Refreshed and invigorated

This may, or may not, be apparent from my ramblings; but I rarely begin writing a blog post with a clear plan, with a beginning, a middle or an end. In fact, often times, the end is as much as a surprise to me as it is to you. As is (usually) how we’ve gotten to that point.

And this post is no different.

You see, and I’ve written this before, I find the process of writing very cathartic. And so, to decide on the outcome in advance feels more than a tad fraudulent. Secondly, there are many times when I sit down to my keypad/board with more than one thought or idea that I want to share (too many it seems) and then somehow two or three of those thoughts end up linked together on (virtual) paper.

This is one of those times.

Let’s start with the holiday. I have returned from Lanzarote refreshed, invigorated and with a renewed motivation for life. It wasn’t the most relaxing or stress free holiday I’ve ever had, but a change is as good as a rest and my plan to take the part-time Au Pairs was totally worthwhile.

Side note: You know when you’re on a plane and some wretched godawful family is sat behind/beside/in front of you with two kids who won’t stop screaming? Well, for the first time ever (and I hope the last, though i doubt it will be) we were THAT family. Mortifying!

Invigorated. Motivated. I’m making plans. Plans to see more sunshine, which in the short term includes more holidays and in the long term includes buying a property somewhere in the med. Plans to live a balanced life, which involves more leisure activities, particularly those that can be enjoyed in the sun for instance, holidays and living beachside in the med. (Have you caught the thread yet?)

All of these wonderful plans though, require a great deal of money and so I’m heading straight back to work to earn more pennies.

I imagine that the smart approach to this situation, though, is not to wait 20 or so years for those pennies to pile up but to channel my positivity into the little things. Those moments that present themselves each day as an opportunity to be happy or be sad, dependant on how you look at it. For instance, after a hailstorm this morning (in May!) the sun is now shining. I think I’ll take 5 minutes to step outside and breathe.

After that I might take 1 minute more to put my arms around my Beloved and enjoy the comfort and safety of being home.

Later, I will laugh with my babies and cherish the smiles on their faces.

And tomorrow, I will look for more opportunities to feel happiness, whilst I work my butt off for those holiday funds!

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And the Liebster Blog Award goes to…

Leibster Blog Award

OK, so this award doesn’t quite work like that. But still, I am tremendously honoured to be nominated.

About a week ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award. I’d seen a few blogs with this award in the past, but hadn’t really taken the time to find out what the award was for. Having been nominated, I decided to do a bit of research. I found a blog post on Sopphey Says, in which the writer thinks she may have found the origins. The post she refers to is in German. My German is not so good, so, out of sheer laziness (another of my personality traits) I’m going to blindly accept the explanation she is offering.

Originally – or as far back as I or Sopphey can tell – the rules were:

1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate 3 to 5 blogs with less than 3,000 followers.
3. Let the nominees know by leaving a comment at their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

More recently, I’ve seen rules nominating 5 bloggers with less than 200 readers and my own nomination came with a rule to nominate 11 bloggers and pose them 11 questions to answer. As Sopphey points out in her post, it’s kind of like a chain letter. [I hate chain letters and never pass them on – please don’t be offended Anna! read on :-)].

In this case, though, I will make an exception. Because, actually, this award is about being recognised by your peers. Kind of like a “Man of the Match”. And that, to me, is the highest form of recognition one could hope to receive. And I really like the fact that the name of the award translates to “Love Blog” (I’m a Marketeers dream – another trait, I am slowly coming to accept).

The fact that someone actually reads my blog amazes me. The fact that someone likes what I write makes me ecstatic. And the fact that someone likes my blog enough to nominate me for an award, telling others to check it out … well, I’m just on top of the world right now.

I have answered the 11 questions Anna has set me, in a separate post – you can read them here – it would be rude of me not to do so, when she has asked in such magnificent fashion ๐Ÿ™‚ But I won’t set any questions for my nominees. And I’m going to change Anna’s rules slightly… well, I’m going to revert to the rules above (as original and I can ascertain).

So, I’d like to thank Anna at pinkjumpers , with all my heart, for nominating me. She’s a far better writer and blogger than I, at half my age! Had someone else nominated me, she would definitely be on the list below. Check out her website – you will not be disappointed, I promise.

And here are 5 more blogs that I would like to nominate for the Liebster Blog Award (in no particular order), and why:

1. Thoughts of a Lunatic – Having suffered from depression myself in the past, mental illness (and challenging the stigma of mental illness) is something that is close to my heart. The honesty with which Erica writes is inspiring. I can relate to almost every post on her blog. She is a brave, she is smart and she is funny.

2. Momamorphosis – I love Jill’s posts. They make me laugh, out loud! I’ve found myself in so many similar situations with my babies and Jill writes without pretension, with humour and with love. She reminds me that when parenting feels insane, that’s actually quite normal, and inspires me to see the humour in the madness.

3. Hot Pink Underwear – Meagan writes about her life. She doesn’t always have the answer, but writing it down puts things in perspective for her. I totally get that. Her writing is from the heart, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s angry, sometimes it’s sad. It’s always true. Or at least it reads that way to me.

4. Yoga + Writing +Life – Ellyn is a yoga instructor. But not the perfectly serene variety that you see in movies. Like everyone else, she sometimes struggles with the ‘path to enlightenment’. But when she finds herself challenged, she takes a deep breath and keeps trying. Her posts comfort me, help me to accept my imperfections and remind me of the path I seek to travel. And when it all gets too much, Ellyn has given me a mantra I use regularly; “I breathe in, I breathe out”. Try it for yourself – it works wonders ๐Ÿ™‚

5. I also want to nominate Raising My Rainbow – although technically with more than 4,500 followers, the rules don’t allow it. However, reading stories about the life of C.J. (a gorgeous, gender non conforming child) and his Mom, reminds me that we are all equal in this world. Our colour, religion, gender and sexuality don’t define us. Our compassion, kindness and respect for others does.

So, there you have it. My contribution to spreading the love. My expression of gratitude to those who unknowingly contribute to my life on a daily basis. A salute to my blogging Heroes. Or Heroine’s, I should say, as they are all women. I’m sure that tells us something about me. Maybe that’s a subject for my next post.

*Post publish note – I will not be offended in the slightest, if any of my nominees do not want to pass the award on (see my usual stance on chain letters above) ๐Ÿ™‚

 

11 Questions, 11 Answers

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, you can read about that in full here.

As part of the nomination, the lovely Anna at pinkjumpers, set me the following 11 questions to answer. 11 is a big number – so, I thought I would give it the respect that it deserves and give them a post all to themselves.

There are some really good questions here. And by good, I mean I really had to think hard to answer them.

Are you sitting comfortably? OK, let’s get started…

1. What advice would you give to any aspiring blogger?

Write from your heart.

2. What happened on theย bestย day of your life?

I have two… the days my babies were born.

3. (Inspired by my very own hug-list!) If you could hug anyone, who would you choose?

My babies, all the time. Boring Mummy answer – I know – but, they are THE BEST hugs in the world.

4. Are you a morning or a night person?

I used to be a night person. But with 2 kids under 3, I’m pretty much neither at the moment.

5. If you became the ruler of the world, what would you do first?

Start practising yoga! And get the world to practise with me ๐Ÿ™‚

6. What is the most impulsive/spontaneous thing youโ€™ve ever done?

I’m not sure I’ve ever been truly spontaneous. Maybe I should add it to my bucket list?

7. If you had to chance to meet a single character in history, who would you choose and why?

I’d want to meet Mitochondrial Eve,ย the woman in Africa whom we can pretty much all be genetically traced back to. The original Mum. And then I’d bring her back to the here and now, to tell us that we are all brothers and sisters and to ground the ones who won’t stop fighting with each other.

8. What is your favourite flavour ofย ice cream?

Chocolate. (Chocolate is pretty much my favourite flavour of anything)

9. What is your most prized possession?

The last 12 months have taught me that possessions are not important, people are. Saying that, I am permanently attached to my iPhone ๐Ÿ˜‰

10. If you could only listen to a single song for the rest of your life, which song would you choose?

Oh my goodness! I can’t choose. I just can’t. Music is integral to life. It cheers us up when we are down, it empowers us when we need motivation and it provides us with solace when we are sad. And it’s bloody great for dancing!! It is a universal common ground. I couldn’t possibly pick one single song. It would be like saying I was going to be happy or I was going to be sad, forever.

11. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Learning. I have learned so much about myself, and grown so much as a person, through writing my blog and reading other blogs. It’s pretty high up on my list of achievements to date ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello (again) world!

So, here I am again, siting in front of the WordPress editor, full of disconnected thoughts and ideas, desperate to say something interesting, witty, clever and downright ROTFL… but not quite knowing where to start.

I know… I’ll cheat. Copy, paste, voilร !

Here’s one I made earlier in true Blue Peter fashion. A post from my old blog which might give you a bit of an insight into my psyche (if you’re into that sort of thing) and also explains the title…

Well, it’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last blog. Wow! Isn’t it a pain in the ass when life gets in the way?! I’d like to be able to say that something major had happened. Like, I’d been kidnapped by aliens and only just got back from Mars, but I can’t. Truth is work got really busy and I let it take over my life. I’m sure I’m not alone.

How many times a year do women’s lifestyle magazines run an article on the elusive work/life balance? And to be fair, I’m sure a lot of men out there feel the same way. Though, I don’t read men’s lifestyle magazines, so I’m not sure whether it’s a hot topic in those publications. You know, I was really enjoying blogging and for the first week of my “absence”ย, I really thought this blogging lark is hard! You have to keep on top of it all the time! For the second week, I didn’t even think about blogging. Until yesterday.

We had a very lazy morning yesterday (French coffee and croissants in bed) and then spent the afternoon with friends drinking tea and eating cake. I was lucky enough to have dinner cooked for me and then I spent the evening watching my favourite TV show of all time, whilst drinking a really nice glass of red wine. And I realised, it wasn’t the blogging that was difficult. It was making timeย that was hard.

I love blogging! And during my first week in blog-land, none of it was a chore, every second was exciting. I couldn’t wait to get home and write something down, share my thoughts with the world wide web. I was always thinking about it and constantly scribbling down ideas when they came into my head. I was consciously making time and it was easy.

So, what was different about the 2nd and 3rd week? In all honesty? I’m not sure. I admit I’ve not always been the most motivated person on the planet. Always well intentioned but not always a “completer-finisher”. You’d need both hands and a foot to count the number of times my good friend and I have started Yoga classes (and subsequently given up about 2 or 3 weeks later) yet I love Yoga too! Maybe it’s priorities, maybe it’s society, maybe it’s just me. But, (and this probably won’t be the only time I say this) I’m going to start blogging again! Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Finally! I'm blogging for a living

Well sort of…

I’ve managed to convince my boss that an Intranet would be hugely beneficial for the Company because it would a) be informative b) be fun and c) would encourage improved communication. And, per the norm here, if you stick your neck out – you’re it. RESULT! It’s my baby and after weeks of chasing the developer, the structure is ready for population.

The ‘look and feel’ presently leaves a lot to be desired, but I’m not complaining. For the last 6 working days I have been like the proverbial pig, or if you prefer, the cheshire cat. Head down, iPod on, typing away. HR procedures, project processes and hours on end spent writing blogs about this and that. And even more hours trawling the internet for fun stuff to “enthuse” my colleagues and boost morale.

It takes me back to when I was a graduate trainee and my 3rd placement was with the IT Intranet department. I learned basic HTML and spent weeks ‘being creative’ buidling pages upon pages of Intranet info for our Graduate Team and jazzing them up with animated GIFs.

In reality, I was avoiding what I was supposed to be doing as this was far more fun.

And here I am, 10 years later, doing it all over again!

Not that I care. It is a good initiative and just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not work. This must be what it’s like to do a job you love. (Actually, I already know what that’s like, thanks to my baby girl – yes, I’m a sap, I know).

I’m genuinely excited about this little venture… I just hope everyone else gets excited by it too. Because if it falls on it’s face I may just have to face the fact that I was not born to blog and I may even have to give up blogging for good!

#100factsaboutme

As usual I’m a bit late to the party. Last week on Twitter #100factsaboutme was trending. I didn’t tweet them at the time (and I’m too embarrassed by my tardiness to tweet them now). So, I thought I’d list them here in my blog… They’re not very exciting, but neither am I. It’s OK, I’m cool with that!

#100factsaboutme (in no particular order)

1. I’ve been ‘online’ for 2 and 1/2 years and have never revealed my real name on twitter or my blog.
2. My first name is Jo.
3. I can take or leave marmite and vegemite but I hate bovril!
4. I’ve lived in Scotland, England and the US.
5. As a rule – I hate feet. Most feet are gross, even my own. If yours are the exception, you are blessed!
6. I have a weird obsession with bathrooms in pubs/clubs/restaurants – they have to be nice and if they’re quirky/cool/clever then even better.
7. I will turn the loo roll around in someone elses house if it’s facing the wrong way. (The loose end should hang over the top not down the back!)
8. I’d love to have 4 kids but I don’t think I have enough time left.
9. I wore braces on my teeth when I was 13. 6 months after they came off my teeth twisted right back again. They are still crooked.
10. My favourite (alcoholic) drink is an Apple Martini, which I first tasted in the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London.
11. I believe that good service is everything.
12. I would love to write for a living… But I’m not good enough to make money doing it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
13. I love old Black & White movies. The stars of the ’30s n ’40s were trully glamorous.
14. I’m a fan of Art Deco.
15. When I was 17 I was obsessed with going to Australia. I finally got there when I was 31.
16. I wanted a tattoo since I was 16. I almost got one in LA when I was 21 but bottled out.
17. I got my 1st tattoo when I was 27 in Amsterdam.
18. I got my 2nd tattoo in LA for my 33rd birthday.
19. I’m a massive Jet Li fan and have been since my Dad introduced me to one of his movies 7 years ago.
20. I have suffered from depression and I learned a lot about myself during my recovery, not all of which was nice.
22. The first car I ever bought was an old Suzuki Alto and cost ยฃ450 in 1995. It sounded like a hairdryer ๐Ÿ™‚
23. I broke my collarbone when I was 6. It’s the only bone I’ve ever broken.
24. I wear glasses.
25. I am baptised Catholic but don’t practice any religion.
26. I am interested in all religions, faith systems and spirituality.
27. I failed my cycling proficiency test, when I was 10, on a technicality – I had an American bike with backpedal brakes.
28. I have never been in a physical fight – thankfully, as I’m a bit of a woos and would probably lose/run away.
29. I’m pretty competitive. It’s a family trait ๐Ÿ™‚
30. I hate housework.
31. I think my brother looks like a young Paul Newman. Everyone else disagrees.
32. I think I have good taste.
33. I have the same birthday as Robbie Williams and I admit I was more than mildly obsessed with him in my early 20s!
34. I wish I was more creative.
35. I love to dance but haven’t done in a long long time.
36. The first time I visited LA I hated it. The second time I visited LA I loved it!
37. Is how old I am now.
38. I’ve driven the Pacific Coast Highway.
39. Ive been to Vegas, once, on a budget. When I go back, I’m going with money!
40. I have a bucket list… But it changes all the time.
41. If I won the lottery, I’d give some to my family, some to charity and spend the rest travelling the world for a few years with my Beloved and my baby girl.
42. I was a vegetarian for 1 year when I was 17. I failed. Mainly because I used to hate eating vegetables.
43. I was born in the year of the tiger and so was my daughter.
44. I was married and divorced before I reached 30.
45. When I was 17 I wanted to paint my bedroom black. My parents wouldn’t allow it.
46. I have an attic full of trophies and plaques won in dancing competitions when I was a kid. I think I even have a tiny sparkly costume!
47. I still have my wedding dress. It’s in my parents attic, not for sentimental reasons, just laziness.
48. But I sold my wedding band and engagement ring to a couple of poor students on eBay.
49. I’ve never been skiing but would love to. I had a 1 hour lesson once on Mt. Hood in Oregon. “Snow Plough!”
50. Growing up my sister was into Luke Skywalker. I was more of a Han Solo kinda gal… I still am.
51. I always thought I was like my Dad. But now I see I am pretty much a carbon copy of my Mum. Either is cool with me.
52. I aspire to be as good a parent to my daughter as my parents are to me. I am very blessed in that respect.
53. I have had my heart broken twice; once from a very unhealthy kind of love and once from infatuation. My Beloved is the only person I have truly loved. He is my soulmate.
54. I’m a marketeers dream!
55. I have no particular skillset or qualification. Jack of all trades, master of none.
56. My star sign is Aquarius.
57. I’m scared of heights.
58. I would rather be a stay at home mum than go back to work. But, like most mums, there are bills to pay ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
59. I used to smoke cigarettes.
60. My favourite colour of the moment is white. But it changes all the time.
61. 95% of the clothes in my wardrobe are black.
62. I cried on a plane for a full hour after watching Marley & Me. Bit of a damp squib for the honeymooning couple to my right!
63. When I was 10, I used to write songs with the “bad” girl at school. I found out recently that she died a few years ago of an overdose. Life can be so cruel.
64. My sister & I were brought home in a police car on our first day of school after getting lost.
65. I love sunshine.
66. I used to have a really strong fear of dogs. I’d cross the street to avoid a Yorkshire Terrier. I’m better now but still wary…
67. I’m the oldest of 4 children.
68. I like to sit in silence in empty churches. I find it very comforting.
69. I’m good at keeping secrets.
70. I painted my hall yellow because I believe it’s a happy colour. That way whenever I leave or come home I’ll be smiling. (I learned this trick from my friends mum).
71. I love to sing, but I sound like a cats choir! Doesn’t stop me ๐Ÿ™‚
72. I make quick decisions.
73. Im really not good at sticking with things, especially yoga (& other exercise), eating healthily and writing my blog!
74. I love Opera. Last time I went, though, was 3 years ago in Verona, Italy.
75. I am one of those annoying iPhone people who has to play with her phone every couple of minutes.
76. I have a couple of A levels and a degree. But I only got into Uni thanks to the clearing system.
77. I kind of “fell” onto my career path. I never really knew what I wanted to do, i just ended up doing the job that I do.
78. I have been scuba diving twice, both times on the Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing!
79. I would love to live in a warm sunny place by a beach.
80. I live in a cold rainy place by a beach.
81. I speak minimal tourist French and Spanish and feel I should really learn one of those fully.
82. I believe it’s rude to travel to another country and not attempt to speak the language or respect the local customs/culture.
83. My favourite flowers are sunflowers (for years it was Orchids).
84. I have absolutely no patience. Zero. Nada. Zilch!
85. A few years ago I went to a Gnaoua music festival in Essaouira (Morocco). That was pretty cool.
86. I’d love to go camping. I have a 5 person tent I’ve never used and nothing to go in it.
87. I’m pretty much always late. It drives my Beloved nuts.
88. I’m really really nosy, ha!
89. My favourite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexander Dumas). This has never changed.
90. I love my cat.
91. I’m a bit of a snob.
92. I believe that the top pillows on the bed (the really plump ones) are not to be slept on – it’ll make the bed look messy. My Beloved thinks this is ridiculous and refers to them as the “show pillows”.
93. I also keep a set of towels for guests only – another thing my Beloved finds ridiculous!
94. I can always squeeze in a bit of ice cream no matter how full I am ๐Ÿ™‚
95. I have no regrets.
96. I am a comfort eater.
97. I try to always be a good person but don’t always achieve this goal.
98. My favourite “pick me up” movie, guaranteed to make me laugh and smile, is ‘Some Like It Hot’.
99. My baby girl is THE most precious thing I will ever have in my life.
100. It has taken me a week to write this list!

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

Today on twitter, I pledged to resurrect my commitment to positivity on account of Lent.

I haven’t practised a particular religion for 20 years (wow! didn’t realise it was that long until I counted it up just now). Not that I’m lazy. On the contrary. I’m extremely curious about religion, spirituality and things that are seemingly “other worldly”. What I didn’t want to do was go to church every Sunday and not really believe what I was saying or doing, or worse, not go to church at all but play the religion card when I need/want to get my child into a good school.

I actually take it very seriously. Least of all because I made a promise to my father (who is a strong believer) that I would make very conscious decisions about ‘God’ and ‘The Church’ and would not belittle his faith by being flippant about it.

And I believe that some of the things I was taught by my parents and religion have contributed to my being a “good person” today. One of those things is Lent. Well kind of.

I think that it is a great idea to take time out, whether it’s once per year or once each day, to be conscious about who we are and what we do for others. Whilst during Lent we are often encouraged to give something up for the duration (in support of what ‘Jesus’ gave up for all mankind) I believe that actually it makes more sense to give something back.

So, I’ve done this a few times over the years. I’ve participated in Lent in my own way. By doing something extra.

This year, I’m refocusing on positivity (see my previous attempts here and here). So, I’ll be looking for small ways each day in which I can help others (and from time to time myself) through the power of positivity. Harder than it sounds but then, it wouldn’t be worth it if it was easy!

I’ll keep you posted. Look out for updates on Twitter. Might even pen a blog or two about it… After all I did promise to write more this year.

New Years Resolutions

Once again there has been quite a gap between my blog posts! Oh well, quality not quantity eh? (here’s hoping I have the former “down”!)

“The first three months are a bloody hard slog!” says my BFF, yogaswerve, who’s also my oracle on all things baby related. Our baby girl had colic from weeks 2 to 14, but even without that I’d probably agree. Little time for personal hobbies like blogging or fitness. Though I still managed to find time to eat chocolate and a veritable mountain of cookies and assorted biscuits. I still do.

Week 15 was Christmas and then came the New Year and here we are a couple of weeks into 2011 and still chasing the Holy Grail that is “a routine”.

So, whilst my baby girl snoozes on my lap (I’m not molly coddling her – she still has a bit of reflux and has to stay upright for 20 minutes after feeding, she also happens to have fallen asleep), I thought I’d write down my resolutions… Some are a little more realistic than others but I’ll let you work out which is which for yourself.

1. Lose 2 stone
2. Attend a Zumba or a Dance class (something energetic to assist with #1)
3. Re-start Yoga (again)
4. Write retrospective “diary” of pregnancy and mummyhood
5. Save up for a mac (for documenting #4)
6. Try, really try, to post regular, meaningful, interesting and humorous ditty’s on my blog.
7. Spend as much time with my baby girl as possible (she’s growing so fast and she is so much fun to be around!)

Apart from winning the lottery, that’s all I got… But to be honest, I’d settle for winning at nappy roulette once in a while!

Today, I blog!

Today, I blog again…

My beautiful little girl is nearly 9 weeks old and the last 9 weeks have been the best and the worst of my life. People tell you it’s the hardest and the best job in the world (being a parent) and they’re right!

I once blogged about how overwhelmed with unconditional love I was for my little furball when he came into our lives. But my love for my baby girl is a gazillion times stronger than that. I could never have imagined it until the first time I looked at her.

Still now, every time I look at her, even when I’m at my lowest ebb; having had no sleep for days and she’s been screaming her little lungs out for what seems like hours (she has colic), all I can think of is that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. How amazing she is and how lucky I am to have her. I miss her even when I’m just in the other room.

And my love, respect and admiration for my Beloved has grown too. Don’t get me wrong there have been times when the tiredness has presented, let’s call them, significant challenges. But I could not have delivered her without his fortitude. I would not have survived the baby blues or my battle with breastfeeding without his love and support. And I have grown as a person by learning to let him (and my friends and my family) help me.

She is definitely Daddy’s little girl! He brought her into this world with his own hands and she’s had him wrapped around her little finger ever since. But that is a good thing. He will love her and protect her forever, we both will.

Our family has grown and will hopefully continue to grow… although, I’m not sure where we’ll put them. This one tiny little girl has accumulated so much stuff in 9 weeks, we already need a bigger house. How is that possible?!

 

Is it good to share?

1 week to D-Day.

I still think it will be longer and I’m trying not to fixate on the date… but I can totally understand why women get to the home stretch and “just want it out!!!”. I feel really good today and managed to have a reasonably good night’s sleep last night but the 2 nights/days before that were pretty challenging. But I’m not here to complain about my pregnancy woes, nope. Today’s post is about how much information should I put online about our baby?

I know I said that this wouldn’t become a mummy blog… but what else can I write about, when my every waking thought is consumed by Strawbug?

I’ve been thinking about this blog subject for quite a while. Ever since I announced my happy news actually.

Putting details of your life online whether it be a blog, Facebook or Twitter can be risky for anyone. I myself, don’t even share my own name on this blog or my Twitter account and I try very hard to disguise anyone in my life that I write about (unless they have already set the precedent of “going public” with who they are online). Some might say that I’m copping out but I do it because whilst I enjoy the process and the experience of writing and sharing, I find it much easier to share feelings anonymously. I also do it out of respect for others in my life. I don’t feel I have the right to publish details of their lives online without their permission. After all, its possible that these details could be read by millions of people across the world (not that my readership is anywhere near that high, but it’s out there, it’s accessible and it is possible).

On the other hand, it is the acceptable convention of social networking to share personal information, photos etc. of yourself and others online. And the internet provides a useful tool to enable today’s distributed families to share these things in almost real-time. It provides support systems and information to many who feel isolated because of the fact that we no longer live in local family units. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free.

The downside of the internet is that it can be accessed by anyone, and by that I mean unsavoury types. Parents spend many hours worrying about who their kids are chatting to online, putting security software in place to try to prevent them accessing the types of sites where they could be harmed and (hopefully) educating their children about the dangers of the internet and how to avoid them.

So then is it fair, or safe, to then post photos of those kids on Facebook? or a blog? and share details of who their kids are and what they did today with, potentially, the entire world?

I’ve googled (as is my want) and searched for any studies or theories that may answer my question (in whatever way). But all that I have been able to find is thoughts, research and advice about kids using the internet and online safety software or education.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging any proud parent who puts photos of their kids on Facebook. Heck, I’ve already done it here on my blog before my baby is born! I’m just generally struggling with the idea, and I’m not sure what the right thing to do is for Strawbug. I genuinely wouldn’t want her or him to come to any harm as a result of something I had done.

So, what do you think? Is it risky? Am I being over sensitive or should I employ the same rule as I do with others in my life and assume I don’t have the right to openly disclose such personal details?

Leave a comment… I’d love to know what you think.