After reading Jenny Studenroth Gerson's viral essay "They Should've Warned Me," fellow mom and blogger Stephanie Sprenger felt compelled to respond. In addition to writing her own thought-provoking essay, Stephanie launched a movement to unite and empower mothers everywhere.
Jenny's essay is a reflection on her surprisingly smooth transition into motherhood. She writes about all the "warnings" she received while she was pregnant -- that she should prepare for difficult situations, for sleep deprivation, for weight loss challenges, for sorrow -- and how far these warnings fell from the reality of her blissful first months as a mom.
While Stephanie's response essay, "I'm Glad Someone Told Me," praises Jenny for sharing her personal story, she points out that transitioning into motherhood is not so harmonious for countless new moms, and stresses the importance of preparing and supporting moms who may face postpartum depression, breastfeeding difficulty, and a whole host of other potential challenges.
After "I'm Glad Someone Told Me" went viral, Stephanie received a barrage of emails, messages and article comments from moms who thanked her for writing the piece. The blogger teamed up with her friend, editorial partner, and HerStories co-founder Jessica Smock, to launch a social media campaign, asking mothers to share quotes and images about the "real, honest support and advice they received about motherhood or things they wished they had heard" -- using the hashtag #sogladtheytoldme. They've also created a Google form where moms can submit their quotes and advice.
Stephanie told The Huffington Post she hopes other moms and moms-to-be will find comfort in the movement. "I would like the #SoGladTheyToldMe movement to be a positive step in changing the larger conversations we have about motherhood; I am optimistic that it will present a broader, more realistic, and more balanced image of motherhood so that women will feel less inadequate, adversarial, and isolated."