Parity

It’s a double-edged sword, this blogging business. Truly.

Despite being a long-time reader of Julie’s wonderful site, it never actually dawned in the dessicated pellet I term my brain that there might be… others. How I managed to miss checking out her sidebar for all that time, I really dunno, but there you go. I only properly discovered the big old blogosphere pond earlier this year – and promptly jumped in with both feet, wittering happily away as if I’d lived here years.

Had this monumentally pleasing discovery been at an earlier time in my life, my blogging material could have been rather wider in scope. Two uteri. IUI. IVF. Miscarriages a plenty. Pregnancy teetering on edge of disaster. NICU. SCBU. I was infertility content-rich! My misery was simply jumping up and down to be spread around a little.

My timing has been inauspicious – I formally joined you all in April this year, replete with baby. Still traumatised as buggery-fuck by it all, mind you, but nevertheless, I was indisputably a little way past the nail-biting stuff. I was sufficiently conscious of this potential paucity of my personal contribution, to title my blog The Hairy Farmer Family, thus widening my legitimate subject-target to all three of us.

Now: at 16 months old today, Harry is not yet in a position to lambast me for putting photos of his runaway dumps on the internet. He will no doubt hold me accountable for these numerous breaches of his privacy before he reaches his majority, but for the present, my maternal bloggy treachery is blissfully unknown to him.

illiteracy-rocks1

On the other hand, the Hubby can read just fine.

He can’t write frightfully well. During the mid 1970s, his primary school considered teaching children to form their letters properly and consistently to be over-conformist for the little darlings. His handwriting, put bluntly, is shocking.

And that’s just the kind of statement that winds him up when he sees it in print. You see, Hubby doesn’t appear here in a rounded dimensional format. I recount snippets here and there as and when they please – or amuse – me. I’m not the bloody BBC. I do not have a constitutional obligation to appear impartial and emotionally unattached to either side of the argument. When I tell you that Hubby has useless handwriting, I do not feel a moral urge to insert a disclaimer telling you that, whilst his numbers aren’t always legible – even to himself –  they are always sodding right, because the man is a mathematical natural. But it would probably seem to Hubby  – and doubtless will when he logs on tomorrow morning, despite my caveats – that I have simply dissed his handwriting  – and consequently, of course, his intellect – to the entire internet, albeit my small and extremely select (hello!) corner of it.

In short, he feels he often comes off badly on here, as I naturally tend to cherry-pick the juiciest episodes in our lives to blog about. You will be aware, of course, as you are presumably a regularish reader (hello!) that, in this corner of rural Warwickshire, a juicy topic has to be defined pretty loosely. An interestingly musical fart could easily make the cut, some days. There’s not a whole lot happens to me. I don’t have a paying job. I don’t actually see all that many people who aren’t family or other mothers. So, when your Hubby, who began driving farm vehicles so young that his short little legs (NICE legs, ok? Grew up to be sexy legs!) couldn’t actually reach the pedals, drives smack into a bloody ditch one morning, and has to ring the wife in order to be towed out… well, you can’t really blame the wife for thinking she has struck bloggy gold for that week. I have, like Lady Bertram, formed for myself a very common-place, amplifying style. I am fully aware that this blog will not win me the Journalistic Golden Pen Award – because any clever joined-up thinking I might once have possessed departed along with my placenta – but it’s mine and I love it. I love the friends it has made me. I’m excited by the friends it will make me in the future. I value the words I read in return.

However. I appear to keep getting into deep domestic wifey shit about what appears here. Offence has been, occasionally, taken. I read my good friend May’s recent posts with awe. Not, on this occasion, purely at her erudition – although she is, as ever, a profoundly talented writer – but at her subject matter also. I could not get away with writing thus, I feel. I do not even dare to comment, in fact, just in case I transgress badly.

Now, before I stir the situation up even further, let me assure you that Hubby is far from a Controller. Although vaguely irritated by the hours I spend blogging and blog-reading (hours that could more profitably, he thinks, be spent having wild monkey sex with him) he is generally a genial, extremely laid-back chap – who, moreover, laughs at my jokes, rips the absolute piss out of my mistakes, and pays my unforgivably high credit card bills with quiet resignation. Our marriage has admittedly taken some telling hits since the birth of our child – and that’s a whole other post I’m not sure will make it to Publish – but in essence, when not savagely hissing parenting or abrupt departing reproductive advice at one another, we potter along together beautifully. But blogging niggles him.

In the past, I have suggested unto him that he is far too damn touchy, and to start his own sodding blog if he wants to control his public image, and how he is perceived by my tiny band (hello!) of readers. I’m not going to put an update on the bottom of every post, detailing the specific items (Harry’s actual height in relation to growth centile charts was a good recent example) that I have apparently got completely and unforgivably wrong. This is my patch of internet, where I blather talk. I will not self-censor. Bugger orrff!

Except… it isn’t that easy, is it? No-one likes being made to appear at somewhat less than their best, particularly by someone you love. If Hubby wrote or uttered something that put me in a bad light, offended me, or did not do proper justice to my wifely talents and abilities, I would most likely have a spectacular attack of the sullens. I’m vain enough to like hearing myself talked up – although untalented enough to ensure it hardly ever happens.

I have to admit, after some mulling, that he does have a fair point. The poor chap isn’t able make a single minor gaffe around here without me making maximum internet capital out of it, and, short of hijacking my comments column, he has no right of reply. In short… it’s not particularly polite of me. 

So, whilst I am in the mood to take notice of spousal angst and print retractions, let me say that John gets particularly gets hot under the collar when I suggest, through comic implication, that he is a hapless or unconnected father to our son. Neither could be further from the truth. There is an enormous amount of mutual adoration and Hubby makes significant sacrifices – my credit card bill and his own business profit margins are good examples – to ensure that Harry has the best quality time possible with both his parents.

Hubby is, in short, a fabulous individual who has had the questionable luck to have married a girl (yep, 34 next birthday, just go with it, yes?) who likes to write – but lack of material has rendered everything fair game.

Now, I’m not quite certain where all this is taking us. I would happily offer the Hairy one an occasional guest spot in order to write about our lives from his perspective – and he would doubtless decline. Authorship is not his metier at all, although he has become a reasonably faithful reader of much of my blogroll. So I expect I shall continue to wind him up in passing now and again – although my sense of justice tells me that I probably need to round his character out more on here. It’s not fair of me to let you keep on thinking that I’m the funny, talented, clever one. Cough. 

But I’m very curious, so I’m asking you… how do your partners view your blog? How do they feel about having their quirks and foibles revealed? Do they mind? Do you hide your virtual tracks? Or edit your words before hitting Publish?

Tell me all.

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24 Responses

  1. Ah, well.

    The thing is I never told my husband about my bloggy habit.

    Yes, I have been writing since 2006.

    DOn’t look at me like that!

    I love the man to bits, but he’d kill me for some of the things I write, even though the readers will never meet him!

  2. Wow Geohde. I don’t think I could hide a habit this large. I occasionally complain about my hubby on my blog, and he has never cared. Or never cared enough to tell me he cared. From my perspective, I know that we only get a slice of your life and what is driving you crazy one day does not mean that it is an accurate representation of every day life. Also? It’s just a blog. I’m just a reader from California sitting on my arse gestating away. Who cares what I think? I try not to think too much, anyway. It hurts my head.

  3. Perhaps post lots of photos of Hubby. He is a charming-looking man, and then we can praise him in the comments and thus drug him into submission via anonymous flattery. (Cf. what happened to Julia when she recently posted photos of her husband; I felt embarrassed just reading the comments, but I’m sure her husband was a pig in slop with all that bloggy lust.)

    As for me, my husband reads my blog, but I don’t write much about him, or about our marriage. If I did, he’d object LOUDLY. I kinda wish that like Geohde I’d never told him about it; then I could take more liberties, and perhaps be more honest. (I didn’t tell any relatives, or most real-life friends, about the blog. So I can make fun of them as much as I want.)

  4. No hubby to read my blog so I’m safe!

  5. May ‘insists’ I read posts that mention me before they’re published. As long as I don’t try and censor she’s happy to tweak or rephrase any points that I’m uncomfortable with. However, perhaps strangely, I do rather think that I’m fair game (within reason) the only censorship row was when I requested details about another relation of mine were obfuscated.

    So, rather like our constitutional head of state. I have the power to object, as long as I don’t wield it 🙂

  6. Oh and if HH is not comfortable/confident writing, then perhaps a vlog?

  7. This is most interesting.

    Perhaps I should state that the cookie does indeed crumble in two ways. When I have posted photos of Hubby on here that have instigated admiring remarks, the man was absolutely beyond smug!

  8. Life Partner at Villa Kore has very narrow field of focus. Bicycles and the racing of same, and the six o’clock news. Everything else is extraneous. So when a friend of his (ex-bicycle racer, natch) recently took his family to a foreign country for a year and this friend’s wife started a blog, I happily commented. With my Korechronicles identity front and centre. And when she emailed LP asking if Korechronicles and attached blog were me and mine, he had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Despite the fact I had posted about 275 daily photos by then. So now he knows, but as far as I am aware he does not read. And isn’t likely to. Because I don’t write about cycling.

  9. Ironically, maybe, I think the best glimpse I have had of HH is via those videos you posted recently when he ended up in the ditch. From all you’d said about the sensitivity of farmers to such incidents I imagined he’d be pissy and snappy. But instead he was obviously good-natured about the whole thing, including your winding him up about it. It’s not as if I ever thought he was a terrible person, but suddenly I felt like I had a little picture of your marriage and you two as a couple, why you fit together. (Does that sound stalker-y? I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your marriage or anything!)

    I have a little blog about my son. Mostly for family and close friends. Maybe ten people read it. But since it essentially is a sort of photo album for him, and since I want to be able to give the link to anyone who asks for pictures, I don’t talk about anything remotely controversial or troublesome on it. So, although my husband rarely reads it, there is not really any likelihood of him being offended.

  10. My DH is an equal contributor to my blog. He still calls it mine, but it’s more ours. So, nothing negative about either of us (or friends/family as they all read) reaches the blogsphere.

  11. Ooh, I see H has commented. Hello H!

    H has always known about and read every single word I’ve ever posted. In fact, some of my posts have turned out to be remarkably therapeutic, because by reading my point of view quietly in another room, H has been able to grasp it, something he couldn’t do while I was trying to present it verbally in a haze of vapours and hysterics.

    In the case of a person stuck at home all day with toddler, the need to share and vent with understanding adults is enormous. Even if one does appreciate and love the work their partner puts into the family, toddler-wrangling is an unreasonable business and can just do one’s head in when attempted alone for more than an hour at a stretch. If a person were also working with friends, or saw friends more often, the exact same things, with a good deal less editing and forethought, would be said (have husbands ever listened to a mother’s group talking? It goes ‘pee, poo, vomit, boobs, bloody husband sodding husband bloody husband, oh my GOD the screaming, pee, nappies, pee, husband and nappies, husband and screaming, must sleep, husband and sleeping, argh grr dammit’), but Husband wouldn’t necessarily find out about it. Is that preferable to more affectionate things being said with more care, semi-anonymously, and with a great deal of added accountability (on account of husband being able to find out about it), on the Internet?

    As for the video of Hairy Farmer stuck in the ditch, I thought it was charming, both his rueful admission that he was stuck in said ditch and his rueful acceptance that he was being laughed at. I felt a good deal of respect for the chap. I also suspected that if he had thrown a strop, you wouldn’t have posted the clip, to protect him as much as yourself. Am I wrong?

  12. I write a different kind of blog, of course, and I don’t live with the one that I mention there occasionally. As a result, it’s easy not to mention him or to only mention him in passing. That said, the main reason for that is to do with his privacy. And he blogs on his own account of course. I’m barely mentioned there so we’re quits in that respect.

    Having said that, my blog would be very different if I weren’t in this particular relationship, and it informs and to some extent shapes the blog exactly as it informs and to some extent shapes my thinking.

    Interesting subject, Mrs HFF. Food for thought.

    AB

  13. PS – that is a very wicked t-shirt.

  14. It’s hard on the husbandly half sometimes, isn’t it? Sarge reads my blog regularly and has from the start. I try very hard not to blog about him when I’m annoyed or angry because I can’t be trusted. I’m incapable of writing the funny stuff like you are; anything I wrote under the influence of anger would just be sarcastic and mean. I’d be really, really mad if he blogged about me in a negative light (not that he will ever blog) so I try to just return the favor and keep it light on my blog.

    I once asked Accidental Poet about husband-blogging and she said “Well yeah, it will make you feel better at the time but then later everyone will think he’s a jerk.” After that I could see the point of not venting online. (Not that you do that. I feel like this is all coming off so judgy and finger-pointy.)

    FWIW, I never got a bad impression of your dear man. He’s obviously over the moon about both you and Harry, he wears skirts in the most spectacular fashion, and as the above commenter pointed out, he obviously has a good sense of humor to be laughing over the Land Rover in a ditch. It’s clear beneath the laughs we sometimes enjoy at his expense that he’s a very caring man who is well-matched with a lovely wife and blessed with an equally excellent son.

  15. I do the odd swipe at the husband, but nothing that he doesn’t get in real life. He reads mine (I made him add it to his reader), and in the main he enjoys it.

    I do sometime feel a bit uncomfortable if I read something a bit vitriolic about a partner when I know they aren’t privy to the blogage.

    But with you (and May, and I hope me) the affection is so transparent. And we all know that they are checking in, so I think they are fair game.

    Although I have made mine promise next time he has to jack off into a cup he’ll do a post about it – then he can say what the hell he likes about me, (except ‘thinking about the wife didn’t work so settled on Scarlett Johansson’).

  16. b reads my blog regularly. He checks it daily I believe. But all I’ve ever heard is that I don’t write about him enough. I guess that means he assumes I’d write wonderful stuff. Personally I think I write about him frequently but not so much his exploits. Can’t win for losing.

    For what its worth I think Hairy Farmer comes off quite charming on your blog…a stand-up dad and hubby.

  17. Mine knows, and would have no difficulty in finding it (I’m not very subtle in my choice of name) but has decided wisely to leave me to it.

  18. I only ever comment on your husband’s appearance, so very superficial am I.

    I only refer to The Dude in passing, because it’s about ME, ME, ME, not him. His profession is shaping young minds, and I’m always paranoid that one of his students will read my blog and connect the dots. If I said too much, how embarrassing would that be for him?

    He does know of my blog, but he is under strict instruction not to read it. I know he doesn’t either, as he’s such a disciplined young man. I wouldn’t really care if he did, but it is nice not having to censor myself to cater to what he would/wouldn’t want to read about himself.

  19. I hid my blog from E. for years and then during our first near break up it came out. He was less than amused. I started censoring after that, and it has affected the way I write, a lot. A lot less fun for me. I don’t know if he is reading much these days or not, but I do wish my blog could be the outlet it used to for me to blab about whatever was on my mind. I almost certainly would have been less prim about the details of the actual break up!

  20. But you will be self-censoring, sweet cheeks. That’s how it works. When you want to say something but know it’ll cause a row in the house and, really, there are oly so many days of rowing you can take, you just don’t mention it. My writing has been deeply affected by knowing that A reads, even more so after a huge bust-up we had earlier this year.

    I’d say I’d wished I kept it private, but dear god if that had got out I can’t imagine the drama.

    You’ll be watching what you write, I bet, even when you don’t want to. And it’ll piss you right off.

  21. The CFO does not much like my blog, not that he ever reads it, but I tell him that one day it will feed us. Since thus far it has fed us the sum total of two (admittedly very pretty) sundae glasses, he is, rightly, far from convinced. I generally present him in a fairly gentle light and sent him the link to his birthday letter:

    http://belgianwaffling.blogspot.com/2008/09/birthday-letter-to-cfo.html

    which he was very touched by. He is nice, after all. I don’t feel my blog is the place for any real grievances to be aired.

    We had The Blogging Argument recently when he said I spent far too much time on mine (I do) and I have tried to respect this. It’s hard though!

  22. H knows about my blog and has since the beginning, but he doesn’t read it. I actually started it more to talk about the difficulties we were having than the infertility, although they were linked, and so it was never appropriate for him to see what I was writing. He is such an honest and upstanding man that I’m sure he wouldn’t read behind my back.

    HF is certainly a nice-sounding, fair-minded chap, and everyone has their weak points, we understand that. Hang in there and keep writing please.

  23. C reads all the time and actually uses it to catch up on what I’m thinking or obsessing about. snort. how sad is that. there is always a certain amount of censorship that happens the more you blog. I think HF sounds like a good person. Everyone who blogs understands that we are only giving an insight into a fraction of our lives and feelings. And I add to the Keep Writing sentiment!!

  24. My husband is always asking me if I’m writing about how wonderful he is. Apparently, he thinks he lives with someone completely different than me. While I am very well aware of his wonderful qualities, I am also a realist and he is difficult. So, I try not to complain about his difficult qualities. They’re very easy to describe, but it’s much harder to make other people understand the things that make him lovable. Therefore, he is not much of a topic in my blog. Plus, it’s really rare that he makes a mistake that would be amusing to read about. He tends to either be a perfectionist or to screw up in REALLY HUGE AND DEPRESSING ways.

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