Here’s this week’s instalment of Blogger Behind the Blog where I interview a blogger all about their reasons for blogging and what it means to them. This week I’m joined by Amy from No More Shoulds.
Here’s Amy with more about why she blogs:
Where did your blog name come from?
It was a personal mantra and commitment to myself to be kinder and more accepting of my own journey as a mother, and to help others to do the same. No More Shoulds – simples! The name does what it says on the tin 🙂
When did you start your blog and why?
After I had a baby, I was overwhelmed with the amount of advice and unsolicited opinions, both actively offered and passively insinuated, mainly about feeding and sleep. I was even more surprised at how mean I seemed to be to myself in my head. Identifying symptoms of undiagnosed PND in my journey, I felt there was a dialogue to be started to help mothers be kinder to themselves in their own minds and through this grow to be more resilient against ‘shoulds’, opinions and guilt from others and from society. What began as a personal journey towards self-compassion soon grew into a mission to help other mums be kinder to themselves. Using mindfulness and meditation techniques in an accessible way, I’d like to play my part in helping catch post-natal depression before it spirals, and also reduce the stigma around mental health.
What did you do before you blogged?
I worked in educational services for a major educational publisher, and am now back at work part-time after maternity leave.
What was your first post?
It was just called ‘No More Shoulds’ and is now my ‘about’ page. It sheds light on how mean my inner critic can be as I walk into a mum and baby group with your new baby.
What inspires you to blog?
Helping others. I have been flabbergasted by the number of people who have come back to me saying they have felt the same, and that it has both given them courage to speak up and also made them realise that they are not the only one beating themselves up inside.
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
A piece I wrote for the HuffPost called ‘Healthy wallet or healthy mind? Why mental health is the best trust fund you can leave’. It was me coming out to those who didn’t know about my mental health battles and the support I received was overwhelming. To be published on HuffPost too was so great. I was really proud.
It was quite intense to write though so the post I enjoyed most is probably ‘The Velcro Day’ – about how, on those days when your baby just won’t be put down and the crying turns you into a bumbling wreck, stopping and breathing has an amazing effect and you can find the neck hole in your jumper after all!
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
A couple didn’t get the pick up I’d initially hoped for, but as a fledgling blogger, I’m still learning about the best times to publish and social media algorithms! My little fist pump motivational quote pictures have been much more popular than I initially thought they’d be – they started as an afterthought!
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
As one strand of a bigger mission both addressing the stigma around maternal mental health and providing practical services and help for mums to find themselves amid the parenting crazy.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The creative outlet – I never knew I had writing in me and I feel like I’ve found something so exciting and cathartic. And feeling like I’m helping people.
…and your least favourite?
Social media – I get so caught up in it it can have quite the ironic effect of making me feel less calm and present! I’m learning to plan ahead and categorise my stats and community chatter into set blocks of time.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
A piece by The Mother Hub – she has had self esteem issues and talks about using blogging to overcome this and is another great positive person working towards kind, healthy mum minds.
What blog do you love to read and why?
Obvs yours Donna – it’s ace 🙂 I love Michelle Reeves’ The Joy Chaser, because she’s another great positive mummy mind campaigner doing some fab work, and Meagan at The Mum Project just cracks me up! I love her ‘Does Bear Care?’ vlogs. And who doesn’t love Mother Pukka?
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
I’m massively learning on the job so every day is a school day. I have more of a content strategy now so I feel like everything has more of a plan. I’ve also discovered linky parties and love discovering new blogs!
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
The community is so much larger and more active than I ever expected! Britmums Live was an eye-opener!
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
I haven’t delved into a collaboration yet but have some plans up my sleeve. Always open to offers too!
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
Headspace, the meditation app, is an incredible organisation. What Andy Puddicombe has done for mental health in this country is nothing short of miraculous. I’d love to work with Heads Together, the charity run by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Not really a brand as such but a charity with such a great mission – to get people talking about mental health.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
Umm nothing too major, but I did spend the first few weeks with no tags on any of my posts on WordPress. Goodbye, SEO!
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
Can I have two? 🙂 As a result of the blog or my courses and services, for as many mums as possible to find a healthier, more self-compassionate mindset for a more positive and balanced parenting and all-round life experience.
To be widely known as a key player in the dialogue around maternal mental health, specifically promoting meditation for kinder, healthier minds for mums. And I would LOVE to write a book.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
Look after my gorgeous 1-year-old daughter, or prance around on stage doing a play or musical!
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
I can’t cook. At all. I once ended up with pink rice for a dinner party. How do our family eat? Well, let’s just say, I married well.