At the time I was the proud but massively overwhelmed owner of a one year old (“I’m never having another one, not EVER!”…) and amongst the tantrums and tiredness and daily self-doubt that I was “not cut out for this shit” I wrote my first blog post. It was a little bit crap actually. I hadn't found my own style and I edited out much-loved everyday phrases like “bollocks and arse” because I just didn’t think they were allowed. Nevertheless, it was the start of something.
I set myself up on twitter and started sharing blog posts with the 100 or so followers I had begged, borrowed or bribed. And for the best part of 18 months that was all the blog was. It was the odd post here and there, shared to a handful of other mums on twitter. I had no reason to believe it would ever amass to anything more. When I reached 1,000 twitter followers I was pretty surprised - all those people reading my random mumblings about baby groups and breastfeeding and wanting to smack Peppa Pig in the fucking snout (by this point I was the owner of a two year old and I was pregnant, say no more).
“Can you send me the link to your blog, I’m not on twitter,” I was asked by a few friends. So one evening, just after Christmas last year, I decided I’d brave a Facebook page. To get the page up and running I needed to share it with people I actually knew, people I went to school with, people who god love them were mostly too polite to decline the invitation to like my page (thanks guys, I was shitting myself that the page would fall flat on its arse).
Only it didn’t fall flat on its arse. It kept growing. One night, quite early on, my husband and I sat refreshing the page likes (our evenings are wild) and were AMAZED when it hit 10,000 followers. “It’ll tail off at some point soon” we said…And tail off it still might. But this week is the first time I have really stopped to take stock.
This week the Facebook page hit 120,000 followers.
This week the blog itself is on its way to 3 million views.
This week I have accepted (with some sadness) that I can no longer reply to all the messages.
This week is the last week before I become a self-employed author, for a while at least. I am leaving my job to write a book. Something I am only able to do because some very lovely and important people in publishing found my blog via Facebook…
And yet above all of this madness something else occurred to me this week, something more important, something I really need to thank you for.I no longer feel like I am on my own.
Not that I have ever been alone. But at times I have felt like other mums cope so well with the role of parent that there must be something wrong with me. I must be a total failure for wanting to hide behind the sofa with my fingers in my ears after eight hours of whinging because I just can’t stand ANOTHER SODDING MINUTE.It must just be me, I thought.
But hundreds of you have made contact over the last six months to say “me too” and a weight has been lifted.
It is not just me.Thank god for that.
Thank god for all of you.
I promise not to write slushy posts to you again, by the way, I just wanted it said. Now if we can do one of those awkward hugs and just get on with life that’d be great.The Unmumsy Mum
If you fancy pre-ordering the labour of love that is my book (due out in Feb) you can do so here.