Saturday, 3 September 2011

Being a grown up child

I've just got back from a holiday with my little family to visit my bigger family - all the way oop North jumping between Cumbria and Lancashire. Going 'home' to visit is always a bit odd now that I'm an actual, real grown up with a husband and children of my own. I still lounge about on my Dad's sofa in my PJ's eating all his crisps, or leave my dirty laundry on my Mum's bathroom floor but I also do genuine parenting of my children (who, by the way, my friend Molly calls my 'Womb Fruit' which I do love, and she's going to be harvesting one of her own in November - EXCITE) and get to speak to my parents from a whole new point of view.

I've been a mother for two and a half years now and I'm still surprised by how different it makes my life, by how different it's made other relationships.

It totally changed the way I see my parents; everyone has 'things they blame their parents for' and I'm no different - but having children of my own has changed that a lot. I used to get angry if they didn't have the answers, or if I got myself into a mess and they didn't swoop in and rescue me - I wanted them to cure all my hurts and save me from the big bad world, whilst letting me swan off into the distance on my own to make my own mistakes, never realising how opposing those desires were. I wanted freedom, protection, responsibility, babying - I wanted and sulked when I didn't always get what I needed without being able to verbalise what I WANTED. 

Then I had children - then I grew up (yep, in that order, and the latter is still a work in progress!) and was hit by a gobsmacking reality; my parents? They're just people. They're my people, they're good people - but they're people, just like me, just like my friends, and they were so damned YOUNG when they had my brother and I - and just like me they made it up as they went along with a combination of hope, fantasy and good luck. They took the knowledge they'd picked up from their own parents and bundled it all together with their friends, their lifestyle, their dreams of how life would be - and made it up. Like I'm doing. There are some things from your childhood that you swore you'd never say or do - and you say or do them daily. There are things you were sure you'd bring into your adult life that you never do.

Being a parent has changed me and I think now, more than ever, they think of me as an adult too - which is weird all round. It's nice getting to know my parents from a whole new perspective - and who they are for themselves and not just who they are in relation to me. I'm really enjoying the new dynamic, and watching them interacting with my children to see how things must have been when I was very small. It's nice to see Jellybean and Midget Gem enjoying the company of their grandparents and building loving relationships, and I really enjoy talking to my parents about things we did when I was a child that they now do with my children, or I do with my children without really remembering doing it when I was the same age. 

It's made me appreciate, most of all, how difficult parenting is. How difficult it is to make the right decisions and to deal with it if you don't. How much you shape your children by those choices. It's a lot of pressure. All those things I blamed my parents for? They aren't that important. What's important is that they really did do their best, at the time, and made the decisions that seemed right, at the time - and that's what I'm trying to do. I hope I don't mess my kids up, I hope that I continue growing and becoming a better person for their sake. I hope that my mistakes and wrong choices don't break them - but most of all I hope that one day, when they're grown, we can build a friendship alongside our parent/child relationship - like I'm doing with my parents now. 

I love you, parents <3 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Blogging about blogging?

Loads of the bloggers I follow have been blogging about blogging just recently and I've seen loads of tips for how to make my blog more successful and bring more traffic and I have to admit - I devour them - I look at the blogs I love and see how popular they are and the little green monster says "I want that too!" - then I think about why I started this blog, and it was simply to share our lives with family who live far away and to get my fix of writing (my degree is in creative writing - in part anyway!) and I love writing but can never think of anything to write about - and I never knew that the blogging world was something just anyone could enter - then all of a sudden I was part of it! I've got a following, an audience, new friends and work and opportunities that I didn't know I'd ever get, all thanks to this little blog.

I came away from CyberMummy all buzzed about how to make this take off and create a 'business' from my blog, to make myself a 'thing' and have made a few changes - I don't refer to any of my family by name now, I don't put up as many pictures - not because I think anything bad will happen, just because I became aware of how many people can see this, since it's out there on 'The Internets' and my children being recognised by strangers would disturb me! 

I work more on corresponding with PRs and media types to build a network of people I can work with - and I've been lucky enough to get some great opportunities from that. 

So I'm at a bit of a crossroads - do I stick with what I started - the stories about our lives with occasional smug rants about things in the news - or do I turn this into a 'business' and move it in a more specific direction? I've other lines of work online so do I keep this as a small blog and move the rest elsewhere, bring more on here, build this or leave this or what? Where do I go from here? Do I follow all those tips and put the work in to growing this blog? Would you want to read MORE from me? 

Just the idea of blogging about blogging seems faintly ridiculous - but there's so much to say about the whole thing - blogging is such a big deal now! 

So what do you think I should do, blogging world?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

silent sunday

Silent Sunday


I'm on holiday up north this week visiting family with my little family - and it's ruddy lovely. The thing with holidays with little people, though, is that it's never quite what you think a holiday is! When you think 'holiday' you think chilling by a pool, or on a comfy chair, lying in, drinking cider in the sun at lunch time...when you have young children it's basically like being at home with none of your things and difficulty keeping the kids in their usual routine - so they stay up late and you get even less time just being a couple than you get at home! 

It's ace being here though - I miss my family loads when I'm home in Dorset and being up here and seeing them lots is brill. It's good because they have big gaps of a few months at a time between seeing the kids so they can see real differences in their development. 

Jellybean is a totally different boy this time to the last visit - just before Christmas last year; he's cheeky and affectionate and a bit of a performer - he likes to sing and tell stories. He likes to play games that include everyone in the room and is a proper chatterbox. Midget Gem is just a flirt - he is a very different boy to his brother at the same age; Jellybean was a really serious baby - very po faced. Midget Gem is the polar opposite - he has a big, dribbly, beaming smile and seems to get every joke, and grins at everyone the instant they make eye contact - then he chatters to them and charms them.

It's been really interesting to see the differences and to see how my boys interract with people outside of their usual routine - and if I'm honest they've done me really proud. Occasional cheek, but no real naughtiness - not even with very late (by his standards) nights for toddler and long trips from -place to place in the car. 

Also, we were given a giant Macca Pacca - so it couldn't be better.