I could start every blog Post telling you how tired I am, how I wish there were more hours in the day, how busy things are or chat about the general frustration of not being able to get much done.
However, I rarely feel the need to spell these things out. It seems unnecessary. A bit like preaching to the converted. Caring for 5 children is a lot of work and I'm sure you can already imagine the chaos that my day entails. We are all "busy" though aren't we? Regardless of whether we have 1 child, 10 children, small children, adult children, no children, work full-time or swing on a hammock all day, we are all just going about our day, filling in our time with whatever it is we do. Listening to someone whine about their Kids or constantly moan about being busy and tired is, well, tiresome.
When I started this blog, I often stumbled upon Posts written by other bloggers buried within their archives along the lines of "Just for the record, this blog is just a snippet of my life, rest assured I am a normal human being with just as many trials and tribulations as the next person. My life isn't perfect but here I like to focus on the positives so please just bear that in mind when you see all my lovely pictures". Fair enough. Such a Post would have been right at home within the pages of my own blog too.
However, I never felt the need to write one of these types of Posts. It seemed too obvious. Doesn't it go without saying that bloggers will pick and choose what they write about depending on their goals and personalities and that obviously it can only be a small part of their life anyway because how can anyone accurately condense a whole week of their life into 300 words? Even when I read accounts of rainbows and unicorns I still understand that there are normal people behind the seemingly rosy facade who wash their clothes and clean their toilets too. No pictures of dirty dishes in the sink or stories about piles of washing are necessary. Or are they?
I take it for granted that readers who come to my blog share a similar understanding, that my blog is just a slice of my life, mostly the positives, and that there are obviously things I choose not to share in such a public forum but that exist nevertheless. There are some issues I would love to share, now that we are friends and all, but it would still be more appropriate to discuss them with you over a cup of tea in my kitchen like I do with friends here, which is unlikely to happen and so that's a bit frustrating. And then there are those issues that involve other people so not really mine to share at all. And although there are many reasons why I choose to share what I do and don't, I still often wonder whether I am doing you a disservice by focussing mostly on the positives here and not writing about the more mundane aspects of parenting or issues I may be dealing with from time to time.
There are a whole heap of Posts that are effectively 'missing' here on my blog by virtue of the fact I started this blog 7 years into my parenting journey. Many of the issues I know I would have written about at the beginning of my parenting journey either don't exist anymore or if they do are not worthy of much attention. There are so many more interesting and important things I'd prefer to write about. I'm simply in a different phase of parenting now. However I do worry that my blog may give the impression that things are easy around here with my lack of Posts about sleep-deprivation, tantrums or the mind-numbingly boring work that is cleaning ones home, particularly since the arrival of baby Flynn.
I especially think about this when I come across Posts by first-time Mums like I did last week. Pia mentions feeling frustrated with Mum Bloggers who write Post after Post of "nothing but whimsy and love and everything rosy". She wants to know more of the truth and for people to tell her like it is. Her Post really resonated with me, not so much because I feel this way about blogs now, but because I would have written almost the exact same Post 7 years ago as a first time Mum if I was entering blogland for the first time. I also realise I'm starting to sound like a broken record with my standard response I so often write in comments when first-time Mum bloggers write Posts asking how other Mum's get things done or express their frustrations at the normal aspects of Motherhood. So I thought I'd reproduce my comment here, for the benefit of readers who come here, as a way of explaining my thoughts on blogging in general and why I prefer to focus on the positives. It is my "Just for the record Post" if you like:
Aside from being a pretty positive person by nature, there are some other important points I didn't mention as to why I focus mostly on the positives. Some years ago our dear friends lost their beautiful 5 year old. A little girl who played with my little girl and who we saw almost every single day until a brain tumour took her away just 9 weeks after being diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumour. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her and it changed me forever. We are all grateful for our children but after this happened suddenly a lot of things just didn't seem important.
And then there is my own childhood, a completely wonderful one until my Mum suddenly fell ill with a serious mental illness when I was about 10. Without going into too many details, there is a 15 year gap of my life from age 12 to 27 that I didn't see my Mum or have her part of my life. Aside from the sadness of not having a Mum around during those years, it is now that I realise just how much my Mum missed out on too, robbed of watching her 3 girls grow up because of a debilitating illness and missing all those moments that I long to share with my own children - the teenage years, the broken hearts, boyfriends, girlfriends, hopes and dreams, disappointments, Weddings and babies. Life is very cruel sometimes. So although I experience all the normal ups and downs of parenting there is a healthy dose of perspective that I carry around with me during the day that prevents me from getting too wrapped up in the daily grind of it all. For there isn't a day that goes by that my friend wouldn't give her right arm to be exhausted from looking after her little girl or to hear her little girl bickering with her sister. To have these 5 little gems of mine in my life is a privilege I don't take for granted. Yes, Motherhood is hard sometimes. But desperately wanting to be a Mother but not being able to is harder. And being a Mother but then no longer being able to fulfil that role for whatever reason is probably harder still. You never know what's around the corner and so I just try to be grateful for each and every day and writing about the positive things is my way of showing gratitude for the wonderful life I have and those in it.