‘An unattended blog is a sad thing’ – the reasons for inattention

22 Oct

A blank sheet of paperI read the above somewhere, probably on the mine of useful information that is Mumsnet Bloggers Network. I tried to find it again today, but unlike my ‘about’ page on here, they clearly update their information regularly!

But I definitely read it as I was planning to start this up, and it struck a chord with me.

“I will never”, I decided at the time, “allow my blog to fall into the ‘unattended’ category.”

That, however, was before life stepped up a gear. Or perhaps life has always operated at this ‘fourth gear – consistently accelerating not cruising’ speed, and I simply haven’t noticed, because before this blog I wasn’t encountering a little tap on my shoulder every now and then from these pages going ‘hello there, we’ve not been in touch for a while’.

So today I thought two things. Firstly, today I would definitely write about something, because in doing so, this blog is no longer unattended. Then secondly, I decided the topic would be all the things that prevented me from sitting down and starting this until 9.29pm.

(I have just paused, at this point, to stick the kettle and subsequently some pasta on, for M who has been working late, and to add some carbs to my pre-prepped lunch for Thursday – so that’s a small diversion).

It’s astonishing, the things that have to be done. There are things that have to be done that you don’t even know you have to do until they strike you a sledgehammer blow from behind (just taking a minute out to reply to a text message). Whenever I speak to my parenting friends, the situation is the same. Sitting down to relax, if it happens at all, is always after 10pm (I’ve done quite well with 9.29 then, haven’t I). Watching a drama series at the time it’s on is an impossibility – there’ll always be a curveball leaving us thankful for the modern miracle of BT Vision. And bedtime creeps ever later. I have a long-held fantasy of stretching down under the duvet with Harry Potter (no, this isn’t going that way, honestly) at about this time – 9.35, it is now – to read for a blissful hour, but it tends to be a case of taking the dog out for a night-time drain around 10.30 and realising that the garden sacks need to be put out, so bedtime leaps to midnight. Or close enough. I’m always tired (especially now I’ve cut down on caffeine). I’m so always tired that now I’ve got used to it, so this is normal.

(Pasta stir).

So – today – why not blogged til now? Up to London for the day (unusual on a Tuesday) and instead of blogging via BlackBerry on the way up and the way back, I worked – this is good, I was inspired, I’m lucky to have a job that does that for me.

Once I got back, I paid someone for something they’d organised that I meant to do last night while doing general banking, but totally forgot. Then it was time to collect the kids; well, to collect L2; L1 walks home now (so in the period between my returning with L2 and L1 returning, there’s nothing doing other than my glancing constantly up the road to see when she’s coming home, my little girl, independence suits her not me). Then it was time to cook tea while marshalling collateral for swimming and making a phone call vaguely related to work. Oh, before that, since M was up in London, there was walking the dog, with the kids on scooters, while making that phone call previously mentioned to be home for tea and swimming collateral marshalling; and the arrival of an additional small boy, which was great fun but obviously meant that blogging while L2 was swimming would have been downright rude – I had the additional small boy and L1 with me, so we were chatting away. Which was great, but no blog was forthcoming.

(Pasta stir).

I won’t go on (you’ll be relieved to hear). The day, however, did. There’s just more, in the same vein, which I’m sure will strike a chord with every parent in the land. It’s not surprising that we forget what our hobbies and interests are – or should it be were? – when the kids come along.

Because they become those that our children focus on – in fact I would argue, my careers, hobbies and interests, essentially, have become my children. Part of me minds that I don’t get to write as much as I’d like, or read as much as I’d like, of course. Both these are a strong critical part of my identity, what makes me tick, carry on.

So if I don’t, I miss it; and if I don’t for a long time – as had been the case when I started this blog – it is an absence strong enough to make its presence felt. But I can’t sacrifice the things I must do to keep my children’s lives running in the way they want them to, how they need them to, no matter how deep the missing.

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4 Responses to “‘An unattended blog is a sad thing’ – the reasons for inattention”

  1. Claire John October 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Absolutely fantastic as usual. Hot the nail on the head that our hobbies are now whatever out children take part in !!

    • Claire John October 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

      * that would be hit !

    • lizrossmartyn October 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Thank you so much – it’s amazing how your focus shifts. Someone once said to me that the most universal effect of parenthood is that people who are selfish are no longer! Focus moves from central to wherever the kids are… x

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