Day One Parent Bloggers Week – Becky from www.englishmum.com
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Back in 2006, when our sons were 11 and 8, my husband came home one day and announced that he’d been offered his dream job. There was only one drawback: it was based in Southern Ireland. Being a gung-ho kind of girl, I decided that it would be a great experience for all of us, and very soon found myself living in the middle of some very green fields with not very many neighbours.
It was around this time that I started blogging. It was a way of letting the folks back home know what was happening in our lives, without having to send ten separate emails every time. It also felt like a lifeline – a way of connecting with everyone we’d left behind. Looking back, I can see that I was quite lonely.
Over time, I started posting recipes, photos of things I’d seen and places that I’d been, and little anecdotes and funny stories (well, I thought they were funny – my family were probably humouring me). I started to get a few comments and through those, discovered a few more blogs and really started to feel a connection to other people – a real tonic when you’re a recent expat in a very rural area.
Since then, ‘English Mum in Ireland’ has become Englishmum.com. I have a band of loyal readers,I’ve won awards, somehow gained several thousand followers on Twitter and been on amazing trips to places like Walt Disney World and Dubai. I’ve also met some really fabulous people along the way, some of whom have become cherished friends. Over the years came opportunities for writing and working on recipe books and magazines – something I love doing and something I never would have dreamed possible a few years back. As the blog became more popular, companies started contacting me and asking if I’d ever considered taking advertisements. Not having much of a business brain, it wasn’t something that I’d really considered, but now the blog brings in extra money for me and my family too.
My boys are now strapping teenagers, bringing both new challenges and lots of subject matter for the blog! I wouldn’t be without it. It’s still my online diary and it’s great to look back on things that we experienced years ago, but it means so much more to me: fun, friendship, interaction, communication, even therapy! And even now we’ve decided to head home, I’ll never give it up.