We’ve survived another year, 2017 is over and 2018 has begun. All without certain world leaders getting at the nuclear codes, and after gaining some new debatable words into the dictionary. For us, it’s been a mish-mash of a year. I really like the framework of Where Wishes Come From 17 from 17, so here’s a look at the BadMammy Year That was 2017 – how was it for you?
1. Most Popular Post
My most popular post of 2017 (that was published in 2017) was in July (as was the one which directly follows it) – my list of 17 True Crime Documentaries for Netflix Detectives. I’m a true crime junkie at heart, poor Dillen sleeps with one eye open, and it seems that lots of others are the same!
2. Post I Am Most Proud Of
While the True Crime post was my most popular, it was closely followed by another July addition, this time my myth busting post about the lies being peddled by Youth Defence in the debate about the 8th Amendment. This was a post I was very proud of, as it was fully researched, and got a lot of feedback (both negative and positive), which not only showed me that people were reading, but also that they were getting something from my content. It’s a really important thing to me that if people are to gain an opinion on something that they consider all of the evidence before making up their minds, and from the interactions I had after it, it seems that this was a help to some in gathering that information. Yay for research!
3. Favourite Photo
This one is actually a really tough one to pick. I’ve been trying (trying!) to concentrate a bit more on my Instagram this year. It’s grown to just under 1000 followers at the start of the year 2018 and I’m hoping to expand on that this year. This one from over the Summer is definitely up there though; that cookie being bigger than his head made for a very cute photo.
4. Best Adventure
By a landslide, our trip to South Africa. We went on holiday to visit Dillen’s extended family who all live in beautiful Durban, South Africa in late September. We were lucky enough to get a few days to ourselves in Cape Town, with Eliott left in safe hands in Durban. As a result, we got to get to the top of Table Mountain, I discovered cable cars are less scary than ferris wheels, and we even wound up hiking up Lions Head. We didn’t quite make it to the very top, but that’s a job for next time. And there will definitely be a next time – it’s a beautiful country I plan to make many return trips to.
5. Finds Of the Year
Definitely, DEFINITELY, the Tile Mate. If you, like me, can’t find your keys at the best of times, you NEED one of these in your life. I’ve just gotten a new one and am filled with the being-able-to-call-my-keys-again joy.
6. Most Common Theme
This year I wrote a lot more about health issues, in particular, chronic illness and invisible illnesses. If you’ve read this blog ever before, you’ll know that these are two pet topics of mine, purely as someone affected by both. For the last few years, I’ve been documenting my life with chronic pain, depression and various other health fun things that have made my doctor richer and my immune system probably hate me.
I’ve run a series dedicated to Mental Health posts from other parents, and set up a Chronic Illness Parents group over on Facebook. I’ve wanted to get people talking, because as someone who has (and is wearing) those shoes, it’s a bloody lonely place to be at times and reading that someone else feels the same way is incredibly uplifting in those dark moments. As well as Chronic Illness, I did also write a bit about the importance of cervical check smears, and what exactly happens when they don’t come back as you wish they would – which again, was another fun rollercoaster ride this year.
7. My Favourite Title
Definitely Slaying the Dragon: A Car Insurance Renewal Saga. A tale of defeating the dastardly beings of insurance companies who seem to pick out figures from the air, and add some commission on top. Those of you who have faced a renewal charge that made you draw a tear may enjoy this one.
8. My Scariest Post To Publish
This blog is where I’ve written extensively about my journey with postnatal depression, but I’m always a little bit afraid hovering over the Publish button on the really personal posts where I admit that I’m feeling like a failure. To err is human, to fail is a fuck up, and all that. So my post earlier this year about how living with my three-year-old was defeating me was definitely one I hummed and hawwed over pressing publish on. I felt like other parents might judge me, that perhaps I was just shit at this and others would KNOW. But, as seems to happen 99% of the time, I’m wrong about these things, and people were (and are) lovely and said lovely things that perked me up for another day of battle.
Closely following behind that was my struggle with financial dependence, because I assumed (and was correct) that I’d have “Oh isn’t life terrible for you, with your supportive partner” type comments – admittedly, those were people responding to a radio station interview I did on the topic. Mostly it was cathartic and above all, it engaged with a lot of people who silently feel this way but feel they can’t say it for fear of being thought to be ungrateful for what they do have.
9. My Milestones
Hitting 100,000 pageviews was quite nice. I’m definitely small fry when it comes to this blogging thing, but it’s definitely a milestone I didn’t think I’d see when I was just writing to express my frustration at being housebound in 2014. I celebrated by changing things up around here – my theme and my logo got a bit of a makeover. The theme came from Pipdig, and had been one I’d been admiring for a while. The logo I did myself using Canva, which I’m quite proud of. I’ve had a few people asking what professional I got to do it for me, which is always nice.
10. My Favourite Freebie
This year was the year of the book at BadMammy HQ. I signed up to Netgalley which meant I got advance review copies for my Kindle of lots of lovely books I’ve mentioned this year, including Marian Keyes “The Break” which I adored. I’ve also been sent some rather lovely books by the people of Quercus which will be reviewed in the next week or two and may have a giveaway attached to them, if you’re sticking around.
11. Best Blog Moment
Hitting the little (and large) milestones, and successfully re-jigging the blog with a whole new look without any help. Yay for not actually breaking the internet (Kim K definitely can keep that title).
I also got asked to speak at a forum in Cork University Maternity Hospital about Maternal Mental Health, after one of the organisers came across my blog and liked what she saw. I was incredibly chuffed to be asked, very VERY nervous, but really happy it’s something I did and got to tick off my list this year.
12. Worst Blog Moment
Probably dealing with the amount of abusive comments and social media interactions I received after publishing my myth-busting post about the lies being peddled by Youth Defence about the upcoming referendum. It’s a piece I am incredibly proud of writing, because it seemed to speak to and inform so many people. I do love me a fact-filled piece. However, the reaction, while mostly positive, really did have some nasty, nasty characters. Being told that my son would grow up ashamed of me, among other things, definitely stung. People of the Internet in 2018: if it’s something you’re not going to say to my face, writing it online probably isn’t the best choice to make.
13. My Favourite Search Term Used To Find Me
“Why Does George Pig Not Begin With A P” or “Why Is Paw Patrol Addictive”. It appears that yet again, I’m Queen of the Kids TV questions.
(We’re going to ignore all the ones who are clearly looking for very different types of “Bad Mammy”. Ahem.)
14. My Best Move
I went from Blacknight to GoDaddy for hosting after a lot of faffing about and getting emails saying I’d have to pay a lot more for my hosting because of traffic and bandwidth I was using. As I’m in no way a big player, I didn’t believe that it was going to be worth paying over the odds for my hosting so I shopped around and found a solution which was much better for me, which I wrote about here.
15. What I Learned in 2017
Ferris Wheels are Way Scarier Than Cable Cars Up To Really Tall Mountains.
Three Year Olds Are Scarier Than Two Year Olds.
Yeah, it’s been a whole learning curve. Here’s to even more learning in 2018.
16. What My Blog Did For Me in 2017
It gave me more of a voice for things I’m passionate about. In June, I spoke to a room full of incredible professionals and those interested in the subject of perinatal and postnatal depression about my actual lived experience at a talk set up by INFANT in CUMH. In September, I spoke to a crowd at a demonstration ahead of the March for Choice in Cork about how the 8th Amendment affected my pregnancy and my childbirth experience. I’ve used my voice to talk about issues that I am passionate about, things that are important to me, and most importantly affect others who may not have that platform to speak out on. That voice has been given to me by this little blog here, and it’s something I am inherently grateful for.
17. What Has Most Surprised Me This Year
For something that I consider a hobby, just how difficult I can find it to sit down and actually write! I’m good at procrastinating, and finding other things to do or watch, instead of fleshing out the million and one drafts I’ve to do. It’s on the to-do list to improve on this year (or at least to delete some of the over-100-full draft folder I’ve got going on here).
So, that was my 2017, how about yours? Let me know what your highs and lows were in the comments below, and what you’re most looking forward to in 2018!
If you want to contribute to the linky, Sadhbh is running it over on Where Wishes Come From here.
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