** Warning: May contain personal opinion. **
I write a blog. This is it, in fact. You are reading it right now. I am also an individual, shocking I know.
On my blog I write about all sorts, whatever takes my fancy, sometimes more about shopping than parenting, sometimes about things that are apparently nothing to do with a 'family lifestyle blog'. But the family, and the lifestyle, is ours, and this is my little corner of the Internet to bang on about it. Like every form of writing, printed or virtual, if people don't like it, they don't need to read it.
Everything on this blog, from a product review to a parenting piece, a book review to a shopping article, contains my personal opinion. Largely because that's kind of the point, that's what a blog is! If I was being paid to write by someone else, then that may be different, but this is my blog, my writing (unless indicated otherwise), and it will always, always contain my opinions. They may not be thoughts and opinions everyone agrees with, or even likes, but as your mum always said, wouldn't the world be a dreadful place if we were all the same!
I am many things, rather a lot of them self-contradictory: a chocoholic who believes in healthy eating; a proponent of natural health who has to use asthma inhalers; an attachment parent who sometimes yearns to be alone; a believer in positive parenting who sometimes shouts and gets it totally wrong; a traveller who has been converted to the joys of caravans and holiday camps for small children; and many, many more, I'm sure.
Sometimes I write controversial stuff, the infamous anti-sleep training post being an obvious case in point. To be honest, I haven't yet been as controversial and as 'out there' about our opinions and beliefs as I might have been. That is something I intend to change, so expect more breastfeeding, more birth stuff, more parenting stuff, more health stuff as 2013 progresses.
I don't know if you've noticed, but there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the blog:
"This is a personal blog written by an enthusiast of, and believer in, attachment parenting and natural health. If you do not like what you read, or disagree with what is written, you are welcome to stop reading. Nothing in this blog is intended to cause offence to others, nor is what is written to be taken as specific advice or guidance. The opinions and ideas expressed are those of the author, and are based on personal experience, usually backed up by extensive reading and research. However, nothing written in this blog should be taken as professional or medical advice."
I stand by that, and it covers all my other public interactions across the mighty Internet too, particularly the sentence I have highlighted in bold. Don't like it, walk away.
Yesterday I had four people, all complete strangers I had never met, nor even heard the names of, attempt to tell me what I should or shouldn't be writing on my personal Facebook page. Needless to say, they were given short shrift.
I purposely have two Facebook 'areas', the page for the blog is here, feel free to like away if you haven't already. On there you will find links to new and old blog posts, competitions I have found and shared because I thought you might like them, some random thoughts and shares, and more than the odd cute kitty photo! You are welcome to leave me messages, comment on or like posts, share your own competitions, tell my readers something interesting, or whatever you like. (I should say that rubbish or spam will always be deleted though!)
I also have a personal profile, emphasis on the personal, which is here. I am delighted that some fans of Attachment Mummy blog have asked to become my 'friend' there, as have many fellow bloggers, which is lovely. I'm happy to be friends with most people, so request away if that's your thing! I know some people have chosen to 'follow' that profile, which is cool too. I wouldn't have come into this blogging business if I didn't want to connect with readers!! Just to clarify though, that one is my personal profile and may contain personal opinions, thoughts and asides, as well as things related to Attachment Mummy blog. As I wrote on there yesterday, thoughts may not be sanitised for public consumption!
Whilst I am more than happy to accept (civilised!) debate on my public page and blog, my personal profile is just that, personal. And that was the problem yesterday, these complete strangers objected to me using a certain word in a post on my profile and, quite frankly, it was none of their damn business!
I swear. There, I've said it. In fact, I'll go so far as to say I think the Anglo-Saxon utterances of our language should be embraced and enjoyed. They have power by their very nature, yet they are also expressive and I believe necessarily important. Swearing is, I suppose, a whole other post, but I just wanted to give you a heads up in case you struggle with such things.
For the record, as a Christian, I detest blasphemy. Yet society thinks it perfectly OK to 'Oh G*$' or 'JC' all over the place, yet I can be pulled up by complete strangers on using the see you next Tuesday word??!! As a woman, and a feminist (another swear word to some!), I believe that particular word should be reclaimed by women. Why what used to only be a factual name for female genitalia was appropriated by men by the fifteenth century as an insult is a question for etymologists, who cannot agree on it either. But the reasons for that particular epithet retaining its power to shock today are, to me, entirely tied up in our still misogynist society. Compare it with the use of names and nicknames for male genitalia, largely comical and apparently sometimes now even acceptable pre-watershed on the television.
Whatever the use or misuse of swear words, if I choose to use one on my - emphasis coming on again! - personal profile, that is entirely up to me. It's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last. If you, dear Internet police, would like the tidied up, sanitised version of me, stick with the public page. On the personal bit the opinions may be even more strident, there may be swearing, so best you prudes steer clear!
How sad to see that Mary Whitehouse is alive and well and living on Facebook!
Perhaps the worst part of it was that this one word was in a rather lengthy rant about a certain problem in our lives at the moment. Anyone else who commented, or sent me private messages about it, focussed on the problem, and that I was upset at people who have let me, my husband and my children down, not on the use of one apparently offensive word. Thank you to those who took the trouble to send me their love and support, indeed some of those were complete strangers too, but I know which ones I'd prefer to end up having as friends!