Cyberspace. It’s a place that’s brought me, like many other people great comfort and community over the years.
As a new Mum, a lonely stay at home Mum, a bereaved parent, and an extrovert craving the connection of people beyond my own four walls, when circumstantially, it wasn’t practically possible to do so in real life, this space was my sanctuary.
I had no unrealistic expectations; I knew that blogging would change for me once I returned to work. And, true to my prediction, of late, those sacred down moments haven’t been filled with inspiration to sit at my screen and write away the day.
Let’s face it, things were very different when I saw my blog as my sole income, and I had time and space to maximise input and output and create my own little venture. That would never have been sustainable whilst focusing on my return to career, but I do remain convinced blog life and work life can co-exist. The simple fact is that now I have a regular source of income, the pressure is off and it’s more of a hobby with perks again. Hats off to the successful and relentless parenting bloggers out there who have made blogging a successful career and continue to do so, because it’s a hard slog, however cushty it may seem from the outside.
Learning to prioritise all the things that are important to me has been a crucial part of my self care plan , and choices of how to spend fleeting moments of freedom (whilst juggling all the other stuff) have revealed the truth of the matter; that ironically the reason I needed to blog in the first place, to connect with people, is also the reason my attention to it has faded.
Because how can I put online life before real life? How can I turn away good solid shoulders of support in favour of pouring my heart out on the internet? In a world where responses have become few and left me wondering if anyone’s actually reading this anyway? (Hi Mum).
And so, despite this strange nagging voice inside telling me I need to generate something here, to publish something, anything, I have chosen to drown out that noise with the noise of my kids laughter, the chatter of my friends who lift me up, and the extended and immediate family who need my time frankly more than anyone on here does.
My two midweek days off work which can cause some kind of option paralysis are just way too valuable to spend in silence on my own, in a room with a laptop (when I spend the rest of the time at my desk, on a laptop at work). And after all, I’m not entirely sure I have that much to say these days. So until I do, perhaps I’ll just learn to chill about it.
Evenings which once were another void of time to fill now see me collapsed in a heap after a bedtime far later than when the girls were little. Now the kids bedtime isn’t rushed as we spend time together reading, doing homework and sharing about our day. It’s hardly surprising that evenings have become a less than appealing blog zone when the alarm is set for a dark cold 5.45 wake up and all my brain can handle is 45 minutes of crap TV and a good book.
I defend social media far too often as a place I can draw strength and positivity, but in reality, if I’m honest, it’s also a place where I lose far too many moments. The current day version of the fridge door open and not remembering what we came here for; Instagram is a place I know I need to put back in its place. That’s work in progress.
So I won’t apologise for being absent. I will treasure the unique sense of freedom and free voice that an online platform brings. I will still write and share the images I love, and I will try to use this platform for good, (even if – let’s keep it real here guys – that means cashing in on the odd sponsored article every now and again). But I will also lay on the sofa watching TV with Dad Muddling Through guilt free, because I need time to breathe, unwind and just be. We all do.
I’m not sorry that if I’m not here, I’m out there. In one hand absent, yet on the other hand, present.
And I can’t think of a better place to be.