I started my blog back in May 2013 and never did I think it would get to where it is now. Life as Mum began as an online journal for my children. I enjoyed writing our adventures and sharing our photos, but I also loved sharing my parenting tips to hoping one day someone would read it. Looking back at my old posts now is quite embarrassing, and I am glad that my writing has improved throughout the years.
During my three years of blogging, I have been very lucky to be able to work with many amazing brands/PRs. When I had my first contact, I was over the moon. Not because I was getting something through my blog but because I felt like my blog had been recognised. I felt as if I had achieved something huge. My blog is a big part of my life, and I wouldn't have done many things with my partner or kids if I didn't have my blog. That doesn't just mean the things we have been given through my blog but my income through my blog also.
The past few months have shocked me because I've realised people actually do read my blog. Three years down the line and I was still thinking only a couple of people I know to read it, but people in my Dad's work read it, receptionists at my doctor's, friends and family. I also saw someone a few days ago who I was in school with; she also said she read my blog. It's such a good feeling knowing other people, especially people you know, read your blog and tell you how much they like it. I do appreciate it. It makes me want to work harder.
If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that my blog has slowed down since Freddie was born. Freddie isn't a fantastic sleeper during the day, so it's been pretty tough trying to keep up. My anxiety has been all over the place up until the past week or so. So that hasn't helped either. I have had times where I thought about quitting my blog would make life easier, but I decided not to stop because blogging is something I love doing.
When I fell pregnant with Freddie, my blog helped me so much. I was given quite a few maternity clothing from great brands such as Your Clothing, Mama Way, More 4 Mums, Bonprix and Lorna Drew. As well as maternity clothing, I was given some fabulous items ready for my baby boy, such as baby and children clothing from Rockin' Baby, a beautiful Bambini and me swaddle, the really handy ToTs Voyage Changing Bag, the fantastic Kiddy UK Evolution Pro 2 Car Seat and the UPPABABY Vista Pram which I love.
As a Mum and a parenting blogger, I love including my children. I love getting e-mails asking if my kids would like to review something. I am aiming to start vlogging with them soon, hopefully. But, so far, they have had some amazing products themselves through my blog and they have loved all of them. Their favourites have been: Paw Patrol Bedding from Character World which is currently on Elliw's bed right now, Gro Clock to help them learn the different from night and day time. Elliw loves dinosaurs, and she adored this dinosaur from Jungle Plush. Mia loves her books, and one of her favourite books is the personalised book called The Girl Who Lost Her Name, we have so much fun reading that book. They have also been very lucky to have been given an Innotab 3, clothing from ASDA George, first jewellery, and one of their most loved items has to be the Pretend and Play Post Office which still gets played with to this day.
I was brought up by my Dad, and he took us everywhere. I remember going out somewhere every single weekend. We had gone out to see different places, and I remembered saying that if I ever had kids, then I would want to do the same. My partner and I love taking the kids out for days out and over night places. My blog has also allowed us to visit places we hadn't been before. One Halloween we visited Greenwood Forest Park which isn't far from us, and the girls loved it, so did we. There was so much to do there, and we spent the whole day there. We were also given two opportunities to visit some National Trust places; we chose Penrhyn Castle and Plas Newydd. As a family with children, we tend to stop in restaurants and cafes on our travels. Having opportunities to try out some places is a bonus. We had the opportunity to try out meals at The Beeches, in Wrexham, Table Table and Brewers Fayre.
As well as having so many opportunities through my blog, I have been lucky to have been mentioned on a few other sites which have made me feel pretty proud of myself. One of the best ones that I have been featured on is Little Lullaby. I was 16 years old when I fell pregnant with my first, so be featured in their seven young mum bloggers they love, is just amazing. I have also been featured on other sites that you can see here.
One of my best achievements through my blog is my income being higher than my previous job at a nursery. Although I have had many things 'given' to us, I have worked incredibly hard to get my blog to where it is right now. Working with brands/PR's doesn't come over night. It takes months and years of hard work. I have been lucky with collaborate with brands such as UPPABABY, KiddyUK, Tommee Tippee, Chicco, Aldi's, House of Fraser and so much more. But it's hard work. I think that you have to enjoy blogging, to stick at it. Review items are not free; there is a lot of work you need to put into reviews when you receive the item. But I love it!
To finish this post off, my most favourite opportunity I've had is to review Bluestone. I had seen so many reviews for a couple of years, and I really wanted to visit the place one day, I was just lucky to have been invited to stay as a #BluestoneBlogger.
So, to anyone who reads my blog - thank you!