Late to the Party

Welcome to Wednesday!  It’s time to bring another blogger into the Nation as a Sluiter Nation Recruit.  Don’t know what a Recruit is?  Check here.
This week I am bringing you someone I met while I was collecting votes for the Mom Central grant contest.  Cristi from Motherhood Unadorned and I were in the same category, and thus each other’s competition.  She won.  And it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person.  I also consider myself a winner because through it all she and I have gotten to know each other.

Cristi is a has a true heart of compassion.  She has lived through depression just like me, but she has had to witness so much more heartache.  Part of her mission on her blog is to raise awareness and help prevent suicide.

But I will let her tell you.

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Hi Sluiter Nation! I’m so honored to be here today. I love Katie’s blog, her openness is a gift. Really I’m just a newbie blogger finding my way (6 months and counting). I was pretty late to the party, but I’ve been so motivated. To write. To connect. To share. To help. And here’s why …

This year marks 20 years since high school graduation. Ah! I said that out loud!

About 24 years ago, I attended a slumber party. I was 13, a freshmen, meeting new friends at a new house in a new part of town. It was Dina’s house. She and I bonded over Head Bangers Ball on MTV, watching the World Premiere Video of Guns & Roses Welcome to the Jungle. We were both convinced “They’re gonna be huge!” Ha. We were right.

My group of girlfriends began to formulate that night. Four years of high school memories, and if you can believe it, 20 years since. About six years ago, we started our own annual girls reunions, a few days of friend time each summer. So fun! But also a chance to reconnect (we live all over the country now) and share in our journeys of motherhood, health and family.

I was also late to the motherhood party. Dina became a mom in her early 20s, the others in their mid to late 20s. I was a nice ripe 34 when my son Ronin came along. My girlfriends were my examples of marriage and motherhood. My cheerleaders through dating and finding my love. My support through cross country moves, mental health issues, infertility treatments, pregnancy and birth.

We are bonded for life. But one life was lost way too soon.

In December we lost Dina to suicide.

I think of her as my muse. I started blogging because of her. I just knew I needed to do something to honor her, to work through my own lingering mental health issues and parenting challenges, and to help others through theirs. To fight for suicide prevention for all I’m worth. And to actually try to have a little fun doing it.

I’ve become a part of something very special. A community of bloggers, of mothers, of readers who just don’t want to feel so alone anymore. An online group of girlfriends … supporters, cheerleaders.

Motherhood is hard. For all of us. In many different ways. But it’s ok. If we can share who we really are, what we’re really going through, without fear of judgement or prejudice, we can overcome anything.

I truly believe that whatever your struggle, it’s valid and important because it is yours. Some may have it worse, some better, but that never diminishes what you are going through. And I’m certain someone else is going through it too.

Trust me. You are not alone.

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Cristi is a true gift to the blogging world.  I really see great things coming from her true heart.

I encourage you to follow Cristi on twitter and facebook.  And then check out these lovely posts:

A post done for The Red Dress Club’s RemembeRED prompt:  First Time

A post about what and when to talk to our children about our scary times:  When Should We Share our “Scars” With Our Children?

A very honest confession that I can totally relate to:  Being a Mom does not 100% Fulfill Me.

Another post close to my heart (which was also syndicated on BlogHer): I’m Not a Bad Mom Because I Take Medication

And another post for The Red Dress Club (one of MY prompts that I gave about sand memories):  Visualize Happy

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 Check out the latest highlight over on my sponsor page…just for baby girls…so cute!

Also check out my latest book review: The Red Tent.

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