On Tuesday last week, I had a bad day. Little Bear had a cold and was crying a lot. We went to Tesco and she threw up down my sleeve so my whole arm was drenched in sick and I couldn't clean it off until I got home. I was fed up. I wrote a ranty blog post about how fed up I was and mentioned that I missed the pre LB days when no one was sick on me and I could go to the toilet in peace. I was about to post it when a vision popped into my head of future LB. Would she read this post, written in a fed up frenzy on a sunny Tuesday lost in the mists of time? And if she did, what would she think? Would she smile at the antics of her former self or would she think that how I felt in that post was how I feel all the time? Would she wonder if I regretted having her at all?
One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog in the first place was because when I became a mother I felt that all other mothers had been keeping secrets from me. No one told me any of the bad things about parenthood. I genuinely thought that being sleep deprived would be the hardest part of having a baby. No one told me about the days when you feel really quite desperate. The days when you don't go for more than 8 seconds without someone touching you and you feel like clawing off your own skin with a rusty spoon. The days when you find yourself wailing 'what do you WANT???!!!' at your child who is determinedly making a demented mooing noise and has been for the last what feels like 9 years. The days when you are certain that there has never been a worse mum than you. I wanted to tell someone. I wanted some new mum to read my blog and be relieved that it wasn't just her. But now I'm actually writing a blog I wonder, just how much sharing is too much? I never ever want Little Bear to think that I don't love the very bones of her. I don't want her to think I regretted a single day of her life. But I also want to tell the truth, and the truth is that despite loving her more than I ever thought I could love another person, some days I do look back on the time before she was born and I miss it.
It's a tricky one, because in all other ways, I'm very careful about what I share online. I never post pictures of Little Bear's face, for example (if you see a picture like the one above which shows a baby's face, it's a stock image), or share her real name (spoilers: she's not really called Bear, although I sometimes think it would be cool if she was). As she grows up, I know it will be important to teach her to maintain some privacy online and I wonder how easy it will be to do that if I've spent her childhood documenting her every move to strangers on the internet. I also wonder if she will view this blog of mine as it is meant to be: as evidence of how much I love her, of what she was like as a baby and the things we used to get up to, or if she will be embarrassed. If she will focus on the times that I am fed up and ranty rather than the times when I am swooning with adoration for her. And above all, I wonder, how much honesty is too much when it comes to your own child?