Honesty is definitely the best policy
This blog post is going to be shit, and it’s going to be honest.
Why is it going to be shit? Because for half of Friday and all of Saturday I was at the biggest parent blogging conference in the UK – Britmums Live. I hugged, I cried, I laughed and I learnt. I also drank lots of wine and didn’t sleep much, so with the emotional and mental pressure on my brain this blog post is likely to be shit. Please accept my apologies for that now.
Why is it going to be honest? I have always been pretty honest on this blog, but Britmums Live made me realise that I do hold back here. I do worry what people might say, might think. And so I’m not 100% me. Which was the whole point of this blog in the first place.
So from now one you’ll be seeing (reading) me, the whole me, and nothing but the me. Warts (grey hairs and wrinkles) and all.
For example, expect to see a certain amount of swearing on here. I’m pretty certain this is the first blog post where I’ve sworn. Which, if you know me you’ll know, is madness. I swear all the time. Not when I’m with the kids, but literally all the rest of the time.
I realised how bad it was when C’s second word was “pétard” (which means something like “damn” or “blast”) and is the soft version of “putain” (which literally means “whore” but is used more in the way we would say “fuck”). So the French say “pétard” instead of “putain” like we might say “sugar” instead of “shit”. I couldn’t understand where she was getting “pétard” from, until Hubs and L pointed out that I say it ALL the time when I’m around the kids. To avoid saying “putain” which I say the when I’m not with the kids.
I’m sorry Mum (and Dad, who doesn’t read my blog), you never swore around us and you certainly didn’t bring us up to be swearers, but I am one.
So, dear readers, if you don’t like this honest, sweary me then I invite you, in the nicest possible way, to go and read someone else’s blog.
Whilst on the subject of honesty I want to lay myself bare here, following Britmums Live, and share a bit (or maybe a lot) about myself.
I’ve always had friends. I’m a sociable kind of animal. I’m smiley and I talk A LOT. And I have always made friends easily, everywhere I go, in whatever country and in whatever language.
But I’ve rarely felt like I’ve fitted in, or been “like” these friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had – and still have – some very good and very close friends from school, university, my days in Nice and my time back in the UK. But I’ve never really felt I “belonged”.
I really hope you don’t take this the wrong way, my lovely friends, as this is very much a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.
Luckily there is one place I felt like I belonged from the very first minute. And that was in Hubs’s company. Which is possibly why we moved in together after just 3 months of knowing each other, got engaged after 6 months and married 19 months after we first set eyes on each other. I feel very fortunate to have found “la chaussure à mon pied” (“the shoe for my foot”) as the French say. (Even though he can, and does, drive me demented sometimes, as I do him.)
I always assumed that I would feel like an outsider in all my friendships. Forever. And whilst it does upset me sometimes, I’ve come to terms with it, and it’s mostly fine.
I am quite different to many people I know. Throwing away a good job to start my own business doesn’t scare me. Moving in with a man I met 3 months previously, in a bar, sounds like a good idea. Starting a blog and spending hours of my spare time (sometimes at 6am, sometimes at 10pm, often at weekends), to the detriment of my TV viewing, is not something that makes me baulk.
And for most of my friends who’ve never set up businesses, who’ve stayed in most jobs for 5-10 years or more, who’ve waited the appropriate amount of time before moving in/marrying/having babies with their men, who’ve thought that blogging is a little bit of a crazy world, I can understand why I probably seem a bit strange, and probably a little bit mad.
And everything fell into place. These were my people. This is where I belonged. They got me. They didn’t think I was certifiably insane. With every meet-up with my blogger friends an immense feeling of relief flowed through me.
Then I spent from 11am on Friday until 6pm last night with bloggers. I hugged the bodies of the familiar faces I see on my phone and computer screen. I laughed and laughed at stupid, little things, until my cheeks ached. And I cried. How I cried when my good friend, Sarah from Grenglish, read out her blog post about miscarriage. I cried at the other keynote speakers, who have gone through their own heartache.
And then I laughed some more at Wife, Mum, Student Bum, reading her blog post “Your child is pissed”. And then some more when “The Good Enough Mums Club” performed extracts from their musical, including “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Boobs”.
Now, a full 24 hours after I said goodbye, physically, to these amazing bloggers, and wonderful friends, I realise that whilst I’m sad that I may not see some of them again until Britmums Live 2015, I’m happy that they’re in my life, and are in my phone and on my computer every day. That they get me. That we can have a closer friendship than I have with many of my “real life” friends. All via the power of the internet, blogging and social media.
This blog post is dedicated to all the amazing bloggers I saw, hugged or talked to at Britmums Live. And in particular to my special blogging friends, Sarah from Grenglish, Vanessa from HPMcQ, Becky from Munchies and Munchkins and Michelle from Bod for Tea. Thank you all for making me feel normal.
Note: I had such a good time, that I have pretty much no photos of the event!