On New Year’s Day I received a pretty nasty message on Twitter. I’ve been on Twitter a long time and have received my fair share of abuse on the website; I’ve been called a freeloading tart for taking maternity pay (we’ll discuss that one another day), been sent many an unsolicited dick pic, and of course immediately become a fat whore because I didn’t find myself weak at the knees from a man’s advances.
But this time was different, this time felt a little more personal.
I was going through other mum blog’s followers lists to find some people I thought might like mine, followed a few accounts, went about my day. Then I received the following message…
I had that usual stomach drop feeling, where your gut ends up somewhere near your knees, then realised it’s actually pretty funny. The bad spelling, the opinions on my life I never asked for, the profile picture of a random old man I’m fairly certain isn’t the woman who sent this. I was half expecting a #TrumpTrain in her bio. All the markings of the type of Twitter profile to ignore. But then it started to niggle and bug me. Quite a lot. It started to hurt a bit and I started to get paranoid about the image I am putting out to the world.
This little blog started as a hobby but I’m hoping to gain something from it in a professional sense, I began to panic that the branding I have chosen for myself is off-putting and alienating. I know that the people who follow me and read my blogs now understand the humour in my blog name, and know that I don’t actually think my daughter is an idiot. But it’s hard not to start questioning how many people have turned away in disgust at the sight of these things. Although at least they don’t feel the need to yell it at me with bad spelling…
Most people understand the lighthearted nature of calling Tiny Idiot ‘Tiny Idiot’. In a world where there are blogs calling their children Little Shit I wouldn’t have thought it was that bad…it’s obviously meant in a lighthearted way and five seconds on my blog or social media would make it very obvious that she is my entire world. I call her this because, lets be honest here, kids are idiots. Lovable, hilarious, wonderful idiots. That’s what makes them so bloody perfect.
As for the name Cigarettes and Calpol; I always knew that this could be divisive. It’s not meant as a recipe for parenting survival, it’s meant to represent the two sides to me. A young mother, who still likes to party when I get the chance. A person who gives her all to her child yet likes a crafty fag after a couple of glasses of champagne. Like many, many parents I know. I appreciate her concern for my health though, and that of my unborn child, as clearly I’m smoking 40 a day throughout my pregnancy.
I know I probably didn’t need to post a rambling essay defending myself from one random woman on Twitter. But since reading it the knot of anxiety in my stomach has been growing. I want to stand by the person I paint myself as on here, as that is who I am, but now I’m finding myself doubting that persona. Which is silly, I hate that I still take these things so perfectly. But that’s how my stupid little brain works, I’m now convinced that everybody thinks I’m a terrible mother…what’s it like to have normal reactions?
I do know however that I do what I think is best for my family. My daughter is my entire world and I would do anything for her. With this little blog I am attempting to show an honest side of parenting that I haven’t found from other blogs. For the imperfect parents, the slightly broken parents, the young parents who aren’t ready to give up their nightclubbing days, the parents who are trying their very best – and doing bloody good!
And I will continue to teach my child that if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Something a few people could do with being reminded of…
Am I being ridiculous by feeling the need to explain and justify all of this? Those of you who are reading, did you figure all this out without me needing to spell it out? Do I just need to grow a thicker skin? Or am I setting a hideous example for my daughter? Can we all just have a cuddle and be nice to each other?