So I’m fairly certain that when Hugh Laurie said this:
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
what he meant was doing something rather more monumental than starting a blog and joining Instagram. Nonetheless, interpretation is in the eye (mind?) of the beholder say I, so today when this meme popped up on my Facebook feed I decided to commandeer it to help me express why I’ve joined the 21st century, defied my usual suspicion of anything internet-y and put myself out there. Because if not now, when?
Yes I could wait for a more perfect time, for a time when The Eldest isn’t waking with night terrors every night which generally correspond directly with sitting down to eat and necessitate a half-hour trip to her bedroom, followed by another half an hour spent resettling the BSCB who has been woken up by the banshee wails of The Eldest, followed by at least another half an hour of deep breathing and mainlining red wine to get over the trauma (I’m sure they are called night terror for the effect they have on the parent because that shit is terrifying). And I should probably wait until I’m getting more than 45 consecutive minutes of sleep at a time overnight thanks to the BSCB being in the midst of an extended period of teething – the kind where he slobbers like a St Bernard, chews on any shoes left lying in reach (so that’s just about everywhere except on top of the fridge – he hasn’t yet figured out how to scale completely vertical surfaces) and yet there is no sign of any new teeth appearing. And of course I should wait until I’ve caught up with marking all the Year 8 assessments that I have been shuttling back and forth from school for the last 7 days. But the thing is that what I have to say is probably not going to get any more or less interesting if I wait for that time; and I perhaps I will never find that elusive “me-time” that I tell myself will materialise as the children get older. There will always be something to fill that time so as simply stated by Mr Hugh Laurie, now is as good a time as any.
Now really is as good a time as any because like lots of mums (and dads), and maybe even people without children (sorry – I have scoured most memories of this time from my mind in an effort to avoid tormenting myself with ideas of sleep and, you know, sleep), I have floundered in my attempts to understand what and who I am since having children. For a while I have been splashing around in a puddle of indecision about what exactly I am going to do to find myself again before I drown (don’t worry – I do realise I have stretched that particular metaphor to breaking point). One of my reasons for wanting children was because I was tired of thinking only of myself, I wanted to think about someone else for a change. I know, it sounds so worthy doesn’t it, but I clearly remember articulating that thought to “the husband” about a year before we accidentally fell pregnant with The Eldest. Of course these days I look back and view myself with a mixture of pity and outright derision – what a nob I must have sounded. Thank god I only said it to “the husband”…
I, of course, had no idea about just how all encompassing the “thinking about someone else for a change” would be; that once I had one child, the opportunities to think about myself “for a change” would be few and far between, and once I had two children were about as common as a Unicorn’s fart. I was hopelessly naive about how alien I would become to myself. I never considered where I would get my sense of achievement from now that I had to get used to being “good enough” at my job and basically everything in my life because I just didn’t have enough time. And I never thought about the fact that I would never again be able to use the word “I” in my real life as much as I have just used it in that paragraph. Everything would be about someone else.
Then a friend who is embarking on a new adventure into the frightening world of self-employment was asking for ideas for a parenting column she was writing. My fingers were a blur as I typed at double quick speed a bunch of ideas that I didn’t even realise were lurking inside my head and then ended the message with the words I have aspirations to start a blog. Will never happen so you might as well have these. I sent the message, received her thanks and then got to thinking Well, why not? As I mentioned in my very first post I have become a fan of a number of bloggers and Instagram-ers who are redefining the definition of what it means to be a working mum, and they are doing this while rescuing small people and avoiding stepping on Lego in bare feet. So, why not?
Cutting a short story long, this is why I’m here now, writing this so that someone might read it. Because I can and because I want to. Now all I need to hope is that my jibber-jabbering is not the world’s most perfect example of empty vessels make most noise.