What Blogging Means To Me - "Write Shit Down and Make it Funny"

Delighted to have Potty Mummy contributing to Take It From Us! Potty was one of the original mummy bloggers (cringe - that title) in the UK.

What does blogging mean to me? That’s a good question, actually. The answer’s changed over the 11 or so years that I’ve been doing it.
Back when I started, it meant a space all of my own, belonging only to me (to ME), unpolluted with the clutter, noise, mess and general uncontrollability of life with two children under the age of four. Somewhere that I could stretch my creative muscles, where I could use the fabric of my life, with all it’s frustrations and post-paid work life occasional mundanity (yes, that’s a thing. Ask any woman who has permanently or temporarily stopped drawing a wage in order to focus on being the main carer at home) and make it funny. Perhaps that could be my tagline, actually; ‘The Potty Diaries; making shit funny since 2007’.
Then, once I’d started and had made connections with other parent bloggers, it became something of a lifeline. Arriving home late at night my husband became used to seeing the door to our tiny study closed as I made the most of my child-free time whilst the little angels slumbered, blissfully unaware that their adorable/annoying/tear-inducing/goddam-remarkable antics were the source material for carefully crafted posts written in what a good friend calls the ‘creative non-fiction’ style.
I jealously guarded time spent writing and interacting with other like-minded mothers as we made lemonade from lemons, something sweet from what might have been bitter. And it changed many of our lives, no doubt about it. Without my blog, and the exposure it gave me to people doing things that might otherwise have seemed too intimidating to be contemplated, I’m not sure I would so readily have moved the family to Russia in 2010 – an experience that enriched my life beyond measure. Knowing that no matter how crappy an experience might be whilst I was going through it, there would always – ALWAYS – be a thread of humour I could pull out and knit into an amusing post helped me maintain my sense of perspective in situations that, pre-blogging – would have sent me running back to London.
I’m not the only blogger who’s life has changed as a result of blogging, I know. Friends of mine – both ‘real’ and ‘online’ – have taken the skills that they honed in countless posts and online comments and adapted them to get jobs they love, to start businesses, write best-sellers (yes, really), campaign about issues they believe in, and make the world better. I’m in awe of all of them, and the determination and commitment that it’s taken to achieve these things.
None of which, of course, answers the question of what blogging means to me now. Now, I am delighted to have a written record of things that I have no doubt I would otherwise have forgotten. And I suppose, when it comes right down to it, that I’m still exulting in having found a place that belongs only to me (to ME!), and where I can – when I need to – write shit down and make it funny.