The person that is ‘me’ features a lot more than I guessed she would when I started this blog. I started the blog as a way of recording my sons life for him, and sharing the important moments in his life with those we love from afar. This space has become more than that; it’s a space my son can return to, if he wants, again and again to put together the pieces of our journey together, but also, somewhere to get to know his Mum. I find myself writing as though explaining to him, telling him what I feel, where I stand on this and that. I find myself revealing more than I thought I would and being more of me than maybe I should.
Online is fast becoming the new offline – especially for Mums like me, expats away from family and friends, who without the likes of Twitter could easily find ourselves alone. Through blogging, through writing and reading others words, my parenting style and attitude has broadened. I don’t know a single real-life ‘crunchy’ mama, yet I spend my days online talking to women who think and act a lot like me. Thanks to the Internet I’ve been able to explore babywearing and baby-led weaning my son, find breastfeeding support and cloth nappy advice, access endless resources on attachment parenting and infant educaring, and I know I’m a much better Mum as a result. I don’t have to feel stressed and alone because someone out there knows what I’m struggling with or questioning about. And as I myself find the answers that make sense to me because I can access these resources and educate myself, I can take the ideas offline, into my community where they don’t exist now and hopefully show people there is another way; that way doesn’t have to be my way, but it can be your way. I like that.
Back when I started writing consistently on this blog, M was a few weeks old. My Mum and sister had just left and I was 16 days into a 40 day home confinement, which wasn’t as extreme as it may sound! I was unsure what I wanted to write, what was appropriate to share but I figured I’d work that out along the way. I’m still figuring it out and still haven’t drawn the lines firmly between my online and offline worlds – both as real as the other. But now, unlike then, this blog isn’t just a release from, or a record of, our life; it plays a strong role in the grounding of it too, and that I never would have guessed.
Alhamduillah, my life is wonderful, but it has its’ ups and downs like any other. And on those down days, I’m grateful for somewhere I can return to and find the good days to bring me back round again.