|Two of the kids who run me ragged - my boys.|
Sometimes it takes me ages to return the compliment.
And sometimes I never get there at all because I've completely lost track and am by now oblivious to the fact they've slipped through the net. But least there won't be any sleepless nights over them, therefore!
Throw in an inset day, one of the kids off sick, half-term or the holidays and we're done for. Haven't got a clue what's going on - on my own blog!
However, at least I try. There are many others I know who choose not to for one reason or another - and that's their prerogative obviously, yet there are still some of us that do. We appreciate the conversation that occurs - indeed, find it rewarding. It makes our honesty worthwhile.
Because isn't that what it's all about - the chat, the connection with others, the give and take?
Call me old fashioned, but as social media explodes into areas we can't fathom and is spammed inexorably, is there anything wrong with good old basics?
When I first started blogging it was the done thing to reply to something someone took the trouble to say about what we'd written and good etiquette to respond in kind. I've found some amazing relationships through doing just this. Despite the phases we all go through there are often points where we click with others and, for me, as long as we remain authentic, what we write will resonate.
At the beginning of this year, for example, I was completely overwhelmed by having to deal with my ex-husband directly for the first time in years. We've either gone through solicitors or another third party, if and when he deigned to be on the scene and I was, frankly, too traumatised to do much else than get through the day looking after the kids and our Foreign Language students - people who pay to be here and for whom much is required. They are also children, most of the time, and my commitments are massive, but they provide an income that keeps a roof over our heads and I'm grateful for that.
The conversation is cr*p - lots of nodding and smiling from them and me thinking they understand, but events transpiring that make it evident they don't - all of which is rather frustrating and not least because it provides plenty of fodder for witty one liners for Twitter and entertaining Facebook statuses or blog posts that don't make it to fruition either because a) I'm too wary they're already following me (they know a scary amount about us before they get here) and/or b) there simply isn't time to find my glasses and get the madness up. (Although this is something that must be remedied since my new young Libyan man showed me his 'thing' - a whole other story!).
This all makes everything on here more meaningful than you can imagine, so when I felt ready to emerge from my little blogging hiatus and much of what was occurring was court - ordered confidential, what was I going to say to you aside from the truth?
I couldn't put on a brave face. I was wrecked. I didn't want to moan, but I did want to re-connect.
And after much deliberation and tackling it for ten minutes at a time, initially, before I got into the swing and it all spilled out, my post about being married to a sociopath came. The response was phenomenal, which was a surprise, especially considering it nearly never got published at all and without my friend Liska's encouragement it wouldn't have seen the light of day! I felt scared exposing my vulnerability when it was particularly raw and she was right to say it might help other people, but mostly, it was completely cathartic and helped me to come to terms with things that have happened and belong in the past.
Private messages poured in, comments on it still come and I try to respond to them all. Heaven knows whether I've managed to though. Lots of people have reached out and it seems I was far from the only one who fell for the ruthless, manipulative charm of a person like this. The exchanges that take place - privately and publicy - are enormously validating all round. We can obtain strength from one another, appreciate how far we have come, draw a line under events and move on, or begin to get out of an unhealthy situation once it's been identified as such.
In this instance - and I find there are many - there is an awful lot to be said for heartfelt dialogue, no matter the form it takes and lots of us feel the same way regarding this. Michelle - Mummy from the Heart will tell you a bloggers work is never done and Helen - Actually Mummy is another lady who gives herself a hard time, believing herself to be a Bad Blogger until she's fulfilled the similarly self-imposed same etiquette criteria.
We all know she's nothing of the kind (and not just for this!), but what do you think? Do you care for the converstion or do you think the basics are now past their sell by date?