You write about the first words a daughter says and how it feels when wasp larvae eat the caterpillars and there are a lot of Hama Beads and an awful lot of crafts. You do projects and sticking and somewhere along the line you start a business (which grows from £600 a month to £600,000 a year) and sometimes you write about that too and how much you love being back to packing parcels 4 days after a c-section that cost you three pints of blood and a fair chunk of your sanity.
You write about children with cleft palates.
And children with Aspergers.
And what it is like when one of your children, already trying your patience with eczema and asthma, has a brush with death thanks to chicken pox.
And you make a lot of Fimo models.
And the friends that you started with keep commenting and people join along the way because (amazingly) the olden days of blogging aren’t actually 2010 at all, but 2003/4/5/6/7/8/9 – and back then there weren’t many blogs and so people read the ones there were.
And then life tumbles down around your feet and you can’t write about it in public, even though that would heal you more than anything else. And a combination of birth trauma and tough times and building a business that is too big to handle make writing anything much quite hard. You fumble your way through caesarean recovery and VBAC’s and overcoming the sense of failure I felt.
Plus, you have depression and you find it difficult to talk about because when you do people say “but you have the perfect life, why can’t you just be happy?” because you feel quite inadequate and failing enough without people making you feel inadequate because you can’t just be happy all the time.
And then life gets better. And you can take a look at who you are again.
You fight the bullies who were Badman, Balls and Brown and the NSPCC and kept home education safe.
And then it all crashes down. And everything that matters no longer matters because a boy is born and he dies and nothing. NOTHING. can ever be right again.
And I wrote – here – because I had no idea what to do with all the love and pain that choked the breath out of me each day.
Life goes on. And it did.
Home educating. Dealing with children who suddenly decide to hormonally destroy their own thyroid. More operations. The most terrifying pregnancy ever.
And another little boy.
All here. On the blog.
And life goes on. You try to raise some money for children who deserve better and find yourself responsible for 11 children in Niger (we need more sponsors, feel free to volunteer).
And one day… one day… you see a tweet and you read that a baby girl has died and (because if you can’t do it now, what was the point of anything?) you put out your hand and do your best to lead a mother from the mouth of darkness, through the black and out again. One day.
And somehow you find yourself stood on a stage, one of ten women who have raised money and changed lives and made people laugh and made them cry and think a bit more and it all ends, once the winner (Jennie, I’m so proud of you) is announced, one of nine women deservedly clutching one of these.
Thanks to Dear Beautiful Boy for this photo.
The audience stood up. They clapped. They cried. For all of us.
It was amazing. And Jennie and I finally met, which was emotional – but incredible.
In the end though, it all comes down to the people who weren’t there.
And this. My family and the women and men and children who are like my family who have been there every step of the way for me.
The MadBlogAwards 2013 was an amazing event. I had a wonderful time from when I met with women I really love to spend time with at lunch to having a walk with SoftThistle through Kensington Gardens, to my entire evening and time spent with Jennie, to being invited on stage both to present and receive an award, to hours of giggling with the incredible (double winner) Mammywoo and the extremely tired but very clever Sally Whittle and Lindy.
I thought it was exactly right that Jennie won our category but it was incredibly sensitive, thoughtful and just ‘right’ that all ten of us received a trophy too.
Thank you for that.
Just for a moment, I’m going to allow myself to be outstanding.