Today marks one year since I posted my first ever blog post. I began this blog for only two reasons. Firstly, I hoped that I could begin to come to terms with experiencing PND and begin accepting that my journey as a mother has been very bumpy indeed. And secondly, to share my mental health story – every symptom, every horrible moment I experienced – in the hope that anyone who stumbled across my words could feel comforted. Maybe reading someone else’s experience and then learning that things got better for that person could bring comfort to a sufferer, the way other people’s blogs had brought comfort to me.
I had no expectations for the blog outside of getting my PND and Anxiety story out there to as many new parents as possible.
I had no idea how much I would enjoy writing, how much comfort and happiness blogging would bring to my life. How my mind would explode with ideas. How I would find my new, post-mum identity through writing and sharing. I didn’t realise that, as my mind healed, I would suddenly want to write about topics outside of mental health.
So The Butterfly Mother has gone through a lot of changes. It now isn’t only about PND, it’s not even entirely about parenting. It’s about sharing anything I think might be helpful or interesting, and other random stuff that I still mainly write just for me and don’t really expect to be read by many others!
I think professional parent bloggers and marketing experts alike would probably suggest it’s not a great idea to combine mental health discussion with book reviews, parenting articles and lifestyle posts as they don’t necessarily fit well but, the truth is, they all fit well together within me. I am all those things – a reader, a mum, a consumer, a cook, a ranter and a PND survivor so I’m happy to keep everything in one pot for now.
Here is a a summary of the last year:
What I’ve learnt
- How to use Twitter
- How to use WordPress
- How amazing both the mental health community and parent blogging community are
Who I’ve met
- A group of incredible parents and experts via the wonderful #pndhour
- Fun and fabulously talented parent bloggers through the various linkys I participate in
My Mental Health
Right now I feel really good. Through therapy, medication, self-help, self-care, mindfulness, time, support and basically an entire overhaul of my personality I beat PND and then I beat Anxiety. I’m almost certain I’ll experience anxiety struggles again at some point but I feel well-armed against them now.
My son turns three-years-old next week and will get a whole post to himself but in short, he rocks. He’s cheeky, naughty, funny and clever – as well as a complete tantruming nightmare. He’s everything.
I run two regular features currently – Butterfly Book Club, where I review a new book each week and My Mountain where weekly guest bloggers write about a whole range of parenting challenges.
My Most Popular Posts
Do I Love My Baby? – I love that so many people read and engaged with this post. So much of my illness was due to the unrealistic expectations I had about motherhood not being even close to met. For many mums, hearing about my bonding fears probably seemed very alien but I also know that many others could relate and that makes me so happy that I put this difficult topic out there.
The Emotions of Motherhood – I’m so touched by the response to this post. You can prepare for a lot in parenthood but you simply can’t prepare for the extremes of emotion you face and I think this resonated with lots of readers.
Goodbye Dummy, Step Up Mummy – This was my first non-PND post and I was so surprised by the response! The prospect of removing the dummy from your child is so daunting but, like most things, rarely as bad as you imagine.
Posts I’d love more people to read
10 Things I’ve Gained from PND
How do you self-care?
Knowledge is Power: The Power of Research in Treating Postnatal Illness
Blog goals for next year
- Now I’m self-hosted I have lots of wonderful software to explore to make my blog better
- Grow my Pinterest account
- Work with some more awesome brands
- Expand my readership
- Meet more fellow bloggers
- Guest blog about PND in as many places as possible
Personal Goals for next year
- Grow our family
- Learn to be a calmer, less shouty mum
- Begin a PND support group in my local area
I had no idea 12 months ago how much joy and satisfaction blogging could bring to me. When it comes to my mental health, therapy and medication made me well but it’s blogging that has helped to make me happy.
Finally, an enormous thank you to anyone who has read, commented or shared anything I’ve written during the last year. I hope I continue to write posts that you find interesting, funny, touching or helpful.
49 comments on “Transformation of a Butterfly – A Year of Blogging”
Laura , what a lovely reflective post – you must be so proud of how far you have come and I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling well and strong moving forward. Thank you for your blog – I stumbled across it when I was in a very dark and scary place and it brought comfort that your journey was so similar to mine – I no longer felt so alone. You are ahead of me on this path and your writing gave me confidence to keep moving forward. Your blog along with other PND blogs inspired me to start my own to help myself and others and this was an important part in my recovery. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story.
Thank you so much for your lovely message, you have no idea how much it means to me xxx
Congrats on a year of blogging! <3
Thank you! x
Congratulations, Laura! This is a wonderful reflection on your blogging journey. I haven’t began my blog (yet), but I hope I experience a similar joy and sense of well being when I do!
Thank you! Good luck for your own writing x
Happy 1st Blogiversary! It’s so satisfying to have started a blog and kept it going. Onwards and upwards from here! #TheList
Thank you! Can’t actually believe I’m still going! x
Congratulations Laura! I am so thankful I found you. You encouraged me to begin my own blog and I too have found it very therapeutic. Wishing you all the happiness and many more blog posts! Hugs xx
Thank you so much for your kind words, lovely. Glad you’ve found it helpful x
Laura I love your blog and think you write beautifully! I can’t wait to read more and hopefully work with you at some point in the future xx #justanotherlinky
Happy first anniversary! You have achieved so much and I hope you go on to achieve even more. #justanotherlinky
Beautiful post – I’m sure you are reaching a lot of women who can relate to your story and find comfort knowing they aren’t alone. Congrats on your first blog anniversary! #justanotherlinky
Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project recently posted…Baked Mac and Cheese
Thanks for your kind reply, I hope so x
It sounds like you’ve had a really great blogging journey over the last year and found some great support networks too! #kcacols
Kat recently posted…How to Become an Acti Labs Ambassador and TOP FAQ’s
It has been awesome, thanks for trading and commenting x
Congrats on your 1 year of blogging! I must say you do have a great blog.
Looking forward to more visits to your blog and keep those awesome posts coming!
Thanks for your lovely words 🙂
Congratulations on hitting your year anniversary – it sounds like it’s been an awesome one! Here’s to hoping the next year is even better. 🙂
Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x
Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…This Week #30
Congrats on a year of blogging and thanks for sharing your story about PND. Roll on year two! #justanotherlinky
Squirmy Popple recently posted…My baby forces me to be awkward with strangers
Thank you! X
Congratulations and what fab achievements you’ve had in a year! Well done and I look forward to reading more #KCACOLS
Lovely to have chanced upon your blog. So inspiring. Well done you! Keep at it, and here’s to many more blogiversaries!
(Going to read more of your posts at length)
Thank you so much, happy to have you as a reader x
Congratulations on a year of blogging! It looks like your blog had helped you deal with and enjoy many things. In my opinion that’s what blogging is all about! #KCACOLS
Absolutely! Thanks for reading x
Happy blogiversary! It’s amazing what a difference a year makes.
It really is. Thanks for reading and commenting x
Happy blog birthday. It sounds like you’ve come a long way. I’ve suffered depression of sorts too and know how hard it can be suddenly feeling so out of control of your emotions. I too found blogging a fantastic outlet when our son was poorly and I randomly my previous blog Oliver’s Progress. Thanks for sharing and good luck blogging!! #marvmondays
Thank you! x
Lovely post and happy blogiversary! Everything you’ve written I can completely understand as I’ve felt the same way about blogging since I started. It’s amazing how something can suddenly turn into something so amazing. PS. Love you blog! Thanks for linking to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo
Thanks so much, love yours too x
Congratulations on a year blogging! I am on month four and I’m hooked. Sounds like you have achieved a lot in a year and its nice to reflect back on it x #MarvMondays
Laura @dearbearandbeany recently posted…Living Arrows 15/52
It’s mad how quickly it goes! Enjoy x
Congratulations – so many great memories to look back on. I am six months in and I can’t believe how fast it has gone. xxx
Goes so fast, doesn’t it? Thanks for reading x
Lovely review of your blog. Congratulations on your first year. You’ve clearly come so far, both personally with your PND & anxiety, & with your wonderful blog. Glad I’m not the only one who only learnt to use twitter through blogging! (Weirdly, my blog turns 1 this week too, AND my eldest turns 3 at end of week – we were clearly the kids’ birthdays blog starters!) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
Silly Mummy recently posted…Toddler Interior Design Tips
Thank you! Happy Blogversary to you too x
Thank you! I’m back over from #justanotherlinky!
Silly Mummy recently posted…Toddler Interior Design Tips
I can’t believe it’s only a year! It’s good to see so many positives emerge from your experience of writing.
I’ve had a similar experience with my blog (starting off with a tight focus and them branching out to different topics) and it’s been good to attract a wider audience but more importantly allow me to explore other areas so I don’t get defined by my experiences.
Look forward to reading more and seeing what you’ll do with your newfound self hosted freedom!
Thanks for reading and your encouraging words 🙂 Good luck with yours too! X
Congratulations on a year of blogging and so glad that it has been so positive for you and has helped your through your PND journey as well as helping others through reading your words and knowing they are not alone. Good luck with your goals for the coming year! 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂 x
Congrats on reaching your blogging birthday and achieving so much! It is an amazing feeling when your words can move people. #KCACOLS
It certainly is. Thanks so much for reading x
Congratulations and well done on your first full year of blogging 🙂 Thank you for linking up to Just Another Linky x
Thank you! ❤️