Meet the BornFree Parent Panel* made up of mums and dads just like you who’ll be writing regular blog posts on all kinds of parenting issues.
Our current contributors are:
Ben has lived in Warwickshire all his life, and currently lives in the small town of Kenilworth (where the average age is around 80, and the average driving speed in the low 20s) with his wife and two young sons. During his day job he works as a Quantity Surveyor for a leading UK housebuilder, and therefore spends his days drowning in numbers. He is passionate about writing, and has recently self-published his first book, ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad’ – an informative and hilarious account of one man’s journey through the ups and downs of pregnancy, with practical advice for dads-to-be. During the weekends, Ben spends most of his time pushing his eldest son on a swing in the local park, or chasing after him in a soft play centre, and loves every minute. Among Ben’s dislikes is the sound of crunching, excessive exercise and talking in the third person.
A busy but contented wife and Mummy of three toddlers – a three year old son and 2 year old twins (boy and girl)!
A science teacher by trade and a profession I hope to return too (don’t get me started on childcare costs!)
I feel that I never have enough arms to do all I want to achieve and so strive to be like the octopus in my symbol!
I am a lover of chocolate, an admirer of fashion and home decor, I love a bit of craft and baking (I am rubbish but I love it).
I blog about family life and the chaos and joys that three so small bring to my life!
Cathy James is the mother of two girls aged 4 and 7 and lives in the north of England. She is a childminder who looks after babies and pre-schoolers and is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. She’s passionate about giving children a great start in life and believes children thrive with a gentle routine, great food and lots of play.
With a background in training and coaching, Cathy understands children are natural learners who develop best when they have an active, positive environment. Cathy will be sharing ideas on easy and fun things you can do at home with your children to help them develop the important early learning skills.
She writes about children’s play, learning and crafts at her own blog www.nurturestore.co.uk. When she’s not doing jigsaws or making models with egg boxes she loves cooking and gardening.
Cathy writes about all things home grown, home cooked and homemade at her blog www.homemademummy.net.
Author of Curly & Candid
Nicki is a busy Mum to two boys, Kieran (2006) and Taylor (2010), and wife to the long-suffering Roy. A keen blogger and freelance writer, working on a variety of projects at any given time, from ghost-writing to guest-writing. Nicki loves the freedom working as a writer brings to her and her family and is enjoying watching her boys grow.
When not writing, Nicki is a keen cook, amateur photographer, social media addict, and enjoys walking in her native North Yorkshire.
Victoria Wallop is a freelance writer and social media consultant who lives in London with her three children, husband and dog. She’s recently returned from backpacking around the world with her family, dog not included, recording every gory detail on her blog ‘It’s a small world after all’. It was an amazing nine months, but she’s glad to be home and leech free. She also blogs about subjects other than mossies at words and pictures.
Contributing author at parentdish
Born and bred in the UK, Suze decided to change her life and emigrate to Germany in order to tick “learn another language” off her bucket list! A decade later, she is married to a German and has a six year old daughter who employs her bilingualism only when it plays to her advantage.
Following a successful two year column “Achtung Baby” with www.parentdish.co.uk she is combining motherhood and the betterment of her German with the pursuit of a career as a freelance writer.
Suze is a committed advocate of cross-culture relationships and believes the emergence of a second language as a consequence has a myriad of benefits. That said, the absence of clotted cream, Heinz Tomato Soup and decent English Tea Bags (amongst others) in the land of Currywürst does, just occasionally, have her pining for the homeland.
Our past contributors have been:
Christine lives in a ramshackle house in Somerset with her husband and four children aged 15, 14, 11 and 6 where she tries to hold everything together by blogging, freelance writing and placing buckets under drips.
Her background as a primary school teacher and her fifteen years of parenting have certainly given her plenty of things to write about! Last year saw her visiting Mozambique and New York with Save the Children and blogging for the Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development. This has strengthened her resolve to use blogging and social media to help make a difference to children’s lives.
Author of Baby Budgeting
Becky Goddard-Hill runs the popular parenting blog Baby Budgeting and she is the author of the book How to Afford Time off with Your Baby (Vermilion 2009) Becky is mum to Frankie and Annalise and has been a stay at home mum on a budget for a long time!
Susanne Remic is a mother of two and is expecting her third child in February. She is a part time primary school teacher, freelance writer and parent blogger. You can find Susanne at Ghostwritermummy and Maternity Matters, where she writes to raise awareness of birth trauma.
Hello, my name is Emma, I studied Microbiology and Virology at University then went to work as a computer programmer in London. Three children later I am a full time stay at home mum, psychology student with the Open University and parent blogger with not enough hours in the day. My life is filled with playing, cooking, creating all manner of science and craft projects and driving little people around. You can find me at www.mummymummymum.com and http://www.science-sparks.com/
Author of Young and Younger
In her pre-children life, Heather Young was an interiors editor on a glossy mag, and she swapped nosing round beautiful homes for dirty nappies and baby talk when her girl boy twins Ez and Fonz were born in September 2009. Now she’s joined the ranks of the Work At Home Mums, striving to find that perfect work/life balance. Heather writes about life with twins, and the different challenges the family faces as Ez and Fonz go from babyhood to toddlerdom.
Author of and1moremeans4
I’m a married, working mum to 5 wonderful children. I have 4 girls aged 5, 4, 3 and 18months and my son who is 4 months old. I have always wanted a large family and having my children so close together has made us all very close and one big happy family. Juggling family life and working 24 hours a week can be a rollercoaster of emotions but it is very rewarding being surrounded by lots of love and happiness. I have been with my husband for nine years and we met whilst I was still at school. I was only 19 when I had my first daughter and she changed my life forever.
I began blogging and writing in March 2009 whilst I was pregnant with my 4th daughter. I have always loved writing so I set up my own blog and began rambling away about my life with 5 little ones sharing the honest truth about parenting, the highs, the lows and the funny bits in between. I hope to share some good stories, advice and everything parenting related and make some good friends along the way.
Author of Me The Man and the Baby
Emma is a busy mum and blogger who also works part-time. She has been blogging at Me the Man and the Baby since the birth of her son in April 2009, sharing tales of the ups and downs of life with her partner and lively toddler Oliver. She is currently expecting her second baby who is due in April 2012.
Emma started blogging to make new friends after moving to a new town, but now finds her blog attracts visitors from all over the world, and occasionally stirs up controversy! As a parent blogger, Emma has also had the opportunity to attend PR events all over the country, from family-friendly farms in Oxfordshire to a sneak preview of the Christmas collection of one of London’s top department stores. Head over to her blog to find out more.
Author of Mother’s Always Right
Former disco queen, turned journalist, turned mum to baby Freya, Molly is a committed Take That fan and shark enthusiast. She also rather likes writing and recently packed in a full-time job as a radio newsreader to enter the world of freelance journalism.
Molly lives in a village in Berkshire, just round the corner from Kate Middleton’s birthplace. Despite this fact, she is certainly not posh. When she’s finished changing dirty nappies or singing nursery rhymes, Molly can be found blogging at http://mothersalwaysright.wordpress.com
Author of Bringing up Charlie
Father-of-three Tim Atkinson is an award-winning UK parent blogger and a well-established author.
His site: www.bringingupcharlie.co.uk is among the most popular parent blogs in the country and has featured in national press, on radio and television as well as winning several national and international awards. Tim is frequently invited to discuss a wide range of parenting issues on radio and television as well as contributing to features in newspapers and magazines.
Having spent a wonderful sabbatical as a stay-at-home dad with his three-year-old son, Charlie, he is passionate about helping other dads make the most of the vital early months and years with their children.
Jen Walshaw writes the popular Mum in the Madhouse blog, about life in the North East of England with her husband (Mad Dad) and two lively sons (Mini and Maxi).
Jen is passionate about crafting and cooking, and can often be found in the kitchen teaching the boys to make pizza dough, or making home-made gifts for family and friends.
When she isn’t up to her elbows in flour and paint, Jen is a partner in the MAD Blog Awards, the UK’s leading awards for parent bloggers.
Author at What Katie’s Kids Did Next
I’m Kate, a stay at home mummy to two, wonderful, but slightly mad children, Holly 8 (going on 18) and Charlie almost 2.
I started blogging as a way of recording all the funny things the children got up to, not realising just how funny kids are!
As a mummy, my children are the most important things in the world to me, bar none, but sometimes even Mums need some off time, so I like to talk about everything from nappies to keeping the spark alive.
I’m honest, straight talking, slightly crazy, and I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
Author of Cheshire Mum
I’m Claire, mummy behind “Cheshire Mum”. Mum to my little boy who arrived in Spring 2007 and his little sister who arrived in Autumn 2009.
A married-single-mum, my husband works away from home often, I live in Cheshire juggling life as a working mum between nursery runs on the quest for a working term time solution.
I am known for my straight talking yet sympathetic approach and share my experiences telling it how it is on anything from colic to family friendly holidays.
When I’m not down the park feeding the ducks I do enjoy a glass of prosecco with the “big” girls.
Author at Beetroot and Gherkins
Rebecca is a stay at home Mummy to three year old Monty and 9 month old Blossom. Motherhood teaches her new things every day. Some lessons are deep and some more along the lines of how best to remove child vomit from a duvet cover!
She is passionate about breastfeeding, cloth nappies and baby led weaning but also believe sometimes it’s all about getting through 24 hours in one piece!
She loves blogging in a warts and all fashion and started her blog when she was pregnant with Blossom. Her blog is an honest account of pregnancy cravings to potty training and everything in between.
She is qualified in children’s care, learning and development but unfortunately her children have not read the same text books as her! Life is a bit of a roller coaster and if you see a slightly harassed women with a double buggy, being pulled along by a big Labrador in a South coast seaside town then please smile and wave. She probably won’t see you as she’ll have forgotten to put her contacts in but the thought’s there!
I am Chelle, I am proud mum to a beautiful red headed ball of energy. A Brighton wife and mamma writing under the guise of Mamma McCann. I started blogging when I was 17 weeks pregnant, wanting to give first time mums like me an honest diary of my feelings and thoughts throughout pregnancy. I also run a review site where a group of parents give honest yet positive reviews. This came about as a result of reading too many negative reviews and becoming confused with what’s good/bad in the mummy buying world.
Since my pregnancy and having my little Fizz I have gone through all sorts of emotions, been given lots of advice (not always taken) and it’s been such a rollercoaster. I’ve gone from exclusively breastfeeding to bottle feeding, from puree feeding to baby led weaning, from sleep training hater to sleep training lover. I love baby wearing but can still often be seen suffering from pushchair envy.
I want to tell you the truth, not gloss it over andI’d like to share our adventures whether good, bad, exciting or scary.
*BornFree would like you to know that all the Parent Panel posts are written soley by the individual panel members and as such represent their opinions and not neccessarily those of BornFree. Any advice given is purely from the blogger’s personal experience, if you have any concerns about issues raised in any of our Parent Panel posts then we urge you to seek advice from the relevant professionals. BornFree will endeavour to provide relevant links where neccessary.