The Jean Hailes What Were We Thinking blog is looking for new Mums and Dads to blog about their experiences as they take their first hyped and panicky steps into parenthood and here’s why I think it’s a great idea… 

This is a sponsored post

If you’d asked me what social media was when our first born boy Archie wailed his arrival through the halls of The Royal Women’s Hospital I would have hummed and harred a little and then said, ‘Leaving your newspaper for the next guy in a public toilet cubicle?’ I would have guessed that blogging had something to do with Queenslander farmers in steel-capped gumboots stomping through the paddocks to cull cane toads.

I didn’t have a Facebook account or a Twitter account or anything remotely similar (I hardly even texted!) and blogging only came along after Archie turned two, while six month old Lewis was exercising his twenty-four hour clinginess by screaming and walrus-humping his way around the house until he was sitting triumphantly in my arms.

Apart from the support Reservoir Mum and I provided for each other I did the first two years without any form of cyber support and turned to several books, which – apart from the excellent Up The Duff – left me feeling like a parenting douchebag because they all seemed to imply that parenting was as easy as following a routine or a formula or toeing the line according to some theory.

Not long after my first blog post I discovered that there was a whole new world of actual parents out there offering support in the form of shared experience. There was an exchange of ideas, sure, and suggestions were offered when questions were asked, but mostly it was what I received from just reading about the day-to-day of other parents that turned it into such a wonderful lifeline.

I read stories of sleeplessness, rants about teething, moments of despair regarding a sick baby, concerns about toddler-proofing the house, struggles with intimacy between partners, success and failures around introducing solids, worries about trips to a paediatrician, first pumps and tears for the milestones and just the validation that so many others found the job as difficult and amazing and terrifying and suffocating and liberating as I did.

storks

Blogging and social media have given me so much over the past seven years by providing me with access to the stories of others. It’s something I’m extremely grateful for and as a way of saying thank you I continue to do one of the most generous things I can think of – I put my story out there as well. What an exchange!

By signing up to Jean Hailes What Were We Thinking Program and blogging your early experiences of parenthood you’ll not only be contributing to a great body of existing knowledge you’ll also be exchanging your stories and providing the kind of support I wish I had when I was first stepping into the freaky, frustrating and fun world of parenthood!

Let me know once you’ve sign up and start posting. I’d love to share your story as well!

~~

Jean Hailes is a not-for-profit organisation providing health services for women across Australia, from adolescence to midlife and beyond.

If you are a new or expectant parent with a baby under six months of age What Were We Thinking would love your contribution. WWWT is an evidence-based blog that acts as an intervention and prevention measure, promoting and supporting the mental wellbeing of new parents. The blog relies on the diverse experiences of the parent bloggers. If you’d like to share your experience and exchange stories with others visit the team here and email your interest to  WWWTblog@jeanhailes.org.au