• Feminism

    The Signs of Controlling Behaviour – Red Flags and How to Spot Them

    If we were able to teach young people to recognise the signs of controlling behaviour, the ‘red flags’, would we be able to protect them from abusive relationships? If we were to teach children in schools how to spot a controlling person, would be help save them from misery and self-doubt? If we talk openly with friends about the ‘red flags’ would they recognise their own relationships and find the strength to walk away? I hope so. For this reason, I am writing two blog posts today. One for adults, here on this blog, and one for tweens and teens on Jump! Mag When writing for kids, I am very concious of…

  • Feminism

    A Survivor’s Story – We Believe You

      This interview with a domestic abuse and rape survivor shows the importance of the Mumsnet We Believe You campaign. Read the posts of other bloggers and rape survivors on our blog hop, follow the discussion on Talk and join in the chat on Twitter, using #WeBelieveYou  (Trigger Warning) How did you meet your ex? What attracted you to him? I met him on a night out.  His friend approached me on his behalf and forced an introduction. I wasn’t at all physically attracted to him but he had a gentle voice and a kind of vulnerability about him. I remember thinking that he seemed gormless ;-).  He told me he…

  • Feminism

    Happy International Women’s Day

    Traditionally in Germany, the women take over the country on Weiberfastnacht – the last Thursday before Lent. As part of the Karneval celebrations, this day is the official start of the carousing. Our first year in Düsseldorf, I was amazed to see a grown man dressed as a teddy bear buying rolls in the baker at 7am. On my way home, I saw other adults in fancy dress, all heading for the train station to go into the town centre for the 11.11am kick off. The women storm the town halls – literally, using ladders – and cut of the ties of any men they meet to symbolise taking the…

  • Social Media

    Social Media Fatigue

                Do you have an account with any of the following services:   Twitter, Facebook, Mumsnet, Britmums, Linkedin, Klout, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Flickr, Vine, AskFM, Kik… If you have answered “Yes” more than four times then you are in danger of Social Media Fatigue.   I have accounts with 10 of these services, although I really only use Twitter, Facebook, Mumsnet, Pinterest and WordPress. I use Blogger to comment on Blogger blogs, and very rarely use YouTube except to watch videos. I realise that Mumsnet is not a typical “Social Media” website, but I included it as it is one of the ones that send most people to my blog, via the Bloggers’ Network.…

  • Miscarriage

    My Silent Miscarriages – A Guest Post

    Sarah, my guest blogger today, talks about the care she received during her missed miscarriages. A missed miscarriage is one where the baby stops growing but the body does not recognise this. Most missed miscarriages are discovered when the woman goes for a scan. Some women have experienced pain or bleeding and may already suspect something is not right. For some women, like my previous guest blogger (also confusingly called Sarah), it comes as a complete surprise. Please help us spread the word. It is not right that women should have to pay for private reassurance scans if there is a risk of a miscarriage. This is all very well…

  • Miscarriage

    Mumsnet Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care

    ‘How is the new Mummy this morning then?’. The words could not have hurt more. I turned my head away from the breakfast bearing hospital auxiliary. She had obviously not been informed that I was on the labour ward for a D&C, not to give birth. Was it not enough that I had to see heavily pregnant women waddle down the corridor ahead of me, hear their puffing and groaning, and later hear the cries of their newborn babies in neighbouring rooms? On leaving the ward later that morning, I looked at my feet rather than into the excited eyes of flower laden fathers, on their way to visit their…

  • Miscarriage

    Mumsnet Campaign – Kick Off Thread – Lets Get Blogging

    The campaign kicks off on Monday, 10th October and will carry on throughout the week. The aim of the campaign is to highlight the reality of miscarriage, often a taboo topic, brushed under the carpet of life. It is estimated that every third woman will at some time in her life suffer the loss of a pregnancy. It is sadly not unusual, and it is time that we talked honestly and openly about what miscarriage means and how we can help women who suffer from one. Particularly the extremely different standards of care offered by health care trusts across the country should be scrutinised and a Code of Care introduced.…

  • Parenting

    Do You Have a Parenting Philosophy – Your Children are not Your Children

    Attachment Parenting, Benign Neglect,  Authoritarian, Helicopter Parent, Tiger Mum – which one describes your parenting method best? Can you put a name to your Parenting Philosophy, explain it in two or three words?   In those first hazy months of parenthood, many of us read books on parenting. We search for answers, for reassurance, for advice. Or we use websites such as Mumsnet, Netmums or Babycentre. Perhaps you already had an idea of the kind of parent you wanted to be, and found that the reality of parenting was slightly different to the theory.   I can recall being indignant at my husband’s Grandmother, because she told me that when…

  • Feminism

    Waxing Children – Bannatyne vs Mumsnet

    When is an acceptable age to allow your daughter to wax? And would you take her to a salon to have this done? Tricky question, and one I have been pondering this morning since reading on Twitter that Duncan Bannatyne has taken umbrage at the comments made by Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts, about his spa offering waxing to 13 year old girls. Linking to the article in the Daily Star, Bannatyne posted   I am disgusted to see Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts saying mothers should not have individual choice of how to bring up daughters   What Justine actually said was   You’d hope there’d be a longer period of…

  • Parenting

    Coping with an Interfering Granny

    It is a topic touched on with some regularity on Mumsnet, and I am sure on other parenting websites. Mothers, and in particular Mother-In-Laws. MILs.  Not a day goes by without a MIL bashing thread, some of them justified, many not. A few years ago,  I visited a colleague who had just given birth to her first child – in Mumsnet speak a PFB – Precious First Born. She told the tale of the in-laws’ visit. How horrified she was when MIL suggested giving her grandson a drink of apple juice. How angry she was when MIL just “picked baby up and waltzed out into the garden with him”. I…

  • Social Media

    Using Social Media to Increase Readership on Your Blog

    Following on from yesterday’s post about starting blogging, this post is about increasing your readership, particularly with the usage of Social Media.         When I started blogging, there were not really many outlets to get my blog out there. I picked up some readers here and there, more through sheer coincidence than any actual plan. Occasionally someone would comment on my blog, and I would be pleased that someone was actually reading it. Since I started using Twitter to promote my blog, I have gained a lot of readers. And more people comment, both on the blog or on Twitter. And let’s be honest, that is what…

  • Blogging

    MummyBlogger, Mumpreneurs, CyberMummy

    I was reading the article in the Independent about Cybermummy and it brought back to me how much I dislike the clumping together women bloggers who happen to have children in a “Mummy” package. I blogged about my dislike of the MummyTummy tag last year. Now, I have nothing against those who organised and attended the Cybermummy conference, it sounds like it was great fun and very informative and there are a few of my online “friends” who attended. I do object to the “mummyfying” of women. When did you ever hear of a man described as a DaddyBlogger or a Dadpreneur? Why is it just women who are defined…

  • Fundraising

    Remembering Anabelle

    Last year I got to “know” a blogger called Caz, a Mumsnetter whom I joined in protesting against the Eastenders cotdeath storyline. You may have forgotten the furore that followed the broadcasting of the episode where a mother discovers her son, lifeless in his cot and on the spur of the moment decides to swap her baby for a neighbour and friend’s living child. The storyline has ended, the characters have moved on but for some parents there was no happy ending. Their baby was not revealed to be alive, and living in the house of a mentally ill woman. Their baby was never coming back. For parents it is…

  • Mumsnet

    Nigel Farage’s speedy exit from Mumsnet

    Nigel Farage’s much anticipated webchat on Mumsnet has just ended. It is fair to say that the UKIP leader has managed what no other politician has achieved – to completely alienate the posters of Mumsnet. I would imagine that the chance of a Mumsnetter voting for him is about the same as the likelihood of them deciding that they actually don’t like Boden, and fruit shoots are not that bad really, and why don’t we nip into Greggs for a sausage roll on the way home. Nigel not only termed Italian politics “sexy” at a time when the Italian President is facing charges of sex with an underage prostitute, he rejected…

  • Mumsnet

    Mumsnet. A online website for parents – full of bullies?

    Sometimes a well intentioned act can go terribly wrong.  This morning I read an article in the Times Online about the 40 best bloggers. One of the blogs was amusing and I linked to it on Mumsnet, asking if the blogger was a Mumsnetter. Turns out that she is not, and not everyone liked her blog. She quickly took offence and accused MNetters of bullying her.  For a while, as some more people agreed that her blog was indeed funny, she seemed to calm down and started a lighthearted banter with some other posters.  No idea what happened next, she suddenly realised that MN was not for her, too unkind,…