So, hello. The blog has had a little makeover as you will see. Hope you like it… After much fiddling around with WordPress in my pyjamas while the weather does its best to get into the house (that’s shoreline living for you), I think it’s almost there.
You know, if I’m completely honest, the makeover is a distraction tactic. I have to come out and say that I’ve had a crisis of confidence over this blog over the last year and that goes most of the way to explaining why I haven’t really posted much. Or at all since August…
On Friday, as I took a windswept stroll on the beach and did some much overdue mental filing, I started to remember why I write this blog, why I started it and what I wanted it to achieve. And I realised that last year I reached a roadblock that wouldn’t let me continue in the vein I had drifted into. I realised that I was backing myself into a corner where the only people who would be interested in the words and pictures on these pages were a small group of other parents of children with disabilities. And that the only times it was interesting to anybody outside of that immediate group were when something tragic or difficult had happened.
Attracting rubberneckers in their droves. Who promptly buggered off again when there was something important to talk about, or campaign for.
This was no way to normalise disability, nor to help families dealing with the same difficulties as ours to be and feel less sidelined in life.
Some changes were long overdue.
It won’t surprise you to read that I find most ‘mummy blogs’ absolutely interminably dull. An Instagram Life, landscaped, filtered, devoid of cellulite and the hum drum. And too many pictures of legs and feet in skinny jeans. But then there’s the odd gem that has you in stitches, or inspires you to try something new, picks you up when you are down or is just so plain beautiful to look at that before you know it, it’s become your coffee break favourite.
While I have no desire to place rose tinted filters on ours lives or take pictures of my feet, I have realised that if I am to speak to hearts and minds, to change opinions or to rally people well beyond the walls of disability to help create a more inclusive world, I need to employ some more magazine style. And some of the tactics learned so well in my career.
I know that if you really want to change opinions and behaviours you have to make something so desirable it becomes normal. And it’s only at the hands of parent carers and people with disabilities who write, blog and broadcast that it will be possible to show that life can be desirable, enjoyable, fun and normal (whatever that is), with disability in it. That we remain the people we are, with hopes, dreams and desires to fulfil. And that we should expect to do so, to continue our lives on the path we set out on rather than being sidelined into a box that says it’s ok for us to be fat and unhappy with homes that look like hospitals and a sudden desire to swap a lovely car for a fricking Berlingo.
Yes, there are hard times. Yes, the world often excludes us and our children. Yes, there is admin and bureaucracy. Yes, there are people in authority positions who think parent carers (read, mothers) shouldn’t work and that we should all be happy to have homes that look like a hospital equipment catalogue. But these are small elements of our lives. A part, not the whole. These are the things we want to change, but outside of that there is much that unites us with everybody else.
I’m not going to kid around here, there is most definitely cellulite and hum drum in our lives, but there is also gloss and fun.
A little Instagram never hurt anyone, hey.