Amy “Amalah” Corbett Storch isn’t quite the household name that Heather “Dooce” Armstrong is, nor is she able to light her gold plated cigars with thousand dollar bills like Ms Armstrong does (every parent blogger’s dream, right?). But she’s been blogging a really dang long time, and is all over the place not just on her personal blog but also on Mamapop, The Advice Smack Down, Zero to Forty, and Moxiebird. This person has something to say, and she says it well, with humor and style and empathy.
Amalah has dealt with disordered eating, depression and anxiety (kind of ongoing, actually), infertility, the birth of a kid who as it turns out is non-neuro-typical, the birth of a second kid, and currently a third pregnancy. Three kids! How do people do that? I’ve been reading her blog since just before she had her oldest (brought in, like a lot of people, by The Company Cookbook) and her blog is one of the ones I skip ahead to on my reading list.
Amalah is very helpful if you are dealing with a stressful parenting issue, especially if you’re trying to sort out the situation surrounding a child with special needs– getting tested and diagnosed, dealing with insurance companies, getting an IEP and acceptable care, that sort of thing. Her stories of her difficulty getting her kid what he needs are shocking. Amy and her husband are college educated, she communicates for a living, they are white and relatively affluent (to the point where they could drop tens of thousands of dollars unexpectedly on tuition for him), and their kid still isn’t always getting the help and intervention he needs. What do parents without their resources do? It’s awful, an awful situation and should be a wake up call to politicians who keep slashing funding for kids (and adults) with special needs. That digression aside, Amy is also helpful with non-special needs issues. Like, what if your baby won’t stop crying and you’re about to lose it?
I had serious anger issues when I was younger, like, unmitigated rage issues. Dangerous times. And that lingered, and left me worried about being able to care for a kid. Then, long before I was a parent or even pregnant, Amy wrote about a time when she came very close to losing it when her infant wouldn’t stop crying and she was at the end of her rope and tired and worn out physically and emotionally and afraid she was going to pick up her baby and shake him and just… you know. She was about to go there, that place parents live in dread of going.
She put her kid in the crib, closed the door, walked away, and called her husband.
Granted, she HAD someone to call, a situation not all parents are in. But she wrote with such honesty about such a raw and painful experience, such a dark time, and I read that and thought “Oh yeah, it’s possible to almost go there and still handle yourself and come through on the other side.” And when I did get pregnant, I remembered that, and it’s helped. It was very close to life changing for me, the recognition that other people sometimes lose it; this terrible honesty helped me feel less alone as a person and it feels like I have a bit of armor now as a parent. Kids aren’t easy. They’ll push you to the end of your limits sometimes. But it’s possible to survive that.
Amalah’s been through some tough shit (as most… all?… parents have), and she’s come through, and her kids are awesome. You can taste the pain in her writing sometimes, but you can also taste the joy. And I love that about her, her writing. It’s fantastic. Even when there’s darkness, there’s still, ultimately, hope.
Suzanne left a brief comment on twitter the other day about how the parenting blogosphere isn’t always as supportive as the crafting internetazone is, which I could totally see, for a number of reasons. In the interest of Being The Change I Want To See, I thought I’d dedicate this week to pointing people toward other parenting blogs and resources, and encouraging people to comment and form a greater sense of community. Consider this week a chance to recommend parenting bloggers and sites you find helpful, and an excuse to come out of lurkdom and leave comments (which are like the life blood of bloggers) at sites you don’t normally comment on, or don’t comment OFTEN on. If you do write up a recommendation of another blog or site, hop on over here and leave a link to your blog’s entry down below.
Let’s spread the LOVE people! We’re all in this TOGETHER.