Last night, my brother-in-law casually told me that he 'ignores half the shit' I post on Facebook. My Mum then helpfully told him that he ought not feel bad because 'loads of people do'. We were talking about my one woman crusade to make sure that all children are vaccinated against preventable disease, but I also post a lot of parenting links about other issues so I assume that their apparent distaste at my reading material extends to those as well.
So, to those who are on my friends list who think I'm boring I say this: I'm sorry that I care about things that are relevant to me. Perhaps they're not relevant to you and therefore I suppose I have absolutely no right to clog up your newsfeed with the things I believe to be important. After all, there are far more interesting things on Facebook that you need to see; I mean, your cousin's neighbour's sister might have just posted a fucking hilarious meme about hairbands and I wouldn't want you to miss that, would I?
I see an awful lot of stuff on social media that I don't consider to be either entertaining or relevant to my life. In those situations, I too ignore the poster and scroll right past the link. What I don't do is make a point of going to the person in question to inform them that I'm ignoring them because their interests are not specifically aimed at me. Because, you know what, the attentions of the masses are caught by different things and actually that's okay. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's a good thing. It'd be a fucking boring world if we were all that obsessed with kittens.
You're probably wondering why I can't just read the articles that interest me and move on; why do I insist on sharing them with all of you? Well, in terms of the vaccination posts, I believe it's important that as many people see and read them as possible. Even if you don't have children, disease is an issue that affects us all and prevention is far better than cure. But in terms of the constant 'mum blogs', I share them for one simple reason: there's something in each piece that I share that sums up something about how I feel or think. By sharing the link, I hope that someone will read it and perhaps understand me a little bit better at a time in my life when I've changed so much that I actually feel a little bit isolated. Because of course I've changed, I've changed in ways that I didn't even think possible, but I'm still just me and I still want people to know me and even to like me occasionally. I share what I've read because I want to invite you into my mind.
Here are just some of the ways that I've changed since becoming a parent:
1. I think my son is the best thing in the entire world.
Women have babies all the time. It's no big deal. Except that, to me, Blake is a big deal. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, he's the best, most hilarious, handsome human being to ever grace the face of the planet. He might look the same as every other toddler to you, but I could say the same thing about the 'amazeballs' chicken salad you just posted a picture of.
2. My social life plays second fiddle.
I went out one night last year and drank one too many tequilas. My husband was home with Blake and I got a tiny bit carried away. When I got home and fell asleep, I promptly began sleep-walking around the house and woke to find myself naked in the kitchen, trying to clean Blake's high-chair. I was obviously on parental autopilot and it terrified me. What if I'd gone into my son's room and taken him out of his cot? What if I'd tried to take him downstairs when I was both drunk and genuinely asleep? What if he'd wriggled and cried and we'd both fallen? It doesn't bear thinking about, and I've not been drunk with him in the house since. He comes so far before my social life that he can't even see it on the horizon.
3. I care about different things because the world is a different place to me.
Things like vaccines and politics and human rights and the environment. I care about them because I want my son to grow up in a better world. I want him to have the best life possible.
4. I feel crap sometimes.
Particularly when I'm told that I've clicked 'like' on too many Facebook posts and people are sick of seeing my name pop up, or that people have gone to my mother to specifically tell her that I'm boring.
Well people, here's the thing, I find a lot of things boring too. It's human nature because we're all different. A lot of you don't have children but will have some day, and I hope that you're never made to feel as shitty as I do sometimes. So I will continue to scroll past the Youtube videos of music that I don't like and the pictures of cars that I think are ugly and I will accept that, in this age of social media, we all just want to be a little bit heard and a little bit understood.