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Focus On: Parenting Blogs

“Do you remember long lie-ins and then going out for brunch?” asked Pete, my husband. He started laughing when he…

Photo by Nicola Baird.

“Do you remember long lie-ins and then going out for brunch?” asked Pete, my husband. He started laughing when he saw me struggling to remember that child-free world of lazy Sundays.

“But it’s at least 14 years ago… it’s all a bit vague,” I said. “And it sounds rather expensive too!” At 11 and 14 years old, our daughters are big enough to brew up a cuppa and make us breakfast-in-bed, but it’s not that long ago when we had to do everything for them.

If I’d started my blog when Lola was born, I might remember more detail about the joys and strains of being a new mum. I’d have enjoyed writing about the great parenting adventure, and I bet my posts would have used the sort of ideas parenting bloggers often tackle. They:

  • Record a brand new world. Blogs give you a chance to diary what’s going on in your child’s life, with no veto on tantrums, teething, or imagining your little darling as a teenager.
  • Mention sleep trials. Most new parents suffer from a serious lack of sleep, so expect to find plenty of posts detailing what this feels like, or – for the lucky few with good sleepers – how competitive mums get.
  • Pass along recipes. Wits say that “up to one, solid food’s just for fun,” but after that what’s served up is important. The problem is our children don’t always rate healthy, nourishing meals or even green veg. So tell us what your baby will eat. Perhaps add a recipe and a score for how much your fussy toddler swallowed, and how much ended up all over her hair, high-chair, and floor.
  • Think it out together. Your first baby forces you to change your lifestyle. Although they only need food and love in those early days, there are many expert voices telling new mums what to do. Experiences testing out the child gurus’ ideas (e.g., the Gina Ford routine, co-sleeping, homeschooling) make lively and informative posts. Many parents take it a step further and blog about trying to bring their kids up to be thoughtful adults.
  • Share skills. Some lucky children have super creative parents who photograph and share their projects, such as this wonderful toddler’s toy BBQ grill.
  • Pretend you’re a bad mum. As Matilda the Musical (adapted from Roald Dahl’s story) puts it, “Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.” Tongue-in-cheek-stories about life with kids can make a very readable blog, though you may need a tough skin if comments become acerbic.

Sometimes childcare can be very lonely. That’s what is so fabulous about blogs: they really help us share the parenting ups and downs. You can even have fun baiting your teenage self about diaper choices.

What parenting blogs have you read that inspire you? Has your favourite made you feel less alone? Or offered tips on how to be a better mum/dad?  Or given you the chance to share parenting brainwaves on your blog?

Nicola Baird lives in London with three hens, a dog, veg garden and two daughters. She is author of seven books and an eco-specialist. See her blogs athttp://homemadekids.wordpress.com and http://aroundbritainnoplane.blogspot.com

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  1. After many years of carrying memories forward, I’ve begun to write about them. It is a rewarding exercise.

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  2. I am a new mum and have been blogging all along from the time I was pregnant with my daughter. It’s a wonderful experience and am sure these blogs will serve as an album of these beautiful moments in the years to come :)

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  3. Hi – I’m really flattered you linked to my Supernanny post. I agree that parenting can be a lonely business and I’m really enjoying meeting people in the blogging community. I’m learning so much from other people too and it is good to know that I’m not alone!

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  4. I just started blogging last month but love it! I’m constantly “writing” in my head as I chase around my two young children. I love how my posts will be a record for them to look back on. :)

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  5. This article hits home for me. I started blogging when my first born son, Lance, was six months old. Now I am pregnant with #2 and still blogging. I love writing stories about our family moments… and mostly, Lance’s antics and milestones. Our friends and family who live far away love keeping up with it, too. Cheers to other parent bloggers!

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  6. I started blogging when my youngest was one because id felt i was loosing part of me and wanted my blog to be about my creative side. I never realised how much my two girls inspire me when it comes to the creative things i do. And although i dont offer parenting advice i like to talk about what i get up to when it comes to days out or creating with them. But i always look out for blogs that give parenting advice or activities to do.

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    1. Gosh your blog has such a similar name to mine – the difference is that it’s truly about homemade things. How fantastic that being a mum has also nurtured your creative side. Good luck finishing that fabulous quilt. Nicola

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  7. This is all very true!
    Blogging with 3 preschoolers under my roof has not only been therapeutic, it has been helpful in cataloguing their childhood – and has given me countless topics to write about, some thoughtful, some humorous, some informative…
    I’m just very grateful to have such an outlet, thanks to WordPress. It came along at just the right time in my life!

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    1. Finding the right blog sites and blog friends is so helpful. Much of parenting is practical (and the rest seems to be moving boundaries) so it must help enormously finding a blog community to swap ideas with, without speech bubbles of tearful sympathy, or complete misunderstanding, clogging up the good work. Excellent share. Nicola

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  8. I consider myself my daughter’s personal archivist. She is thoughtful, honest, hilarious, inquisitive, rude… I can say quite honestly that the only thing I cherish more than recording her musings is her actual physical person. Because she is amazing…

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  9. I blog about parenting and using tools a little off the beaten track to help me along the way (wishing I had had them 5 years ago). I’m sure a lot of the ‘bad mum’ talk is not exactly pretending – we are all our hardest judges.

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  10. I write a parenting blog, and find it is well appreciated especially amongst people I know who have children. It’s so great having people come by and tell you that they really relate to what your experiencing…or to thank you for writing a post, because it completely sync’s in with what they believe etc. Mum blogging is also a great way of networking with other mums and forming a community, which is so important in this world.
    I try and be fun with my blog, though it also gets pretty serious sometimes, and delves into the heart of issues and emotions. I try and be honest. This has been the best place for growth for me – by being honest about how I feel and the parenting choices I make, I reckon I become a better mum.

    http://heartmama.net

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  11. Blogging about being a mum is helping me feel less alone and more connected to others, and at the same time it’s quickly becoming a nice record of what’s going on day-to-day.

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  12. Thanks for this post! I just started blogging after my first son was born in January and I feel like it has given me the gift of community. I love linking up with other parents and learning about their experiences and possibly connecting with someone through a story I share. Above all, I love to laugh at these crazy parenting adventures with other parents.

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    1. Yes, a lot of what parents do is hilarious – who better to laugh together with you than other parents? And it is great blogs give you the whole world… Big hug to your son for this additional gift he’s given you. Nicola

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  13. Hi Nicola. I would love you to check out my blog. My blog isn’t a parenting blog as such but has become one in a way. I live with 2 chronic life threatening disease which behave themselves most of the time but since I started my blog (it wasn’t that long ago) my auto-immune disease flared and so my blog addresses the struggles of parenting against the wind. My kids are currently really struggling to deal with my illness and take their frustration out on me. I fight against societal pressures for parents to be perfect and to have perfectly behaved kids, perfect houses while having a super career as well.

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    1. Thank you for pointing me to your blog. It’s great – honesty will always make the best posts and if you are lucky you’ll be able to look back at this time and wonder how you managed to do so much. I loved the pic of your sleeping dog surrounded by a dog biscuit trail. Maybe you need to ask friends/family for more help – making it very clear what it is you need. Good luck. Nicola

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      1. It’s a real balancing act because I want and need to spend as much time as I can with the kids and still be their Mum but also make sure they are safe and coping. Now that I’ve crossed a few thresholds, I called what we have as Young Carers in Australia and I’ve lined up some cleaning. We are also looking at a friend becoming my carer for a few weeks until things hopefully settle down. She has kids the same age and can get paid through the govt…not a lot but something. I rang around a few years ago and had trouble getting assistance from many places because I’m not elderly. I’m also going to ring the Church for a few meals. My friends have been helping with lifts which has been great. I save them for when it’s really required…this is it. Working out how to manage young children when Mum gets sick is an interesting topic. My second pregnancy triggered my auto-immune disease and I was hospitalised for 7 weeks when my kids were 3.5 and 18 months and my daughter was still breastfeeding a lot. There are no textbooks.

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  14. After I posted yesterday, I realized how much I learn about myself and this thing called motherhood through blogging. And I don’t know that I would have arrived at the same insight if I hadn’t written it down.

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  15. Nice post. I’ve come across a few. Didn’t know what blogs were when my guys were little, lol. (They’re pushing 16 and 14 now.) I’m sure I would have spent a lot of time looking for other parents’ perspectives on the day-to-day stuff that made me a little crazy then. Seems so far away now. I miss taking them to the park and reading to them before bed most of all.

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  16. Nicola. Good, clear post – I have reflected on it for two days. I am the mother of older teen agers, including one on the brink of 20. (Eek! When did that happen?) They were infants and toddlers in the dark ages of the pre-blog. Their childhoods play back through my heart and head like scenes from a very favorite novel, one that I am still reading. At times when they were young, I felt isolated from other mothers by a demanding career and a crowded life. I would have loved to share a forum like this. I do find that dumping it “all” out onto the keyboard is lovely – or therapeutic – which depends on the day! And I agree with Erin (above) that it clarifies the contents of me and me + motherhood too. What motherhood calls on you to give changes with the years. And I just can’t find the words to sum up what that means. So I keep writing to try. Thank you!

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  17. I really enjoyed this post. I love my little blog and it definately makes me feel less lonely which is always a bonus, even if I do mainly just post photo’s
    X

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  18. I have blogged about parenting for a while now and still these tips are very useful for me. Being a mom has its pros and cons and telling people about my own journey has been an exhilarating venture I would never regret. Thanks for this. Great share!

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  19. I found your post to be very informative. I am a relatively new blogger myself, though I wish I had started when my son was smaller (he is 3.5 yrs now)…I would have loved to share ‘parenting’ experiences, it may have spared me a lot of anxiety and heartache..of course, that’s part of the whole ‘mommy’ package (i know that now!) as is so many different emotions!

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  20. It’s a wonderful idea to blog about the most important and ‘best’ years of your life. Unfortunately there wasn’t blogging (that I know about) eleven years ago when my daughter was born. It would have been awesome to look back at what I wrote if there had of been. I am a journal writer but that began when she was five – so at least I have from there and she can read all my journals when she’s a mother herself (if she wants to!). Having not been able to have any more babies – my days of nappies, feeding your toddler, sleepless nights (there may be a few of them to come yet as the teen years approach) and all the tribulations of early childhood have now passed; and it’s been replaced with waiting to leave for school rather than getting her ready for school because she’s having a bad hair day!

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  21. Writing is thinking brought down to the pen! You have done so, beautifully. The photo is priceless….so good to see their faces in books! I catch falling readers and writers….catch my blog at http://www.conniehebert.com for ideas on keeping kids reading and writing in a world of cell phones and devices! Just posted a list of books that ALL kids should hear someone read to them for enjoyment and for the shared experience with a parent. Hope it’s useful to you! Keep writing, reading, and thinking…and parenting, well!

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  22. I have been losing myself and my mind on this motherhood journey. I found both when I started blogging. It’s been cathartic, both in the way I can express myself freely and also in the surprising camaraderie I have discovered with other parents – bloggers and readers. It has truly been instrumental in saving my sanity.

    Lovely post and so true! THANK YOU!

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