Tag Archives: blogging

Musings of a (slightly crazy) mum

8 Oct

I must have started writing this blog post one hundred times.

I’ve stood in the shower, snatching a few child-free moments, ignored the banging on the door and briefly contemplated life outside of mum duties. Those child-free moments do not last long. Life is, it seems, one long interruption.

(I’m now writing this slowly with one hand, whilst feeding my four month old daughter. Anyway. I digress. As do the thoughts of this sleep-challenged mum.)

My recent shower thoughts (and never-written blog posts) have comprised:

  • Donald Trump vs. Jacob Zuma: who’s worse?
  • Donald Trump vs. Theresa May: who’s worse?
  • Fees-must-fall protests across universities in South Africa
  • Our upcoming holiday
  • Being a rich white in South Africa
  • Guilt about being a rich white in South Africa
  • Self-justification linked to being a rich white in South Africa
  • Bringing up children in a vastly unequal South Africa
  • Marie Kondo and the joy of less
  • Where have I put my hairdryer? (Haven’t seen it for months)
  • Can you die of sleep deprivation?
  •  Oh no. Is that a crying baby/toddler?

It may be apparent that my capacity for deep thinking is not what it used to be. In fact, I am finding it really, really difficult to write this (not-very-complex) blog post.

I used to think that motherhood doesn’t have to change you much.

I guess that the essence of who-I-am remains. But it’s all the other stuff that has changed:

  • Priorities (keeping two little girls alive, trying not to mess them up, remembering to talk to my husband, sleep)
  • Capacity for conversation about important-and-grown-up-things (like natural disasters and the state of the economy) has been superseded by a different conversation about grown-up-and-important-things (nappies, schools, paw patrol)
  • Social skills (talking to a friend whilst opening a pot of yoghurt/changing a nappy/pushing a swing/talking to a toddler at the same time)
  • Marriage (it’s no longer “just us”, in fact it’s mostly “hardly-us-at-all-right-now”)
  • Spending (nappies, swimming lessons, nappies, baby chinos, nappies)
  • Shower thoughts (I’m no longer trying to save the world)

It’s hard to “take stock” during this baby/toddler phase. I don’t feel like I have much to say, much blog-post wisdom. I don’t have time to sit and think about what I want to write about next. I don’t have the luxury of being a “world changer” (just a nappy changer).

So I am not really sure why I am reviving the blog. Except I know that, in some small way, it helps me. Helps me to reach out beyond the daily (and sometimes mind-numbing) tasks of motherhood-with-a-small-baby-and-a-toddler-too.

I don’t know how often I will post. Or if I’ll ever say anything meaningful again. I still like writing though. That’s one thing that  [I’m going now – my little girl has woken up…]

 

 

Looking ahead- a new blogging adventure

30 Jul

I’ve started a new blog. 

It felt like the right time. The right time to start writing again. The right time to start thinking and wrestling. 

It feels different this time. My brain is much more fuzzy. My time is much more limited. My words get stuck more quickly.

But I’m setting off on this new adventure nonetheless.

And I really hope you will join me.

You can find me at Mama in Africa – I look forward to seeing you there soon.

Quote

“If there’s a b…

21 Apr

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

I’ve been thinking about writing this weekend. And this on-hold blog. 

I am not really sure why I stopped writing here. But I did. And I’ve realised that I miss it.

I love writing. I love words. I love thinking and wrestling and find the right words. Editing and re-writing. And posting little thoughts when they come.

I love talking about failure. The things that others find it hard to talk about. Life-when-it-is-not-perfect. I love finding community through this blog – fellow travellers who choose not to hide their lack of perfection.

So, I think, it’s time to resurrect a story of failure. To write again. 

For, sometimes, “you must write it”.

Words, they elude

19 Oct

As I chatted with a friend the other day, I realised – again – how much life has changed over the last twelve months.

October 2011 was a truly bleak month, followed by several more. No work. No money. Life felt like a weight, a burden, rather than a joy. And my coping methods didn’t seem to help.

October 2012 is here and I feel so different. Work is abundant, we are financially more secure, we have a new home and are starting on a new adventure.

I am so grateful that the darkness – the days of depression and despair – are no longer my ever-present companion.

Grateful for life itself.

Have all the “problems” disappeared? No.

Of course not.

They just feel less overwhelming at the moment.

And I want to celebrate this – the fun times, the joys and gift of life itself.

And yet, these times seem harder to write about.

I am struggling to know what to write here on the blog.

I struggle to find words, they elude.

I don’t want to stop writing. I don’t want to write only occasionally. I don’t want to write only when life is painful.

It feels as though my blog about failure is failing.

What can I do?

Summer, do you have to go?

20 Sep

Yes, I know – the blog has been somewhat dormant over the summer months. I guess it’s the opposite of conventional hibernation. I took some time out to reflect on why I am writing here. I was busy (it was indeed a fun-filled summer). And I had a little holiday. But, I am back in the world of blog once more and I hope that my writing will appear more frequently than it has of late.

Books I have loved this summer include:

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Won’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain) – this deserves its own blogpost (one is on its way). Absolutely brilliant.

Stone Arabia (Dana Spiotta) – original, intelligent fiction. Really makes you think about memory. Fascinating.

Ten Letters: To Be Delivered In The Event of My Death (Chris Russell) – there is so much goodness in this that I am reading it very slowly. Much to absorb and think about.

Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy – I read these earlier in the summer. I became obsessed. More than I ever have been over books. Utterly compelling, clever and creative. So sad that he died before he could write more books. I am now officially a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction (never thought I would utter those words!)

Blogs I have discovered:

Grief, 3 little girls, and God somewhere – http://deeperstory.com/author/guy/

Anecdotes of a manic mum – http://manic-mums.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/dear-alex-no-matter-what.html?spref=fb

Very powerful blog on depression (and absolutely brilliant writing) – http://tamaraoutloud.com/2012/09/14/the-longest-way-back-home/

Favourite summer moments:

Going to the Paralympics

 –

A little holiday in Greece:

Getting completely and utterly, totally obsessed with the Olympics

The launch of LIV UK – an extraordinary charity that is building children’s villages for South Africa’s 5.2 million orphans. I am thrilled that I will be working for LIV UK over the next few months.

Fresh perspective

11 Aug

Today I return, with slight trepidation, to the blogosphere. My “blogoliday” has rather taken me by surprise – a result of both busyness and intentional time out. I wanted to take a bit of time to reflect on why I am here. Why I put myself out there via this blog. Why I might continue to do so, or not. And (I think) I am back. For now at least.

I’ve been reflecting, of late, on the question: “what really matters?”. The London Olympics has been a wondrous staycation – a fortnight of multiple-hours-in-front-of-TV, a collective joy and pride in our city, amazement at the human spirit, inspiration to “get off the sofa more” (once Olympics is over obviously!) and a sense that “real life” has been suspended for a while. This unexpected, joy-filled time has – I think – helped me to put life into perspective. To remember that work is not always the number one priority. To remember that community and shared experience is often much more fun than “solo viewing”. To remember that, around the world, many athletes overcome extraordinary adversity to represent their country at this global party/competition.

And, in some strange way, this new sense of (forgotten) perspective has helped me as I’ve reflected on blogging too. For a while, number of readers really mattered to me. Now it doesn’t. For a while, I worried too much about what people thought. Now I won’t. For a while, it stopped being fun – a hobby – and became a chore. A pressure.

At times during my blog-break, I have wondered why I would blog at all – after all,  I thought (in my bleaker moments),what do I have to contribute? Why would anyone want to read my words? Is it helping anyone, in any small way, at all?

For now, I sense that I will carry on – until it stops being fun, until it stops being a forum for honesty and transparency, until it becomes a noose rather than a joy.

My hope is that this blog creates a space – for myself and others – to talk openly instead of in whispers. To say the difficult things – rather than pretend they don’t exist. To challenge, provoke, question, encourage and, maybe occasionally, inspire. To come back, again and again, to the question: “what really matters?”.

Writing is, for me, a therapeutic balm. I hope that reading it will, every now and again, be that balm for your soul too.

To blog or not to blog…

30 Jun

… that is my question.

I’ve been fretting about the blog for a little while now. Last night, chatting to a friend, I spoke about how I don’t feel I give it enough time anymore. Yesterday morning, someone asked how many people read it. Last weekend, I confided in a friend that I worry people might misunderstand some of what I write about here. And over the last two weeks, several people have asked if I am “ok”. They had read recent posts and worried. Which, for me, adds to the catalogue of confusion.

You see – I have been feeling insecure about it for a few weeks. In a “hovering-in-the-background” way. In a “can’t-quite-shake-the-feeling” way.

Is it too gloomy (or as a friend commented to my husband “more gloomy than usual”!)?

Is it egotistical online therapy – or does it serve a bigger purpose?

I started the blog to open up conversation – about failure. About daily, almost-mundane failures. And bigger, catastrophic ones too. I wanted to be able to talk about things-that-remain-taboo. To break the power of shame, silence and sorrow. Of disappointment.

But I worry that the blog no longer does this.

And whilst I love writing, and find it therapeutic too, I could go back to just writing a private journal. Rather than hanging it all out to dry on the online washing line.

So – what I would love to know, particularly from any of you who read regularly, is:

Which posts have you most liked/appreciated on the blog?

Which are less appealing? (I know that preferences are very personal, but I’d love to know)

Are there any that really turn you off?

How often do you read the blog?

Do you ever comment on posts? If not – is there a reason why? Would a more interactive set-up be a good thing?

Are there any specific issues/subjects you would like to see on here? Would you be interested in doing a “guest post”?

So.

To blog or not to blog…

That is still the question.

 

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