When I wrote this post just over a year ago I hoped The Butterfly Mother would still be going strong but I wasn’t completely certain. For those who don’t know, this blog began life as a place for me to journal my recovery from Postnatal Depression and attempt to provide advice and comfort to other sufferers. It has slowly but surely progressed into a more general parenting and lifestyle blog packed with reviews, recipes and lots of parenting chit chat.
Blogging is a real labour of love – it takes a lot of your time, energy and creativity to regularly write and promote good content, particularly when blogging is still a bit of a mystery to many people. After all, what’s the point of us putting our thoughts and experiences onto a tiny part of the internet? It’s a question many bloggers are asked but, more importantly, one that we sometimes also ask ourselves. So, I thought I’d begin this blogiversary round-up by listing some of the reasons I personally love to blog.
- The sense of achievement – writing and publishing posts bring me a huge sense of purpose and identity, and feeds my love of writing in a quick, bitesize way
- The blogging & mental health communities – both of which are full of wonderful, inspiring people who I wouldn’t have otherwise ever met.
- Writing about my mental health and my parenting struggles helps me to process my feelings and, I hope, brings some comfort to others too.
- Making money! I’m not going to lie, I get a lot of satisfaction from the (fairly miniscule!) amounts of money I’ve made during the last year. To actually be paid for something you love to do is a really wonderful feeling.
- Being able to experience days out and products as a family. As well as a little cold, hard cash I’ve also been fortunate enough to receive lots of toys, books and days out for me and my little family which is brilliant and were sometimes things we wouldn’t otherwise have had.
- Memory collection. I love that in years to come this blog will be a lovely diary of Caterpillar’s early years.
- Creativity & self-care. I really believe these two go hand in hand and writing is wonderful self-care for me as I can completely immerse myself in the task.
So what else has gone on in my blogging world over the last 12 months?
What I’ve learnt
- How to utilise Instagram & Pinterest better
- How to take slightly better photos (a lot of learning still needed!)
- The basics of Canva & Pic Monkey
- Even more about Anxiety (check out these two posts for more info: 12 Tools For Managing Anxiety and There’s Always Something To Learn About Anxiety)
My Mental Health
Regular readers know that I’ve experienced somewhat of a relapse this year, however I have learnt a huge amount and I feel I’m coming out stronger on the other side again. Prior to this year the idea of managing some Anxiety issues for the rest of my life was terrifying but nowadays I feel much more confident and comfortable about it.
My son turned four at the end of April and continues to make me laugh every single day. He is funny, kind, bright and creative and I couldn’t be prouder of him. I should add that he is also challenging, cheeky, stroppy and strong-willed! He begins school in September and this feels like a really big step for me as well as him, but also one that I both feel we’re ready for. Or almost ready.
Favourite Product Reviews & Brand Posts
Most Popular Posts From The Last Year
Ten Ridiculous Things I Said Before Kids – it still surprises me how popular this post has been but it obviously shows that there is a vast difference between our expectations and our reality of parenting which I think is a really important issue to highlight.
The Hardest Post I’ll Ever Write – this was very difficult to discuss and I’m so touched by how well it was received. Suicide prevention is desperately important in our society and I hope my words helps in just a tiny way.
8 Reasons I Don’t Care About Screen Time – again this is clearly an issue that many parents have to deal with and definitely worth debating.
What Nobody Tells You About Miscarriage – the miscarriage we experienced back in May 2016 had a huge impact on our lives and my mental health so I thought it was important to write about it. Again, I was so touched by the response.
Posts I’d love more people to read
- Six Tips For Great Blog Content
- To All The Mothers
- Best Days Out For Kids In Dorset
- Playing The Parenting Trump Card
- What Are Phonics?
Blog goals for next year
- Grow my Pinterest & Instagram presence
- Become an ambassador for an awesome family-friendly brand
- Expand my readership
- Try my hand at video – either on Facebook Live or You Tube
- Begin work on my book!
Finally, I want to say another enormous thank you to anyone who has read, commented or shared anything I’ve written during the two years and to my “real life” friends and family for being so encouraging and supportive of this somewhat strange endeavour. I hope I continue to write posts that you find interesting, funny, touching or helpful.
Thank you <3