2014 was a pretty crazy year for this little ol' blog. I wrote here more than I ever have before, was featured on Mamapedia and BabyCenter a few times and I even became a regular contributor to Twin Cities Moms Blog and Rookie Moms. It's been a super fun ride and I can't believe how much has happened in just one year!
This year taught me a lot about what kind of content you all like to see, and how to navigate the waters of writing on more sensitive, delicate content and topics. As you'll see below, many of the most popular posts were also the most controversial. Frankly, it can be hard sometimes to have thick enough skin to protect my heart from being pierced by the disagreement and dissension, but I also feel strongly that I want to write about topics that I feel passionate about - and these topics happen to often be quite counter-cultural. So much of me sometimes wants to skip anything that might be just a bit of a hot button issue and stay on the surface, but this blog has always been a necessary outlet for me to be able to process my thoughts on deeper topics and if I skipped those posts, I know wouldn't be true to myself. So while I so want all of you to come here and feel encouraged and inspired in your walk in motherhood, I also feel strongly that it's important that we as mothers are challenged in the status quo of what the world tells us we should believe and how we should act in our role.
But at the same time, I know I don't have all the answers and I'm learning about this gig right along with everyone else. As I look back over the year, I've also found that I've learned so much from all of you - and I'm so grateful with your openness to share your own stories, opinions and perspectives. Sometimes I've found that my perspective, understanding or opinion is changed (I noted one of those major changes below.) and other times I've found that I've only become more steadfast in my convictions and beliefs. And I hope that's the same for you! Isn't that an awesome thing about the internet and blogs?
I absolutely love all of you - my readers - and have been so thankful for your support over this past year (or more!). I feel like I have the best group of readers around and would remiss if I didn't tip the proverbial hat to each of you, and thank you for all your encouragement and love over the past few years - whether it's leaving a comment, shooting me an email, a quick "Like" on Facebook, sharing a post with your fellow mom-friends or even just being faithful to pop in and silently read, I'm so, so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you, so thank you!
A quick housekeeping note before we dive into the top post of the year - sounds like Facebook is going to be making a bunch of changes beginning in January (which is this Thursday, can you believe it?!) where it will be much more difficult for you all to see my posts. I know many of you use that page to find out when a new post is up, so I'm super bummed they're making the change! If you want to be sure to keep up, a good way to do so is to subscribe via email, which you can do right here, or you always can do it with the form up at the top left of this page. Otherwise, I'm over here on BlogLovin', and I'll still be pushing new posts out to Twitter as well.
Okay, let's move on!
Being a mom seems to give a person a never-ending supply of content, and I'm excited to see what being a mom to two little ones in 2015 brings! For now, here's a quick look back at the top 10 post of 2014 (in no particular order) - most of them all mom-related, no surprise there, right?
I've never personally experienced the pain of a miscarriage or a season of infertility and for that I'm extremely grateful. But I have known far too many women affected by it and my heart breaks for them. This one seemed to strike a (mostly positive) chord among many women on both sides, and was even one of the ones picked up by BabyCenter.
Seven Things Moms With Babies and Toddlers in Glasses Want You To Know
I was surprised at how well this post did, considering that many of you don't have children in glasses - but am glad to see it was well received as it's a topic that is (obviously) very near and dear to my heart!
I Don't Know About You But I'm Done With The Motherhood Martyr Act
This was written in response to much of what I've seen and heard as a mother in the online age - particularly on blogs. It was definitely a counter-message to much of what is out there. It's not to say all moms have the "woe-is-me" mentality, but I speak from experience when I say it can be easy to fall into an entitlement trap as a mother and cross the line from talking and venting with other mothers to simply have your feelings confirmed and feel supported, to finding yourself in a constant state of complaining and grumbling about our roles.
An Open Letter To Breastfeeding Moms Who've Failed
This post went pretty bonks on the internet and drew feedback from all sides of the mommy wars, so much so that I wrote a follow up post, explaining where I was coming from and why I wrote it. I still stand behind every. single. word, and as I'm headed down the breastfeeding road again in the very near future, I've found myself reminding myself of this message over and over again.
The Case For the Stay At Home Mom: Why I Gave Up A Promising Career To Raise My Children
Behind the moccasin post, this was definitely the most popular post this year.
Moms So Lonesome She Could Cry
Apparently I'm not the only lonely mom! Okay, I knew that. And for the record, that bear still taunts me!
Let's Do This Thing Well Mommas
Thoughts on finding (the very difficult) balance of productivity, rest and laziness as SAHM. In a similar vein as the "motherhood martyr act" post - apparently this was a big lesson for me to learn in 2014!
Preparing For Baby Series
Let's be honest - anything about preparing for a baby is destined to be a Pinterest hit. Two of them more than the others - here they are:
What To Register For and Buy
Best Maternity and Baby Deal Sites
Why I've Never Given Money to Homeless People
I was a bit surprised at how well this did, but I guessing it's because I'm not alone in my tendency to distrust the homeless or assume they're lazy. This past year I learned a valuable lesson in why and to whom I should give to - that it doesn't really matter how much I know about the person or how they'll spend the money - all that matters is that I give with an open hand.
Okay, this was by far the most popular post of the year! If you'll remember, I made them because I was in love with the Freshly Picked moccasins, but just couldn't stomach the $$ to pay for them. A few months later, I was even about to work with Freshly Picked to run a giveaway here on OA, but they required that I remove this post before I was allowed to run it. As much as I love you guys, it felt wrong to remove something I worked hard on just so I could work with a certain company, plus I felt like a good DIY moccasin post needed to stick around the interwebs - because apparently there are quite a few people like me that want the look but not the empty wallet!
Thanks again for joining me this year - I'm excited to see what 2015 brings!