Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Mummy blogger? Perhaps you’d secretly like to write one too? We asked #1 Mummy blogger, Tara Cain to tell us what it’s like to write her ‘Sticky Fingers’ blog.
When I tell people I am a blogger their first question is: Why? When I explain this to them it’s usually followed by: How on earth do you fit it all in?
For as well as writing my blog, I am married, a mother of two primary school-aged children and run my own business from home. I am not exactly brimming with free time!
Up until three years ago I was a features editor on a regional daily newspaper; a job I loved. When my editor asked me to start a parenting blog for the paper’s new online edition I readily agreed, thinking it would take me an hour at most every week to update it. How wrong I was!
First of all, back then in 2004 I had no idea what a blog actually was. So I did my research and what I hadn’t reckoned on was the amazing community of people out there; ordinary men and women like me. Parents with the same issues, different issues, fascinating stories, heartbreaking stories, parents offering real help and advice – the stuff you don’t read in the magazines and books I lapped up when I was pregnant with my first child.
It sounds utterly ridiculous to me now writing this down; meeting people online through writing a blog? How silly. But the people who write these blogs are sharing their lives. Sharing their parenting highs and lows, their joys, their sadness, their children’s milestones and achievements. And I read them and relate to them. I read them and think ‘my goodness, it’s not just me then’.
It’s like an online coffee shop almost where you can chat to people who really know what you’re feeling; and that is a very powerful thing when you become a mother and don’t know all the answers.
So when I left the newspaper in 2008 I set up another personal blog called Sticky Fingers www.stickyfingers1.blogspot.com and it has become a journal of my life as a parent and my children’s childhood.
And yes it takes up a lot of time. After dropping the children off at school I probably spend an hour looking at some of my favourite blogs – rather like flicking through a magazine I guess and then I will probably spend another hour in the evening when they’ve gone to bed reading and writing. And as for the writing, well I do that all the time. I make notes on scraps of paper all over the house, jot things down on the computer when I have ideas of things I’d like to share and have even been known to use the dictaphone on my phone while walking around the supermarket if something comes to mind!
For me it is about having the freedom to write what I like to an audience of like-minded people. I never run out of ideas for things to talk about – that’s what having two young children around the place does to you!
I guess you could compare it to writing a diary, except you use a keypad instead of a pen and you share your thoughts with others instead of keeping it all to yourself. And you connect with people who understand you; connections which for me have led to some of the best friendships I have.
I do look back on things I wrote a year ago and smile. Smile at how much my children have grown up in that short space and how I’ve changed as a parent. And I hope that my blog will serve as a memory piece for my children when they grow up. Something for them to look back on and think ‘I really had quite a fabulous childhood’. I hope they’ll think that anyway!
So, if you’re reading this and thinking ‘I just don’t get it’ why not visit a couple of blogs and see what they’re all about? Or just dive right in and start one yourself. I promise you will never look back . . .