Censor

Just after I started blogging, a large parenting website asked to feature one of my posts. I was more than happy to say yes, and because I was new to everything, I just assumed they’d republish the post exactly as it appeared on my blog. Well, how bloody naïve of me. They basically took my post, rolled it over, held it down, and assaulted it- but should I word it like that?? Am I offending people?? Should I censor my thoughts, my personality, my humour??

They changed the title, and made what was a humorous post, into something that sounded really patronising. They also put a really stupid picture with it too, that before I’d even looked at the new title, I’d already thought would get people complaining. That, coupled with the title, and the reshuffled content, equalled the miserable trolls coming out in force.

As a fairly fresh faced writer at that point, and someone who is also way too oversensitive, I was devastated at the comments. A few months later, somebody said to me that they felt my writing had changed-that it felt a lot more cautious. She told me ‘you say certain things that could be deemed outrageous, but then it’s like you’re afraid people will take it all too seriously, and you seem to be adding disclaimers afterwards-what’s happened to make you add a censor??’ I hadn’t even noticed I was doing it, but having that happen to me, had subconsciously made me question every single thing I wrote.

So lets go back to what I wrote above: ‘They basically took my post, rolled it over, held it down, and assaulted it.’ There are people who will offended by that, but it’s how I talk, and it’s something that if I saw written somewhere, I’d laugh at it. It’s contextual. One of my favourite films is The Wolf Of Wall Street. I could watch it every night and not get bored, because Leonardo DiCaprio is just 50 shades of fucking awesome in it, and it makes me laugh from start to finish. It totally uplifts me. I was going to write something about it,  but remembered that it had come under fire by animal cruelty groups, for certain scenes-to be honest, these weren’t things that I had actually noticed while I watching it. But I thought that I better not mention I liked the film, in case I was accused of inciting poking fun at animal cruelty , which of course, I don’t condone at all. But again, everything is contextual.

Helen from Just Saying Mum said recently that she has ‘the fear’ before publishing anything. I completely get this-I spend a lot of time agonising over the bits of my posts that people are likely to take the wrong way. The thing is, you could end up never publishing anything if that were the case, because someone will always find something to complain about, in the most harmless of posts. I shouldn’t have to censor the things I like, or water down the things I want to say. I shouldn’t have to second guess what someone might not find PC, because it’s a really fine line, and what enrages someone, will not enrage someone else. What someone finds hysterical, will be distasteful to another.

So, there’s no pleasing everyone, and as long as it’s not inciting hatred, or anything illegal, I don’t think anyone should be censoring what they say, just for the benefit of pleasing others-that is a no win situation all around. I know I’ll still have ‘the fear’ when I publish something, but the best thing for me, and everyone who writes, is to say what I want to say, how I want to say it, and f**k the fear.

screaming baby
Motherhood: The Aftershocks that Just Keep Coming…

For anyone who hasn’t had a baby, having one can be likened to losing your virginity: Often, the anticipation is a lot more exciting than the real event, it will change your relationship with the person it was with, for ever, you will find that everyone has an opinion on the right and the wrong time to do it, it will be flipping messy, and it may be with the wrong person. Importantly, once it’s done, there’s no going back, and finally, like cashing in the V card, nothing (not even the frankest dissection of the event with your best friends who have ‘been there’) will prepare you for it. Anyone can throw in their advice (and they will) on what it will be like, and how you will cope with it, but only when you do it yourself, will you understand. BUT, where the two events differ, is while the feelings from that first venture into the unknown fade, the aftershocks from the life changing eruption of having a baby, continue, hitting you smack in the face with how it will change everything you thought you knew about yourself, and your life…

Maybe you will be in the shower, about to faint because you haven’t eaten for three days, that a shred of realisation takes hold about what your life has become. A tiny human has been glued to your arms, their relentless sucking putting your Dyson (which won’t be seeing the light of day for a while) to shame. Not being able to prize the constantly sucking (and if not sucking, still needing to be attached to your arms because it’s the only place they will sleep) person away from yourself, and only having one pair of arms, means that unless you want to eat your food like you are apple bobbing, eating fell to the bottom of your list of priorities.

It could be when the lady at the bank asks for your name and address, and it takes you a full 5 minutes for you to remember, before forgetting why you were even in the bank in the first place, that the seed of realisation really takes hold, and you panic a little about the enormity of what you’ve taken on. Dear God, prizing the information from a part of your brain which used to function normally, and procure this information without you having to even think about it, is too much for you, because you will probably be more worried about whether death by tiredness or the sound of your baby’s screams, are a thing.

In the dark, early days of having my first baby, these things happened to me. They came along with a catalogue of other shocks which constantly made me evaluate the decision I had made, and reflect on my old life in a way I never had before. This blog was born from the hours I spent each day, traipsing the streets of my city with my new born, who would only sleep in his pushchair (and I was fed up of reading the books which alleged that if you followed their instructions to the letter, your baby would sleep whenever you wanted it to, for how long you wanted it to, at the times of the day deemed ‘correct’ by the authors of this fiction.) It was bullshit, didn’t work, and only increased the sense of failure I already felt at feeling confident I could be a capable mum, then seeing this illusion shattered into a million pieces (authors of these crappy books, you know who you are) Along with the walking, my thoughts and musings on motherhood, and the massive adjustments to my new reality came along. I wanted to share them with others, so here they are! Welcome to my journey!

Thanks for reading

Xoxo.