“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.