What is the profile of a blogger? Are bloggers a diverse bunch or all the same? In my series of interviews with female lifestyle and parenting bloggers, I discover the wide range of women who find meaning through blogging. Huge thanks to Louise for sharing her views on blogging.

Profile OF A Blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I’ve always loved to write, as I child I was forever writing stories and I even did a journalism course after uni but then my children came along and I barely had time to wash my hair never mind writing.

Then one day I read a blog about parenting and thought ‘I could do that’ and so I did, and I thought I would be read straight away, then reality hit and I realised how much hard work blogging really is. After a good year of slogging away, the opps finally started coming and now it’s my job!

How did you feel when you started blogging?

Honestly, disappointed! I had genuinely been under the illusion that ‘write and they shall read it’! But then excited as things started to grow on social media. And it also makes me happy.

What is your blog about?

My blog is about my life. There is a lot about parenting as that is something I spend most of my time doing, and then there is also a lot of things we enjoy. We’re really outdoorsy and so there are a lot of days out, stories about our camper van trips and crafts too, I like to do lots of them!

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

I recently got a column in my local paper based on my blog. That was a real high point for me, seeing my words in print.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I’m not actually sure. I really enjoy the buzz of getting an exciting opportunity or reaching a new goal on social media but mainly I love it when I get a comment from someone saying that something I’ve written has helped them or that they can relate. It’s lovely to connect to people.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Having the time to keep up with all the different social media channels and write. It’s hard to balance it all with motherhood too.

What surprised you most about blogging?

How much work it really is! Seriously! It’s a full time job for sure. 🙂

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I have some really fab blogging buddies and we pass details to PRs etc. I also run a link up with friends.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

Oh that’s so tough. If my husband or children really hated me doing it I’d have to have a good think.

Why should I read your blog?

Because it would make me really happy! But apart from that, because I hope that you would enjoy it.

What are the aims of your blog?

That’s quite a tough one to answer! It’s mainly to share mny own experiences and to let others know that it’s ok to not be ok, to wing it, to eat Coco Pops for dinner every night for a week occasionally! I’ve also written about my PND journey in the help it might help others and I also share our experiences of days out and reviews of things we have loved. Another aim is to build a career for myself that I can do around the children.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Well, I do have a few social media links if anyone fancied following me on any of them. There’s different content across all of them, but a running theme is generally outdoors with the family, chatter, unicorns, rainbows and lots and lots of cake!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pinkpearbear/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pinkpearbear/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/pinkpearbear

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/PinkPearBear/

Profile OF A Blogger

Me, Being Mummy

Joining in as usual with the lovely Liz’s blog hop hosted over at the Me and My Shadow blog.

<img src=”http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy135/missielizzie/MagpieMondayBadge.p

I did not get to the charity shop this week and several things I had arranged to collect from the Netmums Nearly New Boards were put on hold for a week.

However, I cannot really complain as I got this lot.

There were actually 3 pairs of white trousers and jeans, 3 pairs of shorts, another cardigan and another top in the bundle.

How much?

FREE

Now that’s what I call a bargain?

 

How can I finally make my best weight loss journey?

I am joining in the blog hop run by New Mum online to do with losing baby tummies (or in my case teenager in training tummies) and this is my second week of documenting my hopefully best weight loss journey,

Last week, I had a mixed week. There was certainly progress with me eating healthy breakfasts of cereal or boiled eggs.

I did an online supermarket shop and bought in lots of Weightwatchers meals. I did quite well at eating those and not giving in to fatty meat and so on.

Two things defeated me. Although I did not drink to excess, I drank more than I had planned to when starting my week. I think this is a relatively easy one to handle. If I don’t have drink in the house, I can easily avoid it.

For some reason, I ate butter on my bread. I don’t do that normally so what that was about I have no idea. It is a weird thing this losing weight campaign. There is a little voice in your head that encourages you to be naughty.

I have not got weighed yet but may work up the guts to face the awful truth later. After all, I can’t shout about my weight loss without a starting weight, right?

I have also invested in some clothes in a size smaller. Well, actually I got them for free but I felt they might give me another little push in the right direction.

The exercise front has not taken off at all so that is something to work on this week.

It is great to feel part of a group of women and mums facing similar challenges.

We can do this and just think how proud we will be when we do.

To find out more about the group of mums working wonders, check out #mumentum on Twitter or visit the New Mum Online blog.

Wish us luck on our best weight loss journey!

Love from the Striking Mum x

I think the Blog Prompt over at Britmums is very timely. What would I advise when starting a new blog?

In the last few months, quite a few bloggers do seem to be studying their/our navels are bit and wondering why we blog, what values we should have in blogging, how we define success, what networks we should participate in and how we should communicate with other bloggers.

I started my blog when my late mum told me to keep a diary. She said I had always wanted to write and keeping a diary would give me a focus. I started “How to laugh in the face of it all” in early 2009 as a bit of New Year’s Resolution to start doing things that I enjoyed. The title came because I really did feel overwhelmed with juggling it all and wanted to lighten up a bit.

That all went a bit awry when my mum announced that she was terminally ill with cancer. The blog became therapeutic, a way for me to deal with strong emotions. Mum passed away 2 years ago and partly to mark her anniversary and a new phase in my life, I have started blogging here at Kate on Thin Ice. With all 3 children in school now, it is time for a little personal and professional revival. Starting this new blog is a commitment to myself to make things change.

I love my title inspired like most of my creativity by stuff I see on the telly. I like the idea of me gliding but reckon for the minute there might be the odd wobble or bump along the way. Hope you like the title too and who knows, there might be the odd sparkly outfit at some point.

I started my blog as a blogspot thing but would now always choose WordPress. Blogspot, in my experience, has a habit of playing up for no apparent reason. Not often, but often enough to be frustrating.

When I started blogging, all I did was write. If I could give a message to new bloggers, I would say not to worry if you don’t know all the bells and whistles bits of blogging. If your writing is good enough, people will read you.

That leads us to another point. Think what you want from your blogging. It is great when you see your numbers of followers/subscribers go up. Ask yourself do you want a few supportive readers who engage with you via comments, twitter and more. Or do you want to crow about just how many followers you have whilst never getting a sense of who they are or what they think and feel. For me, what matters most is when someone offers support or even more, when someone says I have helped them in some way. Blogging brought the revelation that mums/women/people who struggle a bit or even a lot are quite common. That means there is huge scope to develop communities of friends in cyberspace and perhaps even in the flesh.

The other thing I did not know about when I started blogging was the existence of blogger networks like Britmums. I found them by asking on Twitter whether anybody knew of any. I used networking to good effect in my career and it is great in the blogging world. Therer are other networks but Britmums remains a constant source of support, ideas and information. There are even blogger events and conferences that I knew nothing about. I bottled it this year but next year will be different.

Last year, I was nominated for a blogging award. I am not one of the top bloggers in the rankings and have no awards. Does that make me a bad blogger? Not a bit of it or if it does, I am a happily deluded blogger. Should I try and appeal more to the masses or the award-givers? After much thought, I don’t think that is a game I want to play. It has taken a long time for me to develop the confidence to be me in life so no offence intended but please either take me or leave me and the same with my blog. My blog is my friend, my sanctuary and a place where I can luxuriate in being myself. I think there is a danger of getting sucked into the award and statistic chasing game especially for those mums who are feeling a bit down on themselves or missing the cut and thrust of the workplace.

Eventually, like many bloggers, a public relations company offered me a sample to review. It was a talking hamster of all things. That seemed to open the floodgates to lots of other offers for product review. I enjoy receiving samples and reviewing products. It is a bit of fun and a different way of writing. However, it is easy to let your personal blogging suffer at the hands of product reviews. I have a balance I am happy with now but that took a bit of working out.

If I was to start my blog again, I would absolutely stick with my policy of being open and honest, warts and all. I warn family and friends that if they read it, they might not like what they read or hear about my feelings. I find that very liberating. I would network earlier not so much for the advice (although that is fabulous) but for the connection with other women and mums. I would join in blog hops as often as possible not for statistics but to get to know circles of blogger friends (waving furiously particularly at the Reasons to be Cheerful smilers and the Magpie Monday crew). I would also include photography which I did not do for many months because I did not know how to upload photographs.

Fundamentally, blogging is a journey. As in life, it takes unexpected twists and turns. Some of those are pleasant, some of them less so. So if blogs are not perfect from the start, it does not really matter at all. If nobody reads your blog but you enjoy writing it, that is fine too I think.

In conclusion, blogging did indeed enable me to laugh in the face of it all and has given me the confidence to stand up on thin ice and declare that I will get my groove back. Watch this space ..

Love from the Striking Mum x

Are you looking for ways to get over depression? Are you wondering if it is possible for you to feel better?

As someone who was held back by depression for many years, I am sharing the things that helped me and hope with all my heart that they can help someone out there who is suffering.

Ways To Get Over Depression

Accept that you are not wrong for having depression

Depression is a medical condition. It does not mean you are a terrible or weird person. When you think that way, this is just a symptom of the condition and you can get better.

Ask for help identifying ways to get over depression

I know this is not as easy as it sound. You may well feel embarrassed, ashamed and hopeless. People might tell you to go and see your GP when you can barely make it out of the house. Sadly, people are not particularly great at working out what will help you so write it down in a letter, text or email reaching out for support and asking someone to help you help yourself.

Know that it is most unlikely that your children will be taken away from you

This was my biggest fear when I was depressed. I loved my children even if I could not cope with them. When did you last hear of someone having their children taken away because they were struggling with depression? I am not saying it does not happen but it is in the most exceptional cases.

Consider alternative treatments

I am on medication and it has transformed my life and very quickly too. That may or may not be the case for you too. It is worth looking or asking someone else to research the various treatments for depression including talking therapies and some people find complementary therapies help too.

Find a creative outlet for your feelings

For me this was blogging but anything that takes your attention and expresses your individuality such as art, crafting or drama also works. You may also find some like-minded souls who can support you on your journey back to happiness.

Get out

I do know how difficult this is to do when you have a load of negative self-talk in your head and you are lacking in energy. All I can say is you will see the light when you start to see the light so do all you can to get outdoors and access the magical vitamin D. If you really can’t do it, look into light boxes.

Avoid self-medication

Alcohol and other substances we often turn to when feeling down are depressants so only leave you feeling worse. Go down the healthy eating route instead and make sure you keep hydrated well.

Please leave a comment if you have other ways to get over depression to recommend to those currently in a dark place.

 

 

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