2010 was a funny old year for me – a year of contrasts between the full on parenting part of my life whilst I was off on maternity and gardening leave but also having to throw myself fully into reclaiming the professional me.
I guess in part it was a year when I accepted that I enjoy working and all that entails. But it was also the year in which I realised that there is no shame in embracing the Mummy part of my life and in recognising that this may be an area which I need to focus on more.
I’m not sure that I have found a place where working me and Mummy me have managed to co-exist happily, but at least I know that in the same way I enjoy the cut and thrust of meetings and deadlines, I also enjoy gardening or cooking with the girls. I have accepted that there is no shame in wanting to spend time with my children or in gaining pleasure from the time we spend together.
I have reached a place where I feel confident in my parenting decisions – they may not what most people would choose but they are right for me, they are right for my family and well, that is that (although I will admit to wobbles from time to time). So yes I do co-sleep, I am still breastfeeding, I don’t believe in leaving my children to cry and I do believe in firm boundaries and strict rules and yes I believe that all of those are compatible choices.
But do I define myself as a Mummy first? Probably not.
I still feel that I’m an awful lot more than a mother – that there are all these different parts of me that are as important and the Mummy bit. That I am made up of many strands – that each is important and influences the others but that they all have times when they take precedence but one isn’t the over-riding force in my life.
I guess I am still a Mummy but still other things.
Which brings me to whether I consider myself a ‘Mummy blogger’. There have been various conversations I’ve dipped into on Twitter questionning whether things like Cybermummy* or the Tots100** are inclusive or exclusive. Whether certain people should be included or they are not sufficiently ‘Mummy blogger’ to join the party.
I guess I am lucky that my route into blogging was a bit different – that it was my lifeline to the outside world whilst I was confined to bed and that I discovered a whole range of blogs during that time. I didn’t realise that the likes of British Mummy Bloggers was out there until many months after I’d been wibbling away on my own. In fact it was a Daddy blogger that first said nice things about my writing (as ever, thank you Tim).
But what is a Mummy blogger?
There are blogs that write primarily about childrens’ products, about their family life, about their children and that isn’t really what I do.
I don’t chart the development of my girls, in fact I try and keep them a little out of the public eye – I often regret not being able to put up pretty photos of them but that isn’t what I feel comfortable doing.
Instead this blog is like me – its a whole muddle of things. Views on this or that. Rants about whatever has caused me to throw Marvin*** at the TV. A mishmash of the things I consider important, or want to talk about, or need help or support with.
Mummy blogging has always sounded rather twee to me. Sort of like a mothers’ meeting in the virtual world I guess. It definitely doesn’t sound like my sort of thing. And yet, you see in some way it is. I am not sure that I could call myself a Mummy blogger, but I am a Mummy who blogs.
Photo credit: Velveteen Mind
* I am going to Cybermummy – there are people I want to meet, to catch up with again and as far as I’m concerned despite a name that brings up images of cyborg mothers and makes me cringe I still think its going to be lots of fun
** No I have no idea how I was number 74 in the 100 parenting blogs of 2010 despite never making it into the actual Tots100 at any point during the year – I guess my consistency at being just outside has had its benefits! Did I mention I was number 74?
*** we have a soft toy moose called Marvin who lives on the sofa and is thrown at the TV when just ranting at it is insufficient – its better than throwing something that could cause real damage, right? And it gives Marvin a purpose in life