Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's not all Beer & Skittles



This parenting business, it's wonderful but it's not all Beer & Skittles.

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:
  1. Hi Pia,
  2. I have 5 children, 9 years down to 10 months. There is absolutely no way on this earth that I would ever have been in a position to blog after the birth of my first baby even if I was aware of blogging at the time. I found the first year intense and exhausting and it took me a while to get my head around motherhood. It wasn’t until 2 years ago (with a 7, 5 and 3 yr old twins) that I finally found time and energy in the evenings to do more things I enjoy and that is when I started a blog. I look after the children full time but they are all in bed by 7/7.30 and then that is the time I spend with my husband, reading or writing. I stay up late so there is probably a good 4 hours every evening to do the things I enjoy. I think that is very important for my sanity, and it means I literally leave everything as is, even if the dishes are still in the sink etc. Standards have lowered but we are all happier. I only have time to do one blog post a week, if that, and have absolutely no idea how other Mum bloggers blog during the day with children around – I wonder too what their Kids are doing while this is going on? My baby has a big 2 – 3 hr nap during the day so I can get some things done during that time but only if it is a day when the twins are at Kinder. Everyone has different goals for their blogs. For me, things are so busy and crazy during the day, there’s lots of cooking and cleaning etc but there are also lots of great moments and since my time is so precious, when I finally do get some time to sit down in the evenings to write a Post I choose it to be a record of the positive things I want to remember. Having said that, on my most recent post I mentioned being overwhelmed by the domestic stuff lately and try to keep things real whenever I can. You will never see a photo of my sofa perfectly styled with throw cushions because that doesn’t exist in my home and I’m not at all fooled by blogs that have overly-styled images of their interiors with young children around. I’ve been a parent for 9 years now and have a fairly good idea of what’s normal! I too find these rosy blogs rather irritating and don’t read them anymore. There is a big difference between focussing on the positive and portraying a false perfect life. You’re doing a wonderful job Pia. Take care, Mel x
    October 18th, 2013 | #

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. 


Image: I took this photo of 5 Black-Faced Wood Swallows in Alice Springs back in April, they reminded me of my gang all lined up there together.


76 comments :

  1. Yet another reason (as if I needed one) to treasure our friendship even more, Mel. Please keep speaking your truth. It does so many people a power of good to read it. J x

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  2. Great post. Blogging for me is a way to capture all the little things I love about my day with my family. Same for me, you'll never see a styled couch or table etc. I try to just keep the photos as natural as possible. I do however enjoy the occasional rant from other parent bloggers!! Just keep it short and sweet!!

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    1. I don't mind the occasional rant either, and have those on my blog too. Sharing the often funny side of parenting is something I really enjoy doing :-)

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  3. I was doing so well until the second to last sentence, and now I want to cry (I'm a little emotional today). I fill time with filling just to fill it up somedays, my life isn't perfect, far far from it, I have tried so hard to write about things I want to say, so much to say, but somehow I just can't. It isn't that we don't want to share, it isn't that we don't have stuff to share, but as you say, we assume that a lot of it is the same for everyone. Sorry, not really sure what I am trying to say here even. Thank you for writing this. xx

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    1. I know what you are saying Amy, blogging is a funny old thing sometimes x

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  4. What a thought provoking post, Mel. I can relate to so much of what you say and also seem to not have enough time to blog and therefore tend to focus on the fun/creative stuff and leave the drudgery out of it, although it definitely exists! We are privileged to be mothers, even on days when it is hard and it is good to be reminded of that. Love the photo too. xx Lou xx

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  5. Such a moving post and so well said. Offcourse this is our little platform to largely speak of the happy and good, but we are all different and some need to voice those issues on their blog to help them through it. I originally started a blog just for M.E, but I just couldn't do it, I felt like I was dealing with enough unhappiness to still have to talk about it as well, but there are some really amazing M.E blogs out there and other blogs helping people through their difficult times. I know how much I struggle with two kids and not the best of health and I can't imagine what it must have been like for your mum to miss out on so much. I am sorry to hear this and I am sure it must have been a very trying time for your family. Furthermore I feel so saddened to hear that your friend lost her precious five year old, my heart goes out to you all, how very sad. Yes life throws all sorts of curve balls and yes I agree writing about the positive is such a positive in itself and its a way of getting the most from each situation and showing appreciation. A beautiful post. PS love that photo! xoxo

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    1. Oh Absolutely, that was one of the points I was trying to make when I said "we all have different goals for our blogs". For some it's just a record of things, for others it's to practice or showcase their writing or other creative hobbies, and then some like to provide advice and information on a particular issue as you say - for example Carly Findlay has a fabulous blog on Icthyosis http://carlyfindlay.blogspot.com.au that you might enjoy, not just due to your M.E but it is a great blog anyway, very inspiring :-) . I love all types of blogs. My thoughts (and I think Pia's) were more about the blogs that seem to portray and overly rosy picture of Motherhood in particular. Obviously it's no ones business what anyone else does with their blog but I do relate to her wanting to know more about the person behind the blog as that is how I feel about bloggers. However, you also have to accept bloggers as they come. Thanks for your comment Hannapat x

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  6. Yes, a beautiful post Mel! I agree wholeheartedly; I think every now and again an exasperated mom post sneaks in, but mostly I try to keep to the stuff I'll want to read about in twenty years, and to the stuff I'm learning and wish to share. The rosy lens moms exist, not only in the blogging world but everywhere, and I find that I can't handle them too long. To each his own, and God only knows maybe there are a few moms out there who only ever see the skittles and beer - we're just not in that group. Thanks for the post & bisous, Liene

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    1. So true Liene, it isn't just in Blogland, but I do think it's maybe easier to create the rosy lens thing online :-) x

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  7. Wow. By the time I finished reading this post I was crying. Having raised five children, gone through the horror of our sweet little five year old neighbour girl, a friend of my youngest daughter at the time, die of leukemia, and ongoing life with a husband who is seriously mentally ill (which never gets discussed on my blog), every part of this post resonated with me.

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    1. Oh Kristie, that's so very sad. I'm sorry to hear about these things xxx

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  8. Well said, Mel. I agree with every word. There is so much really negative, sad stuff I could be posting on my blog but I don't want to. I don't see why a blog needs to be any specific way other than the way a blogger likes her own blog. I can't understand the criticism at all. I have always felt blessed to have a very good marriage, a comfortable home and lifestyle, children who are good-natured and happy. But that doesn't mean everything in my life is perfect. I think it should go without saying but then I'll get a comment on a blog post that says something to the effect of "Gosh, your life is just perfect! Tell me your secret so mine can be perfect too!" and I feel so deflated. That was so NOT the point of posting about good, happy things. I can't even imagine why anyone would want to read the bad stuff but maybe that's because in my case, much of it is REALLY bad - abuse and neglect top the list. Nope, that's not what my blog is for.

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    1. I think the criticism was not so much the absence of negative things in a Post but more the exaggeration or the overly rosy picture of Motherhood in every single Post. I thought it was just a genuine desire to see a more realistic, honest picture (which might be all rosy) and if that's not what you're looking for then you have to accept that and find ones that you can connect with. Jennifer, I'm sorry to hear about those things. Hugs to you x

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  9. I found it busy having 2 children so can't imagine how it must be with 5! Friends or family with long term illnesses or dying can make you realise how precious life can be and have made me more positive about life and I embrace it more. It must have been so hard for you, your sisters and your Mum having so long apart. Both my mum and mother in law suffered with mental illness and life could be hard but at least they were there in the better times.
    Sarah x

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  10. You write so beautifully Mel.
    Parenting certainly has many chapters, of course with my baby the age of your oldest, I'm a few pages ahead of you, and a long way removed from the mother of four under 5 who woke up every day thinking I was trapped in a scene from Groundhog day. It is all wonderful though, and I'd never change a thing.
    I find the whining about nappy-changing, broken sleep, "me-time" and life interruption a little tiresome too ... wake up sisters, this is the gig! But perhaps I only feel that way because I'm no longer experiencing it.
    I love reading your words, enjoy every day. As parents of younger children often say to me, I wish I could freeze them at this age, I explain I always felt the same, but have realised that every age and every stage is good. Enjoy it all.

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    1. We're on the same wavelength Fiona. I'm a bit daunted by having 4 or 5 teenagers all under the roof at the one time but I'll take your word for it :-)

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  11. Lovely Mel. I can relate to most of what you have mentioned here. However, as a mother of one almost adult son, I remember when he was younger I would receive comments along the line of - 'only one - what do you do with all your spare time'?! Hah! but I loved every minute even the not so rosy bits.
    You live in the moment when you have children, and just hang on and enjoy the ride! It all goes by so quickly. cheers Wendy

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    1. I'm not kidding when I say I was a lot more exhausted when I had my first than I am now with 5. I don't know if it's because the others are older or whether I'm just get used to the tiredness feeling after all these years :-)

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  12. Mel
    Much of the beginning of your post I could have written too. Only recently discovered your blog and really enjoying it:) I too would rather focus on the positive, and some of the negative experiences I would like to share (like pear shaped friendships) aren't all my story to share, so I can't. And some negative would be far better with a friend over a cuppa as you say.

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    1. Hi Erin, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comment :-)

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  13. Well said Mel! Yes, I agree. For many bloggers - myself included - their blog is a slice of life, a place to focus on creativity and hobbies and things that make us happy. It was intended to be something for ME, at a time when I felt that everything I did was for someone else. I always assume that with all blogs there is tiredness, runny noses, housework, nappies, and some sadness too lurking behind the scenes - but maybe that's because I am a much more confident and self assured parent now than I was after the birth of my eldest. Back then, I would've felt intimidated by the seemingly perfect lives and homes that people offer. Its such a fine line, isn't it, between sharing and over sharing...a line you tread very well, I should say! xx

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    1. Thanks Gillian! And yes, sometimes I'm quietly pleased I missed blogland at the beginning of my parenting journey as I'm sure I would have been affected by some of the 'glossy' blogs x

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  14. Why waste time recording for posterity the days you don't want to remember - and we all have them - when writing about the the days you do want to remember takes time enough. And that applies just as much to those folk choose to share their woes as it does to those who don't.

    Great post Mel x

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    1. Exactly, sometimes there is so little time to write that I have to miss out some of the good bits! x

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  15. Beautiful post Mel. You and I are living the same chapter now, but our past was vastly different and the future is yet to be told.
    But you're right, as long as we are grateful for what we have and live in the moment.
    Life is like a box of chocolates....you never know what you're gonna get. xx

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  16. I love this post Mel. So sensible and true.

    There is nothing wrong with emphasising the positives.... To me it is the best way to live.

    x

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    1. Thank you.....it certainly is a far better way to live than the alternative x

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  17. Lovely post and I agree with so much, I find it a little odd that Pia doesn't see more of the posts she likes/needs for now though.

    I admit to turning away from some blog posts that constantly discuss how difficult mothering/parenting are. The reality is that bloggers often write about the tough times in parenting and admit to days when they serve breakfast for dinner or jump in the shower with the kids just so that they too can actually have a shower for the day. There are parents who wonder out loud if they will ever get to go to the toilet in peace again without a a little person asking for something (I am not sure of the answer to this question). There are bloggers who focus on living a thrifty life to be a SAHM and discuss the things they go without to do this. Many 'Mummy' blogs even have names about chaos, mummy madness, etc. There are many WAHMs that wonder if working from home really is all it's cracked up to be, because really, working from an office with out the interruption of someone wanting another vegemite sandwich is so much easier.

    It is actually at times harder to find the positive, the stories such as you have written here, which are the ones I prefer to fill my day with - even if my day is not always looking so cheery.

    I have written posts on the tough days of parenting, but mainly after the fact, I once shared the most awful photo of me, deep within the days of sleep deprivation, that got many hits and reads, but there is no way I could have written it at the time I was going through it.








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    1. You're right, there are plenty of tell-it-like-it-is blogs out there on parenting and she even mentions a couple of blogs she loves for their honesty.......so I don't know.

      Yes, I enjoy reading about all these things and relate to all the parenting challenges we have and I've definitely written about eating breakfast for dinner as we do that a lot! By the way, when will I be able to go to the bathroom in peace again? I'm often the first to comment on such Posts to add my thoughts, experiences or empathy to the hard times.

      I think I'm a bit like you, the lack of negative Posts is mostly due to the fact when something goes on I never feel like writing about it at the time. I prefer to sort things out and then write about it much later if I feel like it at all. By then there's usually a hundred positive things to take its place :-)


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  18. Well said Mel. I sometimes feel blogs are a little like having guests round - you hide away the things you don't want them to see, which mostly means clearing up the mess and making the place look clean and tidy (though sometimes you leave it because you're drowing in chaos and need help). I like reading blogs that accentuate the positive but with a healthy dose of reality every now and then.

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    1. Oh I love this Anne. Blogging is like that for me I think. Yes to all of what you said here :-)

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  19. This really hit me in the chest, yes life can be so cruel sometimes. We lost my nephew in a car accident 4 years ago at 17 years old, and I have never felt pain like that of watching my sister grieve for her child, along side my own grief. I have 4 children aged 7, 6, 3 and 1, his death certainly put things into perspective for me as a mother, and set me on a path to seeking more gratitude in my life. I've been wondering lately about the purpose of my blog, and also those that I read, but reading this has helped put that into perspective for me! Thanks for sharing this :)

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew Kelly. How utterly devastating for you all. Thank you so much for taking the time to come over and leave these words. I really appreciate it. x

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  20. I loved reading this Mel. Yes I read that post too and left a comment. I have to say my immediate reaction is to say that we are all unique with different perspectives on very different journeys. A lot of bloggers (myself included) seek refuge in their blog as a creative endeavour, to express, to create, to photograph, to play and to hopefully inspire. I think it's an impossible job to try and please others - someone's whining may be music to another person's ears, while a beautiful room setting might be all someone needs to feel inspired at home. What matters is that we write and create with integrity and authenticity and do what feels right to us. It's probably not great for stats, but I don't try and second guess what people want to read, I write what comes naturally to me and I take pictures that make me happy.We all 'need' to read and see different things. I think we're all just fine... xxxxx

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    1. I read your comment over there (didn't realise it was you though, small world!) and like what you said. I agree too with what you say. I guess what's important for me is that reader's do get an honest picture of me and I just thought it was time I did a "just for the record" kinda Post. Pia reminded me that there may be first-time mums reading my blog and I just felt like clarifying a few things. But yes, at the end of the day, just as in real life, you have to be yourself as trying to please everyone is an impossible task :-) x

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  21. Oh my goodness, that last paragraph just gave me goosebumps!

    Such a great post. I must say I don't feel blogger envy when I see perfect homes and kids wearing immaculate clothes because I've always just accepted that what we see online is just a teeny tiny snapshot of peoples' lives. I'm also (mostly) a positive person, and while I have my moany moments, I also choose to keep my blog a positive space... like you say, life is just too short and I'm not going to waste it comparing my life to someone elses. xxx

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  22. Dear Mel
    What a beautiful post, thank you. I am really touched by it and what you say resonates deeply with me. Thank you also for sharing your sad stories today, for the trust you have in us, your readers.
    I am not a naturally optimistic person (but I am working on it). I started my own blog to remind myself to look beyond that endless pile of washing and these enormous dust balls in all corners of the house. To take pictures of the beautiful moments I witness every day. Yes, there is an immensely tiring side to parenting and I haven’t aged as beautifully as I would have liked (or should I blame it on the cheap skincare product I normally use?) but on the whole I look at my four and I am bursting with pride, even on a shouty day. Proud to be mum to Sam and Annie who have been with us since their birth. Proud to be mum of Alistair and James, who have joined our family 20 months ago, aged 3 and 4. Proud to see the growing love, the tenderness the “old” and “new” children have for each other, and us, their parents. I am happy to have the life I have, including the dust balls and piles of washing, the tears and exhaustion I often fight.
    Christina xx

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    1. Thank YOU for this lovely comment Christina x

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  23. Thank you for this very honest from the heart truthful post. Such wise words xox Penny

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    1. Thank you for leaving these lovely words Penny x

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  24. Hey Mel, great post! They are some full-on life experiences you have mentioned, you are such a happy, content and strong soul Mel, I really admire that in you. My main way of keeping a good perspective on what is important is to remember our time in the NICU. As bad as that got for us, it was nothing compared to seeing other parents carrying their dying babies out of the NICU to have their last few hours together outside in the fresh air, for the first time since they were born. Nobody should have to witness that, let alone live through it. I'm cracking up just writing about it.
    I often worry that I fuss over my content and photos, and don't end up posting anything to raw and grotty. I don't love reading posts on other's blogs that are wingy and "woe is me", so I don't go there with my musings. But as I get used to blogging I'm beginning to realise that only posting the positive happy stuff is okay. And as you say, it's the stuff that I want to look back on and remember. Thanks for the post, very thought provoking. xx

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    1. There's so many sad stories but I especially can't bear ones involving babies and children. What a frightening and heart-wrenching experience the NICU must have been. Absolutely nothing wrong with having a positive blog at all. As someone said above focussing on the positive is probably the best way to live.

      Thanks for visiting me here Nat, it's hard to talk about these things at Playgroup while gluing eyes on cardboard sheep and wrangling all of our kids isn't it?! xxx

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  25. Firstly - love the photo!! Perfect for your tribe

    Great post - good to know more about you.
    I could never have blogged until recently either - I found it so all-consuming for the first few years.
    And now I realise that being mindful and grateful is so important and what I share reflects that
    x

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    1. This is the very reason why I love your blog Ally x

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  26. Lovely post Mel. Inspite of all the bad stuff, life does go on regardless of whether or not we choose to take it on the chin. I can relate to your life of being so tired and longing for those after bed hours, I'm usually ready for bed by 8pm. I think back to the stress of every childhood scream and wonder how we got through it all. It does get easier, but the house never gets cleaner.

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    1. My Grandparents in their 90's used to speak of housework being like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, just when you think you've finished you need to start right back at the beginning again. I don't think the housework is going anywhere for a very long time! x

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  27. And this is exactly why I adore you Mel. Blogging is often a hard plavce to work your way around - at least I think so anyways. I write what I am feeling and some days its sunshine and lolly pops and then I worry that people think I am being too fluffy and then other days I have a good old moan because damn it, it just feels good. but then I worry that people will think I am ungrateful. I try to take the approach that I will never ever be able to please everyone and that is ok, as long as I am true to myself xx

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    1. It's funny, some people have a very consistent tone they bring to their blogs with every Post and then others just write according to their mood at the time. I like that we are all different like that. You have the perfect balance Sonia. As someone said above though, while I may not like reading a blog that moans every single Post, it may be music to someone else's ears! I think the most important thing is that we are honest in what we do write x

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  28. Summed up so well Mel, as you always do. Sad to hear about your mum, I had wondered if perhaps you had a more complicated childhood for some reason, cannot remember why. I find this whole debate of authenticy on blogging very,very tricky. For me personally, I cannot share fully on my blog as most of the soul crushing bits of my life revolve around my complicated child and I made a decision long ago that if I was going to have photos of him on my blog ( which makes me happy and shows me there ARE good bits in a difficult life) then I would then be careful what I shared with my words. I could have had a blog that was all about complicated children ( and there are many other blogs that do this) but this would have made me feel less positive and ultimately for me this is what the blog is about. To be creative, find the positive amidst the grey and connection. For me this means that my blog is most definitely not my real life, but the best bits, the bits that make me happy and get me up every morning. mel x

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    1. I'm sure I've mentioned growing up with my Dad for most of my teenage life here on my blog somewhere. It's not something I deliberately gloss over, it's just not a big thing. I only mentioned it here again as the whole experience has made me approach Motherhood really differently - taking each day as it comes, looking after myself, not taking the time I have with my kids for granted etc. Mel, I think most people in our circles blog for the same reasons, recording the best bits of family life and I totally understand what you say about what you reveal about your Kids. Given that I share pictures of the Kids on here too (which our extended family love) I am getting more careful about what I share about them in words and it is something I'm still thinking about and may re-think again as they get older. x

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  29. Love every word of this post. And the comments too. You've put into aids how I feel about blogging too. xo

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  30. Dear Mel,

    Yours is one of my favourite blogs. That's because it's well-written, honest, and intelligent. Very few blogs share those characteristics. I don't read blogs where the author whinges about her life (and I say 'she' because they're the majority of authors) or boasts about her children or shows-off whatever the hell the latest branded purchase is. I hope to God I don't whinge or complain about life or boast on my blog - I don't think people find that interesting or engaging. Blog about the happy times in your family - keep the stuff hidden that you want hidden. Even from what you show, it's palpable that you're completely normal and delightful.xo

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    1. Yours is definitely a no-complaing, no-boasting zone which I love! x

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  31. Beautiful beautiful post Mel - I struggled with not whinging about how challenging this year has been for me on my blog - and failed! I'm pretty sure most of my posts had some nice pictures with me then saying OMG I'm busy, my back hurts, work sucks, yadda yadda. But - well, that's honestly how it has been! I'm a terrible liar at the best of times. This last week was the mother of all crappy weeks and I mentioned it in my latest post but didn't go into a tonne of detail. I figure that anyone who wants to know more can ask if they like.

    What I love about how you write is that you do keep it positive but don't shy away from sharing your struggles as well. That different perspective is clear in what you post and write - you definitely don't gloss over the negatives but you absolutely do celebrate what's wonderful about everyday life. I find that uplifting. xx

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    1. Aw thanks Naomi. What a lovely thing to say! Nothing wrong with mentioning life's challenges, some years are just harder than others! Yours is definitely a most lovely blog x

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  32. The trails and tribulations of parenthood, we really could write a book couldn't we! Yes it's not all roses and hearts, being a parent is blinking hard work at times, throw in Extra Special kids into the mix and things can get really interesting! I really don't know how you manage 5 little ones, but then someone else may wonder how someone manages children with complex needs. By a wing and a prayer I say! I've just wrote a post about our brilliant time in London, 90% of this was fantastic but there were some very difficult, sensory overload moments, they didn't last long, but in the mist of it you do wonder why you even try to do these things when they cause such stress! But a little while later, you're having fun again and glad you're there! Parenting, the hardest most painful thing I've ever done but one I'd do again in a heartbeat......but then I've always said I was bonkers!!! :) x

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    1. Well said Ada! I don't think I could add anything to that :-) xxx

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  33. Perceptions are funny things. When I first started my blog, I didn't have any children, but all I could find were mummy blogs. And it must have been the season for it, but they were mostly filled with tales of the trenches, and how hard it can be, and I think that was pretty liberating for them, and reassuring for me when I did have my babies and it was a little crazy. Now it seems lots of blogs are styled, full of pretty and whimsy, and I kinda miss the odd tell-it-like it is post. But for all the years I've been blogging, I've realised as a blog reader I go through phases, and what I want to read about changes. And so I know readers of my blog will come and go according to their own seasons, and what resonates with them. So I can't be all things to all people and I've never tried. I just write about whatever I want, but as a naturally positive and grateful person, even my trenches stories are still positive without glossing over the hard bits. Pia's post really resonated with me too. I do forget that there's real life behind the styled sofa, because it's never mentioned. I rarely think beyond what is presented, because I'm used to the truth being shared. So if there's a tired mum writing these posts with an overflowing dishwasher, I don't automatically know that. And it's nice to hear sometimes that other mums feel things I do too. I especially like the balance you have on your beautiful blog :-)

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    1. Thanks so much Stacey. And this is what I'm wondering - although I don't feel the need to write about some things for my own benefit, maybe every once in a while it's a good thing just because it may resonate with someone who, like you say, doesn't really think beyond what is written in a Post. They may be helped by a dose of someone else's reality. Every now and then I do like it when other bloggers give us an insight into what they're really feeling. x

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  34. Speak it loud and clear girl! Thanks for your honesty. I love it. LOVE it. x

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  35. I wish I could join you for a cup of tea in your kitchen! A beautiful post written from the heart - thank you for sharing this X

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  36. You're a good egg, Mel. I think the drudgery of parenting is what it is and doesn't need spelling out. Blogging is an escape from all that for many of us. A place to reflect on the good stuff and ponder the challenges. We shouldn't need to pick up crumbs on our blog as well!! x

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  37. A beautiful post...and one that I completely agree with.
    I think there is now a big divide in blogging...those who are doing it for others and those who are doing it for themselves. By others I mean essentially the unique views that keep their blog in business. And there is nothing wrong with that...I just think it leads to a much glossier sort of blogging.
    I think I blog mostly for myself...and for my family and friends...and the wonderful community that has sprung up as a result is such a bonus. A year ago, my blog was all about trying to get my baby to sleep. Thankfully we have overcome that hurdle and now that I have the time and energy to devote to my own interests, my blog reflects that.
    And I think that as a blogger, I realise that everyone only shows part of the whole...and I definitely sometimes do wonder what exactly their whole looks like.

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  38. Lovely post. :) I think when I started blogging three years ago, I was a bit overwhelmed by the negativity which saturated everything I read about parenting...I was having genuinely beautiful and enjoyable experiences in my own life, and I wanted to share them. I also share my struggles and challenges, because of course life isn't always roses. I do love though that blogging gives us such an insight into how others live, feel, do...it's like an open diary. Amazing. x

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  39. Such a lovely post, and so much I can relate to, thank you for sharing this x

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  40. Wow Mel, I'm so glad Maxabella highlighted this post in her Weekend rewind. What a wonderful summary you gave Pia! Beautifully written and so much wisdom in there. Love it.
    THANKYOU!

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  41. Your posts are always full of such wise advice and points I agree with wholeheartedly Mel :) I too focus on mainly the positives on my blog, just as I do as much as I can in real life where events in my life have made me grateful each and every day for all the blessings I have. Like you, I blog mainly at night, when my girls are tucked up in bed and I have time to myself. I blog sporadically, when I can and only if i have something I feel is worthy of sharing. I pick and choose what I blog about, not because I am trying to create some false sense of a 'perfect life', but because it is these things I want to record, hold onto and share. Oh how I would love to sit down and have a cuppa with you and chat about all this in person :)

    P.S That photo is adorable... I thought you'd found it somewhere online to symbolise your family at first... I love that it's one of your own beautiful photos that is so perfect for this post!! xx

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  42. Found you on Ruth (Dorkymum) tuesday treats.round up wise words and important perspective

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