It’s been a year since the launch of Tales from The Mother Side and what a year we’ve had. Those of you who’ve been with us since the beginning will remember our pledge not to consign ourselves to the cyber graveyard of blogs gone by, and we’ve stuck to it. However, there have been inevitable times when we’ve written less than we would have liked – Lauren’s studies/return to work, the arrival of Wilf, and Jo’s subsequent adjustment to life as a mama of two have made for some quieter times. There’s been one constant the entire time, though, and that’s you, you lovely lot – you’ve liked, commented on and shared our posts and for that we’re most grateful.
Here’s a quick round up of our first year…
- We set ourselves a target of 500 followers on Facebook in our first year, and that’s been smashed, so thank you. We’re currently sitting at 1753 followers on Facebook.
- 80% of you are in the UK, 7% in Australia and 5% in the US. 97% of you are female, 3% male.
- This WordPress page has had over 92,000 hits from almost 70,000 visitors.
- We were accepted onto the Mumsnet Bloggers Network and contributed articles to The Natural Parent Magazine.
- We had a really positive response to our posts for World Breastfeeding Week. A round up of the week’s articles can be seen here.
- Most importantly, we’ve received lots of positive messages and comments from our followers, telling us how they’ve been reassured by our words, or that a particular post has helped them realise that their baby’s behaviour/sleep patterns/feeding is normal, or that they are not alone in the way they’re feeling about parenthood, or that a book/article/product we’ve recommended has been helpful to them, or that a guest post has resonated with them. This is precisely why we started out a year ago, so we’re delighted that the response has been so overwhelmingly positive.
- We’ve had one troll. She was DELIGHTFUL. This was in response to Lauren’s post about her breastfeeding journey and the support she received in light of the horrible comment was lovely!We’re sure, as we grow, more trolls will surface but, for now, we’re grateful that the page is a supportive place to be.
- Our most viewed post has been clicked on almost 25,000 times and our top ten most popular posts are as follows:
- Our Messed Up Society AKA: The Suppression of Maternal Instinct. (May)
- How it Feels: To Have Your Child Groomed by Paedophiles Online. (Guest post -July)
- To the Partner of a New, Breastfeeding Mama. (May)
- The Fourth Trimester: Four Weeks In. (September)
- Baby Led Weaning: A Beginner’s Guide. (April)
- ‘But when is your actual due date?’ The EDD and Intervention Obsession. (August)
- Undervalued. Unsupported. And Under Pressure to do it All. (April)
- How it Feels: To Have a Child With Life-Threatening Allergies. (Guest post – April)
- Tips for Studying while Raising a Family. (June)
- Toddler See, Toddler Do. (December)
- We’ve had posts shared, and lots of welcome support from some folks who we really admire. This always buoys us, and makes us feel like what we’re doing is worthwhile. Thank you to:
Attachment Parenting UK // Baby Led Weaning UK // BabyCup // Birthrights // Breastfeeding for Dads and Grandmas (Wendy) // Breastfeeding Uncovered/Dr Amy Brown // Buckinghamshire Libraries // Can I Breastfeed In It? (Natalie) // Canny Mum (Egle) // Chilled Mama (Cathy) // Courage and Camomile // Dad’s Talk Community (Torsten) // Earth Mama Angel Baby // Grubby Mummy & her Grubby Babies and The Beyond Sleep Training Project (Carly) // Jennie Harrison (The Sleep Deprived Mum’s Coach) // La Leche League GB // Mothers at Home Matter Too // Natural Parent Magazine // The Open University // Pinky McKay (IBCLC) // Pinter & Martin // The Positive Birth Movement (Milli) // The Purple Stockings Movement/Liberating Motherhood (Vanessa) // Relax Kids UK (Marneta) // Sketchy Muma (Anna)// The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme // The Wonder Weeks
Guest writers – an update:
We’ve had some incredible guest posts, not only from some famous faces in the parenting world, but also from members of the Mother Side community. We can’t thank you all enough for helping us cover the topics that we’re unable to talk about in detail. These posts have really resonated with our followers and have offered welcome reassurance and advice.
- Bethan was one of our first guest writers, back in March, with this piece on Having a Baby Born Sleeping. Not only has it increased the awareness of stillbirth amongst her family and friends, leading to lots of support, but she felt so buoyed by writing that she had the confidence to volunteer for a project for Tommy’s who were writing material for parents and health professionals on the impact of stillbirth. They drafted eight different pieces of literature for her to review and add snippets of her real life experience. It hasn’t been released yet but is being released this year. We’ll post on the Facebook page when this happens.
- In June, Claire wrote two amazing posts about her son Charlie, who has Type 1 diabetes, for Diabetes Week. You can read them here and here. In the week after her posts, a friend recognised the signs of diabetes in a friend’s son, who was immediately referred for tests. An old friend got in touch to say her son is Type 1. She is a single parent and wanted to express how grateful she was at being made to feel less alone. She also received lots of comments from other parents thanking her for summing up how they feel, and giving them something they could get their own friends and family to read.
- One of our guest writers caught the attention of a big organisation and was asked to contribute to a book they’re currently working on. We’ll publish details of this as soon as we can.
- One of our writers is now signed with an agent and has a potential television show in the pipeline! We’ll keep you posted should this come to fruition.
- Our target for FB followers for this year is… 2018!
- We have more giveaways lined up for you, including one for expectant mamas in the next week or so.
- We will continue to write posts, bring you guest posts, and share those from elsewhere, that are well-researched, honest and helpful in normalising infant behaviour.
- We are being sent products and books to review but will always let you know when we’re writing about something we’ve been sent (we don’t make money from these reviews!)
- Jo is planning to write about her Home Birth preparations, Wilf’s birth and their breastfeeding journey so far, including breastmilk jaundice, which is very misunderstood. Lauren is keen to tackle her diastasis recti so will be bringing you updates on that.
- Look out for expert posts on tongue tie, placenta encapsulation and Down’s Syndrome, coming soon.
Want to get involved?
- Do you have an interesting story to share? About your pregnancy, birth, child(ren)? Experiences from your own childhood? Send us a message and let us know – we’re always on the hunt for guest writers.
- Perhaps you’re keen to write regularly, but don’t have the time to concentrate on a blog of your own. If you’d like to write for us once a fortnight or even once a month, let us know!
- Got an idea for us? Let us know! What do you want us to write about?
- We’d love you to continue to spread the word by inviting fellow parents and parents-to-be to follow the page. We really are so grateful for your help with this.
- Finally, we’d love to encourage more of a community here on WordPress, for those who don’t use Facebook. If a post resonates with you, do leave us a comment on this site.
So, there we have it. A round up of our first year.
Here’s to the next 365 days. Cheers!
Big Mother Side Love xx