpartum lifts. I think it’s important to discuss and share the depths of hell to which Postpartum Mood Disorders can drag you. But it is also very important to shine the light on the hope and happiness which awaits you on the other side of a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

First up, Blair over at Heir to Blair, writes a sweet poignant letter to PPD. She is oh so polite firm and kindly tells PPD to leave shove itself down a deep dark hole.

I hate you for what you did to me.  I hate that there was no rhyme or reason & at times, I still scream WHY ME?! when I think of how it could have been like this from the beginning had you not come knocking.  But I also know that without those horrible, bleak, terrible days, I would not realize HOW DAMN GOOD I have it right now.  I feel like I am seeing my son for the first time.  Like I am seeing myself as a mother for the first time.  & you know what?  I am a good mother.  & my son is amazing.  I finally understand that love that parents gush about, that desire to wake up in the morning & see a toothless grin over the railings of the crib.  To not only wish for that moment, but to desire it down to my core until it is the last thing I think about as I fall asleep – I can’t wait to wake up to him tomorrow. (via Blair @ Heir to Blair)

Then, Kimberly over at All Work & No Play make Mommy go Something Something broke out with a post entitled “The Bucket.” It’s so very poignant and offers such an amazing insight. Kimberly has been struggling lately through a severe relapse and through her 2-year-old, came face to face with a serious lesson about moving forward with life. Katherine Stone over at Postpartum Progress blogged about this post as well. Get the kleenex. It’s at least a Quadruple Tissue post, sniffles included.

On the last try, he made it all the way to the edge of the flower bed only making a few spills. As he excitedly dumped the water over my flowers and observed the pay off that his hard work had accomplished, he started to smile. He looked over at the pool and realized how far he had come with the bucket of water. Then he shouted “Yook Momma! Flowers wet!” When I smiled in approval and praised him for his determination, he threw the bucket and carried on with playing in the pool. That little man, a whole 23 months old, had taught me something very valuable in that moment. (via Kimberly @ Make Mommy Go Something Something)

Thanks ladies for such awesome posts. Keep the words flowing, keep the healing going, and keep on hanging on to the bright moments. They are amazing and get even better as you continue moving forward toward your flowers and full buckets.

Speaking up across the blogosphere 10.22.09

Welcome to this week’s round-up of brave bloggers speaking up about their experience with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Let them know they’re not alone!

Kristen at Dine & Dish serves up her experience along with a recipe for Chocolate cake. Cuz yanno – chocolate always everything better!

Lisa over at The Nuthouse waxes on how the cycle of Postpartum Depression begins.

Redmama over at Mooshinindy wrote an absolutely fabulous piece entitled “On being your mom with depression.” Tear jerker alert here.

This week also brings us a brief post from a new dad who thinks he might qualify for struggling with Paternal Postnatal Depression. Chris @ You mean there are TWO??? shares briefly about men with postpartum depression and includes a few good resources for men struggling with this issue.