Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Reaction or Overreaction?

Overeaction: To react with unnecessary or inappropriate force, emotional display, or violence.

There was a gif on social media last week that had a man laughing with the words, ‘for every male reaction there is a female overreaction.’ And yes, yes unsurprisingly this angered me. It was a man rolling his eyes at all women and branding us drama queens and emotional wrecks who flip at the smallest of things. And maybe in some way I proved him right by feeling annoyed by it, but the main thing I thought was, has nothing changed? Are women still viewed as these highly strung and hugely emotive, sensitive little souls?

And then I went to Blogfest16 and was proved very wrong. Women are not meek, they are not mild and as Shappi Khorsandi said, they ‘are running the world.’ There were amazingly engaging panels filled with inspirational women talking about issues in a measured and thought provoking way. The panel sessions discussed female presence on line, looked at campaigns strong women have led and are leading and talked about finding your voice when others want to silence you. And yes, by ‘others’ the speakers often meant men, because in their experience it always was white men who were trying to silence them. White men who send threatening tweets and attempt to make these women disappear through fear, by sending vile tweets or leaving hideous comments often attacking the women and their children. Miranda Sawyer described them as drunk men in a pub who should be left well alone, and I agree.

But I also agree that not all men are like this, and that sadly the many who are ruin it for the good ones. But yesterday the good ones joined in. They criticised a phenomenal event for not acknowledging them. They were upset by the ‘man bashing,’ and whilst I concur that bringing men down is never a way to thrust women up, the attacks weren’t personal. They were in context, they were real. Damn right Jess Phillips MP should get cross when asked if her husband is going to ‘babysit’ their children. And hell yes Sara Khan should bash the men who threatened to gang rape her in every orifice.

Mumsnet’s tagline is ‘parenting for parents’ and I know, I KNOW that means everyone – for there are many different people who come under that umbrella – but the event was headlined by big female names and many of the sessions were clearly focussed on women and were obviously going to have a strong feminist vibe. And if you were a man and you attended those sessions then I am not sure what else you expected. And it makes me angry that in an environment that should have been a safe space for women to come together and support each other and scream loud and clear about inequality (many of us technically working for free now until 2017 thanks to the delightful gender pay gap) and for me that was tarnished by the men who felt they weren’t acknowledged or catered for.

The friend I went with is running a blog for her business. She is not a mummy blogger and she knew full well that in some of the sessions she would have to work hard to take what she was listening to and adapt it for her purpose. She expected it to be pro female and strongly feminist, trusted the strong line up, and wasn’t disappointed.

Why couldn’t the male attendees do the same? Of course Mumsnet are going to target the majority of the audience and they do not need the men there, or indeed at home in their own little filter bubble, criticising the event for not meeting their expectations.

Every day women are made to feel vulnerable and repressed and out of place in their lives or not good enough. Women have jobs purely because companies need to tick a box and employ a certain number of females. Mothers are made to feel inadequate for staying at home and raising children. They are over looked for jobs they could be awesome at if there’s a man interviewing next to them. If they judge critically they are seen as moaners, if they are unhappy they will be criticised for saying so.

Sara Khan rightly said that there is ‘nothing more dangerous than a female with an opinion,’ and last night on Twitter she was proved right after I attempted to point out the hypocrisy of a tweet only to then be called a hypocrite myself, with my point being completely twisted and misinterpreted. I was not belittling daddy bloggers. I was not turning everyday sexism around and being sexist. I was not saying men were not welcome at Blogfest. I was trying to point out how this is how women feel ALL the bloody time and get shot down for fighting against it. That isn’t hypocritical. That is the exact opposite. Why the hell we can’t have an event for women about women without having a man complaining about it and trying to turn it into something it isn’t destined to be is enraging. We do not need men taking over everything. I think women would like to keep certain things just for themselves. And damn right they should to.

Blogfest16 for me was diverse, thought provoking and inspiring and I think women are even more wonderful now than I did this time yesterday.

And that is what I am going to hold on to. And I know I am not overreacting when I say that women, we really can rule the world.


Done: no longer happening or existing.
“her hunting days were done”

Social media and I have had a bit of a falling out recently. I’ve not blogged for ages and have taken a bit of a step back from Twitter. I’ve been mulling over this a lot, and whilst I haven’t definitively come to any particularly conclusion as to why this is, I’ve certainly realised a few things.

Social media is a very powerful tool. It influences millions – sometimes positively and sometimes in not such a positive way. When I first joined Twitter I was breastfeeding a newborn baby and enjoyed stalking celebrities at 3 in the morning. Then, as PND took it’s hold for the third time, I frantically used it to find people going through the same thing, either to convince myself I wasn’t ill or to reassure me that you can indeed survive on very little, if not no sleep. I was becoming obsessed with confirming all of the things I thought in my very poorly head and whilst Twitter, blogs and forums provided some comfort and helpful suggestions there were also a lot of dark and dangerous things on there. I read some things I didn’t want to read and saw pictures that once seen, can never be forgotten.

Thankfully I have very wise friends and family who helped me channel my energies and into getting better and starting a blog. Wonderfully cathartic, it felt amazing to be able to write openly and honestly about things I was experiencing. Chats on Twitter were fun, supportive and honest, and some of the people I have met through Twitter and blogging are truly amazing. But recently, I’m beginning to wonder if it all offers a bit of a false sense of security. Some people claim they can only be themselves on Twitter, that they cannot be real in real life and that all of the friends they have are virtual ones. And some say that when they have a problem – sometimes an extremely serious problem – Twitter is the only place they feel they can go for help. Help from people who are not experts. Who do not actually know the person in distress, do not know their triggers or their history – in fact they know nothing about them at all. And I see people offering advice about babies they’ve never seen, giving mental health advice to suicidal people, and becoming outraged for someone they’ve never met, only ever hearing one side of the argument.

Now I’m obviously not saying don’t ever go to social media for support and advice – my goodness no it can be a wonderful place and so many people and organisations on there are doing amazing work for smashing stigma, supporting sufferers of mental health and aiding new and overwhelmed mums, and that’s wonderful when it’s done properly – but sadly social media lets anyone join, and when you’re vulnerable and fragile you can easily take the wrong advice, from the wrong person.

The deeper I have gone onto the world of blogging and social media, the more disillusioned I’ve become. In some parts it’s a hugely supportive and comforting group of people, yet in others it has cliques, comment rings and a whole load of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ shenanigans I had no idea existed until recently. Some people deliberately provoke, whilst others constantly seek attention. Some blog from the heart, and some do so for ratings and to up their stats. The lives and personalities people project online are often very different from their reality – even mine. It has all increasingly unnerved me over time, and do you know what? I don’t think I can do it anymore.

I’m tired of Twitter arguments. I’m sick of the monthly scoring system which seems to drive everyone bonkers and become totally competitive. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. And it can be extremely upsetting at times.

When I started blogging it saved me and has quite literally turned my life around. I was able to find my voice again after an evil illness. I found new confidence through writing and having people read, comment and enjoy my blog. It has opened doors to me that I never dreamt possible and the future is so unbelievably exciting for me right now. But I do feel I’m done. I’ve reached a point where I’ve no more to give with ‘mummy blogging.’ I don’t want to review endless products; the power of trusting your instincts as a mum has become so wonderfully recognised by so many; and writing about PND is about to happen in a novel. Put simply, my writing and I have moved on.

I will still write, I will always write (and tweet!) and I may even start a new blog all about that. But for now – with heartfelt thanks to all the blogging community has given me and to every single one of you who has read my blog – I’m trusting my instincts, and I’m done.

My 1st Blogiversary!

This week, on Thursday, my blog is officially one whole year old! When I sat down in my lounge – this time almost a year ago – and wrote my first ever post I genuinely never expected to become so involved and in love with a world in which, before that day, I barely knew existed.

Blogging helped me recover from my third and most hideous episode of post natal depression. It helped me self publish my book ‘A Monster Ate My Mum,’ and support so many other mums suffering with the illness too. I’ve met wonderful new friends, taken part in this year’s epic Team Honk relay challenge with @ladyemsy and @caro_mad, and been to some excellent and inspiring blogging conferences. I have been lucky to become a BRITAX Mumbassador, and yes through blogging I have also, I have to say it, had the opportunity to review some pretty fab things! All in all blogging rocks, and I’m so proud of the fact that my blog is still going one year on!

The blog has changed a lot and evolved in ways I never imagined when I started, and I love the fact that anything goes. Having three children spanning in ages from 12 to 1 I always have material to write about, but have also enjoyed blogging about my personal issues, education, feminism, my (mostly unsuccessful) weight loss and even my baking! (probably responsible for said poor weight loss!) Linkies have been an amazing way to find new blogs and promote mine; Silent Sunday posts have got me passionate about photography, and I have re-found my love of poetry thanks to Vic Welton and Ellie All At Sea. Maybe one day I’ll even be brave enough to take part in one of Stephanie Arsoska’s amazing virtual open mic nights! (and finish off my Summer Of Words story!)

In the last year I have also been lucky enough to publish some wonderful guest posts from brilliant bloggers; it never fails to amaze me how we are always finding new ways to write about well known topics and how brilliantly inventive bloggers are with their words.

Blogging is like an itch that needs scratching; it’s cathartic, therapeutic….uplifting. When people comment on my blog I feel so pleased that someone has identified with what I’ve written or has been moved enough to comment. It makes me smile and I must find some precious time to comment on others more.

In truth I have been finding it hard to find the time to write as much as I used to; mainly due to going back to work but also – very excitingly – because I am so involved with many other projects that have happened because of my blog. Which is amazing!! But…I will continue to blog as much as I can, for I truly love it, and feel privileged to be part of such a wonderful community.

Thank you, as always, for reading 🙂

If you like reading my blog then I’d love for you to please nominate me for a MAD blog award, I’ll leave you to decide in which category! You can nominate by clicking on the badge below. Thank you x
MAD Blog Awards


Advice: Advice (noun) or advise (verb) may refer to: Advice (opinion), an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct. Advice column, a regular feature on a website or in a newspaper or magazine. Academic advising, in academics. Legal advice, the giving of a formal and binding opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law

I did something today that made me look very closely at my blog. And when I looked closely at my blog I saw many different things. I saw posts about parenting; trusting our instincts; poetry; reviews; recipes…and the list goes on. When I originally started blogging it was to spread the word about trusting our instincts as parents and how powerful they can be (something I am still very passionate about) and then over time my blog evolved, as all things do, and as I joined in different linkies and made new blogging friends the content changed. I found a new love for writing poetry; I found writing about postnatal depression helped both me and others and I became obsessed with taking the perfect photo for Silent Sunday.

I have been thinking about the content of my blog for a while now and my instincts are telling me that maybe there are too many different types of posts on there. That maybe I have weakened my voice and original intentions through taking on too many other things? I still have many Instinctive Mum tales to tell and blog about, and whilst I have loved linking to poetry, weightloss and cooking blogs, I am wondering if it is time to get the focus back on the original thought behind my blog.

So lovely readers, the more I thought about this the more I thought about you! And I quickly came to the conclusion that the obvious thing seemed to be to ask you what you think! Do you think there is too much variety on my blog? Or do you like all of the different types of posts? What would you like to see more/less of? What topics would you like me to write about? For I blog not just for me, but for you too.

Let me know what you think, after all content is so important…I want to get it just right! 😉


Meeting: A meeting is a gathering of two or more people that has been convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching agreement.

Britmums Live 2013

Little people in my phone,
That’s normally where you stay,
But last weekend at Britmums Live,
You all came out to play.

Mums, bloggers, people,
Laughter, hugs and kisses.
Old friends introduced to new,
Hits and sometimes misses.

Groups who know each other well,
Who have been here before,
Gather together, smile and laugh,
Room for many more.

Am I too keen, am I too loud,
Do I appear too much?
Half finished conversations,
Rushing to coffee to lunch.

And then friends appear from no where,
Like you they feel the same.
Talk is easy, laughter lots,
No fear, no doubt, no shame.

Shyness, loudness, emotional things,
Personalities all so unique.
Strength in numbers, bonding slowly,
Not feeling such a freak.

We each are individual,
Brought together by one thing,
Over sharing, openness,
For another blogger…sing.

Leaving feeling emotional,
So many things to take in.
Leaving knowing I’ll be going again,
New friendships will begin.


Prose for Thought

Britmums Live 2013

Conference: A conference is a meeting of people who “confer” about a topic. Academic conference, in science and academia, a formal event where researchers present results, workshops, and other activities. Business conference, organised to discuss business-related matters. Conference hall, room where conferences are held. Peace conference, a diplomatic meeting to end conflict.

In a little under two weeks I will be going to my first ever Britmums Live blogging conference and I am so excited. Having only started blogging in February of this year, when I booked my ticket in March I thought I was getting a little bit ahead of myself, and that maybe I should wait until next year. However little was I to know then how much I would enjoy blogging and how much I would get out of it! It has been a wonderful few months and I have met some amazing people online. Anonymous since I started I am now set to reveal my true identity as I join in with the linky so we all know a bit about each other before we go. (And it might also help those who I’m meeting actually recognise me!) So, without further ado…..

Name Jen (never again will I make the mistake of saying I’d rather be called Jennifer like I did on my first day of secondary school, it did not go down well)


Twitter ID @InstinctiveMum

Height 5ft 3 and an all important half. Or, as my family’s height chart says, I am as tall as the height requirement for a NASA astronaut.

Hair Changes regularly, brunette, highlighted, long, short! Let’s just say I get bored very easily. At the moment as you can see in the photos, it’s relatively short and brown….for now…

Eyes Dark brown. My right eye isn’t the best so it’s always worth approaching me from the left…or I might ignore you, but not on purpose I promise.

Is this your first blogging conference? Yes! I am a mere newbie only blogging since February. Sounds like an excellent one to go for my first time!

Are you attending both days? Damn right! (and possibly with a hangover on the second one)

What are you most looking forward to at Britmums Live 2013? Meeting my blogging and Twitter friends! Can…not…wait!! And I’m also really looking forward to the writing sessions and meeting with the publishing panel; it will be amazing to speak to publishers face to face and get some feedback.

What are you wearing? Who knows lol?! I have a wardrobe full of clothes, but I am a bugger for always buying new ones…so I potentially don’t even own the outfit I will wear yet. That’s awful isn’t it?

What do you hope to gain from Britmums Live 2013? New skills, the confidence to go self-hosted, new friendships, new experiences!

Tell us one things about you that not everyone knows I’ve snogged someone from the film Love Actually…I’ll leave you to guess who… 😉