Blogging as Therapy: Day 4. Honesty Pays.

Here at Netmums we really believe that blogging can be a form of therapy to get you through the tough times and make sense of confusion and heartbreak. And it turns out we’re not alone in thinking this way. All this week we will be posting touching and inspiring guest posts from our bloggers who have blogged through all sorts of emotional journeys. To kick off our Blogging as Therapy week we have Catherine who writes at Babygenie.

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Don’t get me wrong, I still pick up the phone to my sister in law and have a good old chin wag and heart to heart – ‘There aren’t enough hours in the day’, ‘my husband still doesn’t know which basket is for lights and which is for darks’, ‘I am a total failure when it comes to potty training’, you know – and the rest.

But sometimes, a panel of strangers is just what you need to put things back into perspective – or find a solution to a problem that you didn’t know existed.

When I started my blog in 2009 I thought it would be a great way to showcase products that I knew parents would love.  Whether it was cool clothes for boys – because we all know that it’s far easier shopping for pink things; or great gadgets like the snack catcher from Munchkin or travel change bag-cum-booster seat from Tomy.

What I hadn’t reckoned on was finding a ready made group of people who were set to become good friends.  And they came packaged neatly as the mummy blogger brigade.  Boy do they have opinions.  I say that in a very positive way because I just cannot even begin to detail the huge amount of support I’ve found from these women in all their shapes, sizes, colours and styles.  You could pretty much ask what the name of a small deli in Timbuktu with a parrot in a cage outside was called and someone would come to your aid with an answer – or an educated guess at least.

Mothers are totally brilliantly at multitasking; we all know that.  But above and beyond that, mothers are incredible at seeking out the vulnerable, unsure, fragile and afraid.

Two of the major battles I’ve detailed on my blog have been issues that have not only taken me by surprise but also had a huge impact on my life.  They are both issues that I made a conscious decision to be open and honest about – accepting that anyone from family and friends to colleagues and clients could read about.  And I’ll tell you, it certainly separates the fair-weathers from flighty.

The first dilemma I disclosed, I decided to go the whole hog and went all reality TV and confessed to my underlying issues on Sky television – a show called Chick Fix.  Within the blogging community I did it by standing up and reading a post about it in front of nearly 500 people at CyberMummy, the 2011 parent blogger event.  This issue in its simplest form is OCD.  At its most complex it’s an overwhelming compulsion to list things, clean things, find things and remember things.  And it was making me crazy.  But, thanks to a lot of support from not only my nearest and dearest, but those very far away but somehow so close within the blogging community.

The second issue is something that’s turned my world upside-down.  Secondary infertility.  We were very lucky to conceive our soon very quickly, so now, at the two year mark we’re a little beside ourselves with frustration.  But, the blog squad once again have been at hand for those harder days – at each step of the process through tests, results and unanswered questions to lend a supportive ear.

When you chronicle your life it goes without say that you are more than likely going to tackle some challenging subjects, otherwise you would be excluding a huge part of your life from your ramblings.  It’s so easy to say ‘I’m great thanks’ when asked.  But actually it’s really important to stop, be honest and say ‘actually I feel like utter crap’.  Because there are people out there, even if you barely know them, that feel a bit crap too from time to time, and know just how warming it feels to be offered the shoulder of a stranger.

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Catherine is mum to three year old Noah and lives with her husband in Oxford.  She writes at Baby Genie talking about OCD dilemmas, sentimental family slush and her quest to create truly magical family memories.  She also had a weakness for salt and vinegar chipsticks.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
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6 Responses to Blogging as Therapy: Day 4. Honesty Pays.

  1. Susan Mann says:

    An excellent post from one of my favourite bloggers. The mummy blogging community is like an extended family all there to help and support if they can.

  2. Baby Genie says:

    Thank you lovely lady, missed you recently, am back and hope all is good with you and yours! x

  3. sallyreeve says:

    Brilliant post. I’m always brutally honest about the tough days of motherhood when I’ve blogged – it’s almost like “coming out” – once you say it out loud you realise lots of other women are feeling the same – like the honest parenting on Netmums – we shouldn’t all pretend we’re in our Cath Kidston aprons making organic baby food while singing to our child and feeling amazing. It’s the toughest job in the world sometimes and by being realistic and honest, you find support and reassurance everywhere. Good for you and good luck with your journey

  4. Lisa O'Sullivan says:

    Sally I LOVE your description re Cath Kidson aprons etc – I only once tried making baby food and then thought sod it I’ll buy organic – more expensive no doubt but much less hassle and less little freezer cubes to fill, wash, de soap sud and fill constantly! Just found out I am pregnant again so will def keep up with the blogging Mummies (much better than blagging Daddies eh? lol that is a joke btw) x

  5. I love the honest mummy bloggers who tell it like it is, and I enjoyed reading this x

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