NAVIGATING GRIEF AND FOSTERING COMMUNITY WITH JACQUI SALDANA
I am so excited to introduce you to the incredible, Jacqui Saldana. She is the face behind the blog and brand Baby Boy Bakery which she started about 7 years ago—with the sole purpose to meet fellow moms. Jacqui saw a void and she acted on it- she didn’t have a network of moms who “understood” her so she made a blog to negate that. She shared her mishaps, her recipes, her adventures— daily. And what followed, an incredible network of mommies and non-mommies alike! Jacqui formed a network of “friends not followers” who uplifted and supported one another.
But one day, tragedy struck, and her sweet baby boy, Ryan, passed away… But she didn’t shut down- she kept sharing, every. day. Her grief, her anger, her wins, her moments of desperation. She shared and shared and shared. And her community listened, and supported, and joined around her. And I think we all have so much to learn from her.
She truly has formed the most genuine tribe of community that has rallied around her — during good times and bad. Sharing your personal life is a part of the internet that can often get overlooked and I think it is SO important— I strive to be someone who shares both the “broken” and “complete” aspects of my life and talking with someone like Jacqui Saldana, who also feels this way was SO refreshing.
HOW TO HANDLE CRITICISM:
This tidbit is actually quite simple: you just have to trust that you are doing the very best you can. Remind yourself that people say things online that they would never, ever say in real life (unfortunately). If you get negative feedback- read it, decide if it is worth keeping on your feed (Jacqui said she will instantly delete and block any comment negatively involving her kids), and move forward with your chin up. Don’t forget the hundreds of positive comments you have gotten for one negative comment!
HOW TO BALANCE FAMILY AND WORK:
It can be really hard to find the teeter-toter balance of family, self-care, and productivity. Especially as an entrepreneur, it can be easy to work around the clock if you’re not careful! Our biggest advice is to find your routine and OWN IT. Prioritize your family, your spouse, YOURSELF. Make time for what makes you happy and productive— meditation, working out, girl time, etc.
SHARING THE HARD STUFF:
This can be a tricky balance— but it is such a valuable thing… In a social media world where people tend to only share the “good stuff”, the world needs more honesty and raw moments. Don’t be afraid to share the hard stuff- be honest, use it as an outlet (as much as you are comfortable with!), and don’t forget to bind with the people close to you in real life (like your spouse or parents). When people feel the need to impose their feelings and their thoughts on your grieving— you have to just roll with the criticism and just trust that you are feeling the right feelings at the right time. Because there is no “one way” to grief— allow yourself the freedom to feel it all.
We have so much to learn from this brave, inspiring soul… Jacqui reminds us of the humanness behind social media and why it is so important to share your story- every chapter. She has become a dear, dear friend to me, and I feel that you will consider her the same after only hearing this one brief episode.