Ok, stick with me people, this post covers a lot and is a mish mash of thoughts and topics.
Through this blog I have met some amazing people. Many other bloggers, many other Mum bloggers and a handful of social media experts. Having a blog and social media platforms is a huge networking opportunity that I never even thought of when this whole thing began.
I find the whole social media side of the blog to be my biggest challenge and most rewarding. I have been loving seeing that side of things grow, trying different things to see what works, what doesn’t and learning these new platforms. I spend way too much time analysing statistics and setting up new campaigns on the various platforms.
Knowing this, a friend set up a meeting with a Social Media Marketing influencer via Skype to feed my excitement. The only time he was available was a morning while I had all 4 kids home. I nearly cancelled as I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on the chat and therefore worried I was wasting his time. I contacted him to let him know but he said not to worry about it because he had 2 kids of his own that he’d have with him.
So, here I was speaking via Skype to this Social Media influencer, I had 4 kids buzzing in the background and he had 2. At times it resembled that BBC interview with the toddler, the baby and the wife but we got through and I learnt a lot and my excitement grew even further. As well as discussing social media we also talked about our kids. It’s not rare to see a Dad so hands on and speaking so glowing of his kids, I have a number of friends who are fathers and we regularly discuss our kids so I didn’t think anything of it. He briefly spoke of his wife and how he thought she was a “superhero” which is why he tried to take the kids as often as possible to give her a break.
After the meeting we did the usual obligatory “friend requests” and “follows” on social media (after all that is his speciality).
I had a quick look at his profile and I was drawn in. The way he spoke of his wife and his kids and their life was not something I’ve ever seen from a man before. I can’t really explain what made it different to other fathers/husbands/partners I am connected to on social media but it was completely different. It was respectful ….. but even that doesn’t really explain it properly. Examples: many of the images of his wife and/or kids were always captioned “I’m so lucky” or “I’m the luckiest guy in the world”, images of him at work saying how far away his family was, how soon he’d see them, how much he missed them.
I know, I know we all put things like that on social media but there was something different about this. I’m not sure why I was so drawn to this family.
Then I realised, that was what I was longing for in my life and my marriage. I didn’t want my husband to gloat or show off what he had. I just wanted him to appreciate it, truely appreciate it and tell people he appreciated it and respect it. In my marriage I was either hidden away or put on show, I never felt appreciated. I never felt that my former husband knew what he had or how good he had it and how many people would love to have what he had. I knew what I had and it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes I’d put photos of us on Social Media, it was never to show off what I had but it also wasn’t that I appreciated what I had. It’s difficult to appreciate someone who doesn’t feel the same about you and openly disrespects you but still I respected our relationship and would’ve stayed there through thick and thin if he had felt the same. But that meant I was allowing myself not to be appreciated, I was allowing myself to be disrespected.
12 months later I know what I am looking for in a relationship. I know I deserve respect and I know that because I now respect myself – something that I never did in my marriage. I’ve spoken before on how I lost myself in my marriage and I think that for many women that’s so easy to do. Often we take a backseat to our husband, sometimes unintentionally and you may not even realise you have until you step back and really look at your relationship. I guess the most important thing I could stress to anyone who is about to embark on a long term relationship or marriage – don’t lose yourself, know your importance, know your self worth and stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to be disrespected, to not be appreciated, don’t lose yourself because believe me, it’s a long and bumpy road back.
Oh and my BIG news – I’ve just enrolled in a Diploma of Social Media Marketing starting in July to take this interest and excitement in social media even further.