Every week, I read blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry, blogs that challenge my thinking, blogs which support me as a parent, and blogs which inspire me.
Seeing as you’re reading Cardiff Mummy Says, I figure you like blogs too. So I’m excited to continue my new monthly series, charting 10 of my favourite blog posts I’ve read over the past month, a little bit of reading inspiration if you find yourself with a quiet half hour or so.
Here’s my selection for February, not in any particular order. Clicking on each of the titles will take you directly to that post. You can catch up with my selection for January here.
This post went viral earlier this month and it’s easy to see why. Helen of Mess, Stress and Fancy Dress writes an open letter to the mum of the child who bit her child, telling her not to worry. “Your son bit my son. It wasn’t you. You didn’t do any biting today. And I’m pretty sure you didn’t insight him into violence.” Acknowledging that she herself wasn’t paying as close attention to her own child as she should have been, Helen praises the other mum for her reaction. “You totally parented the shit out of the situation,” she writes. If only all parents were so non-judgemental and understanding.
This is a powerful and emotional post by an experienced teacher of children with autism who thought she understood the condition – until she discovered her own son had autism. She writes, “I thought you might struggle to imagine as vividly as others. I see now that isn’t so; your minds can be quick and bright and colourful – like exotic birds, beautiful but unusual.” She continues, “I thought your emotions ran differently to mine. I feel the warmth of my son’s arms around me and I know now that isn’t true.” She concludes by saying that the autisim training given in schools is not enough, focussing on managing perceived symptoms with no attention to the issues and feelings that might motivate challenging behaviour in autistic children. Beautifully thought-provoking.
This is something I really relate to. Having had three children within four years, my body will never be what it used to be, and it took a long while after each of my children were born to for the baby weight to go. As Ghostwriter Mummy points out though, new mums are conditioned to believe their bodies should bounce back to what they used to be immediately. “How dare we do this to new mums?” she writes. “How dare we take away what they have done, and reduce it to what we think they should look like. Never mind what they are like as a person, as long as they are inoffensive to unrealistic material ideals…” She continues, “The post birth body should not be shamed. Or ridiculed or pointed at. The post birth body should not be made to cover up, or hide in shadows, or feel inadequate. The post birth body should not be the subject of a pitiful conversation between fellow women who really should know better. The post birth body should be celebrated!” A brilliant manifesto all mums should read.
I read this post by Jenny of Let’s Talk Mommy with my heart in my mouth and tears in my eyes. It is such an emotionally raw account of the day her son had an extremely severe allergic reaction to peanut butter, leading to him struggling to breath, vomiting and falling unconscious. I can only imagine what a frightening experience it was for them all – how terrifying it must be to think you are going to lose your child, and the sheer relief they must have felt when the doctor saved his life. I have so much admiration for Jenny for recounting such a difficult experience and helping to raise awareness of food allergies through her blog.
I have so much respect for Fiona of Dolly Dowsie for having the courage to write such an honest post. It’s something a lot of parents feel, yet don’t talk about for fear of being judged ungrateful or uncaring. She recounts her gender scan during her current second pregnancy, “Immediately I was overcome with sadness, I lay there as she gave another quick look at our baby feeling numb, as if I had been told someone had died (some people have described their gender disappointment experience as feeling grief for the son or daughter which they never had), although this moment was supposed to be one of the most joyous moments of our lives. Looking at me on the screen was our precious, long awaited second child and I felt like bursting into tears, for the wrong reasons…”
A flippant remark in one of the UK’s best-loved soap operas saying a child’s birthday party wasn’t any good unless the kids went home with diabetes inspired this blog by A Cornish Mum. Here, she charts what life is like for her 12-year-old who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes seven years ago – daily injections, finger prick blood tests, weighing his food to calculate how much insulin he needs, hypos, hypers, hospital stays – not to mention people’s misunderstandings and ignorance of the condition, which for millions of people is nothing at all to do with lifestyle. Her post was picked up by national newspapers and as a result of the backlash against the comments in the show, EastEnders will now be working with a diabetes charity to ensure it’s not portraying misinformation about diabetes.
I love the raw honesty in this post by Suzy of The Airing Cupboard. Suzy admits she’s finding her three-year-old daughter’s behaviour challenging at the moment, the way she “flies back and forth between rage and sadness. She bursts into tears. She goes out of her way to be difficult. She starts fights for no reason”. Suzy admits she struggles to find the patience and understanding she needs. She writes, “Don’t get me wrong, the problem isn’t her. She’s three, it’s her prerogative to be an asshole. The problem is me. How I handle it. I snap. I stoop. I tell her that she’s mean. I threaten to tell daddy that she’s not being nice because I know that’ll get a reaction out of her. I pretend I’m going to cancel granny’s visit. I force false apologies out of her. I change tack and try to be nice. I try to find out what’s wrong and then end up enraged again when she inevitably pushes me away.” This is a stark reminder of how as much as we love our little ones, parenting can be incredibly hard work sometimes.
I’ve written before on my blog about why you should think before asking someone when they’re having another baby (or indeed a first baby). Yes, it’s an innocent enough question, but you never know what heartache or turmoil couples are going through. Amy from Beanmusing finds herself answering the question of whether she has “just the one” a lot. The truth is she “would give almost anything to have another child”. But during her first birth, she bled profusely and her life was saved by the removal of her uterus. She says the word “just” is wrapped up with the trauma of what she went through. Her daughter “is by no means ‘just’; she is one, a complete, a whole.”
This is such an emotional post from fellow Cardiff blogger, Emily of Twin Mum and Dad. Her mum died from ovarian cancer 11 years ago and Emily is struggling because her memories of her mum are starting to fade. She writes, “I try to put myself into her shoes, but I know that’s not possible because I can never truly begin to understand how she felt. Knowing that she would be leaving behind everyone. Never see her children marry, become parents and live their lives. It’s heart-breaking.” She questions how she can preserve memories of her mum other than writing them down on her blog.
I know a lot of women will relate to this post – the heartache of wanting desperately to be pregnant but every month your period arriving. Kate has written openly on her blog that it took her two years to conceive her first child… and now she’s trying for her second baby, she dreads the arrival of her period because it signals she’s not pregnant. Worse, she writes, is when you get ‘the tricks’. You have all the symptoms you’re pregnant, you start to think you actually might be… and then your period arrives and you realise that yet again, this month, it’s not meant to be. Just heart breaking.