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.
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
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.