Tad too dramatic? Probably.
Maybe a better way of wording this warning is "Caution: sensitive subject matter ahead... to those of us involved in putting out preemie content on the internet, otherwise known as Preemie-net."... which I'm guessing may be about 30 of my actual readers? To all of our other faithful followers, I promise to post something extra cute, about JackP and his adorable antics, tomorrow.
For those brave enough to stick around for the thoughts swirling in my head, sensitive subject matter and all, here goes.
Although it may seem that I blog with abandon about whatever I want, I actually follow a pretty tight writing schedule and my focus is mainly on Jack. All about him - what he is up to, how he is doing, and how his prematurity has changed our lives. I rarely go into much else. Side note: oftentimes blogging about one's child can give off the impression that said child is the only thing going on in our world. While this may be true to some extent, we have a whole life outside of what I put up on our little slice of the Preemie-net. I don't tell you everything about Jack. I have purposefully kept many things vague and have chosen not to write about a plethora of topics. We keep lots of stuff private and as the blog has grown, I have become even more aware of the importance of privacy. All this to say, I am very purposeful about what I write about, what I put out there.
The overarching goal of this blog is really as the title describes - Life with Jack - with the caveat that it's about our unique story with micro prematurity. I have never purported to be a support group, a prematurity encyclopedia, or an information disseminator. Life with Jack is what it is, a journal of sorts. Nothing more. I do, however, have a place reserved for an amazing group of preemie organizations and websites that you can see to the right of this webpage. A place to get more resources, more information, more support.
I have, occasionally, opened up Life with Jack to guest bloggers and given them the go ahead to write about whatever they'd like relating to prematurity. Sometimes it is a cool organization they are volunteering for and want to bring attention to, maybe it's a few therapy pointers, or sometimes, just a post about their own journey, their own experience. I carefully select these guest bloggers. I seek them out. I contact them and ask them to write and then I look it over and OK it before it ever gets published. I don't accept submissions, although anyone who has guest blogged here before has an open invite. Again, this is a blog about my son and not a clearinghouse for all things preemie. Likewise, I don't do much guest blogging because running my own little site is enough for my plate. I turn down most guest post inquiries, but am always flattered when asked.
Lately, I have started to get suggestions about blogging on specific topics, organizations, and events. Sometimes a great post can come from these suggestions. But more often than not, while flattered, I already have my subject matter, my purpose, my space figured out. Please don't be offended if I chose not to participate in the way you'd like me to, with whatever campaign you are working on. I oftentimes have my blogging schedule and topics mapped out weeks in advance. I love to collaborate, and when the topic is right, I sometimes do. But many times, it doesn't fit into my narrow, all things Jack, niche.
All this to say, I've noticed some things about our small slice of the internet, the Preemie-net. We all end up jumping on a bandwagon because we are so eager to help one another out, all excited to share the joy of our amazing miracle kids. And while it's fine and dandy to rally and to "raise awareness" (sometimes I feel like each month is a new awareness raising campaign!), it's also perfectly fine to do what makes you passionate, what makes you tick. I guess you'd call it small-scale awareness raising, It's OK not to participate in everything. It's OK to have a select few preemie organizations to put your focus on, the ones that are your favorite, even if they are small (p.s. sometimes small is better!). It's OK not to join a team, set up a fundraising page, or participate in a blogger campaign. You can say no. You can follow your gut and put your money or time into whatever you want. Do what inspires you, even if it's not the cool thing of the moment. Rallying around a couple things, in my opinion, is much more effective than rallying around every, single thing.
And right now, for me? I'm just rallying around Jack. I want to tell his story and in the process, bring some hope into the lives of others facing similar situations. That's pretty much it. And I'm OK with that.