As a relatively new addition to the parent blogging world, the chance to be included in such an illustrious competition as the MAD Blog Awards after only six months of sharing my ramblings is quite exciting. Fortunately the Best New Blog category is tailor made for newbies like me – it’s an opportunity to stick our heads over the parapet and wave our ‘New Blogger’ flags around in the hope that the seasoned writers in the big shiny castle on the hill will notice us and send some supplies.
However, being so concerned with developing my own fledgling blog, whilst juggling a full time job and a three year old (sometimes literally), I often don’t find the time to sit and read the brilliant work of others, and I think I’ve reached the stage now where I’ve realised that isn’t right. Why should I expect others to read my latest post if I’m not going to return the favour?
All of which is why making my nominations for the MAD Blog Awards was such a rewarding process. It has given me the impetus to actually click on a few links and visit some blogs, some of which I was already following the writers on Twitter but had never taken the time to visit their site – for shame!
After nominating myself for Best New Blog (don’t blame me for getting my flag out), I deliberated for quite some time about who else to choose, and ultimately came up with the following list. I urge you to check out every single one – it’s the very least they deserve.
Best Pregnancy Blog – Me The Man And The Baby
A whole new discovery for me – despite having seen Emma’s blog shared around frequently on Twitter. I’m definitely late to the party as Emma has just blogged about the birth of her third child! Looking forward to catching up.
Best Baby Blog – Two Boys One Mum
Feeling a new blogger affinity with Amy, and I’m already finding her to be a hilarious read as she blogs about having ‘two under two’. Braver than I am.
Best Blog Writer – Premmeditations
Mrboosmum writes a powerful blog about life as a parent of a premature baby, now growing up with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, showing how wonderful all our children are by sharing stories of her very special little boy.
Best Blog Photography – Dear Beautiful
Lucy has a gorgeous looking blog filled with stunning photos of her two beautiful little children, and writes lovely words to accompany them. Well worth a look – especially if you tend to only use the camera on your phone then rely on Instagram to make fancy looking pics.
Best Family Travel Blog – North East Family Fun
For a travel blog, I had to go local! Join the family on their travels and adventures around the fabulous North East of England and beyond. Mixing days out, restaurant reviews and holiday destination tips with lovely pics of the kids enjoying themselves, if you’re in need of some school holiday ideas, this is the place to go.
Best Family Fun Blog – Ghostwriter Mummy
I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the wonderful Susanne, aka Ghostwriter Mummy. A tireless charitable campaigner, awareness raiser of birth trauma, and hugely talented writer, I could have easily nominated her in more than one category. Her heartfelt posts have brought a tear to my eye on several occasions. But I chose to vote for her in ‘Family Fun’ – as a champion of learning through messy and sensory play, and with her background as a teacher, Susanne has consistently shown how play can be both fun and educational. Inspiring stuff for parents of energetic preschoolers!
Best School Days Blog – Actually Mummy
Helen of Actually Mummy sits in one of the highest towers of the experienced parent bloggers’ castle. Already an award-winner, Helen blogs about life with her 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son – who sometimes contribute posts of their own! Both well-respected and funny, Helen will be a popular nominee I’m sure.
Best Craft Blog – Space for the Butterflies
Not being particularly crafty myself, having neither the time nor the patience for anything taking more than 5 minutes to put together, I was impressed by the lovely work done by Carie, a talented knitter, which she shares on her blog Space for the Butterflies. With two cute little girls and a third baby on the way, demand for her hand-knitted children’s clothes is not likely to dry up anytime soon.
Best Food Blog – Grubby Little Faces
Clare is a mum of a 6 year old and 2 year old twins, so could be forgiven for putting in a bit less effort in the kitchen and relying on beans on toast a little too often. Far from it in fact. Clare is passionate about good home cooking, and sharing it with her children to foster a real appreciation of the food they eat is of great importance to her. Her blog is filled with yummy and, crucially, easy meal ideas for busy families. What are you having for dinner tonight?
Best Homes & Interiors Blog – Capture by Lucy
Lucy is more than a dab hand with a camera, and her blog features stunning photography of interiors ideas, crafts, food and more, all beautifully presented. Her talent makes me feel frankly inadequate.
Most Innovative Blog – Science Sparks
Science Sparks is the quite brilliant creation of Emma Vanstone and the tragically late Kerry Farrow. Emma continues to write the fun and innovative blog that provides science activity ideas for young children, to teach them about biology, chemistry and physics using everyday items for simple experiments. I haven’t visited the site nearly enough, and certainly will do more from now on.
Best Thrifty Blog – Slummy Single Mummy
Jo’s blog is a brilliant mix of parenting, reviews and short rants about life’s various irritants. Her posts will not only give you some great consumer tips, her pro-blogger status also makes her an authority on making money from your own blog, something I’m sure most of us wouldn’t say no to.
Most Entertaining Blog – Wry Mummy
A fellow new blogger, Wry Mummy Jess is hilarious to the point of making me have to suppress a laugh-snort whilst reading her blog on my lunch break in the office. Read and enjoy – just not in polite company.
Blog of the Year – Edspire
There was no other option, in my opinion. Over the last 12 months Jennie has written the most compelling posts, with the most beautiful photographs, with the most touching sentiment, with the darkest of rainclouds hanging over her the whole time. The little legacy of Matilda Mae, the wonder of seeing twins Esther and William grow and play, and the glimmer of light in the form of a precious rainbow baby have drawn me back to Jennie’s blog time and again, and will continue to do so. It is a real tragedy that only the loss of Baby Tilda brought Edspire to my attention, as Jennie deserves every ounce of recognition for her writing talent alone. She would be a truly worthy recipient of this award.
And so there we are. My nominations for the MAD Blog Awards. The brilliance of these awards, as I have written in a previous post, is the sheer diversity of blogs being included, each one individual and appealing to different readers. These are just a handful of the blogs I admire. To name but a few more I could easily have nominated but simply ran out of categories:
Complicated Gorgeousness – beautifully written and often funny blog by the lovely Alison about parenting and raising a child with additional needs – her wonderful son Gabriel. Alison wrote a #BloggingForChange guest post for me recently.
Life As A Widower – heartbreaking blog of Ben, a father living with the grief of losing his wife in tragic circumstances and raising their young son. Powerful and inspiring.
38 Line Poem – Rick blogs about raising his son Isaac, who was born prematurely and now lives with cerebral palsy, and has ongoing complex care requirements. Rick writes about the care his son receives in the NHS, notably surrounding the ‘6Cs’ Compassion in Practice initiative, and has recently spoken at the NHS Innovation Expo about his experiences.
Not Even A Bag Of Sugar – Written by the wonderful and tireless Kylie, Not Even A… started out as a means of recovering from her experience of having a very premature baby at 27 weeks in 2009 following pre-eclampsia (a condition I am more than familiar with!). As baby Joseph has grown, the blog has continued, and is a great source of advice and support for families in similar situations. Kylie does a lot of charity work and awareness raising and I have a huge amount of respect for her.
I could go on. But I should stop somewhere.
Nominating in the MAD Blog Awards has truly opened my eyes to the world of blogging I now live in. I’m definitely going to walk around the neighbourhood a bit more often.