so. wow. girlmom huh. what a site and what an experience this has been for me. i'm just writing this thread to let you all know that i won't be a mod here anymore. for various reasons, but mostly because its just that time.
i can still remember when they asked me to be a mod, back on the old boards before i had even gotten to meet any of the other mods or members in real life. i felt so surprised that my voice had been heard here, when in my "normal world" i was just another statistic, just another girl with a kid, just another single mama with a black eye. i felt incredibly lucky that i could give back to a community that taught me to be proud of myself, that told me it was ok to be me and that i didn't have to try to conform to the other types of moms out there just to be a "good mom," and that doing the best i could do as a mama was all that a good mom was defined as anyways.
over the years, you all and the ones who used to be here but aren't now have really touched my life. you wouldn't think that an internet website should be such a big deal, but when you are moderating it or doing admin work, you tend to spend a lot of time reading up on things, getting to know the members, helping to develop and implement the various guidelines. and in those times where i was sitting here reading your words, i was learning so much about life and the world and about who i am as well. thank you.
you have made me laugh with joy over your accomplishments, your stories about your kids, your birth stories, or your awesome pics that you'd share. you reminded me that being a mom can involve being goofy and fun and didn't need to be all stress and worry.
you made me cry when i'd read your honest words about all you have been through, the hardships you've seen, the abuse or the rape or the abortion or the bad boyfriend or the unsupportive mother or the school system that didn't get it or whatever other obstacle was trying to knock you to your knees, again. they weren't tears of pity though, more like tears over how strong you all really are, even when you post that you are at your wits end and can't take it anymore. i guess the beauty in those words is that we've all been there, and thank you for sharing those moments with me and with others, to remind us that we're never really alone. i still haven't figured out how to make it all better, but through the time i've spent here i've figured out a career path that i can go down to continue this type of work in my real life, as my profession.
i'd be lying if i said that you never pissed me off, cuz ya know, sometimes you did. but in those threads where we argued and members left and it sometimes seemed totally hopeless, we learned tolerance and empathy and forgiveness. i didn't even know what words like unlearning or privilege meant before i came to girlmom, but the feminist stance that girlmom takes has taught me to empower or educate even those who i'd rather tell off, to use patience and understanding even when people don't seem like they deserve it, and to see every person as worthy of the energy it takes to educate or discuss things with them. those are incredible skills to have, and thank you for helping me learn them.
for all those reasons, and more, i don't plan on leaving girlmom any time soon. but i am getting older, i turned 25 last year. while i still haven't figured out my finances, my schooling, my relationships, or my bd drama, i don't know that my voice should be so loud at girlmom anymore. i never thought of myself as having more status or whatever else than any other member, but the mods do reflect the sites values, and i think that at 25 i am getting a bit too old to be in that position any more.
so ya, sorry this is so long, but its pretty hard to write and its making me all emotional and sad to be stepping down. you have given me such a gift through letting me be a mod in this community. i don't know how to show you how grateful i am for all the things you have taught me, for all the interpersonal skills that made me who i am today (a much stronger and passionate and driven person than i was when i first signed up years ago), and for all the moments of your life that i got to share with you.