Something for the weekend: Up close and personal

Every selection I make in this weekly feature of the best mum and dad blog posts is a personal one. This week’s picks are even more personal than most, because they are by people I have had the privilege of meeting.

This time last week I was attending BritMums Live with over 700 other parenting bloggers. It was my first such event and, to be honest, I was terrified.

The two bloggers I’ve selected this week may not feature at the top of the various blog ranking tables but they are still two of my favourite people, who made my BritMums Live experience all the more rich for their presence.

Not Another BritMums Post / The Mask I Wear – Papa_Tont

Tony is a father of two who, as a serving soldier, has had to spend long periods away from his family. He’s also a kind, gentle and honest man who, despite what one might think from his profession and enviable physique, is both shy and sensitive. In many respects, we are kindred spirits.

His was also the first face I saw when I arrived in London for the event – a warm smile and a cheery wave from the other side of a window in All Bar One. I’d been racked with nerves up to that point. As soon as I saw Tony, they melted away.

I’m breaking ranks with my usual convention and highlighting two posts by Tony – one new, one old – and not just because he name-checks me in both of them.

In Not another BritMums post, he talks frankly about his trepidation at attending such a large event and his mixed feelings coming out of it. Whereas in The mask I wear, a post written three months previously, he describes the insecurities he conceals behind the mask of confidence he feels compelled to wear in both his family and professional roles. I think we can all associate with that to some degree, no matter how outgoing and confident we may seem to the outside world.

I feel exactly the same. I’m delighted to have finally met Tony in person and proud to consider him a friend.

You can follow Tony on his blog Papa_Tont and on Twitter @Papa_Tont.

The irreversible reality of time – Free Range Chick

Fiona is a former cardiac nurse, mother of two and now also the blogger and social media manager for her local car garage.

She’s a true free spirit, outgoing (man, can she talk!) and loud. Pretty much the opposite of me, in fact. In an exchange we had a few weeks before BritMums Live, she wondered whether she would drive me mad given that we are such different personalities. I said to her that I knew we would get on well precisely because we are such different and complementary personalities. I was right – we’re totally different people but we clicked straight away.

The irreversible reality of time takes a universal theme – the way time seems to speed up as we get older – and turns it into an examination of our relationships with our parents and our children.

Her post is a poignant, touching reminder of how valuable a commodity time is. It’s not a coincidence that we talk about time in the same way we talk about money: we spend it, we waste it, we lose it, and things take time and money. It is finite and, like money, we should make the most of what we have rather than worry about not having enough of it.

You can follow Fiona on her blog Free Range Chick and on Twitter @FChick1.

If you have any suggestions for great posts by other bloggers you’ve read this week, feel free to add them in the comments below.


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