What’s this, a post on a Thursday? Usually I post Monday, Wednesday and Friday – every week without fail. This week, I’ve probably shocked no one (except my mum) but I’m posting on a Thursday because today is a special day. On the 16th August 2017 I posted my very first blog post – Backstory, Infertility & Conception. I started Welsh Mum because I wanted somewhere to write about my birth story. I had shared it on a parenting forum, but to be honest they move so quickly, with thousands of people posting threads every single day. I didn’t feel like it was my personal space and after posting, I felt deflated. I had so much more I wanted to share, but I knew that sharing it on a fast-moving forum wasn’t what I wanted to do.
It quickly became obvious to me that a blog was perfect for what I wanted. The ability to share my thoughts, write about my experiences, document my family journey and for people to be able to find it and hopefully take something positive from my writing for many years to come, and not just for the 10 minutes that my post was at the top of the page.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have much family at all and very few friends. The friends I do have are amazing, but they’re spread out over the globe. They say that parenting takes a village – but when I gave birth to my son I didn’t have a village. I was in hospital for 10 days with serious complications, and the only people who visited were my mum and obviously my husband (who was there 20 hours a day!). In the hormonal flood of those sleepless few weeks I realized that I didn’t even have a hamlet. I’m grateful for the people I have around me. Quality, not quantity at the end of the day. But there were moments when I felt I had no one to talk to – and blogging has helped so much with that.
What I didn’t expect was to make some great friends in other bloggers, to join Facebook groups and have so much support from the community, I didn’t expect to learn HTML tags and all about SEO. I certainly didn’t expect to be on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (I didn’t even know what Pinterest was!) and have over 5000 followers between them. 5000 you guys! That’s absolutely insane (okay, some of them are weird bots and companies but at least a handful of you have to be real!). The more I learned about blogging, the more I realized I enjoy ALL of it. My true love will always be writing, but taking photographs, chatting to people and yes, even the technical stuff that goes on behind the scenes is interesting and challenging. Not sure I really needed more challenges whilst looking after a baby, but I ended up finding blogging to be a respite from parenthood, even though that’s what I was blogging about!
I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few readers along the way and that my posts have resonated with some, whether it’s me talking about my postnatal anxiety, discussing the trials and tribulations about having a big baby, sharing some ways we can all help the environment, or documenting my first major family holiday.
But above all else, it’s helped with my health and my sanity as it’s given me the outlet I so desperately needed. It’s kept my mind busy at 2am in the morning and it’s encouraged me to be positive, keep an open mind and try new things. If anyone out there has stumbled upon this and isn’t sure about starting a blog, stop thinking about it and start doing it. Get yourself one today. I recommend Siteground, but you can even just sign up for a free WordPress account and start writing. You won’t regret it.
Thanks for reading this post, and to every reader of every post I’ve written in the last year – that’s over 200 posts. Here’s to another year and I can’t wait to see where this blog – and my little family – can go in 2019.