I’m Back, Dishes!
Hello (is it just me or is there an echo in here?)
My name is Tash and I’m a Christian, mom, wife, friend, and hardcore sushi-lover. I’m also someone who came eye-wateringly close to giving up and adding the words “ex-blogger” onto that list.
In fact, I was officially an ex-blogger for six whole days before I was dialling Afrihost’s account recovery number and frantically begging for them to take me back.
I’d love to give you a black and white answer as to why you last heard from me eleven months ago. Heck, I’d love to give myself that answer. But all I’m coming up with is grey.
There are a couple of reasons behind my absence, which I’ll do my best to fill you in on down below, but for now, I just want to say how happy I am to be writing for myself — and you guys — once again.
So what have I been up to in the past almost-year, and what caused me to disappear out of the blogosphere altogether?
Disclaimer: This is going to be a pretty long one so buckle up, buttercup.
Double disclaimer: After reading through this before posting, it seems that some parts of this are mildly depressing but push through — I did!
The “My Life as I Know it is Ending at 23 and I Need A Break” Break
My mum has never been the healthiest of ladies. During the course of 2019, her health took a serious turn for the worse and she ended up in hospital on more than one occasion. Getting the diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease was terrifying but, overall, it was a relief to finally know what was the matter and begin the (LONG) process of getting it sorted.
Obviously, my mum got the short end of the stick — or functioning kidney rather — but it was a tough time for everyone in our family. Particularly my little brother who was in the first term of his first year of high school. My mum was lying in a sought after government hospital bed waiting for a kidney removal that was postponed so many times I think we all secretly doubted whether she’d ever get the surgery.
To cut a long story short, someone needed to step up and take care of my brother during this time. For all intents and purposes, Daddydaims and I were that “someone”.
For a week.
For a full seven days our home had an extra body in it. And as difficult as it is to admit, let alone write down for the world to read, I didn’t handle it well. Please don’t get me wrong: I LOVED having my brother around. He’s a wonderful boy who is well on his way to being a wonderful man. It was kinda like a really long sleepover with no “hometime” in sight. But it was extremely difficult adapting to life with a teenage boy.
A teenage boy with hormones, homework, and high school woes. What complicated things even more was that he was SO worried for our mother. Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t keep the tears in his eyeballs worried. The kid was an emotional wreck and I honestly wasn’t equipped to deal with it but I can say that I tried my darndest.
After a week, GG decided that the broski would be better off with her as she was visiting mum at the hospital every day whereas Daddydaims and I couldn’t because we were both working full-time jobs.
It should go without saying that, at the time, I had no idea it would have been a week. I genuinely thought it was for forever — we all did — and I skipped that week's blog post as I felt that I needed time to adjust to my new normal.
And, through nobody’s fault but my own, it was downhill from there.
BTW: By the grace of God and a team of wonderful doctors and surgeons at Helen Joseph Hospital, my mum is miles better. She is currently living her best CKD-recovery life in Hermanus with her new boyfriend and the little brother and the three of them are as happy as can be. The trio spends their days traipsing up and down the beach, seeking out specials at the local restaurants, and WhatsApp video calling yours truly.
The “Now That I’m Getting Paid To Write Other People’s Blogs I Need a Break From Writing For My Own” Break
Something definitely shifted in me and my commitment to this here blog after missing that first bi-weekly blog post. I became very haphazard in my writing and my post schedule went out of the window a bit. It was during this time that our little family unit went through changes on every level.
One of those changes was me leaving my job as a financial administrator and entering the world of copywriting. My writing schedule went from hastily scribbling down blog post ideas in my notebook whilst on the go and fleshing them out on my laptop after putting Arabella to sleep to writing from sun up to sun down. In between daily admin, communicating with clients, proofreading and editing my writers’ work, I was responsible for writing 4,000 words a day, every day.
I wrote about all kinds of topics for all kinds of clients. I know more about marine toilets than any non-boat owner should know. Along with what feels like a billion other things, I can tell you (in nauseating detail) how to devein foie gras, create a perfect diamond painting, and pick the perfect hiking pole.
It should go without saying that I don’t eat fattened goose, nor do I have the patience to painstakingly create the grown-up version of paint-by-numbers, and I haven’t hiked since… ever?
The one thing I didn’t write about? Anything to do with my own blog. In my year as a full-time professional copywriter, I only wrote a single post for my blog yet I can’t even put a number on how many posts I’ve ghostwritten for other people’s blogs. Even though this entry on my resume was an incredible experience from every angle, it was disheartening seeing other parenting bloggers passing off my words and views as their own and watch their blogs grow while mine gathered dust.
As rubbish as it is to admit: writing for Millennial Momma just wasn’t a priority. I was being paid a salary to write content for other people and so my own blog posts, which were written purely for fun, understandably took a backseat.
The “I Need A Break” Break
Don’t get me wrong. I had many opportunities to write a blog post throughout the past eleven months. In fact, I started writing this very post a dozen times. But every time I tried, something stopped me and I slammed my poor laptop closed or crumpled up my piece of scrap paper.
I don’t want to say that I fell into a depression, because that’s a big word to throw around and I’m no doctor, but I found myself in a space where I didn’t want to share my life with anyone.
Mainly because I felt like I had nothing to share.
Or rather nothing that I wanted to share.
All I can tell you is that I was tired. Even on days where I didn’t do a thing, which were few and far in between, I would flop onto my bed at the end of the day feeling down-to-my-bones exhausted. Write a blog post? HAH!
In typical 2020 fashion, one moment everything was fine and the next nothing was. Daddydaims was unemployed for half a year, we had to pull Arabella out of school, we had to move out of our (much loved) home and into a cottage in the back of my mother-in-law’s garden. Our finances were in the pooper and there was the slight issue of a freaking GLOBAL PANDEMIC to deal with too.
Things were ROUGH.
And I didn’t want to accept my newfound circumstances, never mind blog about them.
And for months I felt as though I was perpetually “on the edge” of losing it.
And my mind, soul, and body needed a break from pretty much everything.
And so that's what I did.
And now that break is over.
Where to From Here?
Hold on to your hats because I’m officially back. It took cancelling my hosting and giving up my domain name to realise it, but I really do enjoy blogging. Apparently, I just needed an eleven-month breather to remember that.
Anyhoo, I have returned to the interwebs with a renewed sense of purpose, a bit of oomph, and a lot to share. I’ll be uploading a new blog post every Wednesday and I’m looking forward to that more than I can put into words.
To my little mom blog and the five of you that have stuck around to read it, thanks for having me back.