Being a writer I like symmetry, of things finishing in the place they started but a little changed. I began writing this blog over three years ago when life had gone to hell in a handcart, I had two small children under five and didn't know what the devil had in store for us next. I started writing this as a way to get back out there, as a veichle for a little rant , to see wether or not I could make it as a writer. How I now define 'making it' has changed. This blog enabled me to just get on and do it. This is the last post I am writing on this site before I archive the best bits and put it to bed. It's a thank you to everyone who read it and gave me the confidence to carry on. Corny perhaps, but credit where credits due.
"There are good artists that have children. Of course there are. They are called men." Tracey Emin apparently.
My first post was a rant about the difficulties of pushing a buggy in Lewes, a venting of the frustrations of being a pre - school parent. It seems fitting that my last post deals with the subject of being a mother and a writer and so here I am three years later discussing that old chestnut, the pram in the hall debate. The myth that all your creative juices leave your body with the placenta.
The early years of motherhood nearly break most women mentally and sometimes physically. You're exhausted and addled and have days when you eye up the front door and wonder if you have time to make a run for it. This sounds awful, really awful I know, but it is true. Your figure changes for the worse, you are so much poorer at a time you could do with some treats, and you spend days on end with mini versions of yourself but on a really bad day. Creativity doesn't die with the responsibility and Mr Tumble, you just don't have the time to do anything with it.
The thing I love most about writing is that nothing is wasted. Any experience is grist for the mill. Those hard times: not knowing if my Pearl had cystic fibrosis for several months, selling everything that wasn't nailed down, dealing with a boy whose tantrums were off the scale and lasted about five years, created pulses that enabled me to write. Hard times are not exclusive to mothers, we don't have the monopoly but by the same token we do not limp out the delivery suite creative dullards.
I had to stop writing my novel because I didn't have time to make it as good as it had the potential to be; but I had the energy to write this, to compose a tweet and FB link and send it to you. One thing that motherhood and being skint has taught me and that's resourcefulness. There is more than one way to skin a cat and if that means sitting on a library computer next to strange men who jiggle their knee because your laptop has died, so be it.
In 2011 I wrote this
I may be little. I may be a woman, but I never imagined I'd ever feel like the little woman, a homemaker with no income aside from £130 per month child benefit. It feels ridiculous buying your partner a Christmas present out of his own wages, but unless I entertain gentleman callers in a negligee , the options are sparce. How did it come to this? I'd always sworn I'd have an independent career and income for the sake of my sanity, for my dignity and self esteem. I may never have believed it would ever happen to me , but now my heel is stuck between the rails and a train destined for unemployable is heading full speed in my direction. I can see it coming, I know what it is, it's not creeping up on me, it's about to plough me down.
I still don't make a fortune but I earn more than £130 child benefit and I get to write.
Enough of the corn, my electric cigarette is blinking,
Note: The ever suffering Mr Porter is not mentioned in this blog - he has a sensible aversion to airing his dirty laundry in public.