Jenny: My name is Jenny, and I am a 27 year old musician turned stay at home mom to 2 little boys, Holden who is 4, and Parker who is 2. I have been married for coming up on 5 years now to a man named Thomas, and we live a somewhat peaceful existence in Virginia. Holdin’ Holden is a blog I started over 3 years ago about my life, parenting, really anything I feel like I want to say.
Jenny: After Holden was born, I felt like I had lost nearly every friend I ever had. Being the first person out of a large network of friends (most of whom were musicians) to not only get married and have a child slightly ostracized me. I had joined message boards with other moms, but never really felt like I fit in. I found that a lot of women didn’t appreciate a foul mouth, or maybe I was just abrasive (I can sound that way if you don’t know me personally). It got to the point where I felt as though I couldn’t say much of anything without starting some kind of online battle. One day I came across a blog online that wrote about making money from being a ‘mommy blogger.’ I’d always been a writer, and I needed a place to be able to speak my mind without being judged, so it just seemed like the perfect fit.
Jenny: When I started, I was honestly just fumbling around. It had been so long since I’d written anything more than a song, and more often than not it seems what I was writing got taken more as whining than anything else. After 3+ years of blogging, I feel as though I’ve found my own voice, my niche, and I’ve overcome a hell of a lot of obstacles to get here. I believe I’ve gone from a fumbling whiner to a veteran joke-maker, or I like to think so anyways. I just have a good time, and I hope that anyone who finds me will have a good time reading what I’ve written.
Jenny: Before I ever got serious about the music industry, I wrote stories. Short stories, long stories, poetry- it didn’t matter, I just loved to write. I think the idea was always in the back of my mind once I had started the blog, but there was one polarizing thing that happened in my life that really made me think “I need to do this”, and that was being cyber-bullied by a group of mothers, a story I feared telling for the longest time but felt like it was an important enough message to tell, along with everything else I had left out of the blog over the years, so I made it a goal to write the book.
Jenny: Everything! It’s my life, wrapped up into about 300 pages. It centers around my life as a blogger and all the things that happened to me during, and because of the blog. One might think that would be dull, but it seems drama follows me wherever I go. There are blog entries in the book, and the back stories to each one. I talk about the music industry, the loss of my mother, writing the blog and how often my words were taken out of context not only by family, but strangers, pregnancy. The largest chapter, though, is about the group of women who attacked me and basically tried to have Parker taken away from me because they just didn’t like me or agree with anything I said. And because they are, in my opinion, completely insane. I like to think the book is a guide on how NOT to blog if you don’t want to piss off your family, friends, and internet crazies.
Jenny: The decision to self publish was a pretty easy one, really. Amazon has made it a relatively painful process. Of course, ideally, I would love to have a big-time publisher and not have to do any of the legwork myself as far as promotion goes, but what can I say- i’m a glutton for punishment. Really, i’m just impatient, and the moment I got the book done I wanted it OUT for everyone to read, so waiting around for a publisher to MAYBE take me on didn’t seem like an attractive option. Maybe it will happen once the book is released, maybe it won’t!
Jenny: That’s a hard question to answer. There’s so much I hope people take away!
1. I hope they find that it’s OK to have a place to vent. As parents, we don’t have to think that our kids are perfect angels ALL the time, and there’s nothing wrong with expressing that.
2. I hope they laugh. I love to think that at the end of a long day, full of screaming kids and poopy pants, that they can sit down and read what i’ve written and chuckle while thinking “that’s so true!”
3. Just because someone disagrees with the way you choose to parent, or how you decide to express yourself- does NOT make them right and you wrong. No two people parent the same way, but there are always going to be naysayers, people who love nothing more to judge. Especially with the book, I hope people walk away feeling empowered. YOU are the parent, no one else. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about the choices you make.
Jenny: Of course, my #1 accomplishment is my children. They are my whole entire world, and every day I am proud of the people they are becoming (I like to think at least in part thanks to me).
Other than them- the book. So much has gone into it, and because of the message I hope that it delivers, I feel like it is the most important thing I have ever done. It has not been an easy road – so i’m proud of myself for not letting anything or anyone stop me.
Jenny: The biggest thing I have overcome, I would have to say, is a feeling of self doubt. For the longest time I was told that what I was feeling and the things I wrote were wrong. I questioned myself for a long time over that, but over time I became more confident not only in myself, but as a mother and a writer, and I no longer feel that way, which is an inspiring feeling.
Jenny: NEVER doubt yourself, especially as a parent. There will always be a time, as a parent, where you are put down- just know that in the end, you are stronger than that; you can persevere, and just because someone else disagrees it doesn’t make you wrong. You can overcome it. Believe in yourself.
The book is available on Amazon for purchase from my e-store (I will have the link for that soon) in paperback and for e-readers.
You can find me on Facebook at http://facebook.com/holdinholden and of course, on the blog, at http://holdinholden.blogspot.com
I hope you all found something as relatable in this post and that Jenny’s words can inspire you in some way to make today ‘yournewfavoriteday.’ Thanks for spending another week with us, and so happy to be able to share these very inspiring people with you all! Happy ‘newfavoriteday.’