The first time I ever pressed “publish” and sent my first ever blog post out into the ethers was a big moment for me.
Putting myself “out there” was a scary thing and I was full of nerves and trepidation as to what response it would bring.
Would people criticise my writing? What I was writing about? Would they think Bishopston Mum was a stupid idea?
Luckily, soon after that first post went out, someone left a hugely positive comment which made a huge difference to my jangled nerves!
In the months that followed that first ever blog post, Bishopston Mum gained more and more readers. And as it gained more readers, the nagging doubtful voices in my head became quieter and my conviction that Bishopston Mum was a good thing to do grew stronger.
Since that first ever blog post, Bishopston Mum has come a long way and evolved into a business.
Long term Bishopston Mum readers will know In 2013, I started Bristol Mum, a similar format to Bishopston Mum but a website and blog that would be accessible and relevant to mums and dads all over Bristol.
And, earlier this year, I started Bradford-on-Avon Mum, which is written by my lovely friend, Tasha.
This year, Bishopston Mum and Bristol Mum were awarded the Venus Award for Best Online Business in Bristol and Somerset. To say I was chuffed does not describe how pleased I was!
Venus Awards Night – I am second left, bottom row
There were several reasons behind my starting Bishopston Mum.
Following my second child’s birth, I resigned from my job to become a stay-at-home mum to both my young children who were both under two years of age and it wasn’t an easy time.
I found the lack of sleep difficult (my daughter was a terrible sleeper!) and the lack of a job hit me too; I have always worked and worked hard and I had a bit of an identity crisis. My job had formed a huge part of my identity and without one, I struggled. Who was I? What kind of person was I now?
But, I was also aware that although difficult, this time with my children while they were little was precious yet racing by. I wanted somewhere to record our time together.
For me, a blog was an obvious way to do this; I liked reading blogs and my best friend had just started one too.
But, I wanted to have a blog that would be useful to other people too.
After a long time deciding what kind of blog/website it would be and how it could be useful to other people, I decided that it would be about life within our local area, the places we visited and activities that we enjoyed.
Launching Bishopston Mum heralded a new and very different way of life for me and, in the months that followed, I began to forge a new identity and a new purpose other than that of “mummy”.
Through Bishopston Mum, I have also gained support and new friends.
When my little girl was 15.5 months old she was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the hip. The meant that her left hip socket was malformed and because of this her hip was dislocated and she had one leg longer than the other. While this news was not of cataclysmic proportions, it was nonetheless a blow.
My daughter following her operation
The diagnosis meant that a hefty hip operation was in order, followed by my daughter spending four months in a Spica Cast: a plaster cast from chest to ankles.
Obviously, the diagnosis and subsequent plan of action worried me. It wasn’t so much the plaster cast that worried me; while I knew that things wouldn’t be easy, I saw the cast as something simply to be endured rather than anything to worry about.
What I was worried about was the operation, especially the anaesthetic.
The night following the diagnosis I couldn’t sleep. I knew that the only way to calm my mind a little would be to write it down. I posted my thoughts on Bishopston Mum and the response that followed was overwhelming.
Throughout the evening, more and more mums contacted me. A few mums even emailed me their mobile numbers in case I needed someone to talk to on operation day!
Through sharing my experience on Bishopston Mum, I gained a lot of support and it made a big difference to me at a difficult time.
I love connecting with other mums and dads through Bishopston Mum. The support that readers have given Bishopston Mum means so much. Each and every new facebook ‘like’ gives me a boost and is massively appreciated!
The three years since publishing that first ever blog post have been a huge journey for me and a fantastic one at that. Through Bishopston Mum, I have gained friends, support, confidence, a new direction and immense satisfaction.
Bishopston Mum has given me so much and makes me very happy.