I treated myself to breakfast at a local coffee shop today. I took my notebook so I could pretend to myself that I was working too! I sat and wrote a blog post that has been rolling around in my consciousness for ages and I haven’t been brave enough to put down on paper. I’m still not sure that I’m brave enough to actually post it despite having spent quite a lot of time on it over my boiled eggs and soldiers.
What it amounts to really is a response I feel nearly every day when a post pops up on my Facebook page from a Mumsnet Blogger. I’m taking a deep breath before I confess that my response is…..
‘Oh not another mother moaning about motherhood whose situation can only be assuaged by copious amounts of gin or prosecco.’
There I’ve said it. I’m sick of it. Well, unsubscribe you may well say. Of course, I could and then I wouldn’t see that the country’s youth is being brought up by gin-addled mothers.
I suspect that the need many feel to be writing something on their blog produces this deluge. A quote I found recently might suit this situation perfectly.
‘Did you really have a terrible day or just a terrible ten minutes that you milked all day?’
I think this is what happens – your toddler throws a wobbly at the shops and that is what you write about. What we don’t hear about is the lovely afternoon spent in the park kicking leaves and hooting with laughter. So we don’t get the whole picture.
My point is that if you just choose the terrible aspects of motherhood it gives a very slanted and negative view. Many times I’ve been in a local Costa’s and several tables close to me have been taken over by new mothers and their babies enjoying a coffee and a chat while the babies either sleep or are fed by breast or bottle. But I have never read a post that says I had a lovely lazy morning in Costa’s with my friends drinking coffee and chatting. No-one begrudges you that time, you really deserve it.
Motherhood is difficult, exhausting, frustrating and lonely but it is also lovely, huge fun, and incredibly rewarding. I know you know this.
I appreciate that for some women just putting their frustrations online and sharing them with an understanding community is hugely helpful. If you are feeling lonely or depressed and overwhelmed by the challenges you face it’s great to have that feeling that you are not alone. I’m not suggesting that you should stop telling the world how difficult motherhood is but just that you should feel free to tell us on those days when it is wonderful too. Probably on those days you are so busy having fun that your blog doesn’t call to you. Maybe your blog has become the place you go to moan. Please don’t let it just be somewhere to moan.
I think we feel constrained to say when things are going well because we feel we will get jumped on by the ‘well that’s great for you’ brigade. I suspect so. I saw someone on TV the other day saying that his baby slept right through the night very quickly but it wasn’t something he felt he could confess to other parents. Although I suspect mentioning it on TV might have scuppered his plan to keep it quiet.
People don’t want to appear smug with babies that sleep well, toddlers that don’t have a meltdown every time you enter the supermarket and the rising fives who love their new schools.
I’m just asking for balance. Can you ladies just get together (probably at one of those gin and prosecco drinking evenings) and decide who is going to do the moaning and who is going to share the brighter side of motherhood. You can take turns. That’s only fair. If you are feeling depressed and lonely carry on letting us know and we will all be as supportive and caring as possible but if you’ve just got into the habit of disaster blogging now is the time to change.
I also choose not to believe that you really drink as much gin as you say. Tell me it isn’t so!
So this was sort of the gist of my blog although there was more but I’ve probably said too much already.