Ok, so after much deliberation, I’ve finally decided to do it!
You see, as a newcomer to this blogging world I don’t really know what the protocol is for this kind of thing.
I mean, just over two years ago I didn’t even have a social media account!
That’s not to say that I was a complete numpty (although I admit I do have many blonde moments🤦♀️) but rather at that time period I was in a very difficult place.
My daughter had entered reception, her behaviour had become explosive and I felt under the spotlight wherever I went.
My Facebook feed was full of happy family shots, or nights out and then special achievements of children that were not mine.
Then there was me.
At home, feeling not worthy and as if my life was the complete opposite.
So I chose to come away from it altogether and start afresh.
I wanted to just feel happy as I was, with my own little brood, and to stop comparing.
It just wasn’t healthy.
Then I wrote something to myself about how different my life felt and sent it to two of my very special friends.
They both were emotional and said I should publish it online.
And that’s how I created PDA Parenting.
After a few posts I realised that if anyone was going to read them then I needed to be brave and start facing social media once again.
I stayed very incognito, hidden under the pseudonym of PDA Parenting for a while, whilst I tested my way forward.
I was scared if anyone saw they would know it was me and what would they think?
And then something changed.
You see, I found it gave me a way to communicate to others how I felt.
It helped me to find my own tribe.
And most of all it helped others to understand my child better.
Our lives have slowly improved as a result.
This year I even got to meet Gethin Jones.
I confidently introduced my name as Danielle and the blog I write, PDA Parenting, to which he said he had read and talked excitedly about!
I don’t feel so worried about what anyone thinks anymore – the fear has subsided.
However, I do still need to learn the craft of blogging and most of all I have to face the awkwardness when I want to rally support.
To be honest I think it’s just a British thing don’t you? 🤷♀️
So here it goes … *coughs nervously!*
I found out about the upcoming BritMums Awards 2018 (#BiBs2018) from a lovely blogger, Steph’s Two Girls, who has become more than an inspirational PDA blogger to me – she has become a good friend.
The nominations are now open for bloggers to be celebrated in their own field and I have received a nomination.
I was beyond excited!
This year I also made it to the finals of the BAPS Awards (a ceremony that focuses on SEN writers) and I can honestly say it was amazing.
I didn’t win but that wasn’t the important part.
I was there.
In that room.
Full to the brim with other writers who were being commended for their work so far and it gave me goosebumps of the possibilities that lay ahead.
I felt passionate that this actually means something. It’s not just my thoughts on pen and paper it can make changes happen.
After meeting with our MP a few weeks ago (read here for the press release) I really began to get excited that we ARE actually making a difference.
And although my goal, primarily, is to get PDA universally recognised, at the same time it is also to ensure all children with SEN get a fair chance to succeed.
So when I ask for PDA Parenting to be nominated, please consider other SEN writers in the process.
If SEN Bloggers can make a mainstream event then it will help to raise disability awareness for any child that is vulnerable and that will be a win in my eyes.
If you feel that you would be happy to nominate this blog, then here is a link to an entry form.
I am hoping to be nominated in the option for ‘Fresh Voice’ but any of the categories would be so well received, I guess that’s just the category I thought I could do better in!
To do it, now here comes the technical bit, these are the fields that need filling out:
Blog Name: PDA Parenting
So that’s it … all done 😉
I’m hoping that the cute picture of the girls might wing it for me (I seem to have gathered two extra children somehow and anyone new may assume that I am indeed a baby factory🙊).
I will no doubt shout about it far and wide if we do get shortlisted, but for now I just want to thank everyone for reading this blog, for all of the shares that you do and also for all of the nominations and votes we have had so far this year.
From the bottom of my heart … thank you.
I am truly grateful 💕
Much love, Danielle x