A lot can happen in a year, more in 18 months and, in 5 years, well, that’s a completely different story. So, my little one, Toddler H is now 19 months, she’s babbling away, saying all sorts of words and such a happy cheeky little girl. I wanted to capture all of these moments, these changes, the difference a month makes, and the difference a year makes. That is why I started this blog. One year ago today, I wrote my first real blog post. To be fair, I did write this?one a year ago yesterday, but it’s not really blogging, it’s just an wee introduction.
So with this anniversary looming, I wondered what I could do to mark it. What would be special. We all know so many blogs don’t reach 1 year, they disappear into the blog-sky, they provide an outlet during maternity leave, or the writer looses interest within the first 6 months. So yes, this is an achievement and I really hope in 12 months time, I’ll be celebrating 2 years of blogging and increased?growth, friendships and some interesting posts.
It’s been some year, little H’s first birthday (with her Hey Duggee?cake), our first family holiday in the UK, and our first family holiday abroad. In terms of blogging, I’ve launched my own linky, joined in with at least 10 others every week, written 200+ blog posts and had way more views that I ever dreamt I would (though no where near as many as the fab Our Rach received in her first year – seriously she’s AMAZING!) I’ve honed my Google Analytics, worked on Instagram (over 900 followers yay!), pottered occasionally on Pinterest, and, well I should potter over there more really. I’ve also been very privileged to work with some big brands like Dettol and Summer Infant (pushchair & Babble Band baby monitor), be chosen to write about the Teletubbies as part of Mumsnet’s Blogger Review Panel, and work with newer brands like Bake Box, Naturelly, and Hatch Cards (seriously check them out for ANY kids birthdays – they sign and dance!!).
I’ve been very very blessed to be chosen as Mummy Pages Mum Blogger of the Week after only 3 months of blogging, as well as having numerous posts picked by linky hosts as their featured posts, and of course all the really lovely people who voted for me in the MAD Blog Awards and Bibs. I love reading the posts on my linky, #TheBabyFormula, and thank every single one of you who link up each and every single week (Monday evenings if you’d like to join in with any post that has a number!). I love the community, and thank you, especially to Any Way to Stay at Home, Five Little Doves, Our Rach and Beauty Baby and Me for being amazing. Seriously everyone who has read, does read and might read, thank you. Thank you all for every single post you read, share and comment on. Thank you, with tears in my eyes, for giving me such a warm welcome into the blogging world, for becoming such lovely friends, for reading all these thousands and thousands of words I have written. Thank you for your lovely comments, and every single time one of you writes that I “hit the nail on the head”, how you relate to a post, or “how you cried with laughter”,??it really really really makes my day and inspires me to keep going and writing.?
Writing has helped me so much, I didn’t appreciate how much I would love it, nor how I’d become immersed in the blogging world. A world I didn’t know existed. A year ago, I didn’t have a clue about linkies, blog love, commenting, the communities or how I’d make so many connections. I didn’t expect to be addicted. My husband will verify I’m often sat all evening with my laptop, writing, reading and commenting. Seriously, I read SO much, I love reading and sharing the blogging love. I really didn’t have a clue that writing a blog wasn’t just writing, it would include so much more. I didn’t imagine for a second I’d have attended my first blogging conference (Brit Mums Live), meet friends (Mum Muddling Through, Run Jump Scrap, Motherhood The Real Deal, With Franca), and seen one of the blogs I relate the most to, a blogger I see as a friend, win best Family blog (Mum in Brum). Huge congratulations again Nat!
To some, writing is therapeutic, to others it’s their outlet and to many it just provides sanity. Ok, maybe that’s just me, but blogging has taken me from my maternity leave, and mum of a 7 month old, to being a SAHM. Through this huge change in my life, sorry, in our lives, blogging has let me find a little bit of me again. A bit of me that was lost in nappies, baby-proofing and play groups. Blogging is opening up a new world, one which I hope to really take control of in the next year. I say take control, but that’s not really what I mean, I mean through meeting so many blogging friends at BritMumsLive I realised that I can do this, I have been doing this and I should have confidence. I was so nervous beforehand, thinking no-one would have heard of my blog. Thinking I’m still new, no-one will know me. Thinking they’ll wonder why I’m here. But, you were all lovely, and I really thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I might have made it into the Tots Top 500, (well, until a couple of weeks ago when I fell to 501), but that’s still just a number, it doesn’t mean anything (yes, even a data-y person can say that!). It’s a number, not a ‘real reaction’. I have so few email subscribers, so few wordpress subscribers and so I really don’t believe it. But, I know I want to make this work, this is my way to really stay at home and see Toddler H grow up. Blogging and all of it’s associations, all of the skills I have learnt along with way will be my?route to doing what I want, being happy and (with hubby’s support, obviously), being there for school pick ups when they come around. Being there for days when H is ill, for days when we can just get up and do what we want, and for taking advantage of that dream: just going out and enjoying the weather because we can.
So, I’ve rambled on a bit more than I intended, and trotted down a few tangents, but I’m sure you get the gist. I really really really have enjoyed blogging, the friendships, the outlet it’s provided me with, the achievements and the sanity. It’s become much more than a little blog I potter around on, writing about things I want to remember, how to posts, lists and reviews, it’s something I really want to see succeed. ?I love that I can help others through writing posts I feel passionate about: MMR & Autism: 12 children is not enough, Why would you not vaccinate your baby?, Our tongue-tie nightmare… I know I have some influence as I have over 5k Twitter followers and?views in the thousands. It’s scary writing that, and weirdly I feel like I shouldn’t say such things, as lets face it celebrities have millions, and the pro bloggers have thousands of thousands, or in reality millions of views a month too. So really I’m a small fry in this blogging world, but I value every follower and am so grateful to every single one of you. ?I really feel in awe that you’d all follow little old me.
So, on that more serious note, happy blogiversary to me!! I hope you’ll stick around on this journey, and see all the new avenues I hope to go down in the next 6 months, and next year too. You all know I love a list, and goals, and after being so inspired at Brit Mums, the ideas are flowing!
On another celebratory note… I have a fabulous birthday #GIVEAWAY! Enter here?to win a piece of jewellery of your choice from KAYA Jewellery (winner receives a ?40 voucher).