queen of faff

Former secret writer. This is my rehab.


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Stuck

I’m sitting here with pen in hand,

but hesitant to write.

The censorship’s inside my head

No editors in sight.

 

I often think in prose and rhyme

but rarely write them ‘out’.

My head is full, instead, with words

My pages, empty with my doubt.

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Identity crisis

I’m sick of hearing that I should put my kids first. I know how important they are, and I absolutely prioritise their basic needs. But not at the cost of all else. They’re not more important than my husband (equally, but not more).  If I didn’t have him, I wouldn’t have them.  If I didn’t have his love, support, company, ability to keep me grounded, I’d have climbed my tree ages ago with no sense of how to get down.  We’re a team, and because of that we are both better parents.

The sense that mothers (and it does seem to be directed at mothers rather than fathers, or parents generally), should sacrifice themselves at all costs to put the children first is grossly unfair and, in my experience, utterly unrealistic.  If I don’t eat, I don’t function well enough to feed my kids. Sometimes it’s just basic common sense and biology.

But sometimes it’s about recognising that we are people too. I don’t want to be defined by my parental or marital status anymore than I want to be defined by my paid employment role. I am beyond proud to be my husband’s wife and my children’s mother, but it is not all I am and I refuse to feel guilty any more for aspiring or even hoping to feel anything different. To be anyone different.

I don’t think I really knew who I was before my children came along, never really ambitious or dedicated to one particular thing.  Maybe it’s their being here that is making the need to locate the part of me that is just about me more urgent. But as a good friend of mine said to me as I went on maternity leave: “This will not be the last big thing you do”. I have clung to those words like a buoyancy aid and I am determined to prove her right.

I’m a wife, a mother, and somewhere, way down, way way down, there’s a little something that’s just about me.


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It’s got to be……perfect?

A while ago, two senior managers at the place I work, within the space of a week, referred to me as a perfectionist.

This took me completely by surprise. I always associated perfectionism with people that are also orderly and slightly obsessed with neatness, which is absolutely not how I am in my day to day life.

I relayed my surprise to my husband, who in turn was surprised at my surprise!

He pointed out to me that my strive for perfection lies not in how tidy our house is, or how neatly I fold my clothes or how good I am at filing (not as good as I used to be!), but in my expectations of myself and others.

I often feel under a lot of pressure. Mostly pressure to achieve something more or something different. But an honest reflection shows that most of that pressure is created by me.

If I work hard, and honestly, with passion and commitment, is it so wrong of me to expect exactly the same levels from everyone else around me?

Well, actually, yes…..

And so, in coming to terms with my less than perfect perfectionism, I realise that the reason I refer to myself as a secret writer, is that I do it inside my head.

This blog was started months ago, but this is the first time I have sat down to put words in print. The reason? If no-one reads it, no-one can say that I’m not good enough at writing.

So, the bigger question, what has made me start now? Well, the realisation that it doesn’t matter if some people don’t want to read my words, or don’t like them if they do. Some people might, and they are the people that will matter. More importantly, I want to write, because these words exist in my head, and they are no good to anyone there.

Paulo Coelho said “Writing is a socially acceptable form of getting naked in public”.

So here I am, taking the leap.