When I found out I was expecting, the first thing I did was to pop on over to Google and start searching for… well, anything really! I didn’t want to read the standard guidance on what to expect in those early days, I wanted to find someone I could relate to. Someone who had experienced it all before and was willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I know I could have told a sister or girlfriend who really had been there before and had all of the excitement to go with it but I didn’t want to have to deal with sad family faces if it all went wrong so we kept it a secret until that first scan and Google (and social media) became my bible.
Now, at 39 weeks pregnant, I would tell anybody who has just found out they are expecting, NOT to use Google as a source of comfort when something weird is happening to your boobs or you’re not sure if you can eat Camembert, basically because it is an actual minefield of incorrect information and ALOT of opinion (some of which is actually completely mental & unsafe) but that’s not going to stop you. However, I would recommend finding a couple of Mummy Bloggers that make you smile, someone you can follow on Instagram that won’t make you feel like shit if you decide to bottle feed/accept pain relief during labour/name your kid something controversial.
I would say that half of the people I follow on social media now are those types of Mummy Bloggers and believe me, before I was pregnant, I could not abide watching other peoples kids smash baked beans into their hair while Mummy coos over how adorable they are. Other peoples kids are boring right? Who cares! Yep, I also thought all of this. And then the fertility gods blessed us with our own tiny embryo, my maternal instincts went into overdrive and I was hooked. Suddenly those clips of kids covered in their lunch or running through the garden hose giggling are like pregnancy crack to me! I crave hearing about the weaning struggles, the breastfeeding support groups, the sleeping training, the new ‘must have’ gadget someone has gifted the Mummy Blogger. Lets be honest, I couldn’t Google half the stuff I can watch on Instagram Stories in the same amount of time AND I can screenshot/save/follow ‘Swipe Ups’ to my hearts content and actually go away and do my own research before deciding if I need the thing they advertising/should be doing something different/want to try that exercise class they’ve just done. Do you know what I mean?
I love reading other peoples stories too and will actively seek out those Instagrammers blogs (never been a fan of a vlog, I’m 35 not 25) so I can read their take on the world and, if I’m honest, probably get a little bit obsessed by a few of them. We’ve all spent hours and hours scrolling back through someones posts/feed as far as Christmas 2015 just to see how they got started and what their hair used to look like. Come on now, don’t try and pretend this isn’t you too 🙂
So, why are there are so many Mummy Bloggers? Because people like me need them and they need to share. The internet has created some pretty awful people but one of the things that it has created that shouldn’t be scoffed at is giving people a voice. A way to share without needing a book deal, a platform to be normal or extra glamorous or create fancy pictures or just generally talk about themselves. It really doesn’t matter why or what. What matters is that writing stuff down is pretty bloody good therapy and somewhere, someone just might need to read/see/hear what they have to say. It might help that person get through their own work crisis/night feed/bad hair day by seeing another human being er…. being human!
Blogging is the modern day journal. The diary of my teenage years (but not written down in a pink notebook which I have written PRIVATE all over, with a little teeny (useless) padlock on it). Gone are the days of writing down private, dark thoughts that need to be expelled from your mind just to get them out of your head and hope to god that nobody ever EVER reads them. Today’s bloggers share, overshare and share some more stuff you didn’t even know you wanted to know and it’s making us all feel more human in turn.
Can you imagine the difference it could have made if we had all started talking about our own mental health struggles so openly 20 or 30 years ago? How many lives could have been saved? How many people might have sought help sooner? Now look at modern day parenting and imagine how different parenting could have been if our parents generation had the support and reassurance of thousands of strangers instead of just Susan from next door and the WI.
So next time you’re scrolling past your increasingly annoying Mummy friends latest post, yet another photo of her kids Poonami, just think about how united she might feel with other annoying Mummy friends who haven’t spoken to another adult all day/week. It doesn’t have to be your thing, that’s totally OK but let the Mummy Bloggers have their platform, it could be the only thing keeping them sane that day!
(Also, you can totally mute people on Insta FYI… just a little tip).
Mrs G x