Every now and again, someone asks me why I blog. There are myriad reasons, obviously.
To record the day to day fun and frolics of being at home with my Boys. I know that if I don't make a note of the little triumphs and frustrations that form much of my day-to-day life, I will forget them. They will fade into the background and simply become part of the muddled memories of this too-brief time. The day that Boy #1 shouted 'Bogey!' in the middle of a crowded supermarket, or the afternoon when Boy #2 treated his brother and I to an air-raid like tantrum on the way home from swimming would simply disappear somewhere in the mess along with the rest of the debris that floats along with being at home with two small boys.
What else? I blog to keep my mind active. Believe it or not, I used to have a pretty challenging job, one that I loved, and that kept me on my toes. Sitting down every day or so in front of a blank screen and trying to make something half readable out of nothing - well, it gives me a sense that I've achieved something other than laundry and wiping bottoms.
I blog to have something for 'me'. Something that doesn't involve sitting mindlessly in front of rubbish television, sucking in the worst that modern day fast food culture can throw at me. Something that, whilst often a direct reflection of my day-to-day existence, is not actually reliant on it, and which doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, include all of it. (I would hate to think that in 10 years time my sons might take the time to read my posts and accuse me of telling you their most embarrassing moments. Believe it or not, I actually keep those secret. Mind you, in 10 years or so, they'll be teenagers, so they will probably accuse me of that anyway. I probably should write it all down. It would be much funnier...)
What else? Oh yes, that deep dark secret that I like to hide from myself but which is right up there with my other top reasons to blog; Ratification. Say it again! Ratification!! Yep, I blog because I like - no, love - to hear other people say they liked what I wrote. That I made them laugh. That they recognise those moments I'm writing of, can identify with them, and in some way, it made their day a little better. I'm not proud of needing positive feedback to complete my self image, but there it is. As a stay-at-home mum I don't get regular appraisals, pay rises, or bonuses. I mean, yes, I get appreciation from my beloved, and hugs and kisses for my boys, and mostly that is enough. I'm not asking for sympathy - I chose this role, and still believe it's the right thing for our family. But every now and again it's good to hear someone say something nice that is unrelated to the dinner I just cooked or the fact that my boys are behaving well.
And there are other reasons too, of course there are. But mainly, there is this one; I blog to read of other people's lives. Finding a blog 'out there' that I can identify with is such a treat. It's the flip side of my previous reason, I know. The knowledge that there is someone, often on the other side of the world, living a life unrecognisable to urban, settled, safe Me, who can articulate what I am feeling, or have felt, can lift my day.
So, if you have the time after this long and rambling introduction, read this. Reluctant Memsahib has written a post that I - and I suspect a lot of women - can so completely indentify with that it takes my breath away. It reminds me of the time when I lost my way, way before I blogged. When I wanted to go into a cupboard and shut the door, to just sit there in the dark, and blank out all the white noise and the fuss. But I didn't, and I can write about it now with only a momentary sense of the depression that for a short time dogged my steps.
I don't for a moment think that I will be lucky enough to never feel that way again. But whilst there are people out there who can define the moment, and help me understand it, I'm confident that it won't be any time soon.
So if you're feeling at all unsure of of your role in life, read this post - and then, make jam. Metaphorically speaking, of course.