The first thought I had when I decided to attend the Irish Blogger Agency launch on the 25th of September was Frick, I better pluck my eyebrows! This was to be one of my first blogger networking events, and there would be fashion bloggers at it. Fashion Bloggers!! I have chatted with plenty of fashion bloggers since I started Over Heaven’s Hill and they are absolutely lovely people but boy do they send me into a cold sweat. Especially, if I am going to be in a room full of them. You see, I’m not the most fashion conscious person. I am by no means fashionable, up to date or on trend. The best I can come up with, as far as the fashion stakes go, are skinny jeans – which I pray will forever be in fashion because I’m not sure I could go back to the baggy jeans days of the noughties. Let’s face it, I’m a Mommy Blogger and we’re not exactly the coolest bloggers in town. But I know, through my pregnancy, that I’d have been lost without the numerous parenting blogs I read. Those nine months and that first year of fighting through teething was hard. I struggled and barely knew what the hell I was doing as I learnt about my new life as a mum. Parent bloggers – their advice, their happy moments and their torturous hard days – said one very important thing to me, “you’re not alone.”
I rarely asked my consultant questions during my pregnancy. Not because I didn’t trust her or didn’t see her enough. My questions were not always medical related, and more than likely not serious enough when they were, to warrant a doctors appointment (I’m not the rush off to the doctor type of person unless blood or seething pain is involved). Questions I had were answered quickly and eased my worrying mind after a quick browse on the internet.
Now, bear in mind, I’m a Medical Librarian specialising in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I have worked in a medical library in a maternity hospital for ten years. Going to the internet to ask a random question is not in the ethos of my career. In fact, I have given the lecture and the stern look when a friend or family member says “they checked the internet.” Dear God, no. What jargon and crap did they find in cyberspace that is sending them into a panic? I would redirect them to Medline Plus or offer to find appropriate, relevant and, more importantly, accurate information for them. I myself, would source pregnancy related information for my own queries on specialised databases or refer to books designed for medics, nurses and midwives.
As the months went on and A started to do somersaults and hiccup inside me, I became overwhelmed with the information on UpToDate and Medline. I needed experience, not facts. I needed to know that what I felt someone else felt it too and everything turned out ok. And that’s where the beautiful Mommy Blogger came in.
Admittedly, it appears that every second mother has a blog or considers writing a blog. Whether it’s the pause in life and change in identity which maternity leave seems to bring to mothers or the yearning for something more than simply being a mother. There are many of us.
So, while calling ourselves a Mommy Blogger or Parent Blogger may sound uncool, we’re actually pretty en vogue. No, we may not come across as hip or trendy as we talk about puke on our work suit or wearing the same jeggings for five days straight. But pregnancy and parenting is a hot topic. Always on trend. Never out of date. And I for one still reach out to parenting blogs when I’m trying to figure out my toddler and her ever interesting moods and ways. Experience trumps data.
But hey, I’m still going to pluck my eyebrows and throw on a bit of eyeliner for the Irish Bloggers Agency Launch. In fact, the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards last Thursday was an eye opener – FYI no win for Over Heaven’s Hill this year but the circus was amazing and it was incredible to say I was a finalist! I won’t ever be mistaken for a Fashion Blogger or dare I say a Beauty Blogger at any blogger events. That’s not to say that us Mommy Bloggers don’t scrub up well. We do. In fact we are beautiful but there’s an inherent difference between our beauty and our style and that of the swoon worthy fashion and beauty bloggers.
I’m proud to say I’m a Mommy Blogger. Sharing my wisdom, my parenting faults and successes. Asking my own questions and answering those every day what if’s and is this normal moments of parenthood. I thank all of the parent bloggers that reassured me over the years, told me that it’s completely normal and said, yes, it sucks, it’s hard but look at how awesome it is too.