I love this post from Great Aunt because in all honesty, I hadn’t really considered that some people who may be reading my blog aren’t actually parents themselves, mainly because I thought they would probably find my life too boring or would be too busy out enjoying themselves!
I would like to start by openly acknowledging that there will be some people reading this blog who aren’t actually parents. Yes, you there. I mean you. Hello! (waves) You’re busted. Your cover’s blown. Don’t panic, it’s ok, I don’t have children either and I read this blog too. In fact, I’m proud to say I dip in and out of quite a few mum and dad blogs.
Do you remember when you were a teenager how boys would sometimes nick your copy of Just 17 and secretly read the problem pages looking for clues to unlock the mysteries of the opposite sex? I have a belief that mum blogs are secretly serving a similar purpose for some of us who don’t have children of our own but want to understand the world of mums.
I first stumbled upon mum blogs whilst Googling for information on how to help my best friend when she was pregnant. I used to feel a bit guilty and uncomfortable about reading them, like a sneaky trespasser or an unwanted eavesdropper. These days I am a huge champion and openly recommend my favourites to non-parent friends and colleagues. Why? Because I believe that reading mum blogs (like this one) has saved my relationships with my best friends since they have all become mums. Infact I would go so far as to say they have even helped take these relationships to a new level.
Some lessons I have learnt have been idiot-level basic (never touch a bump without asking, not everyone breastfeeds, lie-in’s are a sacred rarity…). Some lessons have been huge wake-up calls (helping after a miscarriage, how to spot meningitis, No Child Born To Die campaign…). Some lessons have been fun to share with my nieces, nephews and godchildren (watermelon pigs, tin can caterpillars, painting with ice…). All of the lessons have been invaluable. One blog in particular has fundamentally changed the way I think about children with special needs and made me feel ashamed of some of my past opinions. I am certain that reading mum blogs has not just changed the way I behave towards the parents I know, but also towards those I don’t. I have well and truly ditched my “if they don’t ask for help then they must be ok” attitude for “they’re probably not asking for help because they think no-one will”. I like to think I am a much more conscientious driver / commuter / plane passenger as a result of reading mum blogs.
So if you are a mum blogger reading this, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you, please keep blogging, you never know who your next post might help or inspire. No book on earth could have taught me the things that you do. And perhaps if there are any other non-mums like me who read this blog, don’t worry, you’re not alone!