I wanted to write a short post about honesty as I've noticed recently that honesty, particular related to pregnancy and parenting, seems to have come to mean 'negative'. Now before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that I have absolutely no objections to honesty, the baring of the whole truth etc, in fact a friend of mine begun a blog during her pregnancy which is well worth a read. Follow her on twitter @honestbump to see her blog.
This particular friend is actually the least negative person I know, always raring to go and ready to take on her next adventure! But I was talking to various friends about my blog before starting it and I was assured that honesty was the way forward. I agree, honesty is great and a blog that only shares the highlights of parenting I guess doesn't give the full picture. However, I realised the more I thought about it, that when people said I should be honest in my blog they were telling me to make sure I talk about the difficult bits.
Now this is absolutely not a criticism of them, I think it is perhaps a very British concern. We Brits love a bit of a misery to talk about. British soaps thrive on it and are ultimately highly successful. We love to bond over a common enemy. Come to think of it, I would imagine at least three quarters of my former work colleagues that have become and remained friends of mine outside of work, were relationships formed on the basis of complaining about someone else! I remember commenting to a fellow NCT attendee that I was concerned our group would struggle in the long term because there was no one to moan about. Everyone was irritatingly nice!!
With the rise of blogging and forums over the last decade and the increase in smart phones, we can find anyone complaining about anything on our phones within minutes. And we're a sucker for it. Why do we think we will feel better when we know that our problem is shared by loads of other people. Personally, I don't feel better. I feel relieved I suppose that I'm not alone but the problem still exists and knowing I'm not alone hasn't resolved it. I find myself scrolling down the comments looking for the person who will say "I had this exact problem too and after 2 weeks it was resolved" but there is never that person. Does that person exist? No, the person whose problem was resolved quickly isn't on the internet sharing this information.
One of my mummy friends googled postpartum sex a little while ago and shared with a few of us that it wasn't a good read. So the remaining group members all looked it up themselves and said they were horrified - proving honesty is not for the fainthearted! I remember one of the girls saying "I can only hope that the people who aren't having problems are too busy having sex to be on the internet!!" Morbid curiosity is a funny thing!
So, as I mentioned in my first post, I plan to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly (two negatives in that phrase). But I hope readers will understand that this honesty may be negative but it may too be positive! Because so far, for me, motherhood has been a joy and a privilege. And it is these emotions that I most care to share with the world.