It can be easy to forget that when you write something and share it on your blog, that it gets read. By actual people.
You’d think after over 15 years as a freelance writer, I’d be used to this quite simple law of cause and effect, and yet every time I write something be it for my own blog, for a freelance commission or for a corporate client, it always amazes me that third parties will read my words.
I will always remember the first time I saw my by-line in print. It was back before Facebook, before blogs, before online media was even really a thing. I was still in college doing my degree in Journalism and had begun writing for Ireland’s Horse Review… a monthly national newspaper that was very much a beating heart of the amateur horse riding movement in Ireland. It wasn’t the sort of publication that was available in every local shop, so I made my way into Eason’s on O’Connell Street to rifle through their huge catalogue of publications to find my first ever published piece. I remember my hand shaking as I found the right stack of newspapers, excited beyond belief, I picked it up and started rummaging through the pages widely until my eyes fell upon my name.
There it was. My first byline.
It was an incredible moment, made all the more real by holding the paper in my hands. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that people would actually pay to read my words. The words that had, until recently, only existed in my head, until they spilled out of my hands and made their way onto the virtual paper in front of me.
Fast forward to today and I’ve been lucky enough to have many bylines in many different publications, in print and online and I still get that funny feeling that people are actually reading my words.
Freelance commissions are one thing, but when it comes to your own personal blog, that sense of people reading your innermost thoughts can be daunting. From strangers I meet, to relatives and friends, I’m letting them inside my very personal journey through motherhood.
And I’m okay with that… but I’ve started to wonder, what will happen when my son one day reads my words?
It’s no secret that I’ve shared deep dark secrets and real truths. I’ve never shied away from sharing the reality of my journey through motherhood. From the early days and my fight with post-natal depression, to the days when I wanted to turn in my mum badge and resign, I’ve always believed in the positive power of sharing your story and in doing so I’ve helped both myself and many other mums.
But what would my son make of it? Right now, he’s a live wire two year old charging around the place without a fathomable notion of what I write. But one day when he’s grown up, will he want to read any of these my musings? Will he be interested in seeing my progression from overwhelmed deer in headlights, to more confident mother? Will be feel upset at those blog posts where I berate myself and talk about the days when I shouted at him, or when he reads about my very intense battle with post-natal depression. How will he react to my struggles to be a good mum?
Will be feel angry? Will he feel embarrassed? Will be feel proud?
I honestly don’t know.
But what I do know, is that I AM PROUD of every blog post I’ve shared. None of it has been for anything other than my own catharsis. That’s why I started this blog in the first instance.
It was always for me.
I’ve tackled every step of this journey head on. From the darkest depths of post-natal depression, to finding myself again. From the downright hilarious moments of motherhood, to the days when I just wanted to get in the car and drive into the sunset a la Thelma & Louise, to the truly extraordinary discovery of the most incredible, un-quantifiable love for my son, I never imagined I was capable of.
I’ve been honest, I’ve been real and along the way it seems I’ve struck a chord with many other mums who have felt exactly the same way I have.
I’m not perfect, far from it. I’m literally winging my way thought this motherhood malarkey by the seat of my pants… but what I’ve realised, and one day my son will realise, is that EVERY parent is the same. None of us know what we’re doing, we’re all stumbling our way along the journey and we’re all doing our best.
I guess, little dude, if you ever do read this one day I want you to know this – motherhood has changed me irrevocably. And yes I struggled with that at the start. But none of that was your fault. It was something I had to go through by myself and when I did find myself again, I was now a person who was completely in love with you.
From kissing your feet, to changing your nappies, to carrying you until my back was raw, to laughing, to playing, to soothing you, to just staring into those big baby blues, everything about you is amazing to me. Everything about you makes my eyes shine with love and pride. I love you in a way that you won’t fully understand until you become a parent yourself. Simply put, you’ve been and will continue to be the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life and I thank you for that, my love.