Who said nothing more could happen today?
I feel i really want to offload this, it’s been a fundamentally important day to me and so it is bloggable. But its a bit waffly and emotional so please forgive me just this once. Don’t pick me to pieces too hard. Even though i’m relieved, i’m also rather sad.
Try as i might, i haven’t been able to untie the conundrum of how to either leave MuddlePuddle behind as my children get older, or take it forward. It’s been inpenetrable to me, how to make it work? I’ve been Mrs MuddlePuddle for so long that i couldn’t see what i’d do when my youngest got to 8, or what i’d do for my eldest as she got to be over 8. MuddlePuddle is me, i can’t let it go. I think it’s a conundrum we’ve all felt to be honest and no one has known the answer.
The truth is, the HE world has had a need for exactly what the MPlist has been but actually, it’s a stupid name for something that is so huge now. It never occurred to me it would get so huge. And as a list it deserves to stand alone, unhindered by a family, so that in the future other people can own the list and use it to fuel all sorts of things; meet ups, groups, holidays, the works. I don’t need to control all of that and i don’t want to. More the merrier, as it were. But i do want to control the name of MuddlePuddle, i can’t see me handing it on.
MuddlePuddle is too many things now – a list, which i barely feel part of but feel a weight of responsibility for, a site which i just love for its slightly mad cute appeal and feel i ought to smarten up but don’t quite want to, a blogring that i haven’t got the know-how to deal with but is probably the cleverest part of it, camps, bookbags, local groups, blah blah blah. I never meant for any of that really.
What i wanted initially was something for me, to get me through the early days of HE. It’s completely relevant, people will always need it, i hope. It doesn’t need to be called MuddlePuddle. What *I* am about now, what i want MuddlePuddle to be identified with, is kids who know its name, and like it. After all, this is all about our children, isn’t it? My girls absolutely glow talking about MuddlePuddle camp and knowing i have set it up for them. The site means a very little to them, the blogs mean a bit, the list means nothing. They don’t know it exists. The local group, now that is a big deal to them. The real bits of MuddlePuddle are very tangible to my girls and i think to lots of others too and i’d really like to improve those bits and make them bigger and better.
This group of kids, from Hannah who is the oldest i think, down to Josie and co, are MuddlePuddle to me, not a list anymore. I don’t think i can go on imagining i’ll one day be running something for all the ages those children are and below. I’d rather concentrate that name, which is a name to be proud of, on doing those things well.
So it occurred to me that i could gently oust the list now, renaming it and offloading the responsibility which causes me enormous stress and just lately has been a bit of an embarrassment. I cringe when things happen that are a bit pants, because i can’t shake off a feeling of responsibility and culpability. I can well imagine that sounds stupid, but that is the truth. Over the last few weeks, it felt like it was my baby that had ended up causing nothing but grief and distress. It just fried my brain and felt miserable. I hated the idea that people were saying “did you hear what happened on MuddlePuddle?” Please forgive the single reference, it’s the only blogged one i’ve made, but it’s important i explain the effect it had on me and why it has been a small part of this decision.
My plan is that everything that *I DO*, camps, the site and so on, will stay MuddlePuddle and that over the course of the next few years i’ll rebuild a site with a new name that has all the stuff bar the personal bits, so that when i am leaving the age range behind, i can hand on a good site, a set of camps that work and a whole new set of people who want to do it. For now, i am going to give it a good make over, still called MuddlePuddle and make it the hub and home of as many good and positive things as people want to offer to do for it. Jax is going to tweak the blogring to reflect the list name, but MuddlePuddle will still be its root home, i hope 🙂
But over a long period of time, the MuddlePuddle itself bit will gradually slip back into being a more personal website that reflects me and my approach to HE, and our journey, but doesn’t have to answer to anyone but me. And it can grow with us and unashamedly offer, if i feel so inclined, things which suit the children that my children are enjoying growing up with.
Make no mistake, it’s a bit of a weird feeling but it’s been pressing my brain to mush for a long time now. Today i suddenly just knew i couldn’t do it anymore. I’d got to a point where everything felt personal. I want to be able to draw people into bits of it all and branch out, delegating and encompassing, without feeling like the bit of it that is precious to me (ridiculously so probably) is being sold off piecemeal. I love the idea that i’ll still feel like i want to do MP camps but that any number of other people might advertise small camps on that list too. I love the idea that someone might pop up and say “can i take over your Early Years site now then?” And i really like the fact that i can slightly “retire from public life” to “spend more time with my family” and “work with children.” Just call me Miss World.
So in conclusion, i’ve finally found the answer. MuddlePuddle won’t be the Early Years HE site forever, but it will be for a good long time yet. It will leave an intact legacy i think. It’s just had its first baby and the siblings will be coming along in time 🙂