I remember when I hit 10k followers on Instagram and it gave me the option to change my account type to a "public figure" account and I was allowed to choose a title for myself. I was pretty excited, but also completely unprepared for what exactly that would mean as my social media following continued to grow.
I watched Cody both embrace and struggle with his exploding following as he went from celebrating 200k subscribers on YouTube when we first met to 1 million on his main channel a little more than a year later. With that came a larger community for myself - on Twitch, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and it also came with more judgment and more threats for our family.
Now, before you start rolling your eyes at me and saying "poor privileged white girl" in a sarcastic way, I don't claim to understand what others go through by any means, but it doesn't make any of it feel any less real to us and it has definitely taken a toll on our collective mental health.
Y'all, being under the public microscope is not easy. I love what I do and I am so incredibly lucky to be afforded the opportunity to do something I enjoy, just talking to all of you and sharing my experiences with you as a human being. I never, ever thought that I would be in the position that I am today, nor did I ever think I was interesting enough to deserve an audience at all. But at the end of the day, we're all still human and as much I enjoy sharing with you, it also makes me (and my family) that much more vulnerable when I do choose to get personal.
That being said, the stuff going on recently has been hard. Backlash over my OnlyFans account (it's a parody account), over my personal cosmetic choices, even people questioning me as a parent, is difficult.
And on that note, let me be real about something again: I am not John's biological mom. Most of y'all already know that. Do I love him any less for that? Absolutely not. I grew up with my mom and my grandparents until I was 7. My biological father was in and out of the picture quite a bit and finally disappeared for good. My mom and my step-dad got married and he became my dad from then on. He never once introduced me as anything but his daughter and has never spoken of me as anything different. Because of this, it's incredibly important to me to treat John the same way and I am fiercely protective of my little family, but I am by no means perfect.
I met Cody as a single person living with my cat, Oliver, going to school full time, and working every shift I could at a local brewery. I have no siblings so I have no nieces or nephews and very few close cousins because I moved from Ohio to Georgia after my parents got married. I didn't grow up around younger kids or have much parental kind of experience outside of babysitting and nannying, and with that, I got to go home and be by myself at the end of the day. Cody came as a packaged deal, and I knew that from day one.
Despite the obvious challenges of suddenly sharing my small 3 bedroom house with a grown man (I'd never lived with a boyfriend before), a then 9-year-old boy, and a second cat, I welcomed them all with open arms. After all, I'd already started telling everyone who would listen how head over heels in love I was with those boys and it had hardly been a month.
All of this is meant to say that I try very hard for the people I love. I care so much for my little family, but I also still have a lot to learn, especially about being a mother.
However, I don't believe that my venture into OnlyFans territory negates my ability to provide John with the love and respect he deserves. In fact, joining the platform (and AGAIN, my account is SATIRE) has given me the most incredible opportunity to help support not only myself, but also to go out of my way to do special things for John and Cody as well.
Again, we are all human beings (except maybe Elon Musk... I'm pretty sure he's an alien cyborg) and we all just want to be accepted and understood by each other.
I've been writing this post for about a week now, so I'm not entirely sure where I was trying to go with it initially, but I think I've managed to make some kind of point. Life is hard enough as it is, even without being watched by hundreds of thousands (sometimes even millions) of people at once. We all have struggles and we all have things we'd like to hide from but can't. It's so important to recognize one another as human and to treat each other with respect, even when we don't agree with their decisions, don't understand their lifestyles, or are even just jealous of the things they have that we don't.
Just be kind because kindness goes a long way and you never know what others have going on in the background, even when their lives seem perfect on the surface.