Before falling pregnant, and entering this wonderful community of mummy bloggers, I have to say I was a little sceptical.
Not sceptical about the support or kindness shared amongst this group (which I've been moved at times by) but sceptical of the influence of this group.
Having worked in PR for a number of years, we've always (well in the last five years really) worked on various campaigns targeting mummy bloggers.
I've sat through many a presentation about the value of this community for brands. They say, 'third party recommendations from a trusted source (i.e. mums) are far more valuable than adverts, PR led articles and so on.
I never questioned this as such, but I never fully understood how powerful these recommendation are.
As mentioned in my early posts, I've recently planned a (rather large) wedding.
Whilst I took advice from my mum, friends, family, some blogs and magazines... It essentially was a large event, which I'm used to planning. I therefore knew I was more than capable of putting on a pretty cool, elaborate wedding with little aid from outsiders.
Pregnancy and babies are a different kettle of fish altogether. This world is entirely alien to me. Yes, I've read the books, downloaded the apps and asked every medical person I can get my hands on every question under the sun... But it's not quite the same as hearing something directly from the voice of (recent) experience.
Last night a friend text me (she's a pregnant mum) and asked if I'd had my jabs yet?
I've not even thought about jabs and no one medical has so much as mentioned this to me??
One Tweet later and I was full of reassurance from 'the voice of experience'. A dozen or so messages, all offering roughly the same, calm, thoughtful advice (I like getting lots of the same answers, it's very comforting)
My new found passion for blogging (something I never thought I'd do) has opened me up to a world of caring, interesting and knowledgeable women.
It works two ways too. I don't claim myself to be an expert by any means but my research throughout my pregnancy (in all areas, from development through to maternity wear) have made me a source of knowledge for my 'newer' pregnant friends.
I actually feel proud when they call me for advice, as it's made me realise that I too am an influencer.
I now feel like I do PR for the entire mummy blogging community as everywhere I go I rave about it.
All the non parents in my office (almost everyone) are ready to set up their blogs as soon as the stalk visits (I'm now worried I've brainwashed them!!!)
This blog post is less of a musing, and more of a thank you to all of you for welcoming me into your world with open arms. Now that you've got me... You'll struggle to get rid of me ;-)