When I first began writing Sunshine and Rain back in around 2010 it was very much a personal journal for me. I would throw a few words on the page here and there whenever it suited me and never give it too much thought. After several years of dipping in and out, I returned once again in 2018 with a little more time and commitment to this online space of mine. Growing as a blogger was never something I did intentionally, but as other blogs became a bigger part of my life, so too did my own writing corner.
Finding reassurance in the words of others
What I hadn’t realised was that my own stories had the potential to become more than memories for me to look back on. They would allow me to speak to others going through the same experiences I was. My blog has unintentionally become an important aspect of life. It is a space where I can ask for ideas, advice and comfort from others and provide it in return too.
Whenever I experience doubt in life, the internet tends to be my go to place for advice. Sure, friends and family are always there for me and often come up with wonderfully supportive words. Often however, I am looking for something from a source at more of a distance and with less of a biased opinion. Ideally from someone on the same wavelength as myself.
Be it searching for some tips for a recipe, hunting for reviews about a product that I’m considering buying or even looking for reassurance during pregnancy, there is always some guidance to be found online. More often than not, I personally find this guidance in blogs.
Trusting a person over a product review
During times of big change in particular, I like to read real life stories to give me a point of comparison and perspective. Something which feels relatable, like speaking to a friend. When it came to falling pregnant myself, I wanted to know how other women really felt. How were they dealing with sickness? Where did they find answers to the constant questions which come to you in the middle of the night as a first time parent? Were they obsessing over every little movement and change as much as I was?
Instead, I mostly found myself reading the “oh you know, I had some morning sickness but it was really a beautiful experience overall” type posts. I couldn’t find very many genuine pieces of writing that opened up about the reality of pregnancy. Nor were there many speaking up about the importance of understanding the process and preparing for birth much beyond packing a hospital bag. It felt like I was reading an edited review much like the kind your would find on the back of a book, instead of something real.
Of course, reliable sources should always be sought out first. Turning to the NHS website should always be your go to for questions related to medical health for example and I would never recommend taking my word, or anyone else’s, over that of a medical professional. None the less, the human element of a down to earth story can often give us so much more guidance, once we are familiar with the facts.
Providing a space of mutual support and honesty
When I made the choice to share my pregnancy journey on my blog, it was important to me to avoid the sugar coated approach and be quite frank about each stage as I went through it. Experiencing pregnancy during a pandemic, I have been able to share quite a unique perspective. One filled with honesty about the advantages of being hidden at home dealing with the plethora of symptoms, whilst also struggling with the distance from friends and family and having to attend hospital appointments alone.
My hope is that my honesty will give others in the same position some reassurance. My blog now gives me the opportunity to share experience and build trust. Giving people a space to find information which they can rely on and find comfort in. Something to read when they feel worried or are simply exhausted and in need of confirmation that they’re not alone. Even a place to find the confidence to grow their own understanding of pregnancy and birth beyond the information which their doctor provides. Something I couldn’t do freely without a platform of my own to speak on.
In the blogging world, my blog is just a baby. For now, I receive a modest number of views from readers who seem to find the subjects I write about of interest and, more importantly to me, of help. Growth is happening daily for me though and I want to make sure that as my influence, for want of a better word, becomes greater the content which I share is honest and reliable.
For many years there was a focus on conveying a perfect persona and life online. This is changing dramatically for the better as we all look for the more relatable truth behind an individual. Expectation vs reality is no longer just a meme. It is the perspective that many now strive to provide.
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