Coming out of the closet

Well like it or not, I appear to have been ‘outed’ in the local press and my readership has gone loopy as a result. I’m half chuffed to bits and half terrified that I’m going to get a boatload of e-backlash from people that violently disagree with me about one thing or another. Not that this should necessarily be any more of a worry than with my nearest and dearest who have been reading from the start and would, I assume, be the more critical audience if I wasn’t ‘keeping it real’. I’ve never been shy to say what I mean and feel in this blog and anyone that actually knows me will know that I don’t edit much out in real life either. So I don’t see why I should fret, or try to change. But still, its a little scary knowing there’s a whole load of people out there in this small town who are now in possession of my deepest (and mainly darkest) thoughts. It’s made me finally consider the proper implications of blogging, which I guess is no bad thing.

But on this note, whilst I am incredibly flattered to have been quoted as the opening line of The National’s article on the subject, I would like to very quietly, and without any fuss, make a small but important point. (well important to me, anyway).
Please do not call me a ‘mummy blogger’. It’s such a terrible description – right up there with ‘spinster’ in the Dictionary of Really Unflattering Ways to Describe People. If you want a label, I am a Mother Who Blogs. Or a Woman Who Blogs. Or indeed, an Expat Who Blogs. In fact, I’m all three, in no particular order.  I have absolutely nothing against actual mummy bloggers – the true definition, I assume, being that one writes primarily about one’s experiences of day to day motherhood against the backdrop of the rest of life. But my blog is waaaay more narcissistic than that – the whole point of writing it is that it is all about me – and I’ve been careful to steer clear of ‘what I did with my son today’ unless it directly impacts the subject that I am writing about because otherwise, well, it would just be too ironic.

For me, blogging is a creative outlet to explore the themes of life as a woman, an expat, a wife and a mother, and about the choices, dilemmas and challenges facing me and countless others out there in the same boat. By ‘the same boat’ I mean Trailing Spouses, although I know that many readers identify with me in different ways, which is absolutely fine by me – it’s up to the individual to find their own reasons to keep reading. But I blogged long before I gave birth and the last thing I want is to be pigeon-holed because I have a child. It’s precisely WHY I started writing again in the first place, to get me away from thinking about nappies and Gina Ford. My personal aim was to help me find ways to integrate motherhood into my life rather than watch it consume my life, by doing something I enjoyed and had time for. I chose to make my blog about the broader experience of living away from home because I for one find it infinitely more interesting to write about. This has and always will be my main focus on these pages, whilst integrating the relevant parts of my life to form a coherent, multi-dimensional whole.

So now I’ve got that off my chest (whatever ‘that’ was) I’m off to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame and figure out what on earth I’ll write about if we ever move home. Keep reading…

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