THEY share both good and bad news, helpful tips and much-needed advice. Many have not even met but have forged a bond brought on by sharing the joy and challenges of parenthood.
Parent bloggers, as they’re known, are an increasingly strong presence on the Internet, a community of people who write about everything and anything to do with parenting and raising a family in today’s high-pressured environment.
“Parenting has changed so much and the challenge of being one today and raising a happy, stable child is tremendous,” said Chan Lilian.
The mother of four from Penang, who started blogging in 2004, is a firm believer in learning and sharing from other parents.
Chan was among 120 parent bloggers who showed up for a gathering organised by Nuffnang Malaysia and Frisco Gold Growing Up Milk on Nov 29.
The event was an opportunity for blogging parents and their children to meet in person and catch up with one another after friendships formed online.
Chan first realised the immense comfort and relief that other parents could provide after the death of her fourth child, a premature baby.
Despite wanting to join a support group for other parents who had lost a child, she couldn’t find one in Malaysia and eventually signed up with an online group based in the United States.
“Losing a child is the most traumatic episode that any parent can undergo. I’ve always been a strong person but the incident not only changed my perspective on life but made me realise the importance of sharing my feelings with others,” said Chan.
She eventually started a similar support group for Malaysian women in 2002.
Chan blogs about all kinds of parenting issues, including the challenges and frustrations of being a stay-at-home mum.
For many women, taking the step of quitting their jobs and staying at home for their children can be the most pivotal decision they ever make, she said.
Chan struggled with this when she decided to become a full-time mother after the birth of her third child and has shared her experience of doing so on her blog.
Chan said many women worry that they may lose their identity and confidence or that they would end up craving for adult conversation after being around children the whole day.
“The ability to share with others through a blog can make a lot of difference. For stay-at-home mums, it’s an outlet to communicate with other adults and you feel like you’re not alone. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Chan also blogs on youth-related issues, politics and topics involving women as these too affect the family unit.