It is a slightly strange thing to do – to write about places you go and life as a parent. So why do I do it? Well, having recently “come out” as a blogger to my work colleagues, it felt like a perfect piece to actually write about.
Rewind back to early 2014, Heidi was 9 months old and her mum and I had just separated. Obviously heartbreaking in so many different ways. I worked full time during the week and so I was fortunate to have Heidi all weekend at the time. It was like being a parent for the first time once again, everything was different, everything was new, all with a backdrop of great sadness and uncertainty.
However, we started going out and about, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with my parents. We got more confident and as time progressed, trips to the local park turned into trips to playgroups, which then turned into trips to local attractions. We took hundreds of photos and had a great time.
That great time, however, stopped every Sunday at 7pm when I dropped Heidi back with her mum. I’m not ashamed to say that Sunday evenings were spent crying and crying until there were no more tears. The drive back was awful and I used to lay on my bed looking through the photos that I had taken and reminisce.
However, it came to a point where enough was enough and I wanted, no, needed, to do something productive. It came about from 2 reasons:
- I wanted to have a diary to show Heidi all the brilliant places we had been to over the years so we could look back at it together when she was old enough to understand
- If I could help just one parent who wanted to take their child out but didn’t know where to go, or wanted to read about other parenting problems, then I needed to help
This additional focus was somewhat misdirected at first – I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t have a Twitter or Facebook page for example, but that didn’t matter, I enjoyed what I was doing. It turned the tears into smiles and my online diary was growing.
As I have being blogging for a couple of years now, I have got a bit better at certain things, but in no way am I as good as some of the bigger bloggers out there. However, I am still working full time, I am still a single parent and obviously those things come first. I only blog because I want to do it and it is fun.
I have got to know some other bloggers quite well, as well as some of the attractions that I write about and that community is a really positive aspect of it all. I even got stopped once at Oakwell Hall by someone and that was a rather cool and unexpected experience to say the least!!
As a result, if you are reading this, and you’re going through a particularly difficult spell, my advice would be to do something different that you enjoy to create a “happy place” in your life. It doesn’t have to be blogging, it could be a sport, it could photography, charity work, anything.
By doing something positive, it helps alleviate some of the pain that comes with life. It will never make it disappear, but it will make it better.
As for my situation, I am still a single dad, but I am planning our first overseas holiday together. Life is still tough, but it does get easier and I don’t think that I would have got to this stage without my therapy – blogging!!
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