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June 5, 2018

Becoming a mum for the first time can be isolating. One solution is to build your own community online. We speak to three mums who have done just that...

words Emily Bell  

Becoming a parent turns your life upside down. Even if you have spent nine months preparing for it, reality is nothing like your expectations. Welcome to a kaleidoscope of raw emotions, hard labour and sleep deprivation - a combination usually reserved for torture experiments. As a parent, once your partner goes back to work and you're doing the late night feeds or naptime solo, it's easy to find yourself out of your depth, in need of likeminded advice. Where do parents go? They go online. 

We get the inside story from three Kiwi mums on their parenting journey. By sharing their own experiences, they are connecting women around the country through daily posts on Instagram, Facebook and their personal blogs. Our first mum in the series is a Wellington based blogger and mum to Baxter and Lily. Jess runs the blog 'new mum club', which is a motherhood and lifestyle blog. We caught up with Jess to see how life online and running her successful blog has helped her as a mother and as an individual. 

Jess Bovey 

My career has meant that social media has always been present in my life, but it wasn't until I was pregnant with my first child that I discovered truly how much advice exists on the internet. Don't get me wrong, my friends and family were and always have been a huge support network to me, but writing really helped get it out. I started blogging to write open and honestly about my experiences with postnatal depression. I found a lot of mums experience similar emotions, but no one talked about it, it was such a taboo subject. 

I set the blog to private, unpublished, with absolutely no intention of publishing it to the wide and critical world - I didn't want to be a 'blogger'. It was purely thought extraction, but eventually I showed it to my colleagues and they encouraged me to publish. From there, it went a little crazy. A few posts went viral, which I really didn't expect.

As a mum talking and connecting with other mums can be so helpful. 

Social media has give us another option, has changed the way we connect. We can meet up with people not only in the physical world, but in the digital one. When you're up throughout the night with your little one, you'll find many other mums will be, too. There's a really good sense of community, especially if your babies are around the same age. You feel like you aren't alone. 

As more people visited my blog and Facebook page, I realised I wasn't the only one going through this. This encouraged me to start 'the mum hub', a closed Facebook support group for mothers as it became apparant that lots of other mums needed an outlet, too. I wanted to take the attention away from me and give them something back. Since then, the group has grown in numbers (currently 28,000 mums) and I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. 

Follow Jess and her story here.

Join 'the mum hub' here. 

Visit her Facebook blog, here


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