Thursday, 26 March 2015

About Mummy's blog...(a letter to my boys)

To my lovely boys,

If you have found this, you must be making your way through the rest of the blog.

Arghhhhhhhh.

First things first, I hope you are reading this as teenagers, because you will notice I *occasionally* use words I discourage you both from using at home. I have always felt that writing down the words in my head, exactly as I think them, adds a certain authenticity to my writing.

It's just unfortunate that sometimes the first word in my head is cockwomble. Or twat. These are still not appropriate words to call each other at home. You are never too old for that Time Out chair.

I am not really sure how I feel about you reading all of this, though I have always known that posting anything online would put it permanently 'out there.'

The internet is crazy and scary and wonderful all at the same time. When I was your age I wrote diaries. With a pen and paper. I know that makes me sound ancient. I guess I am ancient compared to you two. I grew up in the 1990s with the Spice Girls, and tamagotchis, and hair mascara, and taping the Top 40 off the radio (remind me to show you what tapes are). I’m not going to tell you what was in those diaries (post-millennium they mainly detailed nightclub flirting with your father) but you can stop cringing, as I burned them so you will never have to suffer that embarrassment. Anyway, I digress. The point is that the blog became my modern-day diary. And rather than writing it in scented gel pens on carefully selected notepads from WHSmiths (which I hid under my pillow) I started writing them online.
 
For all to see. For all to share. For all to judge.
 
In March 2015, the month I am writing (you two are three, and six months, and a bloody handful), the blog page went mad. It took off. I started receiving hundreds of comments for every post and new messages every single day. I got recognised by strangers (yes really) and offers of writing jobs started coming in. It was all massively exciting but at the same time I got myself into a bit of a panic. Because, my little puddings, you two were at the heart of it all.  
 
So I want to set a few things straight. Right here, right now. Not because I have to. But because I’d like you to understand why I wrote so candidly. 

On the darkest of sleep-deprived days when one of you was screaming and I was irritable and the house was a bloody war-zone I wanted to read about somebody who felt the same. Somebody who would reassure me I wasn’t going completely mad. Somebody not afraid to admit that it can at times all just be a little bit shit.

That was the blog I needed. So I searched for it, but found nothing that was quite right. I’ll write one, I decided. And the blog was born.

I made a vow to myself very early on that I would document parenthood as I found it. Not how I wanted to find it. Or how I wanted other people to think that I found it.

But how it was.

I frantically typed post after post about pregnancy, birth, about life at home with you, trips out with you, and all that was between.

Type, upload, share. Type, upload, share. It was therapeutic.

It wasn’t ever really for anyone. But people started to read it. Just a handful of people at first, and then a handful became hundreds and hundreds became thousands…until I realised it was very much out there.

“I’m being too honest” I told your dad. “I don’t think I can do it anymore.”

And then I started taking stock of all the messages. All the comments. The tweets. The emails.

And I realised HOLY SHIT the blog was doing something.

Thank you, they said. For making me feel normal. For picking me up on a particularly bad week. For giving me the courage to admit ‘this week’s been crap and no I’m not enjoying every second.’ I received some pretty intense messages from other mums (and a few dads). About their lives, their battles with Post Natal Depression, their continuous feelings of failure and their resignation that they were very much alone.

'It’s just me’ they thought.
 
It wasn’t just them.

It was at this point that it became clear to me that ‘putting it out there’ (the blog I mean, stop wincing) was actually less risky than not doing so. I’m not saying I’m Florence bloody Nightingale for parents but hey some parents have found comfort in my honest words. And I have found comfort in their comfort.

So yes, I did call you tossers when you were toddlers. And possibly a cockwomble once or twice (sorry).

And yes I did sometimes cry and reflect longingly on days spent working full-time. I cut my maternity leave short both times (hey, at least I was fair) because the truth is I found full-time motherhood too hard.

And yes I did wonder why it wasn’t all rainbows and cupcakes. Why I was bored with park trips and baby groups. Why I couldn't cherish every second. Why other people’s kids never made me broody (always snotty, why so snotty?)

But the blog was never the full story. It was my very honest account of the moments I felt compelled to write about. The moments I came to appreciate others would want me to share. 

There were so many other moments we shared. As a family. Undocumented moments I chose not to write about. The fantastic fun we had, the cuddles we shared as I read you stories, the fact the two of you and your dad made me laugh every single day...

Because the truth was, there were a thousand and one other parenting blogs describing the blessings of motherhood. There were blogs where everybody wore a Christmas jumper and nobody shat through their sleepsuit and everybody smiled all the fucking time. I know this because I read them. And there should be space for all types of blog to co-exist (who doesn't love a Christmas jumper?) but in my darkest hours of motherhood the ones I stumbled across didn’t add much value to my life. I needed something else. I wanted to reach out to the mums and dads doing the 3am night feed by documenting my despair at doing the 3am night feed.

And the good bits…well, you know those bits for yourselves. Those are our memories. I don't always post them on Facebook and Instagram (#myboysmyworld) but you are my world. You really are.

I don't always feel like I am cut out for motherhood but I've always known nobody could love you more. I hope you have grown up knowing that too.

Please put your dirty clothes in the washing basket and do your homework.

Love you always,

Mum
xx





69 comments:

  1. This made me cry! (In a good way of course!)
    :)

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    1. Me too - hormonal idiot that I am!

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  2. I have no idea why this made me so frigging emotional, but it did! I'm not even an emotional person! ahhhh.
    Keep doing what your doing, as I think your great, you defiantly cheer me up on a sleep deprived, life is shit kind of day! As for the top 40 on tape, huhh I'm with you, it was defiantly a 90's thing. The boys will be grow up thankful for an honest and open mum, who tells it how it is and makes other mums feel better. Thank you unmumsy mum x

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  3. Beautiful:-) the boys will be proud! And once they're parents- very understanding of your blogs :-)

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  4. This has got to be my favourite thing to read. You are wonderful!

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  5. I've only just found your blog... my god I wish there had been something like this when I was on maternity leave. It would have made what was, at times, an incredibly lonely and isolating experience that bit more bearable knowing that I wasn't the 'only one'. You write wonderfully, it's refreshing, pls don't stop! Ps. Being in the midst of toddlerdom, I nearly spat out my tepid tea with laughter reading the why toddlers are tossers post

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  6. Thank you that made me laugh and cry at the same time. My eldest boy is now a teenager and I so wish I'd had your blog to read when my boys were babies. I love love love your honesty of how life as a parent can be .....I read this and look back fondly at the memories of sleep deprivation, puke stained everything and smile through gritted teeth as I bring down another load of plates and cups from said teenagers bedroom floor xxx

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  7. Your boys are incredibly lucky to have such a fun, down to earth, honest mum! Don't ever stop writing!! X

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  8. My boys are 4.5 years old and almost 2 years old. You have the amazing ability to put into words what the rest of us feel. Being a mum is the hardest, most frustrating and stressful thing I have ever done. But it is also the best thing I have ever done. I love my boys dearly but some days....aargh!
    I love the honesty of your blog and the feeling it brings that not everything is picture postcard perfect and that it's OK to have a completely rubbish day.
    Thankyou.

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    1. I have to let you know that, in my own sleep deprived state, I read your comment as having a 45yr old and 2 yr old. I've just spent the past 10mins trying to work out what age you are lol.

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    2. In my own sleep deprived state, I read this as you having a 45yr old and a 2yr old. Cue 10mins of confusion, trying to work out what age you had your eldest and what age you were now. And a lot of sympathy as you'd clearly be struggling as 62yr old managing toddler tantrums!

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  9. Argh. Crying on a packed train. Beautifully put. X

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  10. I don't even have children and I think your blog is brilliant. I wince every time I look at Facebook at all my female friends who coo endlessly about their perfect fecking babies and that now they are "complete". You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

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  11. You should be very proud of yourself. You are an inspiration xxxxx

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  12. Your blog is lovely and I wish you well but you shouldn't judge those of us who choose to share and blog about the shinier side of parenting, and who post those family jumper pics. I do it because, although parenting is 99% exhausting, every now and again the stars align and I manage to bake cakes with my children without any of us screaming at each other, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate these moments. Any judgment by another parent is hurtful, whether disguised with humour as you are doing or not. Please let's all try to support and champion one another, stop judging and recognise that we're all doing our best for our children.

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    1. I don't think foe a minute she is judging. Don't be so defensive. She is simply sharing the part of her life that may be beneficial to others feeling the same.

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    2. Thank you both for your comments. No judging from me - I think there is room for all sorts of parenting blogs. Variety is the spice of life as they say. I started blogging about the not-so-shiny moments because I felt that was lacking in the blogs I had read. That's not say I think they are any less worthwhile. Very best wishes x

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  13. Aww I'm all teary eyed! What a great post, I am sure your boys will be very proud of you and you will bring them up to be like you so they will totally get it! Keep writing you make me feel like it's ok not to be gods gift to earth mothers.... You rock!

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  14. Beautiful and emotional thank you

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  15. I only found your blog yesterday, yesterday you made me laugh and today you made me cry! Thank you so so much, I look forward to the future x

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  16. You are brilliant!! After a very hard week and many tears you have captured exactly how I feel and put it into perspective! I too have a 3.5 year old and 14month old boys and it is HARD workkeeping up and working part time,feel useless at everything and fed up of people saying 'enjoy it!'. They are my world and I love them more than anything but it doesn't mean it's all wonderful!! Thank you!!! Xx

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  17. Fabulous post! I've not read much of your blog before but actually this is what I try to do with mine. I document the honest 'journey' (ha ha!) of parenthood with all it's lows and highs. I've done both, mainly because of the reason you apologise for - I want them to know that there were good times too! I've gone through periods of guilt and questioning whether I should write this stuff down (mine are now teenagers) but I've asked them and they don't mind. I find it releasing. I hope they feel the same way when they're adults! Great post and keep 'em coming.

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  18. Made me cry but with a huge smile x summed it up beautifully

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  19. Kelly (mum to a stroppy but super 17 month old)26 March 2015 at 22:34

    You have an awesome mum boys. When you become daddies, you'll understand these moments and why the rest of us love the honesty and laughter your mum's words bring and how great it is knowing we're not alone in the difficult times. (: x

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  20. Wow! Thank you for making my day. I'm pregnant with my 2nd And going through a pretty rough time. Also wondering how I'll manage 2 under 2. You have made me laugh, cry and be truly thankful for each day. You are so amazingly honest and I find this a refreshing blessing. Thank you. Keep doing what you're doing.

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    1. I had my 2nd when my 1st was 20mths. Both were planned but I spent most of my 2nd pregnancy worrying about coping with 2 little ones when i already felt crap at coping with one and feeling guilty I couldnt run around with my eldest as much as I should. Theres no point lying,its ridiculously hard but im lucky to have 2 excellent sleepers so aftet first few months i felt a bit more human again. Everyday is exhausting, I yell at lot at a houseful of people who dont listen and sometimes cant string a sentence cos im knackered but time has flown. My son is 3.5 and daughter is 2 on sunday.they are as close as siblings could be and make me laugh constantly. Im probably an unmumsy mum too,hate ball parks,play centres etc but I woukdnt change a thing. Good luck x

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  21. I lost a very close friend last year who spoke just as you write. I miss her so very much and now i'm pregnant with my first baby I miss her wit and perspective so much more.
    Your blog makes me smile in all the ways Lindsay would have and its the nearest thing I have to 'replacing' the feelings she gave me.
    I'm sure in your wildest imagination, you never expected to have that effect, but i'm so very glad that you did. x

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  22. Oh Christ, you just made me cry. This is beautiful and for what it's worth, it never comes across that you are anything but a normal, loving, honest mum. Tosser is a term of endearment in our house ;)

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  23. I just found your blog recently and loved it! With a 3 yr old and a 10 week old and being quite unmumsy myself really identify with so much! I used to think I was the only mum who found it so tough on days and was always demoralised by all the ' perfect' mums out there! I have forwarded it to all my mummy friends and they all have been enjoying the chuckles! Do keep writing as you have and please do not become conscious because of all the attention and become politically correct! Your honesty is brilliant xx

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  24. Brilliant, you could be describing my life! Dont stop writing, you are a breath of fresh air x

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  25. I don't even have kids and I love reading your blog. Think that says it all ...!

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  26. Hi, my friend introduced me to your blog this morning and I bloody love you! This is exactly what I was looking for when I had my second son 20 months ago and what prompted me to start my own blog. But I absolutely love your style of writing! It's mostly what goes through my mind with the kids too (my two have a similar gap to yours and are now 4 yo and 20 months old). I would love to get in touch with you, my email is greenlovinggirl@gmail.com.
    :)

    http://www.greenlovinggirl.com/

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  27. You should send this blog to a publisher as a book

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  28. Thank you so much for your writings - it is so refreshing to know my wife and I are not the only people who go through these things. It has given us strength to continue with raising our daughter the way we want in the face of being told we are bad parents (a particularly heart breaking day).

    Your sons should be very proud of the reassurance you have brought to everyone's lives. Every time things are hard, I turn to your blog and it gives me a little more energy to pick myself up and continue :)
    Thank you

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  29. My daughter is 11 weeks and this made me cry!! I wrote her a letter when she was born! Gonna write her one e dry year and give them to her on her 18th Biirthday!!

    So glad I found your page xx

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  30. This made me tear up! So beautiful! (and hair mascara, yay!!!!)

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  31. I have a 15 and 17yr old and wish you were around when they were little your blog is fab and I am hooked it is helping bring back memories I had blocked out or forgotten due to being so tired!!! x I so loved the spice girls and hair mascara blue was my favorite!

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  32. Thank you just thank you! You have helped lessen my guilt about so many things! You are Defo rocking motherhood! Xx

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  33. I love it. .. where were you many moons ago?! I can relate to all of your posts and blogs..... keep it up and thanks for the laughs xx

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  34. Your boys are lucky to have you as their mummy and the memories so beautifully (and hysterically) documented x

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  35. Beautifully penned x

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  36. Great, as always!! I can relate in so many levels, I am so glad I found your blog! Please keep on 'putting yourself out there' x

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  37. i am now a 65 year old Nanny to five wonderful grandchildren, two of whom belong to my daughter to suffered with bad Postnatal depression. I tried to tell her just how mind blowingly difficult and boring it is being a mum to young children. How I had struggled myself all the time but all those years ago, you never talked about it and there was no jobs to go back to after maternity leave so you were stuck at home with no mobile phone, Internet or tv apart for the blessed programmes at lunch time. This didn't mean that I loved my two children any the less, just that motherhood is the hardest job you will ever do for very little reward except to know that these little people will one day grow up into wonderful adults because you stuck it out. I just wish I had known you back then because it would have been such a great comfort to find out I wasn't alone. Please keep writing because you are really helping people like my daughter. Xx

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  38. On a morning after 4 hours.(interrupted) sleep, an ill defiant mummy centric almost 3 year old& a 3 month old that won't sleep anywhere but on.me, I read this, cried, downed.coffee & thought thank fuck it's not just me. This parenting lark is sometimes totally shit, thanks for sharing so honestly & making me feelike a bit more human! And a bit less guilty. X

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  39. Reading this letter is like listening to your favourite love song, everything you wish you could say but couldn't find the right words to say it. Thanks for your amazing blog.

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  40. Thank you so much for writing this blog. Your boys will be very proud when they are old enough to understand. And if they grow up to be parents themselves I bet it will be so funny to see them read if from a different perspective 😂
    My boys at 3 years and 9 months old and your blog is the best, funniest and most accurate account of parenting I have read anywhere. It has been more helpful than any baby book because it lets mums know that it's ok to be normal. In a sea of perfect mum blogs where everyone is made up/dressed in non-loungewear/houses are tidy/kids behave/doing crafts (what?!?) your blog was the only one that took the pressure off me and made me feel better. It's so refreshing and helpful to hear someone talk about the crappy bits and it lets you know it's ok to have these times when everyone else is trying so hard to portray the perfect and easy family life on social media. It was a huge help to me in the dark days and nights of no sleep and tantruming toddlers - thank you so much! Although I have woken the baby more than once chuckling and snorting at your stories!
    You deserve every success for being so open, honest and funny X

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  41. Thanks for your blog, it is refreshing to read such honesty and humour in a parenting blog. Too often it is all rainbows, butterflies & beauty, which I love to read about too, but when you're feeling shite you want to know others are feeling a bit shite too and you're not the only one. I think admitting your not enjoying "every" moment is fearful, I wouldn't say I ever had pnd, perhaps baby blues but Id be too scared to admit it. I love love love being a mum to my wonderful son, but it's bloody hard work. Repetitive, boring, lonely. I went into parenthood misguided as lack of honesty from others, I'd read the Gina ford book and thought Id be a doddle! I had an intinerary & everything! Then had the labour from hell,3 months of colic, 2 years of sleepless nights. Ivd changed my career, moved house. My 15 year relationship has suffered because I'm so besotted with my little one. I rarely have any time for me. So hey it's ok to be unmumsy and to share that were all human & not super mums! It's only in the last few months that I've really started getting into reading blogs, I didn't even relise there was such a fierce competition and so many parenting types and terms! We should all be in this together :)
    With love New Mama x (although now so new with a 2 1/4 year old!)

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  42. Ive just discovered your blog and love it. I get it. I know it and thank you for saying it how it is, how it really is. I had a shit day yesterday and was hunting on the net for something like this: something to tell me that I wasnt shit, altho I think I actually was yesterday.
    This post, like many others have said, made me cry; I felt like I was talking to my own boys. Thank you for making sense!
    Only posting anonymously as I cant figure out the accounts - I dont do things like that anymore, no time to use my brain, ben and hollys nearly finished!

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  43. My best friend recently told me to read this blog and I just wanted to say that you are absolutely BRILLIANT!! It's as though all of the thoughts I have been having since becoming a mum and sometimes been too worried to say are right here on this page in front of me (although written in a far more hilarious way than I could ever manage!).

    This particular post has brought a tear to my eye, you have just absolutely hit the nail on the head. Please PLEASE keep writing, it's unbelievably comforting to know I'm not the only one feeling all of these things!

    And thank you for recognizing the ridiculousness in people to telling you to "enjoy every second"...WHY DO PEOPLE SAY THAT?!

    xxx

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  44. I have only recently discovered your blog and I wish I had found it sooner. Your honesty is refreshing and has made me realise that it is not just me that finds motherhood bloody hard! Thank you! Also, thank you for making me laugh out loud during every post I read........particuarly needed on one of 'those days' when everything that can go wrong, does!

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  45. I've only just become aware of your blog through readng The Tots100 "Five Blogs That Do Things Differently" but I'm definitely on your wavelength and started my own linky last October called "The Truth about".. encouraging people to share the 'real' bits and not be so bloody shiny happy all the time :-) I mix it up though and do all the predictable stuff too - holiday reviews / non parent stuff / happy little things / decor / proud moments. Blimey I really have just created something totally bloody lacking in niche :-) However I didn't start with an audience in mind and so whilst I love being able to put out really honest posts that might make someone else out there feel a bit more normal and comforted, I also want this to be a document of the nicer bits of our lives. It's first and foremost for me - how selfish am I?! :-)

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  46. Thank you for writing this- you made me cry, but laugh too. Love your honesty!

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  47. I love reading your blogs. You make me feel normal 😃

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  48. A few tears shed by me too. So brilliantly written. I've just had a horrendous bedtime with my 3 year old and will now spend yet another evening feeling deeply guilty for how I handled it. I knew reading something you had written would bring me some comfort.
    You should be so immensely proud of yourself, not just for the mother you are but for who you are and what you do for so many of us.
    I became a single mum last year while pregnant with my little girl (now 8 months old). I've lost close friends and don't have family nearby so am on my own. At times it's been a struggle. And then I discovered your blog! You will probably never realise quite how much of a comfort, a joy,a relief it is to read your words and the responses of other mums. Thank you for helping me to feel that bit better about myself as a mum.

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  49. Absolutely loved your blog! Everything you said is absolutely true in how I have felt in the past and am feeling presently! I love my two daughters with all my heart but I am not scared to say that its the definitely without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done and doing!! I love motherhood and wouldn't change anything but yes I have shitty days where I just want to hide in my bedroom!
    The hardest thing in my life is having no family support nearby but have fantastic close friends. Reading this fills me with so joy that I am actually feel normal and that other mummies feel the same as I do. With both daughters I developed PND and at first I was ashamed to admit it or tell anyone, now I feel the more people who know the more people I migh be able to help. Like having someone to talk to who completely understands and who isn't going to judge! Seriously think there needs to be more support out there foe those with PND.
    Seriously loved your blog! Xx

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  50. How have I only just discovered your blog, this made me cry. Thank you. You are so right, your blog, your way and it's so important to be honest, parenthood is hard and together, it can become easier on those tough, tough days x

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    1. Thank you lovely, appreciate that (sorry for the tear-jerking bit!) xx

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  51. Anthea in Australia18 May 2015 at 12:14

    oh how I remember those days (toddlers, babies, boobs, snot, tantrums tears and all the crap that went with it).....now I have two wonderful teenage girls (did I say wonderful??? MOSTLY wonderful)....keep going Unmumsy Mum.....your blogs make so many people chuckle!!

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  52. So I'm about to unleash this unholy hell on myself again. I'm due in a month and have a three year old. The recent discovery of your blog has been a gift. You are Florence Nightingale, if only to me. Much as I'm aware this may break away from the solidarity we need to show each other, can I please request that you continue to have challenging/embarrassing moments? I'm going to need a steady stream of your blogging gold to get me through my maternity leave. The selfishness of this request should cause a little sleeplessness but the little tyrant will be doing that enough. Huge thanks!

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  53. I recognise it 30 years down the line and was lucky enough to have friends who got it. Funny thing is it seems my boy's don't remember the crap miserable worn out mum. . Just the good things .. unless they're being kind. I'd love to do a similar grandma blog but some how having a 15 month old add all sorts of extras to my bread mix ... plastic packets,sneezes.. is more fun than stress. I expected grandparent hood to come with angst but so far it's just turned me soft and sickly sweet and gushy ..maybe I should write on 'Whatever became of the unmumsy mum'

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  54. I'm 50 now and my girls are 25 and 23 but I spent the early years of their childhood thinking I was on my own in finding so much of it a boring drag. Nothing ever went right, I didn't feel the joy I imagined I would, and I missed adult company. I didn't want to spend time with other mothers having worthy boring conversations, I wanted my old life back. Nobody prepares you for that and there was nobody admitting they felt that way back then so I felt like a freak.

    Parenthood got easier for me when they were at school, I could relate to them better and I didn't feel so isolated.

    I think your blog is a wonderful idea, and I applaud you for being honest and making others realise they're not some weird subspecies of parent.

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  55. Why weren't you around 10 years ago when I had my 1st child?! Apart from the fact that you were most probably to young to have children.. lol

    My boys are 10 and 7 and I accidentally stumbled across this yesterday but have already read many of your posts. Reading this for some reason makes me sigh a massive relief and to be honest allows me to let go of some guilt.. Because it's not just me that felt this way!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Thank you for making the time and well done - This shite is hard sometimes!

    Love a full time working mum, house cleaner, tooth fairy, nurse,chef,chauffeur,councillors, football coach and wife.. fortunately I only have 1 personality suprising really with all those hats.. :)

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