Connect

Blogging ain’t like it used to be.

I don’t know why. Well, I do. It’s not it, it’s me. It’s me, and it’s my kids. They’re people now. I can’t go whining about them on the Internet, because what they do is no longer unconscious behaviour, it’s not just because they’re a baby, it’s not all about me. It’s about them, and I can’t write about it if it’s not fun and funny, entertainment, light and fluffy and a quick boost for the reader on the bus. Don’t bring anybody down. Keep it easy. Take it handy.

Maybe I don’t have any readers on the bus. Maybe all my readers are people who know me anyway, who care about what I’m doing and how I’m feeling – but in that case I certainly can’t go airing my dirty laundry in public. Anonymity only goes so far.

When my daughter has a screaming fit of rage over something inconsequential, it drains me.

When my son ignores my request – telling – demand – shout – to stop doing the thing he’s doing until I physically remove him from the situation, it makes me angry. And guilty. And angry.

When I’m the one who always picks up the giant mess, I feel like a crappy parent because I got it all wrong.

When I make three dinners for four people, night after night, I wonder when they’ll grow out of it, and at what point I was meant to make it be different, and how that was meant to happen, and whether it was easier for everyone else or if I’m just particularly bad at it.

I don’t want to dwell on these feelings, because I’m mostly a positive person who doesn’t find it so hard to look at what I have done, at the good things, at my kids’ accomplishments and the times when they exceeded my expectations… but it’s all valid. The coin has two sides.

I feel this, and if I do, quite possibly you do too. My blog is not Pinterest perfect, Facebook happy, more than chirpy holiday snaps and snippets of hilarity as I show off my kids for their comedy charm and cuteness.

My blog is where it all hangs out – I tell you how insecure I’m feeling about my writing (hey, guess what, there are two spelling mistakes in the print version of the book, and I’m done with uploading corrections now) or how I worry about Dash’s dyslexia and how it will affect his future, how Mabel bit someone or how much of a double-edged sword tandem nursing is.

Because my blog is for connecting, and if everything’s perfect I can’t connect, except with all the other people pretending everything’s perfect for them too.

That’s not the connection I’m looking for. That’s not why I’m here. Why are you here?

Upside-down "Detour" sign by water.

I knew this would come in handy.


I wrote a book. It’s fiction for children aged 9-12, mostly, with a nostalgic Irish twist. If you want to know more about it, drop me a line at awfullychipper@gmail.com or tweet me at @awfullychipper.

12 thoughts on “Connect

  1. Office Mum

    Everyone needs to know that everyone has those moments with the kids. I spent so much of our holiday looking at really well behaved kids and wondering what I’ve done wrong with mine. They’re not terrible but they do fight and they do shout, and I need to hang around with other people whose children fight and shout. That’s why we’re all in this I guess?!

    Reply
  2. SuzannaCatherine

    Why am I here? I like your writing. I love hearing about being Irish and how different you feel sometimes.

    I like hearing about your children. The real children – not the perfect ones everyone else is parenting. My son was (still is) dyslexic. He graduated high school in 1988 and got a diploma from a technical school in Computer drafting. It’s not all been easy, but he’s 45 now and doing ok. Married. Has an 11 year old son.

    I also admire that you’ve had the courage to relocate. I’ve often said if I had somehow been dragged – kicking and screaming onto the Mayflower – I probably would have spent the remainder of my life living three houses down from Plymouth Rock. Not many adventurous bones in this old body!

    Anyway, I’m always here reading. I don’t always comment, but I’m always reading what you write. Thanks for sharing your real life with all of us out here in the black hole of the Internet.

    Always enjoy your photos too.

    Suzanna Catherine

    Reply
  3. Ann

    I’m here because you put words to what I am feeling. I’m Irish, living in Maryland. Your experience of living here and raising a family here gives me a feeling of connection. Thank you for that!

    Confession: today, the store manager in Bed Bath & Beyond had to ask me to stop my 5 year old son from running around the aisles, as he may get hurt, and apparently someone had complained. I left the store feeling embarrassed at my inability to exercise authority in public (where we do our worst parenting) and resentful towards my son for not listening to me. We all have those moments, and when we do it’s comforting to know that we are not alone.

    Reply
  4. dept of speculation

    Because there’s an authenticity to your words. One that comes from an openness to capturing all the connections and contradictions of life against the backdrop of your own personality, the spaces and places you occupy, and world around them. I think readers intuit when posts hang on processing life, rather than processing words to hang on posts about life. The difference is subtle but significant. An enthusiasm for positivity beats a showcase of perfection. And the sarky humour makes it just the right measure of salty.
    I’m on a blog to clumsily chipping away at all the nothing in particulars that make up the days. However ham-fisted and all over the shop it is. Story of my life.

    Reply
  5. Helen O'Keeffe

    Ah here, perfection is boring – and fiction. Imperfection is real – and serves the dual purpose of getting it off your chest and allowing the rest of us feeling far better about ourselves.
    Keep writing. I’ll keep reading.
    I’ll also keep fucking up so please feel free to do that too.

    Reply
  6. Life on Hushabye Farm

    I’m here because I love how you write. If you wrote about the weather I would most likely read it, because you write beautifully. That said I also love what you write, I love the snapshot of your world, it’s not a diary but just a window and I’m always happy to have a peek. Keep writing x

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *