Welcome to The Nine Month Hug! I'm Shaz, and I'm a writer. I've never written a parenting blog before though and never had any ambitions to write one. Instead, I'd like to think of this as a motherhood blog. Why? A few reasons.
1. I won't be parenting in the same way forever
Have any mothers or fathers out there noticed that you just get used to one stage and you feel like you've got this parenting lark straight in your head, and then they only go and grow up and change? And you have to learn a whole new bunch of stuff for the new stage of their life. That's pretty much how it feels for me all the time. I can't label my blog as a parenting blog because I feel like I'm always playing catch up.
2. Who am I to give advice?
I know that most parenting bloggers aren't setting out to give anyone advice, or to preach, but a lot of them do offer tips. I wouldn't dare try to tell anyone how to raise their child, and nor would I criticise one style of parenting. I've been on the receiving end of "mummy-shaming" and it's not nice. We're all just doing the best we can.
3. Motherhood feels like a test I didn't study for
I'm winging it. Constantly. And you know what? I feel like I'm doing just fine with my own son, but there's no way I would know how to parent anyone else's child!
4. Where are all the motherhood blogs?
I see so many parenting blogs offering tips on how to wean your baby, or how to get your child potty trained etc. But what about a motherhood blog on how to care for yourself through the tough sleep-deprived days? Or how to balance life as a mompreneur (which is harder than being a working mother, believe me!) with being a special needs parent? Or how about a blog letting step-parents know that they're not alone in feeling like an outsider in their own family?
I should maybe introduce myself again. Welcome to The Nine Month Hug. I'm Shaz. I'm 38 and I'm a mother to an 8 year old son, a step-mother to a 28 year old woman and a 31 year old man and step-grandmother to two boys (9 and 6) and a girl (aged 3). My son has asthma, allergies and autism and all three of those things scare me sometimes because I worry about his future.
I've been a working mother and a stay at home mother. I've been a mompreneur and a full-time carer. Since becoming a mother, I've had to deal with mental health issues, physical health issues, money woes, a failed business and... *deep breath* Ten years ago, I never expected to be living the life I'm living now.
I can't give anyone any advice on how to be a better parent, or how to magically potty train their children. What I can do is tell my own story and hope that it reminds some mothers out there that they aren't alone. Maybe the way I've faced some challenges will show other women how to deal with theirs - or not deal with theirs. Probably the latter, more often than not! I don't want to review toys or team up with brands on here. All I want to offer is a good old fashioned journal that shares anecdotes and connects with other parents and step-parents.