The Mums’ List linky, hosted by Hannah at Mums’ Days, is a great opportunity to look back over the week and share personal highs and lows and also connect with and learn from other bloggers.
Now on the subject of connecting with fellow bloggers, this weekend it was Britmums Live, which is a massive blogging conference that I didn’t attend, and from the looks of my Twitter feed, I was the only one not there! I’ve really enjoyed reading about everybody’s experiences and seeing their photos and I will admit, although I couldn’t have afforded to go and wouldn’t go away without Gwenn anyway, I did feel a pang (okay, a shedload) of jealousy.
But even though I wasn’t in London with everyone, I have picked up some things from Tweets and Facebook statuses that have got me thinking about the my little corner of the internet. I’ll not bore everyone to tears talking about the blog’s “direction” AGAIN 😉 but I am taking (mental, at the moment) steps to give my site more of an identity. What I mean by that is, I’m very aware that I don’t give enough of “me”. When reading some of my favourite blogs, I get a very strong feeling about the person who has written it but I think I have held a lot back so far.
To try rectify this, last Sunday I did my first lifestyle post about Father’s Day. I still feel weird about it, in a “Well, who’s going to be interested in just reading about what you did?” way, but hopefully it’ll give readers a little insight into my family life? I also did a fun post about breastfeeding style ideas that wasn’t exactly informative but I was trying to keep it lighthearted.
Thanks to Hannah sharing two of my posts on her Facebook page this week, my stats have been, in the words of WordPress, “booming”. I never seem to convert views into comments though. Without comments it’s impossible to know whether readers are enjoying what you have to say. Has anybody else had this problem?
Elsewhere on the internet, and probably because I have three weeks to get a new body, face, skin and hair before our holiday, I really connected with Damaging Body Image by Aby at You Baby Me Mummy.
Today we went to get Gwenn’s first pair of shoes, even though she seems to have returned to crawling almost exclusively after giving walking a quick go and deciding it wasn’t for her. This is the best photo I could get of the measuring experience!!
Other things we have done this week include:
Finding happiness in a bottle (and those who read my post about being teetotal will understand that this does not come easily to me!) …
Sitting on a flyover and let our hair blow around, 80′s power ballad vid stylee …
Buying some new books, due to me getting sick of reading the same things every night …
So that was my week. Tomorrow I am going to start Eating Clean in preparation for Center Parcs, so I’ll be able to update you next time on how I’ve found it. I give it two days!!!
So, this time last week, a lot of my fellow bloggers were at a conference called BritMums 2014. If you are a blogger, then you’ll know all about it. If you are not, then it was kind of like a parent bloggers convention with loads of workshops, keynote speeches, meet & greets with brands, an awards ceremony and loads of other wonderful, inspirational stuff.
Since then, my Twitter feed and Bloglovin round up has been FULL of BritMums 2014 talk, and it is amazing what a massive impact those two days have had across mum bloggers across the UK. Serious changes are afoot!
Even though I wasn’t there, the energy from the conference has been infectious and I have tried to read every post about it this week. I have a Reading List full still to get through. Despite the fact that I was hundreds of miles away from the action, I have been thinking all this week about my blog’s future and I already feel as if I am drowning in the sheer volume of amazing tips that I have learned by reading other sites.
In order to really get my head around things, I am going to have to take a step back. I need a week or so to consider the design of the blog and to find out what I can do to improve it, staying within the boundaries set by my financial means and technical abilities!
I also need to consider the direction the blog is taking. I’ve talked about this in a previous blog whinge but when I started Betty and the Bumps, pregnancy and breastfeeding seemed very much “the thing” because Gwenn was less than 6 months old. That all seems pretty irrelevant now, to be honest. It has taken me a while to know what I want the blog to be about and what I enjoy writing about most. As with a lot of things in life, and get this for an eloquent statement, you have to do it to know it. I think this site is going to end up being really different to the vision I had in the beginning. I’m not saying that what has gone before needs to be burned. I am not saying my earliest stuff was my best work (and the earliest posts smack very much of a person finding her feet) but writing them and publishing them helped me learn a lot about the blogging process.
So, going forward, there is a LOT of behind the scenes stuff to be done. First I need to collate all of the things I have learned from various posts and work out how to apply them. Once I begin to delve into the complicated world of SEO, will I ever return? For me, the IT side of things is going to be my biggest struggle, but will pay off massively if I get to grips with it. A blogging bud and wonderful all round human has already set the wheels in motion for a local blogging clinic, where I know I’ll be able to get support with this type of thing.
One thing I do find easier is just writing, and I think the content focus will be on appearance and looking good. Ok, vain. But it’s important. To me. And lots of other people. So I will be talking a lot about how fat I am and my hair plan (and if you don’t have a hair plan, why don’t you have a hair plan?)
I am still really interested in pregnancy and breastfeeding so I’m sure there will be a few related posts. I said to a fellow blogger once that breastfeeding was actually a more significant part of my life than being pregnant so yes, I will continue bang on about it. But, If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times but Gwenn was partly breastfed partly formula fed from day 2 of her life so this is not going to be a space only exclusive breastfeeders will feel comfortable. My stance is that, when it comes to babies, I am pro-feeding. By the time they start school, nobody gives a shit anyway.
I want to give more of myself. For too long I have worried what other people will think of me trying to get into this blogging lark and that has affected what I have written about and shared. I’ve already done one lifestyle post about Father’s Day, and a few posts about our house renovation, but I think I’d like to do more.
Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is SO much that I want and need to do. My head is swirling with so many ideas, and I know that time isn’t really going to allow for all the changes that I need to make to happen quickly. But that shouldn’t stop me from trying?
It’s been a while (about two weeks) since I did any blogging but I’ve been feeling like I should check in before I forget how to use WordPress 😉 and just say Hi!
Over the past fourteen days I have vacillated between “Thank God I’m not doing the blog anymore” and “I really miss the blog”. Today I am missing it and I am full of ideas of where I want to take it, hence the post.
I’ve decided to link up with the Mums’ List linky, hosted by Hannah at Mums’ Days even though this is a round up of the last fortnight, not just the last week. I’m sure she’ll forgive me?
On Easter Sunday it was Gwenn’s first birthday. We didn’t have a birthday party, but here are a few photos of the weekend.
Recently we have been all about moving house; practically every conversation and activity has involved the big move in some way shape or form. Fingers crossed, we are completing this Friday (until I have the keys in my hand I won’t believe it). We went to see the house again on Monday and it put such a spring in our step. It gave us a glimpse of how our life will be once we live there and despite not wanting to get too excited, I am TOO excited! I am planning to do a proper post about the move, once it happens and maybe some stuff about the renovations, if I have the time and feel like it’ll be of interest to anyone?
This has also been “shit mam” week. Basically, I have been feeling like my mam skillz have been fairly poor. What set it off was comparing Gwenn to other babies her age, and especially when I heard somebody talking about their baby’s speech. Not a single family member or health professional has ever suggested that Gwenn is behind with her language development but I got it into my head that the fact she only dadas and mamas at the moment is my fault and that I’m not talking to her or reading with her enough.
Then, I started to feel really down about how I look and I’m very aware that by this stage, I really shouldn’t be going around looking as bad as I do on a regular basis. But I have been prioritising sleep over everything else, so getting up early to go in the shower, wash my hair, whatever, has been the furthest thing from my mind and I don’t really give myself much time to make myself presentable before me and Gwenn go out for the day.
On top of that, I have been feeling guilty about how often we have been leaving her with my mam while we have been packing up the flat, going to buy new furniture, visiting the new house to take measurements, all the house move-y things. It’s bad enough that I’m at work three days a week, now I’m palming her off on relatives when really I should be with her on my days off.
So, all in all, I have been feeling really down on myself but I couldn’t really work out why all of a sudden I was feeling so vile when the things that have been getting me down aren’t exactly recent developments (trust me, I’ve been looking a clip for the last year 😉 ) Well, prepare yourself for TMI time but I think it’s all down to breastfeeding hormones, or lack thereof. I stopped breastfeeding completely the same week I went back to work (when Gwenn was about 9.5 months) but I was still lactating (this is what I meant by TMI!!) for at least 8 weeks after that. I stopped checking after two months because I knew that the day I did, and nothing came out (again, TMI) I would feel like the worst person in the world. But, after three months, I know I have definitely stopped “producing” and I have been feeling really upset and empty. I have been having really vivid and distressing dreams in which Gwenn is either still feeding, or she tries to but nothing happens and I’m in loads of pain. Now that I know that there’s no way we can ever breastfeed again I am feeling guilty for giving up but also useless because I now have nothing to offer her that she couldn’t get from anybody else. For example, when she was about seven months old, we were in the village and had about 35 minutes to get some lunch before Andrew had an appointment to have his hair cut. We bumped into Andrew’s brother and wife and they offered to take Gwenn while we got something to eat so we went into a pub while they took her for a walk. While Andrew was in the hairdressers, I had a walk around some second hand shops and got a phonecall from my sister-in-law saying that Gwenn was really distressed, that they had tried everything (and they have three children so they have the skills!) but she was going to have to bring her back. When I met them, Gwenn was crying so much she could barely breathe and I could not calm her down. So I sat in the waiting area of the hairdressers, and breastfed her, and within half a minute she had totally calmed down. She barely fed; she mustn’t have been hungry. She just wanted the comfort of booby. I can’t do that anymore. If she is sad, or scared, I can’t offer her anything different to anybody else.
I never knew it would be so hard to give up breastfeeding. The irony of this is not lost on me as in the early days of pain, tears, sleep deprivation, obsessive Googling and self-loathing, I hated every second of it and couldn’t wait until the six month mark so I could stop. I feel as if a part of me has died and I have lost a connection with Gwenn that I can never ever get back. But, this too shall pass and I’m sure that in a few weeks I will be feeling better.
I’ve been spending a bit (not enough, but every little helps) on my Pinterest boards and learning more about how to use it better. I’m hoping when I start blogging again properly I will be able to use Pinterest alongside the blog, rather than as an afterthought.
I think it’ll be another month easily before I can think about blogging properly because we’re going to have some much to do in the house, but working on the social media side of things makes me feel a bit better.
I thought that Blogging, a full time job? by Aby at You Baby Me Mummy was so interesting for bloggers and non-bloggers alike. I know that I will never ever be able (or willing?) to devote that much time to my blog but Aby’s site is a testament to the hard work she puts in.
“I will never forget the day Archie came back from a trip out with Daddy on a rare Saturday I had to work wearing, ripped joggers, a Pyjama top and Christmas socks … in May. My husband looked genuinely terrified when eyes bulging I asked “Did you see anyone we know?!””
The rest of the posts are just as hilarious; I promise you, it’ll be the funniest thing you’ve read all week!
So, that was me, and my weeks! Hopefully I’ll be back soon.