Ask Me Anything

Charlotte O'Shea

Following on from my “Ask Me Anything” post on my instagram, and the majority of questions being answered on Rock My Style yesterday, I wanted to feature the questions that related directly to parenting on Rock My Family.

The Rock My Wedding book “Your Day Your Way” is released on Thursday so it’s a significant time for us – the header image is a little snippet of Mabel and Lottie’s daughter Alice, taken from the chapter on wedding party fashion.

This blog has been live for over a year now and we’re really trying to find out what works and what doesn’t in terms of content, design and the general user experience – I’m going to go into more detail at the end of this post.

loud_slap I just want to ask have you thought if doing features especially on RMF about “non traditional” types of family…sorry I can’t think of another way to put it…e.g. Single parents, same sex couples, co-parents etc…I’m a recently separated co-parent and I’d love to share my story and hopefully help others going through a bad time see how positive it can be…I’d also love to hear the stories of others. I do feel RMF can sometimes be biased to the coupled up with 2.4 children (though I’m aware you do share warts and all re miscarriages, breastfeeding, etc which I salute!). X

pipsomalley @loud_slap while being very “2.4 children” myself (so unable to help) I agree that this would be a great feature – it’s so easy to get focussed on your own situation and forget about others’.

lottie_mvp @loud_slap you read my mind. I came across RMW when I got married, sadly it didn’t last but I love the RMF stuff but sometimes I agree it does feel a bit 2.4 children and as it’s all relatively recent would love to hear others and share mine to help others known it gets better. Also how did you find your team were they friends in some way first? Xx

Hi All!

I would agree with you. Not all of the team are married but we are all in heterosexual partnerships bringing up our children. I would love to feature more diverse family units, so if any of you want to share your story then please please do send us your submission via the “submit” button on the home page. Without submissions we can only share our personal parenting experiences – the benefit is there are a fair few of us in the team so there’s a range of opinions and viewpoints. But ultimately we are limited to our own real life situations.

Lottie – I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out but really glad to hear you are already thinking positively and want to let others know it does get better.

The team (there are now 11 of us who work for Rock My Ltd) has been built from various situations, quite a few we met via shoots or projects. Lottie baked cakes for a photoshoot, Becky did some graphic design and various decor bits and bobs for a party and Lauren (The Editor of Rock My Style) actually assisted on a few shoots too but we had featured her wedding in the past and she was randomly friends with a friend of mine. They then made themselves so indispensable we couldn’t shake them off for love nor money.

Lorna was recommended by Lauren (they used to work together), I met Lisa via my NCT classes and Fern essentially demanded a job – she was very much like a polite yet very persuasive Pocohontas that you couldn’t say no to.

Adam met Lolly on a shoot but the process was more traditional in that she was interviewed for a specific role. I discovered Laura via instagram and Laura recommended our latest recruit Amy.

There is obviously a lot of detail I’ve missed out for fear of waffling on incessantly but that’s about it in a nutshell.

kerrysjohns Hello! I would love to know your thoughts and learnings (logistically and emotionally) on balancing being an amazing mum and career lady. It’s so tricky.

Hi Kerry, this is a very interesting question. Logistically my husband and I have to be super organised, one of us has to drop Mabel off at nursery and someone has to be there to pick her back up again. We both work full time and often have to go to London for client meetings (we are based in Warwickshire) so it’s a case of keeping our online calendars up to date and inviting each other to everything, that way we know who’s doing what and where and who needs to be available to look after Mabel.

Like any parent I have days when I don’t feel amazing at all, I feel over stretched and guilty for all the time I’m not spending with my daughter. Mabel loves nursery, so I no longer feel as though she should be with me instead of with her friends (I used to feel like that, pretty much all the time). And I’m working on being much more present when she’s around – I endeavour to put the phone away until she’s in the land of nod.

I love having a career and I love being a Mum, it’s a balancing act and nothing is ever perfect but I feel very lucky to be in the position I’m in – and that even though I often work long hours, being your own boss means you can also be reasonably flexible.

jenny_journo How does one go about working at Rock My Ltd?! Also what has been the toughest motherhood challenge you’ve faced and how did you conquer it?

Hi Jenny! We always invite submissions as I mentioned in the top question, it’s the best way for us to share a wide range of experiences. As for joining on a more permanent basis we do tend to pick up folk as we go (also explained in the top question) – a bit like a travelling circus with a lorry load of props and flowers (!) but that’s not to say opportunities don’t come up. Sending in your CV and a covering email about yourself means we have it on file should anything become available.

The toughest challenge was without a doubt, going back to work so soon after Mabel was born. I don’t really believe in regrets, but I regret that. I felt torn between doing what was right for the business and what was right for my baby. The guilt was crushing and overwhelming. And actually I never really considered what was best for me.

You live and learn. If I am lucky enough to have a second child I would do things very differently.

Back to the evolution of this blog.

We’re finding it confusing as to what our readers actually want. We feel as though we do cover a wide range of topics and experiences – “Warts and all” as Loud_slap pointed out in her question above. Yet there does seem to be an undercurrent of negativity and references to “Prosecco and rose petals” or “hearts and flowers” in the comments threads, as if what we post is somehow shallow and or/not appreciated unless it’s gritty and essentially about only the very challenging aspects of parenthood.

For me being a Mum is challenging, but there is also joy. Lots of joy. Sometimes I really want to share what excellent bargains I bought Mabel from Boden. And that is my real life. As is being so tired sometimes I can’t remember my own name.

As a brand we’ve always experienced a very friendly and supportive community, and I assumed that we would continue to create this on Rock My Family. It’s got to the stage where some of the team are sometimes nervous about writing a feature, in case they are made to feel somehow inadequate. This makes me really sad.

I know there are thousands of you who’s criticism is always constructive and in general like what we do. I’m not naive enough to think you can please all people all of the time. And I see some amazing advice and sharing of ideas on a weekly basis that is rewarding to witness. I’m not even calling out those who don’t seem to enjoy the fluffier stuff – I really like Prosecco. And flowers.

I don’t want to own a blog where my own team don’t feel welcome. It goes against everything we’ve worked so hard as a brand to achieve – a place where brides, those interested in interiors and fashion or indeed parents, feel accepted and encouraged.

Ultimately I feel responsible, and I’m looking at ways we can turn things around. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past so I want to move forward from here on in. We have some new features and contributors in the pipeline and I’m confident we can make this a positive platform to be involved in. As always I welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.

Image by We Are // The Clarkes

mm

Charlotte is still determined to wear her fancy cowboy boots, even if Mabel does plaster the tassels in jam.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea

208 Comments. Leave new

I was going to ask but didn’t get organised in time, and your final answer touches on this- I wondered how you and the team cope with negativity and criticism. It’s something I really struggled with when I was working- I found it incredibly hard not to take it personally, especially when I knew I *had* made the wrong call (for me, spending months designing a holiday only to have it not sell, maybe here the slight misstep over introducing Cara so boldly). I find myself getting upset when there’s negativity here (been around on RM blogs since 2010… was a stalwart of RMF in the early days so find it sad when there isn’t the support you see elsewhere in the Empire!) and it’s not even my baby! So how do you toughen up and thicken your skin? Your answer suggests changing things up and keeping on keeping on, but it’s not that easy!

If and when I go back to work it won’t be in the same industry but I suspect I will always struggle with this.

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 9:02 am

Hi Lucy, a very interesting and relevant question. I personally have a thick skin, if I didn’t then my job would be considerably more difficult. I received a fairly severe bashing online back in the early days of writing about my wedding – some of it quite personal. Thinking back some of the comments were absolutely hilarious “I mean, didn’t her mother tell her to brush her hair before she walked down the aisle”?! ? but when the digs at James appeared, that’s when I lost my sh*t (I went online to that particular forum and responded as eloquently as I possibly could, whilst essentially telling them to do one).

It was an excellent learning experience, and actually to have it so early on set me up for the future – now I’m basically hard as nails 🙂

I think we’re very lucky overall it that it rarely gets “personal”, and on a whole we take criticism constructively, if no-one ever said what didn’t resonate with them, or what they would like to see more of, it would be difficult for us to evolve.

It’s upsetting for me when I see the team work so hard to put features together, whether it be a very moving personal experience or indeed a “shopping” type post and it’s made out to be sub standard. Like you said, it’s incredibly hard not to take it personally sometimes and thus inevitably the team do.

Of course some comments just receive an eye roll with the understanding that particular person is probably just having a bad day – and you move on, but others can be unnecessarily rude. In the past when we feel a “reader” essentially only wants to be overtly negative and for whatever reason, endeavour to undermine the team member/contributor on a continual basis, we simply block them from the ability to join in discussions. It’s a shame when it gets to this point, but I firmly believe this is necessary in order for us to try and keep RMF a supportive and positive place for everyone else.

I see changing things up as a move in the right direction but you’re right, you can’t just keep putting plasters on problems and never fully fix them, hence my post today.

You might surprise yourself when you go back to work in that you’ve built yourself up for a struggle, when in reality you are probably far tougher than you realise. I’ve found that motherhood had made me even more capable of standing up for what I believe in – I’m doing it for my daughter as well as myself.

Lots of luck and love for when you do/if you choose to return to your previous career xx

Reply

Thanks for your reply and wishes Charlotte. I remember you writing about the negativity you experienced and had it in mind when asking the question (that dates me as a reader ?) and I remember thinking then how well you dealt with it.

I’m not going back to either of the industries I’ve worked in, that’s for sure- not for this reason, but because I really want to do a job that helps other people. Looking at retraining as a midwife or social worker when the time is right. Less focus on me and more on others should help my criticism perspective!

Thanks again for your time and honesty lady xx

Reply

Lucy, as a social worker i feel obliged to make sure you know that the profession comes with all SORTS of criticism. My mantra for my world of work is “i cannot make everyone happy, i am not pizza.” (I saw it on Pinterest). Most people i work with went in to social work because they wanted to help people, and there are some situations where you do feel like you have made a difference, but it can also be a very negative experience so if you are going into it for the feel good factor, it might not meet your expectations. And it is about 70% paperwork!

Reply

Morning! I find the negativity attached to this blog in particular baffling.. I’ve said it before but the beauty of a daily blog is surely to dip in and out whether the posts relate to you or not. And it is very sad that your writers are worried about sharing their views on here. There is something about parenting that invites criticism online..

But please don’t stop the blog! I can’t give you any tips on content really. I enjoy the fact that it’s varied. The real life stories are often moving and the nursery tours and shopping posts are always varied. Personally, I’ve been up since 4am with my toddler and am on the way to work for a 10 hour day. I’d rather read about prosecco and flowers (how derogatory is that?!) than other people moaning about being as tired as me!

And speaking of Boden, I have £102 of items in my basket for Juliet’s second birthday. But she really doesn’t need all of them so today I’ll be staring at the virtual basket and deciding which ones go.. it’s going to be a tough day!

Xx

Reply

Um I too have a rather large Boden basket! Surely they do need ALL the dresses and 10 new swimsuits don’t they? xx

Reply

Yes they do! Just like my second daughter needs all of their new baby clothes despite having a large hand-me-down wardrobe from her sister… it’s all so pretty!

Reply

I am gutted Alice won’t fit in the baby collection this season. It is utterly adorable. I want it all. She would fit it for a month or two so maybe I should just buy it all…… x

Reply

I know, it’s awesome being able to choose both the baby items and the older children items! I heart Boden.. X

mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 9:14 am

Hi Jennifer! On no of course not – absolutely no intention to ever stop the blog, I just want to turn things around and move forward. The good thing about my Boden bargains is I usually love them so much Mabel really gets her wear out of them – she has this immense knitted cardigan with hood that I keep choosing over all other knitwear at the moment! x

Reply

If anyone is in Surrey and after Boden bargains, they have a clearance sale today and tomorrow at Sandown Park (where I am going as soon as I stop reading blogs!)

Reply
Rachie Mclean-Anderson
7th February 2017 9:44 am

Agh i wanted to go to this too but working today! (Only a couple of miles way!) I did however go to the white company one at Christmas and it was utter carnage!

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 9:49 am

So jealous Pips!

Reply

Ooooh, wish I was nearer. Happy bargain shopping everyone x

Reply

Thanks! That’s right opposite my house!!!

Reply

U P D A T E | O N | B O D E N | C L E A R A N C E (from someone in the car park on exit!) – 0-12 month fair amount, nothing for 1-2/2-3 year olds, goodish selection for 7+ If you’re thinking for Adult stuff – don’t bother, slim pickings.

Hoorah! Although I guess it’s good to sense check with your audience regularly! I’ve not checked out the knitwear yet for the birthday haul.. Over I go! X

Reply

Please do keep going with the blog despite the negativity you’ve experienced – I’m now 29 weeks pregnant with my first baby but I read the blog before we even started trying and it kept me focused on all the exciting stuff to come when I was suffering with horrible morning sickness (I lost half a stone and I was pretty skinny to start with!).

The blog does a good balance of gritty and fun and even when you post about brands which are more aspirational (and that’s part of the Rock My Ltd DNA), you flag special offers / sales too.

Ultimately people are going to get more personal about things involving kids and families, we are all so personally invested and somehow it seems to be more socially acceptable to criticise someone’s parenting approach then it does how they styled their wedding…

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 9:48 am

Hi Emma – thanks for your comment, really interesting, particularly what you said in the last paragraph. I’d be inclined to agree. I’m really pleased to hear that the blog has kept you focussed on the exciting stuff – lots of love and luck with the rest of your pregnancy x

Reply

Hi Charlotte
I have been a follower of RMS and RMW for years and actually jumped for joy when you introduced RMF. My 2 year old boy is a little younger than Mablel and you and your team feel like my mates with the friendliest blog I have ever come accross. I look forward to reading your posts every day and I think the content is spot on.
Sorry to feel you have all been upset by some negativity on the blog. Keep up the amazing work and really looking forward to another year of fab-ness! X

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 10:03 am

Hi Katie! This is so lovely to hear – we absolutely want to be everyone’s friend and for readers to feel we’re hear to advise and inspire, rather than judge. x

Reply

*whooops sorry for the typo on Mabel ! X

Reply

The hearts and flowers was my comment. I didn’t mean that RMF is usually all hearts and flowers, rather that is how family life can be portrayed more broadly.

As Lucy, above, being a stalwart RockMy reader from days of RMW yore, I too care about the continued evolution around here. Parenting brings out the deepest emotions in people and polarises views. While that’s a tricky field to navigate in this format it’s also interesting and worthwhile. Throw in the mix the fact that you’ve actually got to generate revenue from this (some people don’t seem to get that!), then I’m sure it becomes quite the challenge.

As a supportive observer, it’s no one view/topic/content that has caused controversy/negativity. I think it’s just the authenticity level. Thats why people love the warts and all. They can BELIEVE it, they can subscribe to it. But it’s not just that. The more lighthearted content; Shopping posts, nursery tours etc always seem to be well received if readers believe there’s a genuine curation and personal recommendation behind it all. When it feels like there’s an alternative motivation for the content (real or imagined), it’s detectable a mile off as the Rock My voice has become so recognisable that anything carrying a different influence stands out.

Given the above, that makes it tricky to find a pitch for the sponsored posts. The Tesco one for example just didn’t feel authentically Rock My. But I get that sponsored posts are a necessary evil and can be useful, I guess alerting everyone to a discounted event is useful. I think people might take more kindly to sponsored posts if they were flagged earlier on in the post rather than at the end and they were heavily curated to only products and products which truly reflect the rock my family feel. I appreciate tricky thing is that it’s the Tescos and J&Js of this world who have the marketing budgets to invest in this kind of promotion, smaller more aspirational brands may not. But even with a behemoth like Tesco, perhaps the focus could be on an appealing new line they’re stocking or an ethical family initiative they’re involved in. Above all though, people love an exclusive bargain so if each sponsored post was accompanied with a discount code exclusive to RMF readers, people might feel they’ve been rewarded for playing their part in the necessary sponsorship.

In the case of Cara’s posts, I think that was as simple as her voice being introduced without much easing in, it was straight into the close-to-the-bone before people had had chance to get what she was about and appreciate that she had a tounge in cheek, self deprecating style. I hope her reception doesn’t put anyone off contributing, and I hate to think people are reluctant to write here for fear of the reaction. As long as their content is engaging, honest and authentic it will be appreciated, I’m sure.

That’s a lot of constructive criticism but there’s loads I love, honest. I’ll make time later in the day to share all the things we love and you MUST NOT CHANGE under any circumstances!!!

Reply
Anon for fear of the haterz
7th February 2017 7:56 am

^^ what Phillipa said. ?

On a much more controversial point, please can I request more male and different ethnic groups represented? Purely because as a white middle class London lady I would love to hear different points of view from people who have different backgrounds etc.

Getting a dad as a regular contributer would be a great breath of fresh air. ?all said with love as I’m going to carry on reading whatever! Hehe!

Reply

Morning. This is definitely something we would love to include so will work on getting some different viewpoints. I also loved Ste’s recent post and the Dad perspective is such a wonderful one to include so hopefully we can have some more of these in the coming months xx

Reply

LOL at your username! ???

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
7th February 2017 9:33 am

I can certainly ask Ste if he wants to contribute more to the blog if this is what you guys would like to read…we’ll definitely look to include more male voices (as per what Lottie said) over the coming months regardless as I think if anything it adds a bit of diversity xxx

Reply

I would LOVE to hear more from Ste. His post really resonated with Gav and I’s early parenting experience. And I loved how the post felt like he just sat down, started typing and then hit publish. It was so honest.

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
10th February 2017 8:54 pm

Thanks doll; it’s so nice to hear feedback like this. I’ll certainly pass on your comments to him and perhaps this will be a more regular feature xx

What she said.

Reply

Thank you so much for all your comments today Philippa. It’s taking us some time to digest and respond to them all, there’s so many!! It’s lovely hearing everyone’s suggestions, and ultimately support for the blog so thank you. xxx

Reply

I certainly feel that since becoming a parent, I’ve become more annoyed (amongst other things at parents who have babies who sleep through the night and defensive (of babies that never have)!

The reality is that we are all relatively new at this and that includes the writers here. There are many, many ways to raise a child and every child is different. We are never going to read an article on here about our child. So therefore we need to relax. Choose an article that takes our fancy. Read through and if it’s not our way it does not mean it’s the wrong way. We would never be so openly critical, judgemental or opinionated on other areas of people’s lives so why this?

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 9:56 am

Hi Sofia – thanks for being so honest. I actually had a really interesting conversation with my sister-in-law at the weekend relating to this. She was saying she finds comfort in following Becky’s personal instagram feed as they are both suffering from sleep deprivation and managing a small baby and a toddler. It wasn’t that she wants to revel in becky’s misfortune (!) just that she would found it difficult right now to relate to those that are having a truly wonderful time and 8 hours kip a night.

Also well said: “Choose an article that takes our fancy. Read through and if it’s not our way it does not mean it’s the wrong way. We would never be so openly critical, judgemental or opinionated on other areas of people’s lives so why this?”

Reply

That should say “brands and products” ??

Reply

This is really informative, thanks Charlotte.

I’m a regular reader of the posts and comments and I would definitely take some criticism with a pinch of salt. I also enjoy lighthearted posts alongside the deeper ones.

However, I can understand some – Cara’s first article was obviously in her own style and there was a lot of defense from her fans saying ‘You don’t understand her sense of humour! You don’t read her blog! You don’t know her!’ but its not a reader’s job to research new writers. To be blunt, it’s the host’s job to introduce them in the right way. I should add I learnt that the hard way through my own work! I’m sure similarly it was a learning experience for you all, if a bit of a stressful one I imagine.

I hope your writers don’t feel scared/apprehensive about posting. Personally, I’d only comment criticism if I though it would he helpful (which I have done in the past) but comments like ‘I’m never coming back here, I think you’re rubbish now’ or similar are best ignored as they’re the commenting equivalent of a toddler tantrum.

I have really enjoyed reading some of the debates that have got going in the comments, it’s really interesting to see different points of view so I hope that side of it continues, just without snarky unhelpful comments.

And just an idea for content – not sure if you’ve ever considered doing more birth stories (sorry if you have and I missed it!) but I always find it interesting/informative to hear about different types of birth. Also Ste’s post was great, would love to hear from perspective of grandparents/siblings/aunts/uncles – my children changed my family completely so I’m sure it’s been the same for others.

Reply

“would love to hear from perspective of grandparents/siblings/aunts/uncles”
I love this idea… Especially grandparents. Being half way around the world from each other, Ethan’s Papa writes us the most beautiful emails that read like handwritten letters. It would be great to hear from someone of ‘the letter writing generation’!

Reply

This is a fabulous idea. In fact my mum is an amazing writer so I know what request she will be getting when she comes for babysitting duties tomorrow. xx

Reply

I absolutely love RMF and it is one of the few blogs (along with RMS) that I read daily; I would hate to see it go! As the parent of an 11 month old little girl, I do really appreciate the real life stories and honest writing about the tougher side of parenting, but equally I welcome the lighter posts- some of the shopping features have been massively helpful when I just don’t have the time to trawl the internet myself! I’m sorry your writers have experienced such negativity and felt compelled to let you know that I think that you all do a fantastic job!

Reply

Thank you Jen xx

Reply

Hi Charlotte, many congratulations on your book! How awesome – published author and a best selling one no less. I hope you get to take a few moments to breath it all in and revel in such a wonderful accomplishment.

In terms of RMF I think you guys get it right a lot . There are some features I flick through and don’t read because they don’t have a lot of depth to them. I’m really sorry but the Teddy Bear picnic event was just not for me however if it had been a toddlers birthday party and I were seeing real life and real emotions play out amongst the pretty (I love lots of pretty) then I’m sure I would have loved it. I am mummy to two boys under 3 years old and it is ruddy hard. I would love it if you could cover how mums and dads juggle their family life whether they work or not, the best food and drink for keep your energy up with kids, hair and make up tutorials on looking pulled together in the morning, advice on how to get veg into your toddler, advice on not losing your sh*t with your children, advice on how to incorporate ‘me’ time into your day. But also stories on bonds between a sibling – stories on grown up brothers and sisters. As well as nursery hacks, transitioning toddler into a toddler bed from a cot. Exercise tutorials and maybe some cooking tutorials for families. It would also be great to see some styled family photo shoots.

You guys do rock. Keep up the good work.

X

Reply

Morning Liz. It is hard work isn’t it? If you take a peek in our archives a lot of the topics you mention have been covered but we can definitely look in to revisiting. You’ll also be pleased to know their is a nursery DIY feature this Friday and more to come. Just in terms of the Teddy Bears picnic we have to find a balance as there were lots of amazing pictures of the kids having fun but unfortunately not all parents want their children’s pictures on the internet and that is something we have to respect. Thank you so much for your comment and I’m already adding lots of your suggestions in to our scheduling (loving the sibling bonds one) including the advice on looking together as I’d love to hear it too. I’m just about to do the school run and yet again haven’t even brushed my hair!! Have a great day xx

Reply

Hi Lottie,

Thank you for replying. Sorry yes I did mean to revisit those topics. Maybe in a different way? You guys are the professionals I’m just a mummy sticking her two pence in but I’m hoping I’m being helpful. Excellent on the nursery DIY feature. I’m struggling with decorating an almost 3 year olds room. I think Lolly covered something on the subject about her son being too old for a nursery and navigating a new type of style for an almost pre schooler.

Re: Teddy Bears Picnic. The pictures were absolutely lush and I understand the issue regarding not putting up pictures of other children. I am sure other readers enjoyed it.

Oh my goodness Lottie, I only look half decent in the morning because my husband kindly helps me with the children whilst I shower and get dressed. He’s off on a business trip for 10 days. That’s going to be interesting. So long morning shower.

I’m about to drive the boys round the block for a nap. Have a good day too. X

Reply

Good luck on your own for 10 days. It is not fun. My husband is pretty much away every week so I’ve become a dab hand at getting ready in 2 minutes (hence the non brushed hair!) whilst simultaneously making packed lunches and stuffing cheerios in their mouths!! I figure it helps with my multi tasking skills! xxx

Reply

Yes, yes! Spot on!!!

Reply

Firstly, please don’t stop the blog. Secondly, I find the negativity strange and frustrating. I love the variation of articlees- the gritty and the pretty, but there’s something about parenting that seems to invite negativity. I see it on Instagram a lot, and it’s completely unncessary. I love the real stories (I especially love a birth story), but I really like the home interiors, shopping posts (would love a focus on independent brands for toddler clothes). I’d love to hear more about mums who have changed career, some ‘day in the life’ of mums and dads who stay at home, work from home, work full time- we all do it differently, all of us right for our family, and I love to hear how different families make it work for them. Overall though, keep it up, I love the blog and read it without fail every day!

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
7th February 2017 9:38 am

Hi Anna – I actually wrote a post on independent brands almost a year ago (http://www.rockmyfamily.co.uk/top-independent-kids-brands-for-clothes-toys-interiors/) but I appreciate that this is something we need to look at again a year on. This is partly one of the reasons we created our directory – The Littles List…Check it out here (http://thelittleslist.rockmyfamily.co.uk) so that we could provide some exposure for those smaller but super gorgeous suppliers that we think the world needs to hear more about. I’ll get my thinking cap on for more posts in this vein for you xx

Reply

This is actually something I love about Rock My… so many of us have been knocking around for a while. As much as your team meets and grows organically, so do friendships and relationships between readers. Philippa and I for example met through RMW back in the day and we’re now close ‘real life’ friends. I think with a community such as this, readers like us do become invested and often your honesty and authenticity in the posts is mirrored with honesty in the comments… sometimes a hastily written one can come off as negative and it’s easy to forget how the writer on the other end may feel.

Saying that, I have seen a couple of comments recently that I’ve felt cross the line a bit into the downright rude, especially towards some of the shopping posts. We as readers feel a sense of loyalty to you guys (I think I speak for Pip here too) so when we see you take a bashing, we do feel for you! I’d have expected the majority of readers appreciate that this isn’t a ‘personal’ blog in the traditional sense, so of course there is going to be commercial content! For me, that balance is very well managed.

Now if I’m not careful, this could lead to a ramble. In short, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So don’t sweat it, we’re all here because we love reading what you all have to say.

So, on a seperate note. I would 100% encourage anybody to submit their story if they want to be heard or they feel its something that can help others. Apart from my time as a Real Bride, I’ve submitted a couple of times; I think i’m becoming brave enough to admit now that my story was the fertility and adoption piece. Doing so was the first time I’ve been honest with myself about how I really felt during that time, it was truly cathartic. I was ready to share and RMF seemed like the right (and very supportive) platform to do that. To know that it helped others along the way, and to have heard since that it’s given people strength or hope makes me feel really proud. We’re not a 2.4 conventional family and I’d love to hear from more readers who don’t fit that mould too!

✌❤xxx

Reply

What Karen said! ??

Reply

Karen, your posts were wonderful and more than that it has been amazing to share your journey with you and celebrate when you finally got your little family. You already know that the whole team actually clapped, cheered and generally felt completely emotional when we knew your adoption had been successful. It was the best news. That involvement is what’s so wonderful about our real reader stories. I love them xxx

Reply

?? amazing revelation! Well done you xxx

Reply

This is why I have so much love for you all ❤❤❤ xxx

Reply

I have to agree with all the comments of don’t stop! I don’t yet have children but they are very much ‘in the plan’ with everything crossed. What I love is the mix of the real life and tear jerkers with the prosecco and flowes, because that’s how life is, lots of lovely stuff and some really difficult sh***y stuff too! Unfortunately it appears parenting blogs illicit serious judginess (not a word!!) Which even in what feels like a safe environment some people still feel is acceptable. That said I think there is nothing wrong with healthy debate. Very sad that some people feel uncomfortable to write now because of this. Also, you guys need to make money otherwise the Rock My empire can’t continue, and I comepletly get that. Much love!!! Xx

Reply

Thanks Emma. Love that you are reading and enjoying everything already. We’ll try to keep up the real life and general chaos coupled with the odd dose of pretty xx

Reply

One thing to add… readers, let’s talk to each other more too. I see so many familiar names and voices in the comments threads but as much as we add to the discussion, it’s not often we all interact with eachother anymore.

I’d love to see that sense of community amongst readers xx

Reply

Yes Karen! ?????????? I loved your piece on fertility and adoption too, ?? to you.

I think I have surreptitiously followed lots of folks who comment here on IG though- as realised when Philippa’s fabric designs were mentioned here- I was like wait, whaaat?

Maybe a “Who Are You?” Piece!

Reply

That sounds boss! Also now I want to surreptitiously follow you on Instagram too! ??❤xxx

Reply

I totally agree with this Karen, would be super cool to get more comment threads going. And thank you for your infertility and adoption posts… I have some friends going through the very same things and it really helped me relate to them in a deeper way knowing more about the journey and challenges involved. xo

Reply

That’s so good to hear, thanks Naomi!

I feel like so many of us here have a lot in common. I see so many amazing women, we’re all stronger together and have a lot of support to give one another. Xxx

Reply

You guys are great and love that you are all making little friend groups. Such a great idea to follow everyone x

Reply

Maybe some (super relaxed) real world get togethers too?

Reply

Massive congratulations on the book – I hope you’re taking time for a big step back to fully appreciate what you’ve achieved.

In terms of developing the blog, I think you’ve established a great platform in terms of readers that are engaged – the downside is that it will invite criticism. For me, Philippa’s comments above are spot on and it’s the sponsored posts which miss it for me – Appreciate you do need to earn revenue though and I have no idea how blogs can earn sponsorship any other way so realise it’s not an easy one.

In terms of future posts, I really do think the scope for varied content is endless – i dont know how many submissions RMF get which are turned away but maybe the onus should now be on readers to submit more so the content can be more varied?!?

Reply

Hi Emma. I definitely think encouraging you lovely readers to submit will help us get a more varied overview. We actually receive very few real life submissions and all of those we have received have been featured. One’s such as the Triplets posts and the Adoption post have been amazing and experiences that we could never have written about ourselves. Equally the pregnancy diaries we share or just general motherhood have been wonderful. So everyone please do feel that you can send us your submissions as we would love to read them. xx

Reply

Hi Emma,
Thanks for your comment and for me you’ve hit the nail on the head with regards to submissions on RMF and over on RMS too. We get emailed suggestions to cover topics on RMS that we don’t necessarily have any knowledge of so we invite the reader to share their own story instead. However they either decline or unfortunately don’t respond. We love featuring reader posts – it’s one of the aspects that has been fundamental to building a community. Hopefully we’ll see more on both blogs as a result of today’s discussion x

Reply

I sent a an idea which I thought would be good content on an issue which I think many readers could relate to. I shared the personal reason for the suggestion and wanted advice from the RMF community. I wasn’t even turned away, just didn’t even get an acknowledgement!

Reply

Hi Michelle. So sorry that you haven’t received a response but I can’t find your email. Please could you resend, copying in lottie@rockmywedding.co.uk and I’ll get back to you straight away. Thanks. Lottie.

Reply

Charlotte and the team firstly just to say you do an amazing job and you are the only blog I read everyday (RMS as well). I agree with others when they say parenting forums tend to bring out people’s judgmental side but please don’t let them stop you. Yes, there are some posts I read more in depth than others but we all have different interests and children of different ages.

I love the fashion posts and would love some more mum style advice (really struggling at the moment between practical and stylish).

I’ve just recommended you to my expectant friend so keep up the amazing work.

P.s I loved Ste’s post – any more like would also be great

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
7th February 2017 9:40 am

Thanks Louise – will pass on your compliments to him xx

Reply

Just to echo this, we are just entering the second trimester and I sent my husband the link to Ste’s post, it was so refreshing to hear a really honest and open male perspective as my husband just hasn’t come across this anywhere else. I feel I am really lucky to have the perspectives of the various RMF contributors to help me through, and sometimes I feel there is a lack of info out there for men so great that you are starting to change that! xx

Reply

RMF is a weird one for me. I’ve been around RMW and RMS since the beginning and have featured on both, chatting about weddings and frivolity. Having been a regular commenter on both blogs, I was super excited about the prospect of RMF but for some reason I’ve just never really felt like I fit in here (that probably says more about me that you lovelies!)

Now I identify with different things in each of your writers and as I said the other day I do believe you guys keep sh*t real (whether I agree with your opinion or not) so it’s not that. I love a shopping post as well, sponsored or otherwise, so it can’t be that either. The only thing I can put it down to is the community not quite being the same. I don’t really know why that is but maybe Karen is on to something in her comment above… So to that end I’m going to make a conscious effort to chat to other readers more, and to follow more RMF readers on Instagram in an attempt to get to know you all a bit better.

I’m @lbmc_ if anyone’s interested in seeing pictures of grey walls, shopping splurges and a curly mopped toddler.

Reply

That’s interesting, as I find I feel a little alienated on RMS- I’m a total tomboy scruff but love reading it anyway.

Reply

Hi Lucy S ??

I’m also a bit of a tomboy scruff! I have a trainer collection to rival Kanye but find that I need to load up on the mascara / blusher to stop me from essentially looking like a bloke.

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 10:06 am

This thread actually made me laugh out loud!!!! I’m sure you both look amazing, trainers/tomboy scruff or otherwise. Excellent idea on the instagram following Lynsey and you know I’m a slave to grey (also overloading the mascara) ? xx

Reply

I’m going to follow you right now! Lucy S and I follow one another on Instagram already.. Let’s spread the movement! I’m Jennifer_hardy if anyone is interested in my ginger haired toddler of dreams!

Reply

Right back at you Jennifer!

Reply

*instastalks* I have a ginger Juliet too. It’s obviously the best thing. (I’m schehir and I’ve just added you).

Reply

Yep! I am! I’m @swaley.kw x

Reply

Those are really good candlesticks. If only I could actually find some similar from Tesco…

Reply

Hey lynsey B -Mc I may start following you just to compare curly haired babies/toddlers!

I’ve just realised how stalkerish that sounds!!

My insta is @vics12 its set to private as I got a weird porn page liking a picture of the toddler!!

Reply

I love your curly mopped little beauty and your grey walls! ???xxx

Reply

Well I’ve just been on an Instafollowing spree! Feeling the ? for all the gorgeous feeds ladies x

Reply

And I love your new Tesco (ahem Cox & Cox ahem) candlesticks! ?

Reply

Hi Charlotte,

I just wanted to say that I am really surprised to hear that your team receive negativity. I think you guys get the balance of the pretty and the gritty perfectly.

Rock my LTD is a brand and there is (and in my opinion should be!) synergy between all the platforms… with that in mind it makes sense for there to be aspirational and Instagram worthy content.

I am expecting my first in August (yup I am one of those who loves the brand so much I’ve been avidly reading from the start without having a child!) so I personally really enjoy the pregnancy diaries and birth stories because they are the most relevant to me. With that in mind it must be so difficult to decide what content to put up considering this particular audience are at different stages of their parenting journey and you need to appeal to everyone. I imagine Rock My Wedding, for example, is a lot easier to manage editorially because your audience is mostly brides to be at the same stage of their journey.

Again this is my personal opinion but one of the things I love about Rock My Family is that it makes me so excited about becoming a mum. I find some blogs only talk about the negatives and it leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m not going to be naieve enough to think that it’s all going to be easy and fun (and I don’t think think you guys convey that at all either) but it’s really nice to read about the joyful bits.

Anyway I just wanted to say I think you guys do a fantastic job so pleeeease don’t stop!

X

Reply

I agree. I also feel like why do parenting blogs always have to be “parenting is awful and you will only get through it by drinking lots of gin, let’s stick together in these dark days”. I know this can be reality but not all the time. Why can’t it be balanced with all the good stuff too and yes shock horror throw in some aesthetically pleasing instagramable prettys too, I love prosecco…and flowers…and the enabling. It’s all about balance! I think RMF achieves that balance perfectly. There are plenty of other blogs people can read should they just want the former! X

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 12:59 pm

Sarah I feel like that about some of the parenting blogs/instagram accounts too. Sometimes it is a bit rubbish and I do need gin but it’s all about balance, I’ve stopped following a few folk because continuous moaning just isn’t for me. Obviously I would never leave a comment saying “stop moaning!” so I do the right thing and just move on to follow something more positive. x

Reply
Laura Jane writes
7th February 2017 2:40 pm

I completely agree with Sarah above. There are plenty of (too many!) personal mummy blogs around that focus relentlessly on the tougher aspects of parenting and sharing woeful tales and angry outbursts of stressed out days with a toddler. These blogs obviously have a loyal following but they’re not for me. The fact that this isn’t where RMF focuses is what makes it different. Personally when I’m having a bad day struggling with the balancing act of being a working mum with two small children, I like a reminder of the positives and the more aspirational – I like to aim for the good, rather than wallowing in the bad. And that includes planning to buy pretty clothes and fanciful treats sometimes. For me the balance on here between downright real and more fun and frivolous is just right – it reflects my experience of being a mum down to a tea!

Reply

I completely agree with this. Yes there are hard bits, and it’s great to have support through the particularly hard times. But I actually find parenting pretty awesome. I am not bored or unfulfilled. And I do like pretty things.

Reply

Thanks for commenting Ellie and good luck with the pregnancy. Love that you have been reading for a while and I can promise you that although there are going to be touch times and a lot of challenges there is a whole heap of love, fun and laughter that make it all worthwhile. Just remember that at 2am in the morning!! x

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
10th February 2017 8:56 pm

Ahhh Ellie that’s such lovely feedback. Thank you for sharing!

Reply

I agree with those above saying that in terms of the negative comments, there seems to be several distinctions, firstly the flouncy snarky toddler strop ones which are best taken with a pinch of salt, and then those who are voicing an alternative view/opinion. Both are probably less prevalent on RMW/S as people are less emotionally invested.

If a post/content is not of great interest to me personally I couldn’t be arsed to comment negatively I and I’m not sure why some people do – a lot of time on their hands? But if it’s something subjective that people have opposing views on, I think it’s interesting and engaging to hear people’s alternative perspectives, even if they are divergent from the prevailing opinion. In the main, from an impartial observer’s point of view these opinions are generally expressed articulately and politely but I can imagine how they might sometimes feel like an undercurrent of negativity….

Reply

I so agree with Philippa above about the emotional investment bit! I think everyone is obvs more into doing right by their kids than doing right by their interior decor so something that goes against their taste in soft furnishings is going to get them a lot less riled up than someone doing things differently to how they do it in the parenting stakes. We parents are massively defensive about most things but a big reason is because we care so much and are constantly questioning the decisions we make. So it comes from a good place but the result is we are all guilty of being awful judgmental arses at times. I think this blog, because it’s successful and well read, will attract people’s ire when they feel “left out” for whatever reason.

I have to admit I’m an awful person – I quite enjoy a few of the snarky/critical comments on here because it’s always a TINY bit fun to see the drama llama brought out – I sit there thinking “OMG did she just…no she DIDNT…” and wishing I had popcorn. The whole Cara thing was actually RIDONCULOUS (the comments on here then the comments on Cara’s insta and the war between the two sides!) but I actually saw that as an indication of how invested people are in RMF. I had no idea though that all this drama meant the team now feel worried about posting. That is so not cool I cannot even. For every snarky comment, there are ten people reading and enjoying who don’t comment so you guys end up feeling like there’s more criticism than there actually is.

Also we don’t hand out enough praise! So here it is: RMF, you guys have been hitting it out of the PARK recently. From the post from Ste, to Lorna’s post about not having any more kids, to Charlotte’s post about getting it wrong every now and then – it’s been a real pleasure to read people’s experiences and feel ever so slightly less alone in this parenthood slog. So thanks for that. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s fab.

PS. Loving the community love, if anyone wants to follow me, I’m katinda on Insta! Will have a scroll through and add people.

Reply

Could not agree with all of this more ??

Reply

May I steal “drama llama” please! #loveit!

Reply

Completely agree, especially on the awesome content of RMF lately! Well said Kate!

Reply

Drama llama is the best!! Thanks for all your lovely words Kate x

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
10th February 2017 8:58 pm

Kate you’ve made me laugh with your comment; thank you for sharing gorgeous girl xx

Reply

I just wanted to add that I love this blog and I look to your posts for advice and guidance and I’m sad to hear that it isn’t always well received.
Everyone’s entitled to an opinion but I think for every negative comment there are many many more people loving your work but not having the time or feeling the need to comment – I definitely fall into the latter camp. So please keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let the negativity get you down ?

Reply

I’m a fan of RMF and would be sad if it went. It’s definitely not cool that some of you have felt nervous about writing or posting a post. A good reminder to us all that behind each feature is someone’s hard work, opinion, business need etc.

I was wondering whether it would be possible to have a post on two under two. , I have a 18 month and a 2 week old and would love to read a feature on someone else’s experience and also experiences from the community. I’ve tried googling and can’t find one but if there is already a feature please can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

Reply

Hi Kate, Thank you so much for your comment. We really do appreciate it. The whole two under two thing, leave it with me!! Was in that exact same situation and it’s blimmin hard. I won’t lie, it is but now a few years down the line I can honestly say having them close together is wonderful. This morning before school they sat playing together, they look out for each other and Alice just adores her big sister. That’s not to say it is great all the time but I can promise you it does get easier. It’s a delicate balancing act and I often felt like I was giving neither the attention they deserved but we’ve all come through it. This is a post I did on the guilt side of things (http://www.rockmyfamily.co.uk/second-child-guilt/) but I’ll do something on how I balanced it all and kept myself sane! Keep going and I’ll get a whole post ready for you very soon xxx

Reply

I love the second child guilt post Lottie! Really resonated with me! ?

Reply

You’re welcome. The guilt never ends does it? xxx

Reply

Oh gosh, the guilt… I read an article yesterday about automation and how many jobs won’t exist in a decade or two. Ever since I have been worrying about whether my daughters (who are two and six months) will be unable to get jobs and feeling guilty for selfishly having children into a world with such an uncertain future where they will probably be destitute and miserable.

(I may not be thinking entirely rationally)

Thanks Lottie! ???

Reply

Hi! Kate I have a 19m age gap between my little ones! (and a 6 year old) It’s a logistical nightmare half the time… I follow RMF and am about to be included on the ‘littles list’ (I’m so exited!) I’m a working mum and have just written a blog you might like. http://www.andthensheclicked.com/life-with-3-kids-nothing-worth-having-comes-easily/
I’m back to work more now that my youngest is 11m so will be blogging a lot too! Are you on instagram?

Reply

Oo thanks Lisa, I will have a read! ???

Reply

I wonder whether you have investigated whether the demographics of the readers of RMF differs significantly to RMW/RMS?

If you are planning a wedding, renovating a house, buying makeup etc then it is almost implicit that you have a budget to do these things – even if it is limited. In order to have a family, for the vast majority of cases, all you need is a basic understanding of anatomy. Which results in a much wider readership with a more diverse background. So posts about buying Sainsbury’s and Next clothes for nursery, and saving Boden for best are inevitably not going to be applicable to those families for who Sainsbury’s is the only option. (I don’t mean to single out that issue, its just a recent example that springs to mind)

Posts on the hard hitting issues are applicable to every family irrespective of your background, income etc. The posts on “pretty” things are appreciated by so many readers but to a lot of other, I imagine, they are frivolous because its just not possible to achieve.

I think its all about balance so that there’s something for everyone.

Also, the humongous scale of the Mumsnet chat forums just go to show that everyone has something to say about all aspects of motherhood and not everyone is going to agree. I think that as long as comments aren’t personally directed at anyone then that is perfectly valid.

Reply

I haven’t been able to read all the comments above (baby-wrangling while typing) but I’m very sad to hear that the team has been feeling that way. Personally RMF is my favourite of the blogs – I can take or leave lots of RMS (just not always my taste – I felt the same about RMW when planning my wedding many years ago) but I think the balance here is just right. You cover nitty-gritty issues and make clear that it isn’t all “hearts and flowers”, but balance it out with positivity and happiness. There are a lot of blogs/instagram feeds out there that dwell on the harder aspects of parenting and, while it’s important to be honest about how hard it can be, sometimes those can feel excessively negative. Sometimes after a really tough night/day/week with a teething baby and stroppy toddler I want to be distracted by beautiful nurseries and clothes and not feel guilty about my Boden addiction!

Maybe the more negative reactions are inevitable when dealing with this subject matter – it is always going to be much more emotive than style or weddings and people are more likely to feel defensive about their own situations or choices. I hope this doesn’t cause the team to feel too disheartened and that they continue to share their stories as I think the team really does make the blog.

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 1:11 pm

Hi Pips, really interesting feedback thank you. I’m exactly the same – sometimes I just want escapism, especially with all that is going on in the world right now. And I agree on the the emotive nature of this blog compared to others – we wouldn’t expect to never have any differing of opinions or requests for alternative content, it’s what keeps things interesting x

Reply

I am no expert on branding by any means – but I wonder if some kind of ‘honesty tag’ could help you out with this issue, RMF? You already have the categories in the header of the website. But for example:
– shopping posts could be have {Dirty Enabling} in the title
– {real life} posts could be tagged
– {frivolous} posts could come with a warning (!)
– {advice/reviews} ditto
– maybe even a {baby} / {toddler} {bigger kids} tag?
…I don’t know how much it adds to what you already have so feel free to ignore. But echoing a lot of the sentiments here already, not every type of post is relevant to every person, and it’s impossible to make them so when everyone is at a different stage of the family journey. Maybe flagging the nature of the post in big bold letters in the post headline might help manage expectations?!

Reply

Hi Stacey. I love this idea. We do something similar on Rock My Style so will definitely look in to it for RMF. xx

Reply

I feel a bit of a fraud commenting… because I am geeky enough to read RMF even though I am not a parent (or likely to become one in the immediate future). When the blog first started I kept popping over out of curiosity for the latest addition to the RM empire. But I keep coming back because I love what the team do, and I really look forward to reading what you guys write – on all three platforms. Whatever it is about.

Naturally as a non-Mum, I don’t read all of the features but I think you guys have built another great place to support your readers journey through life. I don’t often read the comments, so perhaps haven’t seen much of the negativity, but I think it’s really sad that such a fabulous team feel nervous about writing here. I hugely hugely admire you for tackling it head on though, and always striving to improve your communities for the better – for your readers and for your team. I hope that it really helps to get you to a place where you have a fabulously supportive community, which I love and experience elsewhere on RM. Keep doing what you do team Rock My!

And maybe one day I will be back here more legitimately as an actual Mum 🙂 xx

Reply

Completely the same as you Emma! I still read this blog religiously even though I don’t have a baby! (minus things like Pram posts because obviously I don’t get that really haha!) But I think you are all such a varied bunch and if anything, as a non parent, you are inadvertently giving us advice on how to support all the mums that are in our lives and for this I am incredibly grateful!

p.s. I just love you Becky! I follow you on instagram and find your stories hilarious, especially the biscuit anecdotes. Leo is literally the most gorgeous cutie ever! his hair!! I die!! xx

Reply

Haha Vanessa! It’s nice to know someone is listening… I think I’m just a little delirious from the sleep deprivation. Would you believe I am currently dunking a digestive as we speak, whilst putting together some images for RMS?! Pah! And thanks re your comments on Leo… his hair is quite the challenge.

Reply

Yes Becky… Do not stop Insta-storying ever.

Reply

Agree – Becky’s instastories are the best!

We love having you here as a non mum Emma!! x

Reply
Kathryn Barratt
7th February 2017 9:29 am

I definitely think that on the whole the balance is right. Parenting is a rollercoaster, there are days and moments that are pretty much perfect and then there are others where I genuinely think I will not make it to 6p.m. and the arrival of my husband! So the blog does a pretty good job of reflecting that.
My personal taste is that I roll my eyes a bit at overly styled nurseries and birthday parties that I think.have been organised to look good on instagram v rather than actually reflect how kids want to play i.e. it’s about the parents not the kids! However I still like reading about them. Perhaps we could have a Paw Patrol themed kids bedroom tour?!

Reply

Morning Kathryn. Um, when we shoot Alice’s new bedroom in a few weeks I’ll make sure I do a version that includes her characters. The one where her bed is covered in the giant lurid coloured Troll fleece blanket her grandad bought her for Xmas and her wonderful princess lights! Her choices but it will actually be funny to see how I wanted it to look and what the reality is when all her stuff gets piled over the top!! I do sometimes feel bad that I haven’t given them a full on character room. My sister always points out that we would have been gutted if mum hadn’t let us have a My Little Pony duvet cover and border in our room as kids! xx

Reply

Please!!! Show the ‘kids choice’ version that would be awesome!

Reply

Not my idea of awesome (!) but challenge accepted. Alice will probably start decorating with all manner of Troll related paraphenalia!! I have got a bit more relaxed now letting them add all the tat that they love. It’s their room and in truth, no one sees it but us. One day they will grow out of it but for now I’ll let them enjoy the characters they love. Still can’t quite bring myself to add full on character bedding or curtains though!! xxx

Reply

Lottie, I do character bedding rather than anything more permanent – I loathe its polyester ugliness but it means that if we have guests in the room I can put a neutral set on the bed, plus whenever the toy du jour falls out of favour I can just buy a new set and update the bedroom without it being extremely spendy.

If only my children liked tasteful monochromatic chevron patterns as much as I do, rather than LEGO Ninjago and My Little Pony…

Kathryn Barratt
7th February 2017 11:44 am

I’m actually trying to persuade my 4 year old to change his jungle themed room into Marvel superheroes, just that bit more grown up but not too much of a retinal assualt. So much character stuff is just cheap and nasty but it’s hard to say no when you know it will make your kids happy.

Reply

Oh gosh, the balance. I have seen some rather good Marvel wallpaper about though that would look pretty fab on one wall. then you could keep everything else quite plain. xx

Reply

Just to add my voice to the mix! I am really enjoying RMF and RMS.

Yes there are articles I don’t really like but I just ignore them so to speak (book club in RMS for I’ve, no idea why I don’t like it!) rather than complain about them. When you read a magazine or newspaper there are always bits you don’t like or agree with! I see RMS and RMF like that in a way, daily articles in various things!

Without RMF I wouldn’t have the amazing Laessig bag Charlotte recommended or that topshop maternity jeans would be my saviour during my pregnancy.

Without RMS I’d probably be significantly richer ? But in all honestly you guys have given me soo much inspiration and ideas please don’t stop!

Reply

I’m a new’ish Mum (to a 9 month old) and have read RMF for 10 months or so – personally I enjoy the posts that are realistic and skip the posts that are aspitational (being completely honest they make inadequate). For example the teddy’s bear picnic post that was hosted by an events company I skipped because I would never be able to achieve anything like that. I’d prefer to see a ‘real’ birthday party with simple ideas I could implement for my baby’s 1st birthday. I skip over the shopping posts (for me I’d be more relevant to see supermarket or Next, M&S, H&M clothing. that kind of price point) and nursery posts (ok lovely but I’d go to Pinterest if I wanted ideas – I’d be more relevant to me if it was someone’s actual nursery with information on where things are from).
I enjoy posts where you share your experiences – I loved Lottie’s recent cooking post, product recommendations like a recent one you did on buggy’s, challenges with your children and tactics you tired (like fussy eaters, that kind of thing). I do like when each contributor adds their recommendation or experience to a topic but those posts also appear slapped together to me especially when there are only one or two sentences under someone’s name.
I guess that’s where RMF sometimes misses the mark for me – every single other blog I read regularly is personal and the RMF blog is a bit of a hybrid between personal and business.
I hope this is useful and constructive!

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 10:18 am

Hi Lauren, I’d be inclined to agree on the recommendation/experience type of post where it’s multiple team members contributing as they can seem very “light”. I’m looking to knock those on the head – or at least evolve them to be more useful/informative. We are ultimately a business, personal blogs may be written for a hobby or with the view that free stuff is worth the time it takes to put features together, so there will inevitably be some differences to what we do at RMF.

Everything we write is genuine and heartfelt or for a purpose – and we only ever accept sponsored features if we feel our community will appreciate the brand/content. Of course we don’t always get these spot on.

Thanks for taking the time to leave constructive feedback x

Reply

I think maybe a good compromise would be to have one person giving more detail on a particular topic or experience, followed at the bottom of the post by a quick run down of what the other contributors thought? Similarly I think a lot of the comments here show that alot of readers aren’t necessarily aware of older content, so I know perhaps the team doesn’t want to rake over old ground but particularly with newer team members joining I always find it interesting to see a whole post the same topic but from different points of view as long as they are spaced out a bit.
Also for me I think sometimes the more scared or worried the writers are about negative reactions, the more they hedge their comments and the more that fuels the ‘this is bland’ criticism. I can only imagine how hard it is to re-build confidence after a few negative comments but hopefully the message from the comments on this post is that you are all much loved by readers, it’s just impossible to please everyone all of the time! I have watched the Young House Love journey with interest – not sure if you’ve followed their story but after a mammoth break from blogging (for lots of the reasons shared here, albeit on a different topic) they are back and just seem more confident in themselves, less hedging, more ‘this is what we are doing, you may or may not like it but we are confident in our brand’. Hard to achieve but really hope you keep going!
xx

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 1:18 pm

Hi India! How interesting, I didn’t follow YHL constantly but I was aware they were very successful and then essentially quit. I remember feeling very sad for them at the time but completely understanding their reasons. I didn’t realise they were back. Good for them.

And you are absolutely right, negative comments will make some writers more wary of what they include in a feature, which risks it coming across as slightly vague/lacking conviction. I’m hoping todays post and the associated comments/feedback will give the team more confidence in the future. x

Reply

I love RMF, I read every day and look forward to it! As others have said, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Some posts interest me more than others of course but that’s ok. I think like a lot of people I prefer to ‘real life’ type posts but totally appreciate you can’t produce these every day and I like the lighter fashion type posts too. The discussion in the comments is just as interesting for me sometimes as the post itself, I love the community created here and it’s a shame anyone would feel the need to be negative except in a constructive way. I agree the odd sponsored post doesn’t have the same authenticity to it as the usual posts but they are few and far between, if it was like that regularly it would definitely lose something (not explaining that very well I don’t think but hopefully you know what I mean…) In a nutshell what I love about RMF is that it feels like I have an extra group of mum friends and I learn a lot from it. Please don’t change! ❤ x

Reply

I’ve got to say that I look to this blog as my breath of fresh air. It’s not always relevant to me (I’d personally like to see more in the way of shopping that’s geared towards a lower budget alongside some of the more pricy stuff), but if not, I won’t read that day. I do like the warts and all stuff, but I can get that from the unmumsy mum etc. Parenthood is both – gritty and wonderful, light and dark (dark today – negotiations about going to nursery meant interesting sartorial choices by my daughter). Why can’t blogs offer a bit of both? Who made it the rule that you can only talk about parenthood if you’re whinging? I say if you’ve had a winning day, by all means tell the world! I think you’re doing a good job, and posts like this only serve to show that you are a responsive group who are looking to diversify your offering. I hate the idea your team are being made to feel uneasy. That’s truly rubbish. I say take the Taylor Swift attitude…’and the haters gonna….’.

Reply

Love a bit of Taylor Swift! xx

Reply

I really enjoy RMF, having also been a long time reader of RMW and RMS. I do love the shopping posts but I also would like to see some more at a lower price point, Boden is beautiful and all but my maternity pay just doesn’t stretch that far (in fact it didn’t even I was in work lol). I’d also love to see more from more diverse families too, having a family that ticks all the boxes (mixed race and two mums) I don’t see anyone else out there like us and it can be kind of lonely. Pretty much everything out there refers to Mum and Dad, and I’ve not even thought out how I’m going to do the ‘you don’t have a daddy’ talk yet, so it’d be lovely to see how others have tackled it. Argh, there was more I wanted to say but I think nap time is ending… but carry on being awesome! You guys have done a wonderful job with the blog and I’ll continue to be a reader for a long time!

Insta – Graciedarling (very unpolished, baby obsessed feed)

Reply

Like many of the commenters before me, I’m both sad and sorry to hear you’ve received negativity on RMF. I don’t think I’ll ever understand what motivates people to direct harsh or unkind words towards ‘strangers’ on the internet. To be brutally honest, Cara’s first post wan’t really for me, but I simply closed the tab and got on with my day. Online content is a democracy, not a dictatorship, we’re all free to read what we want and skip what we don’t.

With that in mind, it’s worth saying that a lot of what you share on RMF isn’t right for me because of my personal circumstances. Although I’m probably around the same age as many of the contributors/readers, my eldest has just turned 12 and my youngest is 7. We’ve left the baby days behind and we’re entering a new and different stage of parenthood. I’m finding it’s one that isn’t discussed much online at all and some of the challenges we’re facing have left me feeling very lonely and isolated. The toddler years are tough, but you can pop along to a playgroup and quickly see that everyone else is facing similar struggles. Now that my daughter has moved to secondary school, I don’t even get to interact with other parents in the playground!

Anyway, I’m rambling. I realise the only way to address this problem might be to write something myself. I love what you’re doing here and on RMS, so I hope you figure out a way forward that allows you to remain true to yourselves and the brand.

Reply

Hi Franky

My eldest is nearly 12 and in his first year of senior school, and my middle child will be starting in September. It’s brings a whole new worry doesn’t it. My biggest fear at the moment is social media and bullying. which I’ve shared a post on http://www.rockmyfamily.co.uk/bullying-it-has-to-stop/. I know there is a lot more worrying and changes to come my way over the next few years. I will try my very best to share our experiences without crossing a personal barrier and oversharing their private emotions. In the past I’ve been known to hold back on my posts for this very reason, which probably comes across as vague and un-engaging but I have to be mindful of what I write about them now as it directly impact their lives. Big hugs Franky, fingers crossed the teenage years go smoothly! xxx

Reply

Thanks Lorna, I enjoyed your post about bullying. Social media is a big worry for us too.

I totally understand the need to be mindful about what you share, it’s the main thing that stops me speaking openly online about some of the things we’ve been going through. The story is less about me as a parent and more about my daughter becoming a teenager and eventually a young adult. I could never betray her trust, but I feel quite strongly that I need support too. It’s hard.

xxx

Reply

It’s such a fine line isn’t it Franky. We’d absolutely love to hear your story, and I for one will be grateful for some advice from a fellow parent of a child similar in age xxx

Reply
Rachie Mclean-Anderson
7th February 2017 10:45 am

What I would like to say first is ignore all the negativity! In fact i once heard that a blog isnt successful until it gets haters so hey you are doing well 😉

As others have said parenthood is a polarising topic and people do it so differently. I personally love all the inspirational stuff (there are more than enough blogs about how hard parenthood is – which as a mum of two I absolutely agree with but sometimes it gets a bit much!) I love all the shopping posts too (bargains at lower price points always welcome but I also love discovering new brands) and posts for me like maternity fashion and mum style. (ie you dont have to lose identity when you are a mum!)

Things I would love to see is some real life mum stories, mums that work 5 days, stay at home mums, mums that live elsewhere, city mums, rural mums – what makes us tick, what we worry about, where we stand on raising our children… basically celebrate the diversity.

Anyway keep doing what you are doing….! Its a hard one especially as your readers keep changing and the children keep growing up. Once i would have loved the breastfeeding/weaning posts but now the girls are older i’m not so interested in those things…. I guess you cant be all things to all people and you need to be true to your brand.

Reply

I’ve struggled to articulate myself today between rushing from nursery drop off to supplier meetings so now I’m sat in sainsbos carpark I’ve got a moment to gather my thoughts. Firstly please can we have a step-by-step tutorial on cloning oneself as I’m sure that something we could all get on board with.

Seriously though, I really enjoy RMF and would hate to see any drastic changes, I don’t think it’s needed. As I struggled to say before, I can appreciate that the odd snarky comment combined with the inevitable voicing of differences of opinions will over time combine to give the impression of a negative undercurrent. I believe really it’s just that though; the odd toddleresqe strop and genuine opposing views (which come with the territory of parenting discussions) rather than a worrysome prevailing negative feeling toward the blog.

When I said hearts and flowers for example, that was just a flippant reference to the wider instaperfect world rather than implying that RMF is usually hearts and flowers. But on reflection I can appreciate how my comment might be perceived as criticism. Then times that by all the people posting flippant comments without quantifying them then it can build up and seem like everyone is taking a pop shot. (Pot shot? Ermmm). I’ve looked back over some of the more heated comments sections and honestly believe there’s infinitely more love for RMF than hate. It’s human nature though to notice the grey cloud in the blue sky and to want to examine how best to improve.

As others have pointed out, the audience for a family blog is going to be far more diverse, different stages, different budgets, different values but I think on the whole you navigate that disparity well. Lottie you always come across as that friend who gets it, who you want to emulate but don’t feel intimidated by. The whole team manages to strike the balance between aspirational and realistic. We all hang off Charlottes every word but I think that because you you always manage to convey the duality we all feel between seemingly having our sh!t totally together while simultaneously freying at the seams ever so slightly, but RECOGNISING and accepting that. I think that’s what I mean about gritty reality as opposed to the “parenting is one long nightmare” mood of some blogs.

I would hate to think that you might now give more potentially divisive topics a swerve, personally among my favourite posts are the ones about sleep/feeding/parenting challenges in general. These by their nature will stir up differences of opinion but are so so valuable and interesting.

On the whole though, just keep on doing what you’re doing because as comments today prove, there’s a lot of love for it.

Reply

Thanks so much Philippa, love all your thoughts and comments. And happy to be a ‘virtual’ friend!! x

Reply

Ahh thanks you’re very welcome!! It must have been full on reading and responding to all of this today!!

Reply

Such a shame that some of the writers are feeling that way – you really can’t please everyone though!
I am an avid reader of RM and have been for years since my wedding planning days 4 years ago, huge lurker though – have only commented once or twice but should really make an effort to post more and get involved!
I enjoy all the posts – Now at 30 weeks pg with baby no. 1 some of the posts are really helpful, positive and encouraging, I’m quite happy with the prosecco and flowers, and the slightly more nitty gritty real-life posts are fantastic! Really did enjoy Ste’s post and would love more of them!
Much love! ❤️

Reply

Hi Charlotte,

I am an avid reader of RMS and my wedding was featured on RMW (yay). I haven’t got any children yet, however, I do sometimes pop over to RMF too if there is an article that is interesting or relevant to me in some way. If the article isn’t relevant, I just don’t read that one.

One thing I have always found strange is the community on RMF! I am really not surprised that people feel nervous about posting on here – I would too! The vibe can be very judgemental, critical, and overly negative and its a real shame to see. Firstly, I struggle with the judgemental comments on the posts which are about people’s own personal choices/life experiences/accounts and secondly, with the negativity about the RMF blog in general.

Regarding the first, it seems that on the one hand readers say they want less of the airy fairy/shopping stuff and more of the real life accounts and then when you have writer share an honest real life personal account, for example about gender disappointment, people are judgemental and the comments get critical. A personal account is just that, personal, if you want to read personal accounts you must accept them for that. No one wants to share personal stories if they are going to be judged for it.

Regarding the second, the blog should be varied and if the article doesn’t appeal one day then I really don’t understand why people just don’t read that one? If the real life stories only appeal then just only read those ones – there are plenty of them, along with other posts that other people may enjoy or find useful. [Maybe if posts were scheduled more so Monday is “real life guest accounts”, Tuesday “shopping/inspiration” posts Wednesday “team life updates” etc…. then this would help?]

I appreciate you are trying to listen to your readers re what they want and maybe we can listen to you too, your team feeling nervous about posting needs to be addressed as well – so maybe in turn your readers can do their bit too, less negativity and judgement and more constructive/positive comments going forward.

Keep doing what you are doing x

Reply

Hi Charlotte

I was sad cara received such a reception that she felt she couldn’t join the team. She provided that edge. im sure you know of her already, Hannah straughan seems very “rock my” pretty Instagram and all, check her out!

Reply

Like many people have commented, I’ve followed the Rock My… brand for a long time, having first found it when planning my own wedding. I’ve really enjoyed watching the evolution of it all as it has roughly followed my own path (I seem to be 6-12 months ahead of it!)

Anything to do with family was always going to be contentious. For some reason, you can not like something on RMW or RMS and that’s put down to taste or style, but if you make any definitive statement about the way you’ve chosen to raise your children it is taken as implicit criticism of every other way that you didn’t choose. It’s one of those odd things that people get extremely touchy about. To be honest I don’t know who has time for writing long posts about how unhappy they are with a website’s content – my life is busy enough as it is, thanks!

On a personal note, things I would like to see covered on RMF are blended families, making the transition from a working parent to a SAHP (and indeed vice-versa – maybe tips on going back to work post-maternity leave?), explaining difficult subjects to littlies (bereavement?) and making friends as a parent as it’s not so easy as when you went to uni and just got drunk with people!

One thing about the more ‘aspirational’ brands – The White Company, Boden, Joules, JoJo, GAP etc almost ALWAYS have sales on or money off vouchers available. Perhaps include those in your posts too, so that it makes them more affordable for everyone?

Oh, and I’d love a spend vs steal feature for clothes or nursery makeovers. Often the brands used are quite high end (GLTC, etc) but with a bit of legwork you can find similar bits for less – not just Ikea hacked but less well known brands.

Reply

Hi Charlotte & RM Team – Similarly to a lot above I came across RM Brand via RMW and am now an avid reader of RMS and of RMF even though I don’t yet have a child and am in the baby making stage 😉 I agree with a lot of the comments about the slightly more negative community on RMF compared to RMW and RMS and also agree that in recent months the writing has been more ‘safe’ than previously, perhaps as a consequence of not wanting to incite strong reactions from readers. But that’s a shame and again, agreeing with another comment above, there is a role for the readers of RMF to play in considering the impact of their comments and maybe rephrasing them in a more constructive manner and not being critical of someone’s personal cirucmstance/choice, whilst still feeling free to have a healthy debate and sharing of opinions.
I have started following all the team instas and agree that Becky – your instastories are HILARIOUS.
As someone in my position I think I would like to have more posts about conception (I mean, not the actual biology bit) as sounds like all the readers are at different stages of family life, including trying to start one. I have really surprised myself at how I feel about all manner of things in this ‘let’s start trying for a baby’ phase and we’re only a few months in and I wonder how many others may be feeling similar feelings. I’d happily write about it! xx

Reply

Milly why don’t you put something together and submit it?x

Reply

Yes Milly, please do! We’re almost ready to start trying and I’m already feeling *all* the emotions so I would love to read someone going through a similar thing. I remember Kate’s pregnancy diary about conception getting me a big reaction in terms of comments etc and I found it really helpful to normalise some fears and feelings. Good luck with starting your family! X

Reply

Thank you Sian!! And you!

And Becky, you know what, I am going to. Particularly after reading the various comments about others in the deciding to start a family. Do I submit an idea to you first or just write it? xx

Reply

I would love to read this too Milly. I am also going (/struggling!) through the conception stage and would love to read your experience! X

Reply

It’s so hard isn’t it Tanya – I find it difficult to talk to friends about it all. Xx

I’d say just write it and send it in to us Milly 🙂 Look forward to reading it x

Reply

Will do Lisa! X

There’s a whole lot of difference between leaving constructive feedback (which is always welcomed in comments by the team) and being rude, judgmental of posts and critical of others personal stories, writing, posts that they’ve worked hard on. Charlotte, perhaps a “feedback” section on the website where people can submit suggestions/feedback – this would remove the drama from the comments which I think spurs people on. The negative comments would still continue though as I believe 80% are to criticise rather than give feedback in a positive way. Keep up the mix of aspirational and raw real life stories. Sometimes we all want a bit of escapism and to be inspired! Stick to it and don’t change, this isn’t a mumsnet forum and I’m glad you’re addressing it. Surely a blog with one type of post would be boring and there are plenty of other blogs for that. There is nothing quite like RMF out there. You get the mix spot on. Theres something here for EVERYONE x

Reply

I agree Milly, I’d certainly love to read that. For me, the whole world of trying to conceive was a ridiculous mess and it’s difficult to keep your head OR find a sensible discussion on the matter.

Please do it xx

Reply

Karen, your post on starting your family in your own way moved me to tears, gave me a lot to think about and also made me feel quite calm about our own journey, if that makes any sense. I’m off to find you on Insta! Xx

Reply

I definitely find there’s nowhere to really talk about it and everyone has their own opinions/at different stages of life.
So thrilled for you Karen to hear your family has started, I loved your post xx

Reply

I just wanted to say – I’m a massive lurker on these pages since the beginning as I love the RM brand and although I don’t have babies yet, I love the tone and voice you have.

We are about to start trying – I’ve been putting it off for a while as I feel pretty overwhelmed with it all, and that I’m not ready to be a mother. The mixture of the pretty, gritty and the sh*tty on RMF has been SO helpful in keeping it real and preparing me to get to this stage now to start trying. So thank you!

And I like the idea of more community building amongst the readers – I know I’m going to need it. And the more supportive of each other we can be the more positive vibes this comments section will have.

In terms of content – like you say, you’ve perhaps covered the topic previously, but a while ago, so maybe you could do some updates to old posts/archive round ups/getting a different contributor to write about the same idea or something. Also love the spend or steal idea.
And as for sponsored content – you’ve got to make your money somehow! But one thing I love about RM is your honesty, so maybe a para at the top intro-ing the content & why you’re working with the brand would help keep things transparent & let people click off if they want to.
Hope that’s helpful. I’m a massive fan of the RM family, (I’ve had a girl-crush on Lolly since my rmw days!) Thanks for wanting to listen to your readers and keep doing what you’re doing! x

Reply

Sadly anything based around parenting is likely to be contentious, which I personally don’t understand. As much as I have my own opinions/values my motto has always been “whatever you need to do to survive!” which has become even more relevant with the arrival of our second child. What worked with our first hadn’t necessarily worked with our second, so I always try to keep an open mind.

I love the posts that tell it like it is, the breastfeeding one springs to mind, as I’ve also had two very different experiences. It is a balance, not doom and gloom but reality and aspiration. I welcome the fashion posts for both mum and children covering a variety of price points (treats and everyday stuff). I also love interiors so enjoy the nursery posts but agree with other comments that “real ones” are most inspiring and love the idea of balancing what mum wants and what the child wants!! If my son had his way his room would be black and plastered in Thomas the Tank Engine!! Also stylish storage solutions – I’m yet to find something suitable for all the bathroom paraphernalia!

I didn’t realise you welcomed submissions, so I might have to get writing! You may have covered these topics in the past but I struggled to find enough detail when researching (I’m a bit of a research queen!) – my VBAC experience, the psychological battle in making the decision but also what happened and what made the difference, grief and the impact on pregnancy and marriage (sadly lost my father in law just before my 20 week scan during my first pregnancy) and post natal depression, I was never diagnosed (another issue in itself as I don’t think the 6 week post natal check is thorough enough) but it was certainly more than baby blues. Although that does all sound a bit doom and gloom doesn’t it?!

By all means tweak things but don’t feel like there need to be drastic changes, there really isn’t anything like this blog out there. Thank you to the team for what you do, it is hugely appreciated by the vast majority of us.

xx

Reply

It’s probably been reiterated above but, in case not, I LOVE RMF. I despise Mumsnet and Mum’s Facebook groups, there is always the feeling that you’re not good enough, that there is always someone ready to jump down your throat and make you feel worse that you already do. I have my Mother-in-Law to make me feel like that, I don’t need perfect strangers jumping on the bandwagon..! We beat ourselves up enough, I know I do – about being a working Mama, about not spending enough time with my little boy, about not following through with the meal planner, about not getting through enough laundry, about falling asleep on the sofa at 9.30 without fail because I am absolutely exhausted… you get the point. I had a stressful pregnancy and suffer with severe anxiety, I am happy to report that RMF (and RMS) inspired me to find ways to cope with this. I’ve taken calligraphy courses, I took up flower arranging (I now have my own side business in calligraphy and event flowers – because you know, I don’t have enough on my plate…), both to help me channel my anxiety into something positive. ESPECIALLY as I’m the only one in my friendship group with a child.

Don’t know what to eat? There’s probably some tried and tested recipes I can look to on RMF.
Need to calm down for five minutes? I know there are some pretty instagram feeds and blog posts I can look at from the wonderful team.
Have a weird neurosis about something that I definitely don’t need to be so wound up about because I’m a perpetual worrier? Someone on RMF has probably written about it, let’s read that so I don’t feel like I’m the only lunatic…

I think what I’m trying to say is that you’re never going to please everyone, there’s always something someone will expect that you can’t quite meet. But if it counts for anything, I love this little corner of support and inspiration and I will continue to visit everyday. Because quite frankly, if us Mamas aren’t going to support each other, then who the hell will?

X

Reply

Ah Sian you my lovely are bloomin’ fantastic thank-you SO much for your kind comment. Words like this make everything worth while. Big, big hugs to you. xxx

Reply
Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
10th February 2017 9:10 pm

Loved your comment Sian! Definitely makes all the effort worth it xxx

Reply

Oh gosh it is a total minefield isn’t it?! I admire each and every one of you in team RMF (and RMW and RMS) for sharing your own stories and personal experiences. I could never do it myself! The thing that attracted me to RMW, and then RMS and now RMF (and still the others of course!) is that the blogs are so different from anywhere else and always had and (for the large part) continue to have a hugely supportive community. So many family blogs/communities online are impersonal and negative. I admit that I have started feeling a little lost in this particular community, as more negative voices emerge, but as others have said I think it is a tough audience as everyone has such different backgrounds and experiences. Plus quite frankly I don’t think my two pence is particularly relevant most of the time! I personally love pretty much all the posts, and if there is something that doesn’t resonate with me strongly I just give it a miss. You can’t please everyone always! I know a lot of people have talked about budgets for the clothing and nursery posts, but actually I really really enjoy the ideas from independent brands and the pricier items, perhaps because I know exactly what is in Zara, H&M, Gap etc so I like being told of new brands to look at. Perhaps more of a range would work (but please don’t stop linking to the pretty more aspirational stuff!). So, really all I want to say is well done for creating such a great brand, and for continuing to do what you do! Your blogs are the only ones I regularly read, and for good reason.

Reply

I dip in and out of RMF, and honestly always enjoy when I’m dipping in.

Like many other comments written here today, I feel there is a different feel to RMF compared to the other platforms. But the subject matter is a lot more personal and therefore controversial (I mean the nature of it being around family/parenting is always going to be controversial isn’t it) Like all social platforms, I think the best possible scenario is when the community is self-moderated, tho I thoroughly understand the desire to defend the producers/creators (man, makes me sad that some feel apprehensive about what ‘response’ they’ll get) and therefore truly understand the motivation to moderate in order to avoid a slagging match.

Not everyone is going to agree all of the time, which is a good thing! Otherwise where’s the debate, the thought provoking stimulus… it really is down to all of us to not be mindless in how we join the conversation (I’m not suggesting we have to filter our opinions/thoughts/provocations… just not be dick heads about how we express them – and don’t mean to sound as pompous as this sounds) I think we should all accept that what doesn’t float our boat make be keeping someone else’s boat perfectly propped up that day (I personally like “investing” my time on posts with beautiful photos and a bit of aspirational shopping ideas etc as much as hearing about the grittier issues. Karen – I thank you for your submission, it was a tough read and stayed with me xxxx)

I feel this was a really positive post as there is clearly appetite for us readers to be more accountable in making the platform meet our needs more (ie what Karen suggested about being more connected)

In terms of breadth and depth of content – I also agree with the comments that some juicy topics feel touched on but doesn’t commit (i.e. When each of the team write a few sentences) – it feels like there have been some missed opportunities which I’m sure will be part of the evolution.

I would like to suggest that you guys feel 100% comfortable to write about topics more than once… different perspective, different experience, different outcome… think this is where depth of the subject matter can come from (i.e. When you search breastfeeding have a bank of relevant content)

Finally, huge congrats on the book launch, I’m sure Thursday is going to be a spectacular day to remember.

Reply

Ps how gorgeous is that picture of the girls!!!!

Reply

To add my two cents:

I am a huge fan of this blog and it’s one of the few that I find I keep coming back to on a regular basis. Almost every post shared on Instagram piques my interest and sends me over here to find out more. More diverse posts would of course be of benefit, but I am pretty happy with the current set up. That may be because I don’t, as yet, have any children. But I am just so excited to become a mum and start a family with my husband that reading this blog is keeping me going until the time is right to start trying. It’s an insight into what’s to come in pregnancy, birth and motherhood with posts from writers I feel on the same wavelength as. Whether’s that’s beautiful nursery inspiration or the nitty gritty of morning sickness.

In short, I love it. Keep going!

Reply

I just wanted to say I love this blog, I’ve been reading since day one, & although not everything is relevant to me right now, if I’m ever googling for tips on something I come back to the archives – the reader comments are just as useful as the posts. Recently we’ve tackled potty training and moving to a “grown up bed” & the archives have been so helpful!!

Reply

It’s seems from a few comments above that people enjoy the debate aspect of RMF. Personally I don’t think RMF is here to incite debates. And i do think thats where it can transcend into more of a critical/judgemental vibe.

X and Y sharing their stories probably dont need or want a debate forming over whether readers agree or not with their experience. It’s their personal story and it doesn’t need to be debated.

I believe RMF is here to share different experiences, to appeal to a wide range of people, to offer us variety, experiences that will resonate with some, and yes most often than not it wont resonate with all. If people wish to comment to share THEIR experience by all means do, but if it’s done in a positive way. Not because they want to start a debate or to say I don’t agree with you doing/thinking that because I do/think this way.

Reply

Hi Sara,

I just wanted to say that I totally agree with you. People who share their story do not necessarily want people debating whether their personal experience/decisions was “right” or “wrong” in some sort of consensus – absolutely no way!! (By the way, I am replying as I used the expression debate quite a bit in my comment and I wanted to try and explain what I personally meant by debate)

What I meant by debate is the same way one might debate something with themself… let me give an example… I’m debating whether or not now is the right time to try and take the dummy away during naps/sleeptime for my 16 month old (a subject that can divide opinion anyway, I know!) the debate is kind of with myself… weighing up the pros and cons, what is the opportunity cost… can I be arsed to try and tackle this just yet…??!

So for me the debate on a platform like this comes from simply hearing other people sharing their experiences – some may be similar to mine and some will be polar opposite to my current thinking. All that kind of chat creates some sort of stimulus for me to ponder over, with different perspectives that I am not clever enough to think of by myself, so I can ultimately Make my own mind up for what’s right for me and this time. I certainly don’t mean that as a collective I think we should debate topics (especially as many are personal accounts) to arrive at a unanimous right or wrong decision (thence offending the original writer)….

I’m really glad you mentioned this in your comment as I honestly think you made such a good point…! people will find some content more thought-provoking one day and maybe not the next so I do agree that some content will just be here for the pure pleasure of escapism and enjoyment.

Gee whizzicals I am chopsy today! ? Blame the latte…

Reply

Hi Nicola. Yes I absolutely do think people should share their own personal experiences if done in a positive way. No two experiences are the same and we can learn so much by listening to others whether that be learning tips from someone else, listening to advice and lessons learned from others, gaining a new perspective on something. Sometimes I just feel like the comments take more of a debate (in the literal sense of the word) and I think there ends up being a more judgmental negative tone because of that with people disagreeing with how others choose to do things/how they think or making general negative comments which dont bring anything constructive or positive to the conversation. Which is why I can totally understand why the team are nervous about posting their stories on here now xx

Reply

What a gorgeous picture of 2 of your girls up there at the top! Just like the others have said-you lot are the perfect mix of aspirational (especially coveting all of your hair…and Charlottes grey handbags) and relatable, the writing about getting it wrong at times, miscarriage, house moves, children and weight issues (the few that stick in my mind) was all very powerful, honest stuff.As parents I think we all seek out those reassuring personal stories of experience from others, be that the mum at toddler group or Charlotte from the blog with the beaut handbags!

As others have said, a parenting type of blog is always going to be emotive due to the subject matter and our own emotional investment in the subject. Many other blogs on parenting tend to pitch themselves in a certain way, with a certain “voice” (eg slightly moany and relatable wine drinking mum!) as people have discussed above…whereas RMF encompasses many different voices and styles-this may also be where some of the negativity comes from-essentially not everyone will relate to every voice. I also wonder if it’s harder for you as a team on this blog when the negativity arises-eg a it easier to hear a negative comment about an interior choice as opposed to about a childcare/parenting choice?Sorry to hear it has made people nervous-completely understandable but hope these comments reaffirm how much all you writers are admired and valued!

A personal request-I loved your real life experience series on feeding and birth stories and would love to see something similar about sleep…eg how you managed lack of sleep with a baby and toddler what your routines (or lack
Of…) were and what challenges you faced.After all sleep and feeding are probably the biggest issues facing most parents.Perhaps similar things on other parenting challenges (behaviour, transition to childcare or school etc).

Thank you all for the blogs-and massive congrats on the publication-what an amazing lot you are.Hope you have some time out for reflection and celebration.xxx

Reply

Hi Cath, we will certainly cover sleep – we’ve all had very different experiences and used different approaches, so it’s definitely one for the list 🙂

Thank you for your comment – I think we’ve all been overwhelmed by the response today xxxx

Reply

I think what you have all achieved with RMW and RMS is really impressive. Whilst there are lots of great things about RMF, some of the constructive criticism above regarding the content does chime with me, so I thought I would add my two cents.

On the issue of authenticity, I wonder whether part of the issue is that the team members seem (at least from the outside) to have quite similar lives – working flexibly or part-time from home, based in the countryside or small towns and often with supportive family relatively close-by. It is really inspiring that you have forged careers out of your love of blogging/styling/baking – it no doubt involves its own sacrifices and challenges – but it does means that your day-to-day existence is very different from (and involves more rose petals and pretty!) than readers who have a packed commute and long and inflexible hours in traditional office jobs. As you say, you can only write about your own experiences, so I agree with others above that it would be great to recruit/seek out contributions from those with different experiences – e.g. blended/non-traditional family units, families living in cities, Mums working full time in a range of careers.

In terms of content, you can’t please all the people, all of the time, but personally I would like to see some more detailed posts that combine your own experiences with research. Some of the posts from the team deal with some big topics in quite a cursory way and can come across as hastily put together based on readers’ comments or other sources (e.g. the recent post about Name Trends that did not originally give credit to the Nameberry article on which it was obviously based). The guest posts seem more considered and informative. It would be great to see some more detailed posts on different child care options (e.g. ways to find a nursery/nanny/childminder; how to research them; 10-15 questions to ask when you look round/interview them; fees and hidden costs); how to identify and instill family values; dynamics with grand parents, especially long-distance; choosing schools; preparing children to start primary and secondary school.

Best of luck with all three blogs, which I am sure will continue to flourish.

Reply

Helen your point about us all working from home and in an industry that’s based around flowers and frippery (well RMW anyway…) is very valid. Hopefully as others have said this post will prompt lots of interesting submissions from readers 🙂

x

Reply

Agree agree agree agree agree x1,000,000,000! (But it doesn’t stop me loving it!)

Reply

I find RMF the ideal blog. Some posts I come back to at the end of the day to have another read and read the comments, sometimes I know the post wasn’t 100% my thing/relevant at present/didn’t provoke much thought for me that day and use the time for something else instead (I should probably say housework or QT with my husband but it’s often Pinterest/Instagram/shopping as a result of a RMS post !!) I don’t see this as a negative at all, it’s just life isn’t it.

I love the variety of posts but knowing its coming from a team we feel we’ve been able to get to know a bit (or from guest posters you truly believe in or who have a story to tell that’s resonated with you too and know we will love) is what makes RMF so special. It’s not just one person writing, and it’s not so many people it’s impersonal.

You’ve done such an amazing job with the blog, you should all be so proud of what you’ve achieved and I think all the responses today show how much people care about RMF as a whole.

Xxxx

Reply

I don’t often post, but always read RMS and RMF pretty much every morning, (I stopped reading RMW after I got married as I loved and missed planning my wedding so much, it made me feel a bit ??!)
Sometimes the posts make me laugh, sometimes cry (Ste’s, Ferns about deciding when to have another baby, Charlotte’s about getting things wrong, are the ones that spring to mind from recent weeks that particularly resonated with me) sometimes they make me shop and sometimes they aren’t for me, so I just get on with my day…!
I wanted to comment today instead of leaving it for others as I usually do because I love the blog and it’s clear to see so many other folk do too…..and I bet there are so many more that haven’t commented for whatever reason that do as well.
I hope that this post and the subsequent comments mean the blog goes from strength to strength.

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 8:29 pm

Hi Jane, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. You are absolutely right – in the grid scheme of things it is a tiny percentage of readers who actually comment. It’s amazing to have so much feedback today – I feel we may need to create some kind of spreadsheet to add all of the suggestions in! x

Reply

Um, I may have already started a spreadsheet 🙂 x

Reply

Hello to all of my new Insta friends ?? I think I’ve managed to follow most of you back but Instagram clearly think I’m some kind of dodgy spammer and have temporarily suspended my ability to follow people! ? So yeah, maybe spread the following sprees over a few hours / days!

Reply

That’s hilarious! I think I’ve found everyone but I keep getting lost amongst the 9 million comments xxx

Reply

I may actually join Instagram after todays post and get with the programme…….!!

Reply

RMF team I LOVE this blog. I think you have a great balance of content and amazed you still come up with things to feature! Yes I know some of the posts are sponsored but if I spend £5 on a magazine I expect half of it to be advertising… I really think there is a good balance of inspiration and escapism (wow that teddys bears picnic) and the reality- Lottie your post about not making an effort for one of the girls birthday parties and letting them run riot really made me laugh because it is so true. I could go on and on about the posts that I’ve enjoyed that contrast with other posts that I’ve equally enjoyed.
I think that’s important to remember that for every negative comment there were probably at least ten people half way through writing a positive one before they had to dash off to help a little person go to the toilet, fix a lego tower or kiss better a bump. Keep it up guys and hopefully this post will get some interesting guest contributions coming in. xx

Reply

Thank you Ella, it’s been overwhelming to hear everybody’s lovely words today xx

Reply

What a lot of comments today! I think it shows what love we have for the rock my team. As I said yesterday I’m a long term reader. When planning my wedding I was OBSESSED with RMW and RMS filled the gap once we got married. RMF came at a time when we were trying for a baby and numerous posts have resonated with me. It makes me sad that a family focussed blog can cause so much negativity. It is unfair but possibly a symptom of mumsnet… we also can be very sensitive about parenting issues. This post has made me realise that in order to have more real life stories we all crave, our community needs to provide them… maybe I will pluck up the courage to talk to you about my breast feeding nightmare… cheaper than therapy!

Reply
mm
Charlotte O'Shea
7th February 2017 8:30 pm

Chloe your story would be most welcome! x

Reply

Apologies, late to the party, but I’m going to do the stereotypical psychologist weighing in thing here, as I have wondered about this since becoming a mum.

I think others have essentially already covered this, and maybe not everyone will agree, but it feels like with parenting there is no one right way (obviously). Yet, we can’t help but convince ourselves there must be a right way for our baby (what’s the alternative, thinking nothing we are doing matters?!), and we so want to trust that we have found and mastered that right way. Yet, as soon as someone talks about doing something differently, we question whether maybe their way, not our way, might suit our baby or child better, but accepting that means we’ve got it wrong again, damnit! So we talk ourselves into why we do things our way, and the more we do this the more defensive we get and critical of others.

I honestly think negativity in the comments for example isn’t about mums being harsher, or more judgemental, than other audiences. I just think we so want to believe we are doing right by our child but ultimately there is no way of being sure. What a challenging and uncertain task we are all taking on! We all know theoretically we just need to decide what to do, and own it, even if no-one else does the same, but it bloody matters doesn’t it! The stakes are so high – it’s our child and we so want to be a good mum (and how hard is it to think good enough, if we could be better, like X maybe, we wonder isn’t that what our child deserves??)!

So, I’m not defending criticism, and all the comments about building links between the community/ commenters seem really positive, I just think maybe part of writing on this blog means exposing your choices, and your vulnerability, and knowing any criticism just comes from the vulnerabilities and anxieties of others. (I think if I ever blogged, I might just not read the comments…)

Reply

This is very true I think!

Reply

I tried to comment earlier but it seems to have disappeared! I wanted to revisit anyway just to get a chance to read all the comments, wow what a response!

Firstly congrats on the book, I’m a little bit gutted none of my friends are newly engaged but definitely the next person is getting it as a present! I still miss the pretty of wedding magazines so I like the occasional prosecco, petals, hearts and flowers!

Having being a reader of RMW, RMS and now RMF, there has been a definite change in the tone of the comments the last few months and I’ve been quite surprised. Personally if something doesn’t resonate with me, I’d just scroll on by and can appreciate for someone else it was exactly what they needed at that point in time! I can see why the team feel a bit nervous to post of late and think that’s a real shame. I also know there are things that I might come back to at a later date, like Fern’s post on Cornwall. We’d never been, don’t live anywhere remotely near, but have wanted to visit. I remembered it when it was suggested for a weekend away with the inlaws and went back to it to find things to amuse my toddler (thanks Fern!) I think the same will happen with other posts as my toddler gets a bit bigger (such as potty training!)

I think the loss of Cara was a real shame, I’d never read her blog before but didn’t feel I needed to know her style to ‘get it’ as such. I was really shocked at the responses.

I loved Ste’s post and agree a male perspective more regularly would be great. I think it’s so easy as a new mum to forget what impact that has on your partner.

I’d also love more ideas on what to do to keep my toddler amused on my days off. It sounds crazy but she’s not big on playing with toys?! We do lots of play dough, painting, colouring, baking, seeing friends, soft play, but I think like most parents these days I worry about too much screen time (which I never thought I’d say, just 6 months ago she didn’t watch any and I was desperate for enough time to load the dishwasher. Can’t win!)

I agree with the requests for posts about juggling parenthood, work and life, it’s so chaotic!

There’s been lots of talk about submissions in previous comments so perhaps after today’s post it won’t be necessary,but I did wonder if you shared here/Insta/Facebook ‘we’d like to feature x,y,z,’ people may then be prompted to get in touch and share their story. This may just be me, but if the thought is that they might put time and effort into their submission, around their family life, work etc which can be tough to find the time for anyway, for something which may not end up being featured, it might put people off a little bit?

Another thought on the posts is that if I don’t have time to read something on the way to work/in the morning then even if I enjoyed it, I probably won’t end up commenting as the discussions tend to all occur in the morning so by the time home from work and the little people are in bed, it feels like you’ve missed the boat. Not sure there’s anything that can be done there at all, but more just feedback that a lack of comment that day doesn’t mean I didn’t find that post just as good as one I commented on the day before xx

Reply

I totally agree with all of this, but especially re the timing of comments. I’m in Sydney, so by the time I read and want to comment all the chat has already happened and you rarely get a reply. Totally understand that the team can’t respond to comments on old articles forever, but it does cut the sense of community a bit.
Also, I find the ‘notify me of follow up comments’ feature doesn’t really work well – you end up getting hundreds of emails notifying you of new comments, not ones specifically replying to your post. Is that just me?

Reply

I love this blog and it’s the one I come back to everyday. I’ve been following since finding RMW and remember you launching both RMS and RMF (and the disappointment at the non appearance of the Rock My Pet blog). I tend to read the majority of the articles even if they aren’t relevant at the time as I often find myself coming back to hunt for it in the archives if it has become relevant. I also agree with Ella about 10 commenters to every negative one particularly because it’s taken me all day to find the time to comment. A lot of my other points have been covered in the comments above but please don’t stop the blog or be afraid to post for fear of negativity.

Reply

Like many others I am so sad that some of the team feel nervous about posting. I absolutely love each and every one of your voices and you should all have so much faith and pride in yourselves.

Occasionally I would say I feel priced out of some of the shopping posts – my husband and I earn well but there’s a sensible part of me that refuses to buy anything too expensive which will only fit my daughter for a couple of months (on the flip side I always seem to spend a couple of hundred on her wardrobe updates each season and then have a long hard debate with myself whether I can really afford a £12 t-shirt from next for myself). But that doesn’t stop me reading the posts, if only for something aspirational and, to be honest, I like the fluffy shopping posts; life is too bloody difficult as it is and you’re my lighthearted haven.

I do have an idea for a post which I keep meaning to ping over, but I am sure you’ll be inundated following these posts!

Don’t change too much and ignore the haters x

Reply

I’ve spent the day dipping in and out of this article and all the comments, with a 9 month old to run around after, it’s taken me a while! I utterly love RMF (and RMS and followed RMW back when I was wedding planning) and enjoy the oo-what’s-today’s-article-going-to-be as my screen loads up. Yep, that’s me over my cereal while spooning porridge into a waiting mouth! As Debs said above, I don’t always get the time to comment in the morning when comments are building up but I do enjoy reading everyone’s comments and the community that team RM have create. It’s nice to see the same names cropping up in the comments and I’ve really enjoyed the reader’s contributions. I do think maybe alerting us readers to content you would like would be a good idea and help to get a varied response. I think it’s so sad to hear you feel nervous about your posts. Like others, I love you all, follow your instagrams and enjoy the slice of your lives that you let us in on. Keep up the amazing work and I hope you are all feeling pretty chuffed with yourselves after seeing all the love in the comments today. Xx

Reply

I forgot to say… This all reminds me of a post you wrote a while ago Charlotte, ‘leave your judgy pants at the door’… It’s always stuck with me xx

Reply

Sorry to be so late to the party but I read RMF daily (after reading RMW when I was wedding planning) and I LOVE IT! Yes not all posts are relevant to me personally and no I don’t (and probably won’t) shop at Boden but I love hearing about what you guys are doing and it feels like a group of friends I catch up with by reading about their current adventures. I love hearing from all the team, I love the style and your approaches and I respect you all for doing the best you can for your little people and then being willing to share that with us all. I’m not aware of the negativity you speak of (I’m sorry I must have missed it as I don’t get a massive amount of time to read the comments) but I’m sorry that what should be a supportive group are not making you feel appreciated. I just want to stick my hand up and say I appreciate you and I’m grateful for the honesty and the little slice of your individual realities you let us in on, it is a beautiful part of the internet that I visit daily!!! And I probably should comment more to let you know how much I enjoy it!!

Reply

I’ve really enjoyed the “Ask Me Anything” posts both here and on RMS yesterday. I was, however, sad to read the team are nervous about writing due to the negative comments here on RMF. RMS and RMF are the only 2 blogs I check daily. I’m on maternity leave now but I used to to the same when I commuted to work. I always get a bit excited to see what the subject of the day is (sad I know!). Admittedly sometimes I am a bit disappointed but largely this is because it is simply something that is not relevant or is of no interest to me, not because the subject is “bad”. With a topic as broad as family this will happen, but I still check back the next day (The only post I really really didn’t like was the tesco sponsored one. Not because it was sponsored, it just didn’t seem to be up to the usual RMF standard of content to me). Mostly I really enjoy the articles and think anyone putting themselves out there in print is incredibly brave! I haven’t read all the comments but it seems there is a massive amount of love & support for RMF. RMF launched just as I found out I was pregnant and has provided me with a huge amount of information and support along my journey – even if I don’t comment that much to say so. I have contacted the team in the past to suggest topics and Lottie has always got back to me. Now I’ve also read that reader submissions are wanted – I may even have a stab at one myself!

Reply

I’m an avid RMF reader and just wanted to say I think you ladies (and guys on occasions) do a fab job of covering a range of parenting, kid/mum shopping & style issues on here – if people just want the gritty side of parenting there are plenty of blogs/forums for that. I for one love the inspiration and style side of what RMF brings as babies & kids in my view are 90% joy – whg just focus on the last 10%!!

Reply

Wow – so many comments today, I have no idea if you will even see or read mine, but here goes…

RMS and RMF are two of only three blogs I read daily (I still dip into RMW sometimes too). Across the three of them, there is at least one article each day that interests me. But it is unrealistic to expect to follow one blog and see content that is 100% ‘you’ every single day. Unless, I suppose, it’s your own blog.

Having gone from being a casual reader pre-pregnancy (actually pre-even-planning a pregnancy) to now 6 months pregnant, what I want to read on RMF has changed massively over the past year. Posts which originally didn’t interest me one little bit (eg shopping posts / recommendations for nursery décor) are now the ones I am looking at in the archives. So just because I didn’t really like them at the time they were published doesn’t mean they are no good – but equally my opinion at the time they were published was perfectly valid.

You guys have a huge and loyal following. We log on a take a look every day. Some days, the content is more right for us than other days, and we don’t always spend as long reading it or clicking through some articles. That’s just how this works. It doesn’t mean you – or we – have to change anything.

You can see from the level of interaction (via numbers of comments) which posts are the most successful. And you can weigh the popularity of those posts vs their commercial benefit for you (we all accept you have to make a living!). And you strike the balance.

I definitely dislike super negative commenters leaving their judgey-faced moans all over the blog. But equally, the RMS and RMF teams have to accept that their readers DO have a right to speak up if they see content regularly going away from what they want. There’s a nice way and a not-so-nice way of doing this, obviously, but generally (happily) most of the ‘constructively critical’ comments come from a place of love, and wanting the blogs to be better. I haven’t seen many (or really any) mumsnet-style aggressive posts attacking people for their personal parenting style. It seems like we are talking more about the criticisms of shopping posts than anything?

Everyone in the world wants a boss like Charlotte who will fiercely defend her employees – that is SUPER admirable and your RM Ltd folk will love and adore you forever. But looking down the comments today, the protective-mother-hen vibe which is in your final paragraphs above has ever so slightly worried commenters. Maybe it will stop THEM from being honest in their feelings in their comments in the future (I’m looking at you, ‘Anon for fear of the haterz’!).

Just as your writers and staff have the absolute right to write from the heart (and we love it when they do) without fear of persecution, if you make your readers feel like they can’t express their true feelings then the sense of community that you so want to cultivate will suffocate.

Sorry for the epic reply. I hope you find some of this valuable (if you even read it!). This blogging lark is a two-way street. Everyone has to approach it with maturity, from both sides. The overwhelming message here is keep doing what you’re doing, do it with authenticity, and we will all keep coming back for more on the daily.

Reply
Anon for fear of the haterz
8th February 2017 6:59 am

Stacey, it was early doors when I commented and I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be to me mentioning ethnicity and gender – so I wimped out. For totally the reason you suggested. Charlotte obviously loves and defends her team – quite rightly as they are ace. It’s just what other people have said more elegantly is that the team represent one small slice of the world and I like more variety in my humans ?

Reply

Oh I’m not criticising at all. I totally understand why you did, I just thought it was a shame you felt you needed to given the whole point of charlotte’s post was that everyone should feel safe to express their views in this lovely corner of the Internet. X

Reply

I’m another reader who started with RMW all the years ago, but only picked up on RMS & RMF about 7 months ago just before my little one arrived. I read both daily and they are ace! Naturally some posts I find more interesting than others. I appreciated the baby proofing one for example because that is forefront in my mind right now. I agree that sometimes the post with a couple of sentences from each team member can feel lightweight, however in the post I just mentioned I really appreciated the different viewpoints as those are exactly the debates I’ve been having in my head! I often leave the shopping/room tour/ inspo posts for when I just want a minute looking at the pretty things as the price points are usually too high. Generally I think there’s a good balance, and if I’ve skipped through a couple of posts I know there’ll be another shortly to get my teeth into. As others have said more diversity is always good and regularly revisiting topics from various viewpoints with links back to the archives. Keep up the good work!

Reply

Another ‘Rock My…’ fan here. I frequently enjoy reading through the comments on RMS and RMF, usually to see what other experiences people have had with a particular product type, decorating or parenting issue. I’ve made quite a few purchases based on what I’ve read – my Baby Bjorn high chair (which I love), uniqlo thermals, topshop maternity jeans… I often find myself going back through the archives when researching a purchase or dilemma. I have noticed though, particularly here on RMF an increase in the amount of critical comments and find it is starting to take away from the positive ‘leave your judgey pants at the door’ community you had so successfully created. Obviously feedback can be a good thing to help you evolve and improve, just wish it didn’t clutter up the comment feeds.

Reply

Glad we have been able to help with the shopping and the dilemma’s. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment xx

Reply

I’m with Franky on the age-related content. I adore RMS but the content on RMF feels *predominantly* more aimed at Rock My Baby or Rock My Toddler. I have no interest in making a garland for my baby’s nursery or choosing Boden clothing – I want to read posts exploring why working mothers are told to feel guilty about working when fathers are not? How do I recreate my own innocent, country childhood for my kids when my 6 year old is watching Wengie and Amy-Jo on YouTube and we have to live in the city for our jobs? What can we do about the dreadful gendered nonsense inflicted on our children literally from birth that means my 4 year old daughter comes home from school and tells me a boy told her in the playground that she can’t play football because she’s a girl, and by the age of 6 our daughters are identifying as less smart than boys (seriously wtf on this)? Why the rise in blogs and social media hailing gin-drinking and decrying mothers who use Pinterest as inspiration for birthday parties? What clothes should I buy for my 13 year old goddaughter who I don’t know well enough to guess myself? Ideas for organising family life so everyone gets out the door on time with book bags and packed lunches and no missing party invitations (hot tip – photograph all party invites and school letters as soon as they enter the house so you always have a soft copy)? How do you manage when you have literally no help whatsoever from any family members? I’m a big Rock My Ltd fan and absolutely believe you’ve got the talent and the community to provide a fabulous resource, but you need to figure the direction of your content out and potentially source new voices. Look forward to seeing where you take the blog x

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *