ONCE upon a time the only way to share the trials and tribulations of being a mum was to have a cuppa with your friends in the spare ten minutes you had between changing nappies, ironing school uniforms or making the packed lunches.
But modern technology has changed all that and now an army of mums (and some dads) are sharing their experiences with the world in the form of parenting blogs.
Now, for the uninitiated, blogs are an online version of a diary where you can write down your stories, observations and other random stuff and nonsense, as well as uploading photographs – and then share them with the world.
It is believed there are around 5,000 regular UK parent blogs with parents sharing their tips, parenting woes and experiences, as well as seeking advice and reassurance you are not alone if you have a child who runs around in the house wearing nothing but a tutu!
Midhurst blogger Kerry Goodman, 32, runs three blogs and like many mums started it as a way of recording life as a mum.
“I started blogging in 2010 after our little boy had not long turned one,” she said. “I started the blog as I wanted to record the little things our little boy did. I wanted a place for us to see everything he did and I wanted other friends to be able to read about his antics as well.
“I blog about children’s activities, family life, holidays, and everyday things we do. I have also got a craft blog where I blog specifically about my crafts.
“I think the things I love doing the most are my own craft activities and our little boy’s crafts as these are special things to remember and it is great also having them on the blog. I also have a section called Baba’s Bites where I write down his classic little sayings and I love sharing these as we will never forget them now.”
Kerry, who also runs a scrapbooking business, also has a special blog dedicated to her daughter Rhianna Lily, who was stillborn last year.
“Since losing our little girl I also have a blog set up specifically about her and our journey dealing with losing her.
“I have friends and some family, and other mummy bloggers that follow my blog. I get good feedback on the blog, and get a lot of supportive feedback on our daughter’s blog and have been told her blog has helped lots of people understand our situation.”
Becoming a regular blogger happened almost by accident for mum-of-seven Aida Stephens from Chichester, who originally began it merely as a record of education for her home-schooled children.
But it soon morphed into a more general interests one, linking up not only her family life, but also her other interests including baking which sees her regularly post about her kitchen creations.
“I would find I would just spend longer and longer writing about different things and it has really grown from there,” she said.
“Instead of just being a record of what we have done with the schooling, it is more about our lifestyle and my family and I have linked up with like-minded people.”
She aims to post at least three items a week, anything from photos or recipes to tales of family life.
“I quite like knowing they are following me when I don’t know that person because I know they are interested in what I have to say. It is great to meet like-minded people and get ideas and advice if you need it.”
Bognor Regis blogger Leta Elliott started her Attachment Mummy writings to record the lives of her two daughters Lara and Sophia, ‘plus have a bit of a rant about life and parenting as we know it’.
“I blog about all sorts, from nice cushions I’ve seen, to recipes and food reviews, and from parenting advice and ideas to film reviews, as well as our days out and general fun as a family. I don’t mind sharing to a certain extent, but I do draw the line at very emotional posts and information about your children.
“Telling people about a fun day at the beach is very different to writing a homage to my daughters about how much I love them.
“Some bloggers publish letters to their children, which I think is a more private thing; but then others choose not to publish photos of their children, or add much detail about their children at all, which I do. So each to their own.”
Leta also writes about products in her blogs which she says really appeals to many parents who follow her writings.
“I tend to think of Attachment Mummy blog as a lifestyle one rather than a purely family one, so talking about products fits alongside information about attachment parenting. I think my readers aren’t interested simply in our life, they want to know about all sorts of things, so it becomes self-limiting.”
Another mummy blogger who writes about products which appeal to parents is Sarah Lovett from Billingshurst who is mum to Alistair, two.
“I decided to do reviews as opposed to blogging about family life as it was something different,”
“All other mummy bloggers talk about their lives, and I really admire them and their ability to pour out often heart-wrenching events on to their blogs. I’ve been left in tears by several recent posts.
“There aren’t many, if any, other bloggers who purely work with brands and PR companies to produce honest product reviews.
“I like to think I’m providing help and assistance to any parents looking to go out and buy something for their little one. My son and I also have lots of fun testing out things, and we’ve discovered a lot of things we wouldn’t have come across or bought ourselves if we’d not been doing reviews.
“I love sharing my thoughts and opinions on products. I think it’s a helpful service and I hope my readers think so too.”
MEET THE BLOGGERS
“I never write about other members of the family, it is only about myself, my other half or our children.
“I try not to do anything too embarrassing and if there is anything I am not sure about I run it past my other half first.”
“I suppose my blog is a lovely rose-tinted view of our family life.
“I would never write about anything my family would find upsetting.”
“I have had some amazing comments and messages from people all over the world.
“The best one so far was from a mother in the USA who was thinking of giving up on breastfeeding but had persevered and sought help because of what I’d said on my blog, and had succeeded! That makes me very proud.”
“My husband Graham does find it hilarious when he comes home from work and there are several cardboard boxes piled in the lounge full of new things to test out, and we can’t really get into the office most days.
“To me it’s a sign that I’m doing something right though.”