Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Tapenade (NOT)

It is frustrating, I remember, when close friends or relatives have children when you don't. They disappear, for days, weeks, months - years! - on end with no explanation. What can they possibly be doing, you think, that is so incompatible with replying to emails and text messages? Why do I always get the sense that they would rather do anything than come out for dinner, or go for drinks? Don't they care about me, their friend, any more? Don't they understand that they cannot, should not, let their children take over their lives? It's hard not to take it personally, to write them off.

But let me tell you, please, what we are doing, (as I wipe vanilla ice cream off the buggy, the screams of newborn who does not like getting out of the bath ringing in my ears). If you have one child you are in a constant state of semi-anxiety, if not in an actual no-sleeping, neurotic dark, dark, dark meltdown, and if you have two children you are not so much anxious as spread incredibly thin, like the last scraping of butter (where the FUCK is the Ocado man???) on the last slice of toast.

If I am not with one child, I am with the other. Or I am with both. If I am not with either, I am with my husband, trying to make up for completely ignoring him most of the time. If I am on my own I am organising four peoples' lives. I am doing Ocado orders, I am making lists, I am writing cheques, I am writing pieces for newspapers, I am frantically checking that I am on top of upcoming birthdays, thank you notes, RSVPs, two sets of medical appointments, the administration requirements of our summer holidays, the administration requirements of Kitty's nursery, where she starts in September.

And this is all with me having desperately tried to buy my way out of trouble in advance of the birth of Sam. Let me say this: it cannot be done. I've got help coming out my fucking ears, it's like Downton Abbey round my house, and I still feel like I am only just keeping a grip on my life. I feel like I spend all day every day just answering questions. Where's my this, where's my that, should Sam wear this? Or is it too hot today? What do you want Kitty to have for lunch? Is there any more bleach? Where is Sam's passport application? Can I watch Peppa Pig? Can you sign here, love? Where do you want these? Where is dinner tonight? What is dinner tonight? Can I have a biscuit? What's that noise? WAAAAAHHHHH?? Have you seen my keys?

Then there are the hormones. (At least I hope it's hormones and therefore temporary.) Oh my god the hormones. Horrifying, massive zits and I feel like if I dared to start crying I'd never stop. After I had Kitty, there was only Kitty to really see the mess Mother Nature's uppers and downers made on a 30-something woman - but now there are so many more people to be victim of my moods.

This has been made doubly worse by the fact that I've had a troll. Yes an actual internet troll, who wrote me a series of emails saying absolutely unspeakable, unrepeatable things about Kitty - the general tone of which was "if you hate Kitty so much, why don't you kill her?" One email's subject line was "Kitty is such a little bitch."

I felt:

1 Horrified: why have I exposed my family to the grossness of the internet by writing this stupid pointless blog.

2 Baffled: WHY would someone bother to send emails like that?

3 Guilty: do I make out like I hate Kitty? Is that how it comes across? Because if that is the case then that is a disaster.

I mostly assume, when I am crouched down next to Kitty, holding very tightly on to her arm and saying in a not-unthreatening voice "You do NOT throw sand. We do NOT DO THAT. If you do that again we are going home" or praying hard for bedtime, that this is a pretty average experience for a parent of toddlers. Some days are delightful, some days are ghastly, surely?

And when I write about it, I write about it reckoning that no-one needs help having a good time with their children, no-one needs help loving their children, or finding them funny or delightful, or clever, or beautiful. All that is easy.

Where we all need help, where I think I help - if at all - is by describing the shit, difficult bits of life when it comes to cooking, relationships and children, in the hope that you will read it and maybe feel less alone.

But maybe I'm not right. Maybe most people just have a brilliant time with all their kids, all the time, and never have to bite their hands to stop them from dishing out a fury-smack. Maybe I am just a fucking witch.

Anyway, where was I? Sorry, I'm just all over the place. I don't know what I think about anything anymore. I don't think I actually really have any thoughts about anything at the moment. I used to have all these ideas and theories about parenting but now all I do is plan, organise and make lists and wonder why there is always someone in my house who is miserable. I'm no longer able to deal in ideas, I deal only in plain facts.

I thought I had a recipe for tapenade to give you here - a great, inexpensive dip that can be whizzed up at short notice for an impromptu warm-weather gathering- but I've realised that the magazine feature, which I gave it to as an "exclusive" recipe (snort) keeps being delayed, so I cannot print it here yet either.

I suppose not everyone can be as organised as me.


136 comments:

  1. I need to reassure you - you're not a fucking witch by any stretch! Anyone who's had 2 (or even more - god knows how!) will understand as, once you get through it, and they're both at school, you think 'how the hell did I survive that!?'. And then the next stage starts, but worry about that then - at least they can talk to you properly by that point! You're doing great! And it does (honestly!) get easier! And who knows - the sun may shine for more than 5 minutes too.

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  2. I rather suspect that if I wrote the truth about the hard bits of parenthood (x 3 children) and publicised them, my children would have been taken in by SS years ago. God, those early years are either totally amazing or totally demoralising in equal and alternate measure, and anyone who says it's all bliss is either lying or deluded. It gets better - if only to be overtaken by teenage angst (child one just finished GCSE hell) - and then they'll all leave me and I'll be devastated and live life remembering the baby days as all blissful. through rose tinted glasses

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  3. oh, and just to add you certainly don't come across as hating Kitty, fwiw you sound fairly 'normal' to me (whatever that is), and (as i'm sure you've been told) it is the internet troll who has issues not you.

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  4. Damn it woman I was looking forward to that recipe. Ignore the troll they'll get bored or release the email address to horde of internet nerds to track down and make 'em sorry.

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    1. Bless you Ninj my knight in shining HTML code

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  5. It does not come across as if you dislike your daughter and yes all parents feel like that, the 5.30 prayer for bedtime is a regular occurance in our house. Some people are just nutters!

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  6. I’m so sorry to hear that someone could be so hideous – I thought that sort of online venom was saved for the more ridiculous lifestyle blogs, and not for something as amazing as Recipe Rifle, which is warm and funny and delightfully neurotic. I'm twenty-two, but if I ever have kids I want to be a mother like you. LOVE your blog! x

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  7. I think having a troll means you are, officially, a celebrity, if not FULL ON FAMOUS. Congrats! Hideous, of course, fucking awful. And actually, for what it's worth, I've never ever thought that your blog communicated anything other than love and affection for your offspring (Christ alive knows what sort of emails I'd get if your troll stumbled upon my rants. A visit in person, perhaps).

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  8. NO. Stop, you are not a witch. It is a troll, they are utterly in the wrong. You write about mothering in a really honest way, that totally resonates with my experience. I love my kids and I know you do too. It spill from the page. What you write is about your own shortcomings and thoughts, which aren't even failings. Everyone has them. It's a bloody tough job. I am so sorry this has happened, there are some odd people around!
    In regards to the other stuff in the post, once again you have so perfectly summed up the experience of having a newborn and a 2yo. It is HELL for a while, but it does get easier, I promise.
    If it makes you feel any better I posted a video on my blog in the early days of having two, which showed the chaos of my house, including a dirty nappy on the same table as the remnants of lunch. A low point, I think we can agree.

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  9. Dear Esther

    I only discovered your blog a few days ago - I know a bit bloody late. Have been catching up on 4 years worth and as I've been reading I have been thinking to myself 'that sounds familiar' on several occasions. I have 1 child, a son who is 12, almost 13. Esther, nothing would make me want to go back to when he was a toddler however cute he looked. It was such bloody hard work and at the time it does seem never ending. 12 is a breeze by comparison and he might not look as cute but I still get hugs which I love now that he is almost as tall as me. I think it is great that you are prepared to share your frustrations and rage with an audience of strangers and suggest that perhaps having kids isn't all that the cute world of baby advertising would have us believe. You are definitely not a witch and anyone who says it is all brilliant is either lying or hasn't got to the shit bits yet. As for the troll, well whenever there is an opinion online about something there will be a troll - a nasty, cowardly little fuckwit who is just jealous. Don't give them another thought. Of course you love Kitty!! She can just be bloody annoying sometimes like everyone else. Look forward to the tapenade. In the meantime take care x

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  10. No, not a witch in the slightest. Those people who claim they are marvellous to their kids at all times are lying I'm sure. Anyway I'm really sorry about the hideous troll and looking forward to the recipe - eventually.

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  11. I have never posted a comment on any blog ever but I have been reading your blog for a while and I had to write to say that no, you never ever come across as hating Kitty. It's clear that you love her dearly. Please ignore such horrible comments (easier said than done I know).

    On a more cheerful note, having two children starts off seeming to be impossible but gets much easier. As soon as the younger one can interact with the older one they have so much fun together, it's lovely to see.

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  12. I have two small children roughly the same age as yours, and I read your blog because it makes me laugh, laugh, laugh about things that I might otherwise weep about, darkly, on my own after yet another ghastly bath time. I would never normally dream of leaving a comment on a blog, but really felt I had to, as your writing frequently makes me feel just that, less lonely. And it makes me snort with the giggling. So, thank you. What a horrid sad little person to write such horrible things to you. Urgh, I need a gin.

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  13. Oh dear, what a dreadful experience! Is there any way of tracking this scumbag down? If it was an email, can you get the IP address? Either way he/she is completely wrong (obviously). You DO NOT make it sound like you hate Kitty! In fact I'd have said the love you feel for her (and indeed for the rest of your family), really shines through in your writing.

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  14. You are amazing and an inspiration, E. Fuck the troll.

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  15. I'm sorry you've had to deal with someone like that. A hateful vile troll is the last thing you need. Everyone who is sane (or attempting to be) knows what this blog is about. Most of us are juggling jobs and relationships and some of you also have kids into the mix. I don't have kids but this blog has taken the terror out of other things for me, like cooking and generally trying to be sane amongst chaos and confusion. Hope things improve soon. x

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  16. Esther, re the troll. Take zero interest, the internet is full of oddities. Kitty seems to be a funny, interesting and charming little girl and your 'say it like it is' take on parenthood is a huge comfort to the legions of women who don't aspire to being Stepford wives.

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  17. Jesus Christ. What a nasty little shit! I'm constantly stunned by how evil people can be when they have the internet to hide behind. I'd say ignore them but you can't exactly never read an email/comment again. If they continue, I think there are geekery ways of getting their IP address.

    Pre-child, I read your blog to teach myself how to cook, get inspiration and to giggle at your random anecdotes. Now I'm the mum of an 8 month old, I read Recipe Rifle when I've had a shitty day and need someone to remind me that i'm not alone in all the highs and lows of child rearing and to scare me about having a second. That and you're pretty fucking funny. So please don't let this spineless troll to get to you.

    What a total wanker to bring Kitty into it.

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  18. I do not usually comment on blogs, but I wanted to comment on this one. Sometimes all you can do is shout "I am trying as hard as I can" and leave it at that. Fuck what anyone else thinks. And I'm sure you are doing a bloody good job too. Chin up.

    And call the police about the troll.

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  19. Thank you for your blog, it's not at all pointless. Small children are relentless, and organising a home is never-ending. I doubt that anyone reading your blog with good intentions has ever reflected on whether or not your love your children; but those emails do sound horrible. Ignore the troll, if you can.

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  20. What sick person attacks someone's child. How upsetting!
    I enjoy your blog and twitter account because you paint such a realistic picture of motherhood. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an asshole! Keep doing what you so best. I love your sense of humor.

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  21. What a ghastly thing to happen, how awful for you. I have two little girls, and I love them more than life itself, but most of all when they are asleep or with other people, allowing me some much needed time alone. I don't get the impression that you dislike your children, you have the normal frustrations that we all share. You're right, we don't need help having fun, we need help with the bits where we feel like locking them in a cupboard and watching Poirot while drinking gin. Being with young children is draining. You're definitely not a witch.

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  22. Of course most (all) parents feel like that, I would be worried if a child was perfect all the time, they would flounder later in life, they need to learn conflict resolution and resilience. But that doesn't make it easier for you.

    I was scared of my daughter until she was about 10 or 11, she had an explosive temper and you only had to look at her the wrong way to set it off, I had to decide whether every issue was an argument worth having, if she wanted to wear 3 dresses out then that was fine. I thought I had somehow created a monster, when she was happy she was lovely but otherwise she could scream in anger, I felt completly lost. Now she is 19 and wonderful, so something I did was right

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  23. That's really shitty - I'm sorry someone was such an bastard to you and your family. I don't even have children and I love your blog for its searing honesty - its really good to read about the bad bits of parenting as well as the good.

    I also love your complete no-bullshit approach to recipes and all the ones I've tried have been delicious - especially the Keralan curry and the St Lucian mac and cheese.

    Also the way you write about your anxiety - I have a lot of the same issues and it feels really good to know that I'm not alone.

    Kirsten x

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  24. Don't be spooked by the nutter. I, for one, look forward massively to your blog. That is, when you pop up on Twitter I'm just hoping this'll be the one which has something attached. Anybody who thinks you hate your kid cos of what you've written obviously doesn't have family. By family I don't just mean kids. Siblings, parents, friends etc. where you flux from having a great time and feeling good, to that massive row, vile words and slamming doors. Oh shit, is that just me??????

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  25. There is no one on the planet who loves every bit of time with their children. No one. Don't doubt yourself. Keep writing exactly how you want. We all struggle. I struggle a lot! Small children and their loose grasp of language cause me a lot of strife, for example. It's like being a visitor and listening to people speak another language. All day. Anyway, I'm sure I won't be the only commenter offering support. Take heart and a stiff drink. - Molly

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  26. Bless you, I am so very sorry about the troll. No, you do not sound like a Kitty bashing witch. You sound lovely and i am really enjoying your blog. My demon daughter is grown up now but I would have given anything to have had a blog like this to read when she was little as I truly did feel alone, as indeed I was, the Internet not yet properly invented. It is a truly wonderful thing, the Internet. The isolation I experienced in 1985 a thing of the past. Of course I was also wholly ignorant of trolls so I suppose they are the downside. You only had Sam 5 minutes ago so of course you feel a bit barmy. It will pass very very soon, honest. And anyway, I hate tapenade.

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  27. Fucking hell. Just what you don't need when juggling a toddler and a newborn and life. I am so sorry you've had to read such horrible bullshit.

    For the record (as a strung out, valiumed up mother of a toddler) there is NO SUGGESTION that you don't love Kitty. You obviously adore her - she sounds brilliant, like all the toddlers I know (...most of the toddlers I know). However, she is a toddler, and parenting is exhausting, lonely, mainly thankless, and can engender a total loss of self in the middle of the mess and boundary pushing and the 207th episode of Charlie and Lola. And that's even before the Crushing Guilt.

    The blog's great, the book is lovely. You're doing marvellously.

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  28. findochtywifie19 June 2013 22:44

    Please, please PLEASE do not let some sad, inadequate troll stop you from writing your wonderful blog. You are refreshingly honest about parenting, about the hard as well as the fun bits and you make us laugh because we, who have all been there, get it exactly. I have never for one nanosecond thought that you hated your daughter. Anyone with even a single brain cell knows it too. The being (not worthy of the title person) lacks humanity and courage for they would never do this if you actually knew who they are.

    Pregnancy and new motherhood are challenging times for all mothers. Please take comfort and support from the many, many people who love what you do and want you to be reassured that the actions of one troll does not negate the overwhelmingly positive feedback that you get. I hope karma exists for people who spinelessly distress others simply because they can.

    You are not, and never will be, alone. Take care and get lots of hugs from the people who really matter.

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  29. Oh Esther, I am so sorry to hear you had a troll. If it makes you feel any better I have never, ever thought that you hate Kitty. As a non-parent it frustrates me that so many of my friends post fucking endless photos of their offspring and bullshit twee statuses on Facebook about how delightful their kids are and I found it refreshing to read someone who wasn't crapping on like it was all sunshine and lollipops.
    I mean, I have nieces and nephews and much younger siblings so I know myself what living with very young children is like, I think you infuse humour into what is essentially a REALLY BLOODY DIFFICULT JOB.
    And yet, it is still obvious that you love Kitty fiercely. Fuck the troll - send me their email address if you keep having issues, I'm in the mood for a bit of a verbal scrap.

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  30. Well, from one hormonal mother to another, I think you're smart, funny and completely normal. I imagine it's hard to ignore such nastiness but just how bored and angry with your own life do you have to be to act in such a shitty way? I do hate it when I'm reminded of how horrid some people are. Ugh.

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  31. Hi Esther - bugger all the back-lit food photo-full, perfect-life brigade bloggery: yours is the only blog I read on a regular basis, or ever recommend to other people, because it is funny, and honest, and warm. We, all of us, wouldn't read it if it gave the impression you did anything but adore your children: the only way in which that miserable worm's emails are personal is that they are written from the pitiful half-light of their mould-ridden basement, jealously reading about your wonderful life, your gorgeous children and the success of your blog, your writing and your family, and feeling all the lonelier because their sad life gives them nothing to write lists about, or anyone to organise. Don't give them another thought, don't make them question yourself, and please don't stop your blog because I haven't found anything else half as good. xx

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  32. You are not a witch. You're just like any other mother, trying to hold it together and finding it tougher than expected. We have all felt lonely, tired, guilty for wanting bed time NOW, for shouting, for being impatient. Most nights I go to bed vowing to be a better mother. Most days I fail miserably. Anyway, your blog makes me laugh and makes me feel normal. Keep it up!

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  33. oh god you poor love. what possesses someone to troll? everyone who regularly reads this blog can tell you adore your family but why should that mean you can't have a moan once or twice in a while. I'm also a fucking witch most of the time truth be told but you're the one in the firing line willing to admit to all the imperfections that other less honest souls desperately try to hide and you should know it really does help me feel less alone sometimes.

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  34. OK, I've never commented before, but I lurk and read your blog because it is interesting and well written and makes sense to me, and the recipes look good - I must try making them instead of just looking at them hungrily ;-)

    But I felt the need to comment because you are clearly unhappy, and I wanted to say something vaguely helpful, even though it is inane and stating the bleeding obvious, just in case it isn't obvious to you at this precise time.

    As far as I know, all mothers of small children feel like you do, more or less - I know I did a few years ago. You are doing fine - just a whole lot more articulate and insightful than most!

    It's obvious to me from your blog that you clearly love your kids and want only the best for them. That wretched troll clearly has their own issues that you are not responsible for in any way and should be ignored. Giles will tell you this too - he will be easier to believe than me. Or get him to set some lawyers on them - that could be amusing, but really they don't deserve even that much attention.

    Hang on in there, and try not to stress too much about all the myriad of small things, and slowly life should calm down and get easier. The hormone rollercoaster is tough - don't be too British and stiff-upper-lipped to ask for help if you need it.

    *anonymous, not really creepy at all, internet hugs*

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  35. We love you, screw the troll.

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  36. Oh boy do I hear you. I am also completely baffled by how much stuff I need to do considering I'm not really doing anything. It seems I never stop doing jobs but there is ALWAYS more to do. Making sure the wheels keep turning in a house with two kids is like some reverse magic pudding....THE GIFT THAT NEVER STOPS NOT GIVING. I'd give anything for a day a week where no one wears clothes or eats food just to lighten up the laundry and housekeeping duties. Is a day a week too much to ask???

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  37. I started to panic when I read this as I have a second baby coming in October but then I realised you are still in that hellish first three months. If it helps I saw a mother whose second baby was twins and six months in she was totally on top of everything, happy and relaxed.
    Horrible about the troll though, surely they could take up a night class or something? And yes it does help when you have a good rant about parenting, I appreciate your honesty. I too know that feeling of resisting a slap - it would be so easy - and of bad days when it all seems a bit shit; I also know that it's worth it.

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  38. I'm so sorry a troll has made you hurt and doubt. Of course you are right about the ratio of delightful vs. ghastly days we all enjoy in the great crapshoot of life. And I promise you the way you've chosen to cope and help others is successful, proper, appropriate, and good.

    I know it takes at least ten positive comments to wash away the stain of one shitty one (and even then never entirely), so: thank you for writing this blog. Not just for the diversion you've given me, but because you've paid for that by making yourself a target. I appreciate your bravery and generosity in this, as well as your talent.

    Looking forward to the tapenade,

    -Jenertia

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  39. I'm sorry to hear about the internet troll. Please ignore him/her, the rest of us love you and ALL your posts!

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  40. How hideous. I feel so sorry for you having to deal with the troll.
    Having recently had my first baby (now 12 weeks and suffering from severe reflux - arghh), I definitely take comfort in reading what you have to say about motherhood. I've even reread previous posts to remind myself others also find motherhood a constant struggle! x

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  41. Just wanted to write a quick note to say how utterly horified I am that you've had to deal with such a lowlife troll spouting revolting bile (especially when you have an actual newborn spouting real life bile to deal with too). I love your blog - it makes me laugh out loud. I have no kids and am a totally selfish thirty something (how the fuck I'm this fucking old is completely beyond me...) but your blog makes me feel better when work's shit/ the shoes I ordered from Net-a-Porter don't fit/ I realise the salad I've happily been scarfing for the last three months turns out to have 600 calories in it...(selfish single girl problems)... Please don't let some mentally deficient weirdo stop you blogging or thinking that what you write is stupid or pointless. x

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    1. If I ordered some shoes from net a porter that didn't fit I would fucking sob my face off xxx

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  42. Oh good god Esther! I am SO sorry you have had to deal with that effing a*** sending you hateful sh!t. How awful. You KNOW there are hundreds of us out here who feel EXACTLY like you do about motherhood. At no point would anyone with any ounce of intelligence EVER think you didn't love Kitty to bits. I can understand that this kind of thing could really shake your confidence but PLEASE don't let it put you off posting.

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  43. I think you are amazing and funny and write perfectly about being a mum of little children. I have 3 little ones all under 4 and what you write could not typify my life any more. I often forward your blogs to my husband with a 'see?!. its not just me that spends all day non-stop but seemingly achieving bugger all'.

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  44. Well, that's pretty effing appalling. The only troll I've ever had is my mum. But personally? I would contact the police, if only for the officialness of it. They are threatening emails to get, and you shouldn't be on the receiving end of them.

    And with regards to the rest? I don't have kids, but my friend has just had her first baby. And she makes it a priority to absolutely tell the truth about the shitty days, because no one ever said it to her. I think a lot f people feel they have to put the best foot forward, and pretend everything about their life is like a rosy Sunday paper photo shoot. But it's not. And I think it's very important that people like you share their everyday experiences, so that people sitting at home don't think they're going fucking mental. And of course it doesn't seem like you hate Kitty. Not in the least.

    So fuck that guy.

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  45. Aw, *massive hug*. Console yourself with the fact that trolls are fat, childless and alone. The fact that you love Kitty dearly comes accross loud and clear. The very fact you're at home with her and Sam all day, is unsung proof of devotion. Your blog makes me snigger in recognition every time, and I had my nose pressed against the glass door of their local nursery the MINUTE mine were old enough to attend!
    Keep writing, ignore the trolls.

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  46. Additionally, shoving the blender into a big jar of good (STONED) olives in olive oil makes a perfectly edible tapenade....

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  47. I would like to say that I find your blog amusingly joyous, and to the nub of what real parents ( I also have two small ones) are actually doing and thinking. Children have the ability to make us feel wonderful, spiteful, angry, delighted, proud, downtrodden, amazing, unique, ordinary, special and depressed all in the same moment, I presume it all gets more generally better and less worse as time goes by but I have no experience yet to prove that. And fuck the troll, if the world wasn't generally full of arseholes the rest of us wouldn't realise how brilliant we are. You probably are a witch though.

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  48. After a few horrible winter days at home with a not poorly but still contagious 3yr old combined with work emails still coming in at a prodigious rate I have had a few days of feeling like I am pretty rubbish at all parts of what I do. Am guessing we all have days like that but really appreciate that you are sharing yours, it does make a difference.

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  49. You poor thing! The troll sounds awful. Chin up, it will pass, it will all pass. Take care of yourself. Elaine. xx

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  50. Oh Esther!

    I was where you are FORTY-ONE years ago and until reading your blog for the last several years I had nursed (?) a horrid, debilitating festering guilt about my mothering of my two sons and my general competence as a human being. Most people don't share their gut and soul wrenching insecurities, but reading yours has made me realise AFTER ALL THESE YEARS that it wasn't just me and that omigosh maybe these feelings are the norm! Or at least very common.

    So thank you: you have given me the same glorious sense of release I got after first reading James Joyce's Ulysses and realising that other people's minds ran along the same weird streams of consciousness as mine.
    Happily, my 40 and 39 year old sons are gentle, warm ,kind and generous men,wonderful parents who never scream banshee like as I did-oh those bloody hormones!. Your darling Kitty and Sam will too, never fear.
    You have no conception of how much good your blog has done-I can't be alone!
    Love your kindle book and make zucchini polpette regularly.
    Love and all good wishes from Penny in Australia

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  51. Would like to encourage you and tell you that my life is EXACTLY THE SAME. Thank you for being honest - it's much appreciated! Sending support and solidarity xxx

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  52. Ok, stand back & put the saucepan down. You are suffering the common condition of 'trying to be all things to all people' what you should aspire to is to be 'good enough'. Your blog /recipes is/are brilliant - if I had been fortunate enough to have this sort of blog to read 30 years ago when I was getting into a similar pickle with my 2 babies I may have 'survived' (and I don't use the word lightly) much easier. Keep going and, at the risk of sounding patronising, it does get easier. On a selfish note can't wait to have a look at the tapenade recipe x

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  53. Oh my GOD. Oh. My. God. It goes without saying but, obviously, ignore the troll. Your blog is the only real, honest site out there that isn't filled with vomit-inducing crap about how blessed you are and how perfect and Instagrammed your life is. Never change. As someone about to (cross fingers) embark on the baby route, some of what you say terrifies me, but mostly I'm just relieved that someone is telling the bloody truth and not getting all misty-eyed about the beauty of it all. So for that, I thank you. Keep it up. xx

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  54. Oh! Esther! You do make me laugh! I never had kids but I am the eldest of four girls so I think I have some kind of inkling. The younger ones 10 and 12 years younger respectively, so when trouble occurred I was always the one "old enough to know better".. And, "you keep them amused while I do dinner".

    The upside, though, was that I was the one to get the NEW cothes!

    Love tapenade so look forward to your recipe when you have the freedom to share it.

    Thanks and keep enjoying your chaotic life!

    Cheers!
    Liz

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  55. People who pretend that everything is fine and fantastic all the time - especially when children are involved - are LYING. You are wonderful and this blog definitely makes me feel less lonely. Hope things get better for you soon x

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  56. I love my children dearly - I was not a good mother though. I found it exhausting, boring and debilitating. I had twins and then I took up with a chap who had 4 children already who then ALL came to live with us...the youngest is now 22 and we have all survived.
    Sending you lots of love to counteract the EVIL troll
    xxx

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  57. Well I very much enjoy your posts about parenthood and find it all very refreshing. So there.

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  58. Sorry to hear about your troll - that's shocking and totally unnecessary behaviour. Hope they get bored and go away very, very soon!

    I love reading your blog and totally agree with you - of course you don't hate your children - sometimes you just need to vent and as it's done in a very amusing way we like to read about it.

    Keep up the good work and don't let one stupid person with obviously too much time on their hands (and who is no doubt jealous) make you feel bad.

    xxx

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  59. Can't believe you got trolled! What a complete shit! You make me feel relieved that it's not just me who is an insane old bag, we all make mistakes and we are all human and your blog is very human. I say we arm up with pitchforks and burn the fucker ;-)

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  60. Oh my stars! Anon trolls are foul, unspeakable fuckwits. Don't let a nasty bully win. Your blog is great, and you describe moments of parenting life and despair so honestly and amusingly. I have never thought for a moment that you don't love your daughter - and there's is no rule that says we have to like everything our children do, or how we sometimes feel about ourselves. *hugs*

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  61. How bloody hideous. I read your blog because it's honest and rambling and fun. It's clear you adore your kids. I want to urge you to ignore the vile emails, but I think it's probably the very definition of easier said than done. So, just know 99.99% of those who read your stuff think you're fab.

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  62. Dominic Wakeford (@domwakeford)20 June 2013 10:28

    Welcome back! That's so gross that someone feels the need to send you vitriolic emails about Kitty. I mean, does that really make them feel better about their own (likely miserable) life?

    Please keep writing, you have so many avid readers whose days would be markedly less enjoyable without your posts x

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  63. Easy to say ignore the troll; not that easy in real life. What I say is: carry on and keep enjoying your life.

    Oh, and not tapenade reminded me of "not mother" in that wonderful comedy Dirty rotten scoundrels starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. No matter how difficult life becomes this movie always makes me laugh...

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  64. Please, please, please don't stop blogging! You are the first person (only?) I have come across who is honest about parenting - the sort of parenting I instantly recognise. Your honesty shows the utmost love and respect for your family, not hate. You are a muse, don't stop.

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  65. Hope the troll gets what they deserve.

    You share recipes and your thoughts with those of us lucky enough to read your blog.

    I've never felt that you don't care for your family, more that this a place where you can wail about the hard things. Very cathartic, being able to put it down, to get feedback that says "this is not unusual, courage, there will be better times, here is how I dealt with it", and being able to look at it in perspective, once it's out there.

    So, um, hang in there. Please.

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  66. Oh my, you are having a tough time of it at the moment. Please try and forget/ignore the troll, I can't believe how horrific some people can be or why they are. I'm sure you're doing a brilliant job with Kitty and Sam and it will all get easier. For that one negative person there are hundreds of positive people who wish you all the best and would help you if they/we could. x

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  67. Good lord, Esther, I hope you've blocked that vile troll and can manage to put him/her out of your mind. What would be the point of writing about parenthood if you had to pretend it was all fun and play and reading picture books? It's tremendously stressful and messy and you write so well about the realities of that. And it's what most women with kids want to hear - that they're not alone, and that someone else is muddling through, just as they are.

    And it's funny too. That's what saved my bacon during the early years with my twin boys - being able to laugh at the ludicrous and terrible things that happened. Like phoning my friend and demanding that she rushed round with a packet of fags, which I chuffed on the balcony like a lunatic.

    The early years are really tough but it will get tons easier. People used to say terrible things about my parenting - propping up their bottles with blankets, bringing them home filthy and soaking from the park, as they'd leapt in the river - but sod 'em. And good luck with the chaos xx

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  68. No, you do not make out like you hate Kitty. That is not at all how it comes across. It is clear that you adore your family. What you are doing is describing parenting (and life in general) exactly how it is. Any normal person can see that. This has made me so sad that some fucker out there can be so spiteful and make someone doubt themselves like this. Keeping doing what you are doing you are brilliant. Sarah. x

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  69. Horrible to hear about your troll. Ignore the nastiness. You are a normal mother, with normal children. That is part of your blog's charm. There's no pretending everything's marvellous. Because we all have great times and shit times bringing up families. However, this is undoubtably the down side to writing about your family in public. Other people who do this can probably report the same occaisonal weird responses. (My children were already older before I became a journalist and they forbade me from writing about them). Looking forward to that tapenade recipe. I used to make it in the 80s when I had just the one little girl and life was easy. Best wishes.

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  70. Ignore the troll. You certainly DO NOT come over as if you hate Kitty, far from it. In fact you come over as honest, warm and funny. Reading your blog is like having a natter with a good friend. I believe it is healthy to be honest about the highs and lows of parenting. It makes us all feel less inadequate and less alone. Please keep up the good work!

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  71. I can't understand why people will post such hurtful things - if it helps at all, you don't come across like that in your blogs AT ALL. You come across as honest and sincere, and if I were to decide to start a family, I would look to your blog before I bought baby books, especially because I would be getting an honest picture of how hard it can be sometimes. All that, and written beautifully and with humour. And usually with recipes ;). If I could get away with it, I would happily copy your blog word for word and present it as my own, and be proud to do so (although that probably says pretty awful things about me!). Keep at it, please, because for me the quality of your is very inspiring.

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  72. I think your blog is spot on about how it feels to be at home all day. Reading it and your brilliant book makes me feel better about not finding all day everyday amazing (as some mums would like you to think they do!) Plus there are some great recipes too!

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  73. Looking forward to the recipe when you can post it!

    And can't believe someone would send such horrific emails to you. I've been reading your blog for ages and never for the sense that you hated Kitty!! Some people need to get out more.

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  74. Your troll sounds charming. FWIW, I love your blog, and I don't think you hate your child, you're just a normal parent, experiencing the frustrations of a small child! It's quite reassuring to read. Hope the troll didn't get you down too much.

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  75. I have followed your blog for such a long time, I am one of those that consume without giving much of myself in return. Maybe I am too shy to leave comments on posts, maybe I worry I am not witty enough or I can’t get down in writing what I think or feel and by the time I feel inclined to write something I am whisked away to do some work or to help with number one child’s homework or lift to brownies, or to change number two child’s nappy or try and get her off to sleep – here I break to do just that....
    ....right now I have a few precious moments across the lunchtime nap and I NEED to cram in some work – (I am self employed designer maker selling through not on the high street) but I felt a stronger need to pipe up for once in response to your last post. I think it is appalling that you have received such despicable emails about your family. I find it inconceivable that there are people that enjoy doing things like that. How small, how sad, how enclosed their world must be to lash out in such a hateful way. My second child is 10 weeks and also called Kitty - (I can’t deny the name came from reading your blog) and the thought of someone writing awful , terrible things about her to me makes me feel physically sick. I can only imagine how you must be feeling.
    I could understand if receiving these you chose to stop blogging, or if you chose to blog about solely the cooking and never mentioned the family in your posts. Your readership (the normal ones, of whom I am presuming are in the majority!) would miss your honesty, your warmth and humour. Bringing up children is so very challenging and soul destroying at times. That does not mean that it isn’t also joyful and wonderful and that is what comes across in your blog. It is a joy to read a blog where you can identify with what the blogger is experiencing. I think you are right when you say that you would not expect people to need help with the good bits – but people do need help with the hard bits. The days when you are going – why won’t she stop screaming – is it colic? Reflux? Wind? Constipation? Or is she really ill? Am I going to survive till bed time and that glass of cold white? And when you read that someone else felt the same way at some point it really does help to lift you a little. It reminds you that the moment is fleeting and that tomorrow is another day. (By the way I wish someone had told me that with number one child – if anything went wrong I’d assume great calamity and the end of all days – that was it, she’d never nap/eat/go to the toilet again but always a new day would dawn and everything would be fine!) .
    Anyway I am sending you a big hug, and I also wanted to say thank you for your wonderful blog. Keep up the good work!
    xxx
    (PS it was silent reflux and Omeprazole has been like a miracle drug for her since starting on it last week):-)

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    Replies
    1. Mrs P thanks so much for taking the time to write so much, with such feeling. I really appreciate it, as I appreciate every comment on here, but as I also know you picked doing this over work, it makes it extra kind.

      Reflux: on a par with trolls. I wish someone would just fucking ban it. Xxx

      Delete
  76. Esther, I am horrified that you've been targeted by vermin like that. As everyone else has said, it's absolutely crystal-clear that you love and adore Kitty, and it's ridiculous that anyone could think otherwise.
    I don't have kids, but I do have tastebuds and a sense of humour, and I bloody LOVE your blog. And - this might sound weird - I think I have a bit of a girl-crush on you too. You rule. Please don't stop writing, and try not to let the arsehole get to you.
    Clare xx

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  77. Chin up.

    a) It gets easier, honestly;
    b) your troll is simply jealous.

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  78. Your blog makes you sound like a normal human being. I don't have kids but pretty much all of my friends do. They acknowledge the difficulties alongside the joy they get and their comments on their life have the same subject matters as your blog. Too many women don't speak out about the issues they have with family life and only when one breaks down and says she has PND or it's tough does everyone else talk about how hard they find it. Keep writing, you're doing an amazing job xxx

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  79. I think you've already gotten the message, but just to reinforce the point: NO THE TROLL IS WRONG AND SMALL AND PROBABLY SOCIOPATHIC(Also, probably childless). When Harlie won't eat and I say "Fine, you won't eat?! Don't eat! I don't care if you eat rocks" I assume that it's something most people say when they're exasperated and exhausted and then they go back and try to cajole their child into eating the quinoa or sweet potatoes or whatever else is deemed offensive that day/minute/second. You are good, caring and brave. And funny as hell, so please pretend those emails are spam and soldier on. <3

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  80. As per likely everyone's comments. You are great and hilarious and I love reading your honest blog. There are plenty of blogs and pinterest boards about the joy it is to be a mother etc etc. I love your blog keep being the exact same.

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  81. PS I call my son a bastard and a weirdo all the time (to other grown ups). Because frankly he often is and it is quite funny to say so. Who wants to hear me waxing lyrical about how brilliant he is?

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  82. I am so sorry to hear that you've had to deal with this troll!! Please don't let him/her get to you, and I think the flood of comments above me show that us readers are SO GRATEFUL for your blog and your honesty. I've been reading since you were pregnant with Kitty and it's truly helped me so much with my own pregnancy and dealing with infant-hood. And it's always been SO obvious that you love Kitty to bits.

    I've been living under a rock (i.e. toddler) so haven't had the chance to congratulate you on the arrival of SAM!! Congratulations and wishing your family all the best xxx

    Veronica x

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  83. Don't worry. You are perfectly normal, it's the troll that's not xx

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  84. Esther - that is horrendous.

    I adore your blog - I am childless (and in no hurry to change that state) but quite curious about parenthood, being at an age where friends are just starting to embark on it. I am so glad I've had some realistic, hilarious, honest, relatable insight through your blog into what it's REALLY like sometimes - warts and all, if and when I go down that path (although I realise reading about it is nothing like actually going through it!)


    So, from someone who doesn't have any real concept yet of the day-to-day drudgery of parenting, it is still blindingly obvious how much you love your family, and how great a mother you are.


    Re your reactions:


    1. Why? Because you're a wonderful writer and blogger, and it obviously helps so many people to know that someone else is feeling and thinking the same way about parenthood, relationships, life, themselves. Also your recipes ROCK! Dory's banana bread and that AMAZING choclate cake two of my favourites. You make people laugh and cook and bake. And those are three things that the world needs more of! YOU ARE DOING A PUBLIC SERVICE!!


    2. Because he/she is a miserable, small, sad little human being. It's like my mum used to say about teasing in the school yard - it says nothing about you and everything about them (that will probably help about as much as it did when I was little, but it's true).


    3. Anyone who would get that impression from your blog needs a lobotomy. Even your horrible little weasel of a troll doesn't actually believe that.

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  85. Good evening. Just received your Non-Tapenade recipe (rather light and not very filling )...sorry, bad joke.


    Since January, I have extremely enjoyed each of your recipes... not making them as such but as using them for foundation to other experiments in my kitchen.

    As for your "Troll", sadly there are a few out there but just feel with your heart the love you have for your family. Yeah, sometimes we are at wits end but just having to take a deep look into their eyes, you know it is all good.

    Sending you a long-distance, over the ocean "HUG" from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

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  86. You are refreshingly honest and wonderful to read. I have never once considered your love for Kitty...you make me laugh with your stories as they are so true. Kids can be a nightmare and you are brave enough to share it. Ignore the troll, they are likely to be sitting at home, alone in the dark wondering why nobody loves them.

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  87. Awful, awful troll. Of course you adore Kitty, and I too read your blog for some sanity with my two girls under 4 and my complete inability to cook. I live in India and am also lucky enough to have a Downton Abbey type set up and Need to Be Less Untidy / answer or preempt questions rapidement. Off to another hideous bathtime now. Oh for Pimms in a tin. Keep it up please x

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  88. Dear Esther, I've also read your blog for a while, and wanted to write to say it really has helped me so please do not let some horrid, twisted and frankly pitiful individual stop you and the delight and support you give your readers.

    I have two lovely boys (aged 1.5 and 3.5 years) and a fair amount of help, and it is still incredibly hard sometimes. I am lucky to have a great set of university friends who had babies at the same time as me who are brutal, honest, brilliant and funny, but without them I don't think I would have got through it, without realising that every mum adores their children but that does not mean at times you are counting the hours down till bedtime, wondering what on earth you did to your relationship, career and body by deciding to have kids in the first place. I have found comfort and amusement in your blog, and I'm sure for people who aren't as lucky as me to have great girlfriends nearby, it will have been a lifeline.

    Its also perfectly clear from your writing that you are a great mother and love Kitty to bits. When she masters the art of reading there is nothing in your blog that will make her thing otherwise.

    Ignore the trolls and keep up the great work
    xx

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  89. That troll is a miserable fuckwit. I never comment but have followed your blog for years. Please keep blogging and don't let an evil twisted person upset you!

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  90. Send me trolls email and I will deal with this. I am unemployed at the moment so have time on my hands to stalk someone and I have been watching back to back episodes of Shameless so I know a thing or two about how to land a headbutt.

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  91. I don't have anything to add which hasn't already been said so eloquently by others.
    I've a toddler and I'm pregnant again. Your blog makes me smile. Which, as you know, is all you need during a particularly shit day.

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  92. Oh Esther, I am so so sorry some anonymous twat decided to make their tiny self feel big by picking on you! Fuck them, you are lovely! I don't comment (though I always read), but needed to add my voice to the 95 (95!) commenters who've already said that your blog is wonderful, refreshing in its honesty, bloody hilarious, and full of excellent advice. I am personally greatly comforted by your writings about anxiety with such forthrightness. You never ever come across as a witch or having anything but love for your family - the bad bits make the good bits better, no? Please don't let some internet fucktard ruin this wonderful space. (Also, practically, do get the IP address off the emails and call the police.)

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  93. Dear Esther!
    1. Please do not stop blogging ever (as above).

    2. I too have two children, 20 months apart, now 3 yrs and 18 months respectively. It was horrific in the beginning trying to parse/combine their routines, there is at least one crying at any one time, and often that person is me. I was deeply unhappy, really struggling, but not allowed to admit so. We scraped through 2012/annus horribilis and it is now BLISS with synchronized naps, mealtimes, activities and toys. I still do not have time for myself, but there is a lot less crying.

    "If you are going through Hell, keep going."

    Much love & wishing you lots of uninterrupted sleep xx

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  94. Ugh. trolls can bore off. horrid. I love being a mum, love both my 2 under 3 but often feel so desperate I might chew my own arm off if my husband is 5 minutes late home. So thank god for your blogging, plus have alienated all my other pre baby friends so you are my nbf and I need your updates.
    Bet the DM would love a piece on mommy-blogging-troll-victim though. Just saying.
    Xxxx Ps bought all the things you recommended and now clean my kitchen by your guidance. pathetic but really pleasing.

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    Replies
    1. obviously you clean your kitchen the RR way. you're not an IDIOT... you can be my nbf any time. I'm a great friend!! (not true)

      Delete
  95. I am horrified that you've been exposed to this troll. I am so sorry. This blog radiates with your love for Kitty and all your family.

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  96. Elizabeth Medovnik21 June 2013 00:35

    I've been reading your blog for about 2 years and I'm completely bewildered how anyone reading it could possibly think you don't love Kitty. Today, while I was trying to take a nap on the sofa, Mimi kept hitting me hard in the face with a wooden toy. I tried taking it off her, explaining (just like you!) we DON'T hit people in the face with toys (or anything, for that matter) but she kept coming back a few minutes later with another toy, apparently carefully selected for its weight and potential to damage the bridge of my nose. After the third time I tried shouting and smacking the back of her hand but she just laughed. I find it very reassuring to hear when you're having the same sort of problems.
    Trolls just sit around thinking of ways they can cause the maximum amount of distress, and I bet he/she has tried the 'why don't you just kill your child if you hate them so much' line on several other people already. Take a deep breath and try to forget about it xx (BTW, is this your most commented-on post?)

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    Replies
    1. omg Kitty started doing that right at the end of my pregnancy when I was most suicidal and really needed to pass out on the sofa for 10 mins while she watched a bit of telly. "NOOO!! OPEN YOUR EYES MUMMY!!" *WHACK WHACK WHACK* tricky not to lose it. xxx

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth Medovnik22 June 2013 21:12

      Please, please tell me it was just a brief phase and she's stopped doing it! xx

      Delete
  97. My equivalent of Kitty is Claudia who is now 17, she is the oldest of four (for anyone out there contemplating numbers of kids, have either two or go the whole hog and have six if you must but two is plenty). Ever since I read Susan Maushart's The Mask of Motherhood I have always tried to take mine off and tell it like it is. I am sorry your troll got to you. That sort of thing is soul-destroying when you're already sleep and sanity-deprived.

    I so appreciate your blog in amongst the mountain of appallingly bad mommyblogging shit that is drowning the Internet these days. Good writing means you do not have to stand on a mountain top and proclaim your deep love for your kids, it's there under the layer of what you write anyway.

    A good writer like you will allow her intentions to come through regardless of what the words say. It's just being genuine and writing honestly.

    I always look forward to your blog which I stumbled upon one day via a writer friend. It always brightens my day and I always forward it on to someone depending on the day.

    Serena Nathan, Australia

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  98. Helen, Australia21 June 2013 10:04

    Right - the majority has spoken. This twat had better watch out as there's clearly a shitload of readers who think that you are pretty incredible & a genuine voice in a glut of blogs that project the 'amazingness' of parenthood, when the reality is that we know that it is 'challenging'. Anyone who has read a word of your blog knows how you feel about Kitty & this evil git isn't even in the same stratosphere. Keep doing what you're doing - you're a bloody marvel & we love your work.

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  99. If it helps at all I had twins and the first year felt like one very long day which I spent sobbing in my dressing gown, secretly smoking out of the window and eating Wagon Wheels. I looked like an enormous greasy haired shed.
    I also had loads of help but hated myself for not wanting to spend hours doing jigsaws and sticking dried pasta to things. I think you are entirely normal. That troll probably just fancies your husband like the rest of us.

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  100. I felt I must too also comment - I also am an avid reader and totally love your blog.
    I don't have kids and don't want any - but that's not because you portray parenthood as being horrid - it's my choice. I love your blog - it's honest and funny and I check nearly everyday (whist pretending to be busy at work) to see if there is a new post.
    Don't let the 'internet fucktard' (stolen from Helen above) get to you.
    xx

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  101. I had my eldest son shortly after kitty was born and reading your blog made me feel so much better and so much less of a crazy person that, having had my second son a few months before you had Sam (18 months age gap, not to be recommended), I feel I owe it to you to tell you that you will eventually get used to looking after two pre-school children. Really. It is dementing and frustrating and the hormones really don't help, but month by month it gets better. Thank you for your wonderful blog and please don't let one complete twat stop you from continuing to tell it like it is. And by the way, I've always taken it for granted that you love kitty wholeheartedly BECAUSE you find parenting occasionally 'challenging' (as we all do). Let's face it, if you didn't love her you wouldn't give a fuck would you?

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  102. Reading this now from Sydney, fat, filled with far too many feelings courtesy of 33 weeks gestation and brimming with rage at the muppets who flock the internet. Hideous troll. You write brilliantly and honestly and are a ray of sunshine in our inboxes. Please. Don't. Stop. One day this archive will be the best gift ever to Kitty, when she reads it when she's pregnant and struggling and knows she's not alone.

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  103. The hundreds of replies should tell you we all feel the same, anyone else is lying or deluded, or both! I have 3 and its mental. I think it's only recently that mothers have actually started telling it like it is, you know it's going to change your life but no one can really tell you how. I'm one of 5 children and would love to ask my mam about the early years (we're all about 2 years apart and there was no day time TV, electronic toys, she didn't even gave a phone in the early early days and had moved away from family and friends!). Yours is the only blog I read. Sod the troll, they must be in a bad place to do that, you're a fab mother.

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  104. Dear Esther,

    Yours is the reason I have a started a blog myself.

    I'm only at the writing-about-food stage, as we don't yet have children. I love how your writing is the focus, not tricked-up food photography. Being a not-yet-mother but interested in it all, I appreciate your honest stories about the difficulties of pregnancy & kidlets but also the very sweet moments you share with us. Your kidlets also have great names, btw. And... I have a tag thingy on my blog for your husband, whose columns I read religiously. And you're one of my blog links. (I probably now sound like a creepy fangirl stalker on two accounts. Gah!)

    In short - you are tops, the troll is clearly some sad fucker who ought not be allowed near a computer, and Kitty is my favourite internet-anecdote child ever.

    Best,
    Marley

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  105. Esther, I have four grandchildren and your blog takes me back 40 years when I felt exactly the same. Ignore the troll, we love what you're saying and Kitty is going to adore it when she's old enough to read it. If you didn't love her you wouldn't bother to be writing about her!
    Keep up the great work.
    Granny P

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  106. After 111 comments I don't feel that I should say too much but yes, going for one to two is hard. And trolls are idiots. Keep cooking to relieve the stress. I, rather my husband made your crab cakes as I am busy with work at the mo and they are good!

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  107. I have no words Esther. To write such evil toxic frightening things, anonymously or not, to anyone, is unacceptable. But to target you, barely two months after giving birth, and to involve your TWO YEAR OLD... my blood absolutely ran cold when I read that. Hope the bastard rots in Hell for eternity.
    I have read your blog for years and I think you are amazing. I so admire you for juggling parenthood, marriage, writing career, food blog, running a house while managing to stay sane and keeping us all entertained as you do it. It's FUCKING hard and anyone who does it deserves a medal for their efforts. You so clearly adore your beautiful children, and we, your fanbase, all know that. But it is YOUR life, and you don't need to prove yourself to ANYONE, least of all fuckface trolls who have nothing else to do but pick on people they are jealous of.
    I read the article your husband wrote in RED magazine about why and how he fell in love with you and it brought a tear to my eye. You have the love of your husband, your children, your family, your friends and the people here who read the blog and *love* your amazing refreshing hilarious take on your life. For every person who thinks or says horrible things about you, there are HORDES more who are completely on your side and freaking adore you. So don't ever stop being you, sincerely.
    Sarah xxxxx
    P.S. Yet to meet one person who doesn't fucking DREAM about your chocolate cake recipe (the one with the stars in the picture) after I've served it to them. Legendary.

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  108. Esther, your blog is a beauty to read and I love it. I am not married, don't have children yet but LOVE reading your blog. You are such a talented writer (and clearly wife, mother, daughter, sister etc) and you are my role model. Please continue sharing your jottings with us - and ignore any mean background interference.

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  109. Who would do that? People who don't care are the only people who would send you something like that. The rest of us, with kids some of us, knowing that sometimes its not as easy as its cracked up to be, know it's not hate, its life, and its fun (mostly!)x

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  110. I feel for you Esther. Trolls are the devils of the internet world. Wish they didn't exist. Hope the troll hasn't got you down too much. I've experienced a few trolls on my YouTube account, when I've posted videos of me singing, and it's not a very nice feeling when you find out that someone doesn't like you, or something about you. I got a bit down because of it, but it never stopped me posting new videos, when I was ready to. I hope you carry on, despite their nasty words about Kitty/you. You are a great blogger and a great person too. I love your honesty, and how you write with real emotion. Much love, Ss1. XXX

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  111. Esther, would a mum who hates her kids bother to email another random mum with a page worth of much needed down to earth advice on weaning? Just like that. Clearly not! You obviously love your kids. Whole heartedly! Xxx

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  112. Esther, as a 23-year-old who can barely take care of herself let alone contemplate eventually possibly looking after someone else, I have NEVER had the impression that you are anything other than a wonderful and dedicated mother. I admire and respect your honesty and I hope I'll keep it together half as well as you if I ever have kids.

    <3

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  113. Hi.
    I love reading your blog as had my third child at the same time as Sam and I am reaching the same personal and emotional stages as you are (although the need to shop and have nice things again is still ongoing here..).
    You manage to explain what I am going through before I have even realised it, and it makes me laugh out loud to realise it.
    Would I have ever spent time reading blogs at 645am on a SUNDAY before the kids? Would they nearly make me cry?!
    Anyway, enough me time for the day - better get on planning the birthday party for the 4 year old which starts in less than 3 hours ;-) Cheese sarnies here we come.
    Keep up the blog, please!

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  114. No you're not a witch, I've never commented on a blog before but just to say I have a two year old and a two month old and you make me laugh out loud and as you say you don't make me feel lonely you make me feel 'phew someone else feels it too'. I put my two year old to bed an hour early last night just because I needed some peace and quiet, it kept me sane, ok I'm up an hour early this morning but hey the suns out so I can stick her in the park. I'm living on a building site in two rooms at the moment and quietly going insane but keep writing as I love it

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  115. Bit late to this. Yes to all the above. When my first daughter was small, I told her that there were only two rules in our family 1. Don't throw sand. Ever. 2. Always put the lids back on the felt pens. (There were plenty more along the "be kind if you can and polite and that's all that really matters in life. Apart from reading books" lines, but it amused me, and her, to think that there were only two.) When my second daughter came along, she was told the same, not least by her older sister. My girls are now 10 and 7 and don't throw sand. We have never however, had a felt pen which has lasted much more than a week. One out of two ain't bad.

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  116. I have just commented anonymously, only becuase it wouldn't let me do otherwise. So I iwll sign it properly, from Clare Nash with love and thanks for your blog x

    (already asked Giles for some details of your Ibiza trip for those of us planning something similar - took girls to Ibiza a few years ago and it was gorgeous but always keen to hear new ideas)

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  117. i think some people just like a bit of humour and distance with things.
    i really like your tone in your blog, it is blunt, sharp, honest, funny, provocative in the good sense of the word, and i guess some people miss that. too bad for them. I don't have kids and don't plan to have any but just wanted to let you know i have been following your blog for some time now, mostly in the look for some funny stories "a la bridget jones". i just like the way you write, so don't change anything and don't even doubt for one second we don't understand you don't like your daughter. looking forward to your next post!

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  118. I think that you have been misunderstood in certain quarters. Although I don't have children, I enjoy reading your blog, as it presents parenthood and life warts and all. I think that it is comforting to read that you have the same issues as all of us, and we are not going mad or bad or anything else for finding some of those issues difficult - it is just life. I read your blog because it makes me chuckle - you manage to find the humour in the day to day.

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  119. Download this awesome android app for recipes, Keep Sharing with your friendz & family. :-)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pikessoft.smartrecipes

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  120. Helen, Australia15 July 2013 10:01

    Please please please blog something soon. I don't want that fucktard to have won... We're missing you!

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  121. I loved this article and especially your site! I will surely come back more often to go checking new posts ... l
    The best recipe ever

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  122. I loved your site and I wanted to ask if you are interested in guest posts from a sous vide cooker manufacturer? Please drop me an email at seth at jumpingspidermedia.co.uk if so :) Many thanks

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  123. I'm not going to say too much because you have so many comments - most of them, if not all, I agree with...
    My girls are somewhat older than yours, the second now a teenager... I adore them. They are going to spend a week with their grandparents shortly and I am almost ecstatic at the thought of a week of peace, quiet and no children. No arguments, no constant supply of dirty dishes, no taxi-ing...
    But I know I shall feel like an empty bucket. I know that when they phone me each evening I will feel worse, I know that I will constantly be thinking - what are they doing now?
    Mothers are forever connected by an invisible, thick rope to their children whether they make them cry, laugh or just give that lovely warm feeling.
    Never feel guilty about witchy thoughts, we all have them, and believe me the older they get the darker the thoughts :-)
    Trolls are not worth commenting on, but I feel for you at the intrusion.

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  124. Bit late catching up as easing myself back into the world of work at the end of my maternity leave. I have linked your blog on Facebook a few times to point out a particularly relevant post to my new yummy mummy friends that I made at post natal group. I wanted to let them know that it is ok to find it difficult and that you manage to put into words what we are all feeling.

    By the way, has the transition from W to C only just happened or have I been living in a VTech world too long and not noticed?

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  125. Hope you'll be back soon - saw your recipe today in the Sunday Times!

    Looking forward to trying it.

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  126. Hi,

    I totally understand where you're coming from. Every word you typed, it seems like it was coming out of my fingers. And I only have one child. A toddler that I love to bits, but I also feel the same way you do. I hold a full time demanding job (at night!) and I have to be a full time mother too. It's tough, but I also don't want it any other way. And you're right, some days are great but there are those dark days too. xx

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  127. You are a witch! Embrace it! I'm one too. Did you know that there is a magazine called Pagan parenting. Well worth a read.

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  128. Beautifully put. Found you via Not Another Blogging Mother and this post has sucked me in. I bloody hate recipes and I will still be following your blog.

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  129. Hi,

    I just discovered your blog and can't stop reading it! So so good.
    I know 2 people with popular blogs and they get crazed comments too. Deleting and forgetting is the correct strategy!
    Personally, I feel heartened and amused by your experiences of parenting xx

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