When I first thought about starting a blog, I had just returned to work after my second maternity leave and so was still in the throes of intense ‘motherhood’: still in the world of sleeplessness and nappies, feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about returning to work. I was still very much obsessed with babies and children and my role as a mother, so I named the blog ‘themotherhub‘, mainly just because I thought it sounded pretty snappy.
There was two years between setting up my WordPress account and writing my first post. Let nobody say that I have a tendency to procrastinate and overthink in the extreme; not me, a real ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of gal.
Two years have passed and I am no longer in the fog of early motherhood. My eldest is at school and my youngest happily ensconced in Montessori. I can think of things beyond my children, I want to think of things beyond my children. Do I want to pin my blogging identity to parenting ? Do I want to identify as a parenting blogger? I think of my blog as something that is mine, something that gives me an identity beyond wife, mother, employee. When I look back at my posts over the last few months not many of them are actually about parenting: When is a parenting blog not a parenting blog?
Before I started blogging, I wanted to find a website that spoke to me as a mother and as a woman – I didn’t want to be mummy. I am someone who loves her kids and loves talking about them, yes, but also loves talking about books, about films and current affairs, about TV and make-up. About being a woman, and all of the parts that make up being a woman; because I am a human who lives in the world, I knew that there must be a lot of other women out there, exactly the same as me, who didn’t want to be ‘mummy-fied’ either.
I had fallen for the spin that mummies aren’t cool or interesting.
Because in many ways motherhood was the impetus to get me started. It has made me realise the importance of holding on to my own identity and identifying what is important to me and what I like to do for myself. Becoming a mother certainly wakened my dormant feminist sensibilities, which now inform so many of my posts. They were heightened further when my daughter was born and the inevitable comparisons came between her and my son, so gender has become something I also love to write and read about; and it’s certainly not something I gave much thought to, pre-motherhood.
The sum of our parts
I confess when I started blogging I didn’t want to be seen as ‘just‘ a mother. But none of us are ‘just’ anything. We are all the sum of our parts. Mother, wife, friend, reader, beauty lover, feminist, over-thinker, TV watcher, colleague, introvert, sister, daughter. All of these things inform who I am and what I write about, you can’t separate one from the other. Without any of them the whole of me, the woman I am, is altered. We all know this about ourselves, and yet as a society we like to put people in boxes, to label them. It makes us feel secure. As parenting bloggers we are a rich and diverse community with content as varied as our personalities. So whilst I might still resist mummy-fication, I am happy to be themotherhub, parenting blogger.