‘Page Not Found’

It’s been a while.

I let my domain subscription thing expire. I didn’t renew it. Where this blog has always sat, a ‘page not found’ message sat instead.

At first I didn’t care. It’s been six months since I posted, and nine months since I recorded anything important about the kids.

I find it hard to click on publish.

What if it’s awful? What if my writing is dreadful and somebody notices and thinks ‘wow, that’s really dreadful’? What if nobody reads it at all? Or worse, what if somebody does read it?

What if somebody I know reads it and wonders if I’ve lost my mind a little bit?

I’m forever doubting myself. I know I’m not alone in that. We all do it.

I feel more confident now than I have since before I became a mother, but this is still really hard.

The thought of not having my little online record makes me sad.

I’ve been questioned recently on how and why I share so much information and pictures of my family and our lives, and I see their point. The internet is a dangerous place, I know.

Then there’s the issue of consent. Is it right to share your children’s lives without knowing if they’d want you to? I don’t know.

I like to think that they’ll read this and enjoy it one day, but I don’t know.

Every year since I started writing this blog has been a life changer. Each one for different reasons.

This is the first year without pregnancy or childbirth in it, and it’s been the easiest one. 2016 almost finished me off, and 2017 has been a year of getting back up and dusting myself off. A year of working out who I am now, instead of just wondering.

And there is no record of it.

I’m beginning to regret that.

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A quiet return 

It’s been more than two months since I wrote anything here. I stopped without explanation or warning, marking most of my posts to private and just vanishing. 

I was frightened. 

I heard a story of another blogger, who had discovered somebody else using pictures of her child and claiming that child was theirs. 

I am so anxious, all of the time. Even when things are good I’m often like a huge ball of stress. 

Somebody else quite rightly pointed out that even if people use pictures of my children without my permission, my children are still right here. Safe. With me. They are only pictures. 

Still, I couldn’t relax about it. 

I’d not long given birth. I was emotional enough without this extra thing to worry me. 

I’m still worried. Not so intensely, but the worry is still there. 

But do the pros outweigh the cons? 

The Internet and social media are like an invisible support network, right there inside my phone/laptop. 

A support network I am lacking. 

Yes, I have some truly wonderful friends both in Bristol and here too. But I’m still new here. I feel new anyway, and the two years since I’ve moved have been hard. I don’t have old enough or strong enough friendships here. The really old and close friends are far away. 

It’s so isolating. 

There’s more to it than that, of course. 

The first few weeks after Astrid was born were a blur of feeling wonderful and happy and tired. 

But then pain came. Old, familiar pain. 

Migraines. 

But not just the migraines. There’s more going on and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m not very well. 

That’s not entirely true. 

I’ve been here before. It comes and goes in big waves, that take over my life and leave me unable to function and then just wash back out to sea again. And I’m ok. 

Right now things are bad in my body and my head. 

I’m back here, back in this online space because it does me good. It is cathartic and healing and helps me to release the things I feel. 

Even the posts about what we did last Wednesday or whatever. They help. Writing helps. 

My two tiny humans are rapidly growing and changing and learning. My biggest anxiety is that I’ll forget who they were. Who they were before they became proper people. These tiny humans with so much to discover. 

That post about what we did last Wednesday snatches at the memories and puts them where I’ll always be able to look back. 

I could write a private diary. I could. 

But it wouldn’t be the same. There’s something in the sharing. The community. The getting this shit out there. I can’t explain it. 

I know I’m not alone. 

I know there are hundreds and thousands of other people writing about all the day to day stuff that makes up their lives. There’s millions of people sharing their breakfasts, their trips to the beach, and everything else. If it’s not a blog, it’s Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. 

It’s all the same thing. 

So I’m here. How long for I can’t say. Hopefully always, as the effect on my mental health is so positive. 

Sore bums and sore heads

It’s been a little quiet here because it’s been a little noisy in my life. 

Having two children under two is incredibly hard work. I knew it would be and I am not surprised. It’s no more difficult than I anticipated. 

My head hurts. Trev hasn’t been home in time to help with bedtime for days, and Astrid keeps screaming and screaming and nothing calms her down. Iris has been suffering with constipation and keeps crying and saying ‘poo hurts’.  She wakes up several times a night, very briefly, to cry out. 

I have a million things to do, including finishing several blog posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder for quite a while. 

I just can’t do it. There’s no time. 

So forgive me, while I get better at this, for being so quiet. Don’t go away. I’ll be back when Iris has done her poo, Astrid has finally burped and my headache has gone away. 

In the meantime Peppa Pig will be parenting Iris for me while I beg Astrid to just be quiet for just five minutes pretty please. 

  
PS: Our new pushchair finally arrived and the rainbow colours have brightened things up just a little bit! 

Social media and a busy life 

I don’t know if it’s something about the time of year, but I’m feeling pretty fed up about social media again and I felt similarly this time last year. I wrote this post and then gave up on social media for February. It did me good. 

Then yesterday I read this post about turning off social media notifications by Emma at Raising Bears, and I decided I need to do something similar. I need social media more now than I did last year. My blog was nothing much back then but now it’s beginning to take some sort of shape. Plus I’m enjoying it! Sharing it and talking about it on social media is kind of important. 

Despite that, there really is no need for me to be checking it all of the time. When Iris was a newborn I relied on it to keep me entertained during the endless breastfeeding, but this time around I have Iris to entertain me while I feed Astrid. I’m squeezing my Facebook fixes into every little gap in the day, because I don’t really have the time for it. It’s not healthy and it’s not necessary. 

So I’m following Emma’s lead. The apps will stay and I’m sure I’ll check occasionally, but my phone won’t alert me to every little thing, and I’ll avoid checking quite so often. 

I have had periods over the last few years where I’ve become ridiculously addicted to Twitter, but I’m most definitely not in one of those periods right now. In fact I’m finding it annoying. So spending less time there shouldn’t be too tricky! 

If I take longer to reply, please forgive me. Me and the babies need this step back. 

New Blog Banner!

You may have noticed my fabulous new look blog! It’s pretty cool isn’t it?

The banner artwork was done by the fabulous Carly at Carly Watts Art and Illustration and working with Carly was just fabulous. We chatted by email for a while so she could get an idea of what I wanted, what colours I liked. I even sent over pictures of Seb and Iris! It was Carly’s idea to feature Trev and the big kids in the mountains! Can you spot them?

When I got the banner in my email inbox I was standing in Pontypridd bus station and I nearly cried! Happy tears, of course. It’s just so perfect for us and our lifestyle that I got a bit emotional.

I also have a portrait picture (that I’m using on twitter) and some social media buttons that I have no clue how to use yet.

I’ve also snaffled mousedogbaby.com! How exciting!

Of course as soon as I made all of these changes I found myself with nothing at all to say and no time to write. It’s been a tough week here, as Trev has been working away. He left very early on Sunday morning and came back late last night. Iris hasn’t been feeling good either, so it hasn’t been much fun and I’m more tired than I’ve ever been. Back to normal service soon! IMG_5331.JPG
Carly’s work is just fabulous! I paid for my banner and portrait, and Carly didn’t ask me to write this. I just love her work and want to tell you all about it! If you fancy a new blog banner too, you can contact Carly on twitter at
@CarlyWattsArt

Blogging

Those of you who started following this back in May when I started writing it have probably noticed that I deleted it all. Apart from one post, which I thought I had deleted. Not sure how that one survived.

It’s an enormous shame because I’d written some pretty good stuff and some of it I wanted to document and remember.

I have a huge dilemma when it comes to blogging. I love it. I love writing and the way that getting my thoughts out into the world makes me feel. It’s an emotional release. I’m even quite confident about my writing and I think I’m not too bad at it.

My problem is my content. For blogging to feel good, for me, it has to be about me. It has to be about my life. For this reason it usually ends up being about some fairly personal stuff. I’m ok with this when my twitter followers and my mates are reading it. That’s great. Those are the people I intended for it to be read by.

Facebook is a whole different ball game.

Call me mental if you like, but there are some people I don’t want to read this. If they’re reading it, I don’t feel I can rant and release in the same way. Not because I don’t trust them or feel they won’t support me. Just because I’m self concious about my feelings. These people include my mum, my dad, my grandfather, and a few others. All on Facebook.

Also, it’s kinda weird to think of old school friends reading it when I haven’t seen them for years and years and didn’t even like some of them when I was at school. I should definitely get round to removing them from my life.

This blog, those old posts, got shared on Facebook with my real name linked, and I instantly freaked. DELETE DELETE DELETE. I couldn’t remove the link from Facebook because I didn’t post it and I felt silly asking. So the posts had to go. I moved them to drafts so that I could save them but never got round to it and now they are permanently gone. Forever. And that is that.

I regret it now. I wrote that huge long post about pregnancy and those are memories I want to preserve. But it’s too late.

I’m back here now. Things have changed. I have had a baby! I’m a proper grown up now, right?

So lets give this another go. Hopefully it’ll stay away from the people I’d prefer it to stay away from and I’ll be able to continue to be brave about these words being out in the world.

If I freak again and this disappears, then so be it. We’ll see.