I’m Sam, and I can usually be found blogging at Mouse, Moo & Me Too. I’m an avid reader of quite a few round-ups and I’ve been lucky enough to be featured a couple of times, so I was absolutely chuffed to bits to land the editorial role. Health, through mental and physical wellbeing, is so important to me as a mum, and I know it is to many of you too. I can’t wait to get stuck in and read your fantastic blogs in the months to come.
I’ve been spoiled rotten with submissions for my first round-up and your posts have made me smile and cry in equal measure. In future months, I might set a theme – but for now I’ve loved reading the huge variety of blogs that have been sent in.
My first pick comes from Katie at MumOf2Point5 with her post about bronchiolitis, which her daughter developed at eight months. It sounds terrifying, and I thought it an important one to include as we’re now in peak season for respiratory illnesses. The post highlights some of the warning signs, as well as some detail on CPR training for infants. I attended a first aid course for babies when my eldest daughter was tiny, and I laminated 5 copies of the handout to keep all over the house! Thankfully I’ve never had to use it, but I wish every parent could be invited to a course as part of standard post-natal care.
My next post comes from OddHogg. Kimberly was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early twenties and when she fell pregnant, it added a whole host of considerations and special measures to her pregnancy. Having been through nausea and questionable food cravings (chicken nuggets at 9.30am, anyone?), I can’t imagine having to take all the extra insulin checks and make adjustments, as well as being in such close consultation with medical professionals. Kim makes a really good point about rejecting her midwife’s advice at one point because she knew her body better – labour can render a woman very vulnerable, so to retain control must take a lot of strength.
Natalie at The Diary of an Unexpectant Mother sent me a fantastic post about dealing with Raynaud’s Syndrome. It immediately caught my interest as my husband also suffers from the condition, which is essentially severely restricts the blood flow to the extremities. As Natalie explains, this isn’t just fingers and toes, but anything that, er, pokes out a bit from the body. Once the blood flow is reduced, the brain effectively views the affected areas as being dead, and so it’s a real battle to get them warm and functioning properly. It’s very painful, obviously reaching a peak in winter. My husband cycles to work and once made the mistake of sticking his blue-white hands into a sink of hot water in an attempt to heat them quickly. Ouch. Do you have any tips for Natalie to get through the winter?
My next post comes from Laura at Five Little Doves, who often writes about her battles with mental illness. I really relate to Laura, in particular her long struggle with anorexia. I hope one day I’ll feel ready to talk about my illness publically on my blog, but Laura absolutely sums up the horror and the misconceptions associated with this disease. She makes such a valid point that there’s been masses of headway made into the area of pre and post-partum depression, and women are now talking more freely about their experiences and mental awareness. But when it comes to eating disorders, there’s still an enormous amount of shame and taboo surrounding how it makes us feel, and what it makes us do. If you’ve ever experienced an eating disorder, know someone who suffers, or just want to learn a bit more about it from an “insider”, please do read this very coherent and inspiring post.
Anxiety forms a huge part of so many mental illnesses, and my next pick from Pink Pear Bear is a letter to her daughter. Louise sent me this post for consideration but I remember when I first read it, shortly after I’d started blogging, and it stopped me in my tracks in the middle of Waitrose (I’m always in bloody Waitrose). She writes about knowing that her daughter picks up on her anxiety, how it soaks in to her like a sponge, and how she wants to break the cycle and use her positive steps towards change to help her daughter control her own worries and fears. It’s a beautiful letter and features this quote from Catherine M. Wallace: “Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” How true is that?! Thanks Louise for such a poignant reminder.
Now, I know I’ve already included something on anxiety but this one from Jog On Mum really stuck with me. It’s a short and snappy post that perfectly captures how it can take the smallest thing to stop a period of positive mentality in its tracks, and re-open the can of worms labelled Self Doubt, with no expiry date.
Jenny from Midwife and Life has my next pick, and it’s about that sexy little topic: bladder weakness. Hooray! I had a caesarean with my first baby and assumed that my pelvic floor would therefore be sound as a pound, but in the months after her birth I really struggled with holding on to my wee. I’d swing from not needing to go, to suddenly being absolutely desperate and leaking everywhere – really unpleasant for your confidence. Jenny’s post contains some useful lifestyle tips to reduce the impact of bladder weakness, which is sadly a bit inevitable once you’ve had children. Remember your pelvic floor exercises ladies! I bet you’re doing them right this second for the first time in weeks, aren’t you?!
I’ve known Sassy from Thinking Out Loud for a while – in fact, before I even started my blog, a blogger friend mentioned her to me and I started reading her with interest. She’s been totally blind for over two years and her writing is refreshingly honest yet emotive. This post from her questions the semantics behind the notion of disability and it’s utterly empowering. As an aside, Sassy taught me about the importance of Alt Tags to your blog. They’re descriptive blocks of text that you can write for each image, which enable a visually impaired reader to enjoy your posts fully. For example, if you’ve included an photo of your child wearing a red coat, stood in front of a Christmas tree in a town square – write that in your Alt Tag! It can make such a difference to your end audience.
Finally, I wanted to end on something a little bit light-hearted, and nothing could be more perfect than this post from my wonderful friend, Beta Mummy. Her doodles are superb and so often I read her posts and think, that’s meeeeeee! Er, obviously Beta, rarely Alpha. Her take on yoga is brilliant – I remember taking a yoga class in early pregnancy thinking that I’d come away feeling totally blissed out and zen, instead I farted through the whole thing and managed to whack my funny bone on a scalding radiator.
If you’d like to read something of mine, here’s a post I wrote about my experience of PND after my first baby was born. I hope you like it.
That’s it for December – I’ll be back in January with another selection of posts. If you’d like yours to be considered, you can email me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me a link via @mousemoo_metoo.
Have an amazing Christmas and New Year, you absolute beauts of the blogging world.