Sunday, 22 May 2016

The need to stop writing and the need to start again.


I haven't written for a while, four months to be precise. I wrote a few rough drafts and deleted them. I went from writing every week to nothing at all - nothing about motherhood at least. I've had a lot going on, I started a business, I've been working a lot of hours, as well as getting used to life with two kids - which, let's be honest, is absolutely bloody mental. I've been doing school runs and nursery pick ups, learning dance moves with my five year old and chasing my toddler round the house, trying to stop him from drawing on my walls and sucking the kitchen bin. I've been trying to maintain a level of tidiness, so that if anyone calls on me unexpected (cheers), I won't risk being reported to the social services. I'm failing at that (the tidiness part, not the social services, thankfully, though that could well change after this post). I love spending time with my kids, yet I long to be at my work desk, God forbid that I wish the time with my children away. I both adore being a mother and resent it. I am so incredibly glad I made the decision to have children, yet regret it all at the same time. They make me laugh and cry in equal amounts. I have more depth of character because of them, and for that I am thankful.

It may come as no surprise, then, that having the time to focus on writing my blog has been challenging. Besides which, let's face it, my honesty has sometimes been met with disapproval: straight-laced readers who didn't appreciate my honest, sweary posts, lactation activists who didn't like my pro-choice views on feeding and those that thought I was having a complete break-down because I once wrote about how I didn't have any capacity for buying socks. And then there was the apprehension that clients would discover this blog and think of me as unprofessional - you know, because you can't possibly be serious about a career if you have children. Unless you're a man, of course. (And that's not a bitter feminist comment, that's just how it is).

And part of me doesn't want to write about parenting anymore because that's not the only part of who I am. I am bored of blogs about motherhood. I started this one to encourage you other mothers that there's more to you, that you don't have to try to be perfect, that you don't have to fit in with the stereotypes of what a mother is and that it's important to be true to yourselves. But I felt that at the end of the day all I'd done was I create yet another mother blog, harping on about her parenting woes. Who cares. 

So I stopped. I started writing about other stuff and I started creating. I started becoming more of who I am. Finding myself again. Doing what I love. But a few people have responded to this with disbelief - they don't understand how a woman with two kids has other passions and goes out to the pub sometimes. They don't understand how I have a partner who is supportive of the other things in my life outside of parenting, in the same way I am to him. They either think that working for myself is a cover up so I can do a 'little hobby' around being a stay at home mum, or they just think I'm a complete workaholic who has no time for her kids - one of those women who people talk about and say 'I don't know why she bothered having children.' 

But over the years of writing about motherhood, women have contacted me confidentially to say how much they have benefitted from my honesty. In fact, many have said it has helped them get through depression and post traumatic stress. For some it's helped them to have confidence in their decision to stick at one child, and for others it's given them courage to have another child despite previous hurts. It's helped women overcome stuff and in turn find themselves again. It's helped them to be better friends, partners, workers and mothers. And that's been the driving force to get out my laptop and start writing this (Whilst a toddler is chewing at my trouser leg). I'm not done yet, I have a few more things to say. 

But this comes with a warning. I'm still not perfect. I swear sometimes. I get tired. I'm too dependant on a glass of wine at 6 o'clock. I shout at my beautiful kids and feel like a bad parent. I love passionately and I fail awkwardly. And I'm honest, like, really honest. So if I offend you please don't have a go at me. Please go find a blog about the best arts and crafts projects to do with your children or how to knit a hat for a newborn with cutesy rabbit ears. I am not that mother, and this is not that blog.

So, I'm going to write a few more posts. They may not be every week, they may contain swear words and spelling mistakes, I may post them at completely the wrong times to get the best web traffic and I may resort to using shitty clip art, but apparently my honesty helps people; helps them to feel a little freer - a little lighter - and I think that's worth a few more posts at least.

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