Angela Youngblood : Crossing The Line

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I’m thrilled to start my “Show Me Your Writer Roots” series up again with the amazing Angela Youngblood, whom I met in real life at BlissDom in Dallas earlier this year. We shared some delicious skinny margaritas over dinner the first night at the Opryland, and often found ourselves in the same sessions and sitting together at meals. I’m glad I got to meet her in person, and I’ve no doubt you’ll relate to her feelings about writing and blogging.

Angela Youngblood is a mother of four (three boys and a girl).  She writes a blog called Jumping With My Fingers Crossed. On her blog she keeps it real with honesty and humor. Every Tuesday, she proves she is NOT a Pinterest Poser by attempting crafts, projects and recipes. Angela also manages a vlog where she tells stories and gives parenting advice (mostly what not to do). Read her blog, subscribe to her YouTube channel, follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Wanna know more about Angela? Click here to read about her!

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Funny. Not funny. Rude. Offensive. Harmless. These are words I’ve read about some blogging styles lately.  There’s a debate/discussion among some mom bloggers about how people are crossing lines–laughing at their kids not with them, complaining not venting.

A few bloggers seem frustrated with social media in general–some are jaded, others are tired, and the rest are annoyed.

It’s almost the two-year anniversary of my blog. I’ve learned a lot about blogging, writing, parenting and even crafting.  I’ve learned about lines I won’t cross and lines I accidentally cross and then feel guilty about, and lines that I’m totally okay with plowing right through.

I fall somewhere in the middle of the whole “hey, stop making motherhood sound so horrible and making fun of your kids,” debate/discussion. The posts that readers respond to the most are the ones where I’m real. Obviously I’m real in all my posts, but I’m not talking about the ones where I make a craft or tell readers about a new product.  Hopefully those are entertaining and interesting.  But the posts I’m referring to are the ones where I admit how hard motherhood is for me.  Not all of motherhood, but parts of it. The posts where I share my struggle with my mother who has battled mental illness and addiction for the past 30 years.  The posts where I talk about how grateful I am for a supportive husband. The posts where I talk about how much I love my four children with all my heart and soul.

In the last two years, I’ve learned that readers respond to bloggers who open their hearts and write with truth.  The truth can be funny, sad, sweet, hard, happy….but if it is real it works.

What might be bugging bloggers is the lack of sincerity out there, i.e. those writers making fun of or complaining about their kids simply to get more likes or be featured on a large web site. I get equally bugged by the disingenuine writer who makes the world this glossy, nothing but gratitude image of motherhood.

But here’s the thing, we’re all different. Motherhood is a diverse, wonderful, heart-breaking, exhausting, overpowering, overwhelming, joyful, soulful (did I say exhausting?), wonderful, maddening, empowering, enlightening, amazing experience. It’s this place where most of us are doing our best. Some of us need to read snarky posts that make us laugh. Some of us need to read the gratitude-filled posts that make us remember childhood is fleeting and full of so many good moments.

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  • Renee Jacobson

    Hi Angela! I’m soooo glad to see you here! And I loved meeting you at Blissdom with Erin. (She knows the best people.) You’re a fast study because I’m entering my 4th year as a blogger, and I’m still figuring out all of this stuff. And believe me, it changes! My son was 10-years-old when I started my blog, and soon he’ll be 14! As you can imagine, teenagers don’t necessarily want to be featured on a blog the way a littlun might. Or a littlun might not even KNOW that mom is using him or her for blog fodder. TechSupport drew a strong line in the sand when he entered middle school, so my writing has had to evolve. I’m looking outward more.

    Just like my writing, my feelings about motherhood have morphed. So, I agree, we all need things at different times. Nothing bugs me more than moms who try to make everything sound all magazine perfect because nothing THAT perfect lasts. Those are the moments we have to learn to treasure so we can forget about the dirty diapers and the screaming, brooding teenager. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      I loved meeting you too. I totally see what you are talking about with teenagers. My oldest son is 11 and doesn’t love having his picture taken or his story told so much. I’m going to have to evolve like you. Thanks for commenting!!

  • Greta

    You are nothing if not real, Angela! And I agree… it’s good to get different perspectives/moods/ intentions from different blogs on any given day (hour?). There’s a whole sea of them to choose from!

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      There are so many blogs and so many perspectives! And there are those special blogger-writer-people you totally connect with on so many levels, that is you for me my friend!

  • Kristin S (Two Cannoli)

    When I first had my son, I didn’t like ANY kind of post that seemed to take motherhood for granted. I detested the ones that made fun of their kids of called them ugly names, and I didn’t get the snark. After the hormones subsided :-), some of them became funny to me, but there are still some that I prefer not to read because it’s TOO much of that. I like those who are balanced with the snark, the funny, and the heartfelt – because you’re right… that is real.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      Oh those hormones!!! :) I agree with you there are some make fun of kids/funny blogs that I prefer not to read too. Sometimes I have to get off Twitter for the same reason, I think people are just being a little too much. I also agree with you the balance and realness is key. Thanks for commenting!

  • Lisa Allen

    Angela, I only met you briefly at BlissDom but you have such a welcoming, bright, vibrant spirit about you that stuck with me. You are so right–motherhood is a little bit of everything, and what we might need/want to read one day will vary the next. What always resonates is being genuine. So well said.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      Thank you. I’m so glad you get what I’m saying here. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • jwilliams057

    Amen. I’m all about real, honest writing. The people that open up their soul and pour it out. One day that may be about how hard motherhood is, how thankless doing laundry is, or how their children hung the moon. But give it all to me.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      Oh and motherhood is like that isn’t it? All so wonderful and then so tiring and then so heartbreaking and then back to so wonderful all.the.time. It’s a roller coaster. I am so grateful there are blogs and social media where I can connect with other mothers who totally get it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Sarah Heleringer Reinhart

    yes! I’ve said this before Angela, but I’ll say it again. just love having connected with you! I might have a crush on you ;) Every word you said up there is true. It’s the real and the genuine that people seek out and want. I hope I present that as a writer. I know you do. xx.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      I’m blushing! :) I love that we’ve connected too. I’ve been sooo inspired by your self-portraits, they are just beautiful. Thank you for your kind words, they truly mean so much and encourage me to keep on keeping it real.

  • Anita @ www.btdas.blogspot.com

    As the saying goes, “We’re all entitled to our opinions.” I doubt that we’ll (mothers) ever totally agree on anything. Blogging is so new and we’re all feeling our way through it, and like everything else in life, it will be debated, which I think is healthy. Disagreeing or agreeing with someone else helps us to know who we are and therefore we can act accordingly.
    Hi Erin!

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      Love your point about how disagreeing and agreeing w/someone helps us know who we are. So true!!! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    This was such a fresh perspective! I think you’re right Angela – it’s the realness that makes or breaks a comic (?) snarky (?) post.

    • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

      Glad you liked the post. I agree realness can make it or break it. I think readers really respond to people being honest and real, even if they don’t totally agree with them on a topic. Thanks for reading and commenting!