Cheaper than therapy

For various reasons, I’ve really lost my motivation to blog on HoT recently.

As the girls get older, they become infinitely more interesting to me and (I think) much less interesting to the general public. I no longer write about routines, sleep, weaning, potty training (my Macbeth), feeding and general baby-rearing stuff that might be useful to someone, somewhere. Also, as R and G become children rather than babies or toddlers, they’ve lost some of their ‘Ooh, aren’t twins amazing –  how on earth do you manage?’ curiousity factor. We’re reached a stage where we’re just raising two children, not constantly thinking ‘Jesus! Having twins is fecking hard’ and feeling a need to tell everyone.

As I’m no longer offically (block quotes here) ‘Mildly depressed and extremely anxious’  – aside from the now offically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is stress-related (Consultant: ‘Try and relax and not get so stressed’. Me: ‘Ha ha ha ha ha’) I don’t need to whinge on here about my feelings, although when I was in the mire writing things down really helped and I would recommend keeping a diary of some kind, if you don’t want to tell ‘t’internet about your feelings of crapness.

Over the years, I’ve also got a lot of the ‘I really don’t like….christenings/chavvy baby names/terrible clothes/yummy mummy/twins club/other children’ rants out of my system so don’t need to revisit them. However, I’m managing to find lots of other things about other people parenting quite irritating, so I think there’s still some mileage in that.

Talking of things that get my goat: Mummy Blogger sell-outs. FFS! I was ranting about this to dh recently and he asked me why I wasn’t making any money from HoT. It’s not like, with the girls’ expensive shoe-habit, we don’t need the cash. When I started writing HoT in it’s original incarnation on the Babycentre website, I just wanted to do something to keep my brain ticking over while I was on Maternity Leave and to have a place to process everything that was happening to us and the girls. I started writing HoT for my own benefit really – I’ve always used writing as therapy and a few people found it interesting enough to keep reading. If I’d just kept a private diary I would have abandoned it long ago. The creation of HoT as a ‘Thing’ has made me keep writing it when I was tempted to stop.

Also, it’s an (extremely) extended love letter to R and G. When they’re older and have (hopefully) got over the phase where they are deeply embarrassed about having their young lives published online, they’ll appreciate that even when I seemed stressed or anxious or downright pissed off, I put them to bed and spent my limited free time writing all about them. It’s like a Baby Record Book, only it’s probably about 200,000 words long now. Goodness knows what it would look like if I printed it off.

So…yeah. I didn’t want my therapeutic blog, my love letter to R and G, to be sponsored by a pizza chain or a toy or a Dragon’s Den-style prototype. I didn’t want it to be filled with disclaimers, or ‘This is my own work so back off meanies’-type statements (although, as someone pretty much paraphrased something we did with the girls earlier this year on their own blog – and didn’t even mention us in passing – maybe I’m missing a trick here).

I’ve never sought, or expected people I know to read and follow HoT. Desperate pleas for followers have always struck me as needy and desperate and that isn’t my style. If you want to read HoT = great. If you don’t = fine. It always makes me laugh when someone apologises for not reading it – why would you? If I didn’t write Hot I might not read it either. That’s not meant to denigrate my (few) loyal readers, for whom I am extremely grateful and keep me writing HoT when I contemplate giving up.

So, why keep writing? Firstly, if I stop now R and G’s story will be incomplete. There’s nothing worse than reading a book, getting towards the end and finding that the last few chapters have been torn out or scribbled on. Also, I still feel I have things to say about parenthood and I think there’s an honesty gap in parenting blogs. There’s a world of difference between the shining examples of parenting I read about elsewhere and the hair-tearing reality of having children. I’m also mindful that while I have the anxiety and depression in check now, it might come back and I don’t want to cut off one of my chief therapeutic outlets. Finally, when I set my mind to it and the creative juices flow, there’s nothing better than coming up with c.1,00o words of prose and while R and G continue to be excellent muses, I’m not going to stop.

“I wrote this because I’m properly brilliant and if you copy it I’ll cry and pull your pigtails. So there”.


2 thoughts on “Cheaper than therapy

  1. You musn’t stop! I might not always get time to read (you know how it is) but it’s not just therapy for you! I want to hear about R and G the teenage years – I might even be blogging about my kids by then!

    Totally with you on the commercial aspect. Although in the future I aim to sell my stuff I’ll only know if it’s good by letting people decide for themselves. When or if people happen to find it and like it then that’s the whole point surely!

    • I think we’re getting a foretaste of the teenage years here at the moment – the whingeing! The tantrums! I’m already planning to do a Reggie Perrin on their 13th birthday…

      I’d love it if you started blogging about your three 🙂

      I think creating something with the commercial aspect in mind right from the start is fine – it’s when people start doing something different then suddenly veer off and turn into bad contestants from The Apprentice…

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