My blog is fast approaching its first anniversary and I find myself in a place I couldn’t have dreamt of a year ago. As a family, we seem to have experienced a Series of Unfortunate Events this year, starting with the death of my father-in-law in January (we all hated those books, by the way). On the other hand, there have been plenty of highlights – that whoop! when GP1 saw his Standard Grade results, doughnutting on Coll, learning (perhaps too generous a term in my case) to surf, the end of week concert at NYBBS – there were lots more.
Whilst my blog began as a commentary on the boys’ goings on at school, it has evolved into a much more personal online diary, with random mutterings about family, work and, more recently, illness. Whether or not anyone else reads what I write, I have found being able to write extremely therapeutic
and I think the blog has really helped maintain my sanity over the last few months. It may not, of course, have helped maintain my work output, but that’s another story! I’ve become more confident about what I write and who I tell, although I like to maintain the pretense of anonymity, mostly to stop casual readers identifying the children immediately. But a discussion on anonymity over at Mother at Large a few weeks ago made me wonder how much my boys’ teachers really needed to know about the workings or otherwise of my insides.
At the moment, I feel like I’m clinging on to an out of control horse, careering down a lane I hadn’t spotted with no idea where I’m going to end up. The family are bouncing around in a cart just behind me. Whether the teachers need to know this or not, I’m planning to carry on blogging, whatever the next few months bring. I have wondered, though, as my jottings have become more self-centred, whether the EduBuzz platform was the most appropriate place to write about this strange journey, and whether I should move the blog. I asked David and Don the other day what they thought, and whether what I was writing was still appropriate to the site as a whole. I’m really glad to say they have been very supportive – I’m sure I didn’t really expect anything else – and I hope David won’t mind me quoting from his email:-
“One of the problems that can happen in schools is that parents can be seen in a narrow way, as people who get newsletters, attend parents’ nights and so on, but don’t have a life beyond that role that needs to be considered by the school – and you’re helping to counteract that by building up a much richer picture of what it’s like being a parent – if a temporarily unlucky one – these days. At a time where parental involvement is being actively encouraged because it matters so much we need to listen to every authentic parent voice we can get.
There’s a common theme in the internal organs story, in a sense, as you describe being on the receiving end of another public service. Whether the NHS is encouraging patient blogging locally I don’t know, but we are quite happy to host your one until they get around to it!”
So I’m staying put, much my preferred option as EduBuzz has proved a comfortable and accommodating community. If teachers or others do think it’s inappropriate, well they don’t need to read it. I do hope you’ll all bear with me over the next few months as I go through chemotherapy. I’m sure once it’s routine and I feel in control once more I’ll find plenty to write about school and the boys’ activities. I might even regain my sense of humour (I don’t think it’s too far away). GP2, by the way, thinks I should get stick on eyebrows as well as a wig.
I think you’r blog is fantastic. As a teacher I think it is really helpful that I fully appreciate what parents go through and that there is life outside school. I think that that is a huge benefit to Edubuzz, that everyone involved in education in every way can air their views.
I wish you all the best in your recovery.
Please stay! I’ve only recently started blogging at the prompting of my daughter’s S3 English teacher, who pointed me in the direction of your blog for inspiration. I’ve been reading your blog and it’s really good: so open and honest.
Like you, I started writing about school but after only one entry, I found that it was very limiting. I haven’t been very adventurous so far as I want to preserve my anonymity so I’m not sure where I’m going with my blog yet.
I do wish you a speedy recovery and that you continue to find blogging a therapeutic activity.
I just wanted to say how sorry I was to read your news t’other day, and to wish you all the best. From a parent’s perspective I have agreed with much of what you’ve said, particularly on the communication (or lack of) front – but you’ve put it so much better than I would’ve! Glad you’re carrying on blogging.
All the very best
Oh my goodness, I wasn’t fishing for compliments but I’ll accept them gratefully and I hope gracefully!
Sharon, I think the ability to express opinion via EduBuzz is very powerful.
RM – I’ve just visited your blog and added you to my blogroll, so I’ll be back.
Dave – Thanks and I see you’re back at Pencaitland. Good luck with P5. And I always try to remember that most teachers are also parents.
Most of the best blogs evolve. Yours is going into new territory – and we are coming along for the journey.
Keep writing,for yourself and your faithful readers…and for the ones yet to find you!
I love your blog.
It’s fresh and honest and well-written. And it touches people.
Its strange I have the same feelings a year down the line although with so few parents blogging it is so reassuring not only to get the school/parent perspective but more importantly the ‘mum perspective!
Thank you all for your support. I’ve no intention of stopping blogging – but I just wondered whether I should move from EduBuzz. But EduBuzz does provide a focal point and community. Whilst there are plenty of mums writing wonderful blos, they’re mostly doing it independently.
GPM – we need to build our edubuzz community and develop a way of linking and influencing what we do together. It will take some time to work out how best to do this but I’d encourage you to stay. Your blog would be successful outwith edubuzz but I, for one, have a duty to listen to you as part of our community – a blog outside edubuzz would be just that – outside. The challenge for us is to give you a voice without imposing unecessary limits upon what you want to say.