#SoGladTheyToldMe is a social media movement aimed at uniting mothers through support, compassion, and honesty. It is a chance for parents everywhere to share the honest, helpful, real advice they received when they became parents, or, contrarily, the advice they wish they had received. The objective is not to share horrifying “warnings” or unkind “Just you wait…” scare tactics, but rather to exchange reality-based, compassionate truths with the purpose of providing support and solidarity to moms.
The campaign is a way for women to share their motherhood truths, even the hard, darker ones we may not want to hear. So Glad They Told Me has a larger goal of changing the cultural dialogue about motherhood, to dispel myths of idealized, unrealistic images of what it means to be a mother and instead provide a broader, more balanced, and more realistic depiction of motherhood. It is not about negativity, competitiveness, or complaining. It is about openness, honesty, and eliminating the adversarial one-upmanship that often characterizes modern motherhood.
At the end of January, a Huffington Post article title, “They Should’ve Warned Me” by Jenny Studenroth Gerson, went viral. When I read her blog post, a chronicle of how seamlessly she transitioned to motherhood, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. All I could think about was how a woman who struggled with postpartum depression or a rocky transition to motherhood might feel while reading this post: discouraged, defective, angry, humiliated, perhaps even like a failure.
My response piece, “I’m Glad They Warned Me” also went viral, and then was published on Huffington Post later in the week. Since then, after receiving an overwhelming response from mothers thanking me for sharing a more balanced portrayal of new motherhood and offering up their own stories, I launched the #SoGladTheyToldMe social media campaign along with my HerStories Project partner, Jessica Smock. We are in the process of compiling an anthology, Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience, to be published by She Writes Press in fall 2015, so this message is one we are both passionate about.
Our social media movement has generated quite a bit of press attention. Below is a list of links to interviews and articles published about #SoGladTheyToldMe.
The Chicago Tribune: So Glad They Told Me Campaign Supports Struggling New Moms column by Heidi Stevens.
WGN radio: Live appearance on the Patti Vasquez show— Stephanie Sprenger is Changing Conversations About Motherhood
The Huffington Post: 29 Meaningful Pieces of Advice For New Moms From Parents Who Have Been There
9 News Denver: Morning Show with Corey Rose
KSFY Sioux Falls: Moms Everyday
Mommyish: #SoGladTheyToldMe Reminds Us That It’s OK to Admit Being a Mom is Hard
KKTV Channel 11: Moms Everyday
Please contact me using the form in top right corner of the website if you are interested in more information about #SoGladTheyToldMe or would like to request an interview or media appearance.
On August 31st, 2016, we released So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood–– the essay collection based on this social media movement! The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
Here is our growing photo gallery of moms who have joined the movement. Please send me your photo using the Contact Me form above or on Facebook if you’d like to participate.
Parents, here is a form you can fill out to submit your #SoGladTheyToldMe support or advice. We also encourage you to share your own photos and message on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the hashtag #SoGladTheyToldMe.
If you’re new to this website, I hope you’ll sign up below to receive my weekly email newsletter.