My very “first” blog in quite some time. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you who do not know me.
How far back should I go? Not too far I suppose as this is about me as a mom and a blogger. So we will only rewind to 7 and a half years ago, to the 3rd of August 2011, the day my life changed forever. This is a day a gorgeous, 3.62kg, blue eyed little boy entered my life and changed everything I knew about life.
Now birth is a story for another blog, but for now, I will stick to me.
From the moment I held my son it all just felt right, I felt like that piece of me that was missing was finally there. I wasn’t nervous or anxious, I felt like “I’ve got this” I remember my mother in law coming to visit me and saying, “wow, you are so calm and relaxed, you are a natural”
She also mentioned that he was calm because I was calm. We had an amazing first 2 weeks, but then the honeymoon was over. I wasn’t producing enough milk and son had really bad Colic. It is during this time that I felt completely clueless and helpless.
While being pregnant I went online a bunch of times searching for answers to certain questions. Back then, and yes I know how it sounds like I am talking about decades ago, but only 7 years ago there weren’t as many places to find help online at 2 am in the morning. There was no Facebook Mommy based communities. There were no mommy bloggers. I felt alone and helpless. I was longing for a group of women who were going through the exact thing I was going through. And thankfully I had 2 of those in my life. I had 2 friends, one who had twins literally a week before me and one who had a little boy 5 days after I had Henri. We became each other’s support group and I am SO thankful for them.
It was during this time that I realised how few platforms there were in SA for new mothers to chat and ask questions, and just be there for each other. There were quite a few in the UK and USA but not really in SA. This is where the idea behind Mommy Says came from. I wanted to create a Website, not a blog, for first time mothers. A place with all kinds of birth stories, advice on breastfeeding, introducing solids and much more.
I started getting information together whilst doing some Photography jobs and being a stay at home mom. We went through a really stressful financial time when my eldest was 18 months old. It was literally one thing after the other, my husband’s business took a couple of big knocks and the company went bankrupt. We basically lost everything.
To make matters worse, I was 7 months pregnant with our second. Not the best time to be going through a financial crisis. My husband started looking for work, I started sending my CV out, all the while having this dream of launching Mommy Says.
After a very, very tough financial year, a new baby and loads of late nights, I finally had the website up and running. I had help from some friends financially and I had a midwife, a nurse, and OT, numerous mothers and myself working on the content. And then to top it off, my old Drama/English teacher went through it all to check for Grammar and spelling mistakes. I decided to launch at the Mama Magic Baby Expo of 2014.
I had finally done it, the site was live, I had made a bunch of good contacts, got some amazing prizes to give away as part of my launch. I really needed this in my life at that point, something to work towards. I was very much in love with my little family but the financial stress, the day to day stress with coping with 2 small kids, and the house and trying to get a business off the ground, lack of sleep, it was all getting to me.
I had one of my best friends join me for the 2 days of Mama Magic and it was so much fun. We spoke to so many people and had loads of laughs together. I stopped people to take part in the competition and to just market the idea of the website. I was also doing some market research, asking questions to see what they would want from the site. I had the idea to launch a website just for dad’s, answering their questions, and all the dad’s I spoke to loved the idea. I had so many ideas. I wanted to have an online shop, selling items that I loved and would stand behind.
I wanted to have a recipe page for homemade baby food. A page with arts and crafts ideas. A page for family friendly restaurants and places to visit. Ideas ideas ideas.
It went well for a bit and I received some items to review and blog about, I did one paid for 3 month campaign and wrote for Mamahood for a while, but again life didn’t work out the way I had hoped. My husband struggled to find work and decided to take the leap and start a new business. I had to put my ideas on hold and help him build his business, because we needed a stable income to put food on the table. And so with that, time ran away from me and so did the blog, there was never enough hours in the day to get around to it. It would take too long to get a blog finished and finally decided to let it go.
I have to be honest I am quite annoyed with myself that I did, because many of the bloggers who started the same time I did are doing very well for themselves at the moment, but I try to not focus on that and just take it one day at a time. So here we are, the present. I am trying to get back into the swing of things. I still have all my 4000+ organic followers on FB, but I am now trying to get them all to also follow me on Instagram and start actively blogging again.
I have once again started building my website, albeit a MUCH smaller version of the original. Once it is ready I will launch it with a giveaway, so watch this space. My first review will also be posted soon, hopefully, this weekend.
What to expect
I will be straight from the start, if you are going to follow me I might disappoint many of you on a daily basis. I am not a typical Instagram mom. I do not have a perfect life, Top Billing type home, expensive clothes and gorgeous material things to show off in my photos. I do not post colour co-ordinated images so that I have an absolutely perfect feed. I don’t have a flatlay board, lightbox or letter board, all though I would love to have them, to show off products. I will not be posting photos of myself or doing videos, as I hate being in front of the camera.
I am me, I am a plain Jane from the Free State who would like to share my journey as a mom. I do not have all the answers, I fail daily as a mom, wife, and entrepreneur, but I would like to share that with you. And if I can help at least one mom at some point during this journey that would make it all worth it.
I personally think if we stop comparing our kids and our lives to other people’s we would lead happier lives.
We need to stop judging other parents for their parental choices. Breastfed vs Bottle, C-section vs Natural….etc. Just stop, can we not all just rather be kind and considerate toward each other.
Women who support each other can really change the world for the better…