If they made a movie of my life and career – which they wouldn’t because that’d mean I’d become ‘known’ – it would be called Eternal Wallflower With a Chaotic Mind.

Okay, so I *may* have been ‘inspired’ by a certain film when I thought up this title – but it popped into my mind when Phil said something to me this evening about whether an Instagram of mine would go viral.

I’m not the person who goes viral. I could write the most spectacular, or hilarious, or heartwarming, or tragic, or insightful article ever, and it wouldn’t go viral.

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The post in question is not even worthy of such glory, so that conversation was really a moot point. However it’s interesting to me that my status as ‘eternal wallflower’ has been set in stone well, my entire life!

I don’t actually like the spotlight. I don’t want loads of people analysing my every move, or cameras following me around. Ask the child Hannah what she wanted to be when she grew up and nouting¬†‘celebrity’-esque would have made the list. Pilot, journalist, writer, teacher, marine biologist after one amazing holiday to Florida. Never actress, singer, Princess. I didn’t want a big wedding with hundreds of guests – hence a marquee on a farm with about 40 guests.

I don’t like the spotlight, and yet I blog. I place myself and my family in front of a fair number of people, discussing our highs, lows, and in betweens. I’ve been on live BBC television, Radio 4, filmed adverts to be broadcast across the world. I guess I am quite the contradiction. I write and talk openly about postnatal depression and breastfeeding, yet I go bright red if I meet someone new, or receive a compliment.

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And I think – at the grand old age of 30 years and 51 weeks old – that I may have figured it out:

I can be open about the stuff that matters. To me, to us, to other people in my/our situation.

I can’t be funny, I’m too shy and sarcastic, but I can do real.

So of course it’s inevitable that a silly meme won’t go viral, because even behind a screen I don’t do funny; and that’s fine! But the stuff that means so much to me I could burst? The stuff that parents every hour of every day are going through and looking for support with? I won’t lie, sometimes I get really despondent when those things don’t ‘get’ anywhere. I’m not the best writer or blogger in the world, but I take immense pride in what I do, and so inevitably I take it to heart if a post is not as highly read or shared as I feel it deserves.

And yet, yet. I write because I love it. I write because it’s therapeutic and enjoyable and cathartic and a huge part of what makes me, me. And sometimes I do receive comments, messages, emails, that bring tears to my eyes. Thanks from people who appreciate my honesty, who I’ve supported with my openness, who just feel less alone because I neither sugarcoat nor vilify parenthood.


So I’ll continue to plod. I’ll also remind myself that I don’t go to the huge effort that many bloggers do, in order to get their name and posts ‘out there’. I can’t moan at not achieving something I don’t put my life and soul into! Others astound me with their dedication and work! I put my soul into what I do write, share, publish. But I also work full time, have a business, another blog, a husband, 2 small kids. This blog means a lot to me, but it isn’t what I put my all into.

So at nearly 31 years old maybe, just maybe, I’m accepting who I am. The shy girl with opinions and a few decent brain cells. The redhead with an often red face. The woman who cares and loves and writes with passion.

So I’m not perfect, I’m the Eternal Wallflower With a Chaotic Mind. But if you need me, I’m here. That’s my quiet strength.