Each week we are highlighting a different Chronic Illness Bloggers’ member as our ‘Blogger of the Week‘. As well as getting to know each other better, we hope that you enjoy this series and that you find the interviews with each member to be insightful and helpful.
This week our blogger of the week is Ashley of Struggling to Thrive.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a mother of a child with Noonan Syndrome-Like Disorder (SHOC2). He’s my first, so I don’t really have a good frame of reference for what’s “normal.” I never took much interest in babies until I had my own. It just didn’t seem interesting. They had their Mommies, and they didn’t need me. Sometimes I wish I had paid a little more attention! My child is the first in the family to need significant medical care, and the first my family has cared for with a feeding tube. Many of my sisters’ children only go in for well visits. I’ve put my career aside, for now, to give my son my full support. A lot of people told me I’ll regret it one day. A lot of people are wrong. This is where I belong right now.
2. What is your blog called and how do you define your blog’s purpose?
Struggling to Thrive. Its purpose is to provide support and information relevant to parents of children who are Failure to Thrive (FTT) or struggle with low muscle tone (hypotonia). I also share our journey as well as post any tips or tricks I learn along the way. I host a door sign for free download that advises guests on basic sanitation guidelines when entering a home with a medically fragile child. Once I published my book, ‘Becoming a Medical Mom’, it also became an avenue to get the word out about the title.
3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging for about a year. I first began in June 2015 as an outlet. As I became more and more blog savvy I started writing down important information and sharing it with my fellow Moms. There’s not a lot about managing medical care on the blog because that’s what my book is about. It does, however, cover just about everything else.
4. How often do you post? What made you decide to post on this schedule?
I do my best to post once a week. Every once in a while I’ll get into a routine and it’ll be on the same day but that rarely lasts. Sometimes I post more. It depends on how much I have to say that week.
5. Do you feel blogging has benefitted you? If so, how?
Absolutely! The comments and e-mails I get about how much I’ve helped other Moms are the highlight of my day. It’s tough for me to feel like I have a purpose sometimes when I’m trudging through the day-to-day care with our son. I love him dearly and he’s absolutely worth it. It’s just tough to feel like you’re hanging on by your fingernails and still not able to “fix” the problem. At least, if I can’t fix our problems, I can help someone else fix theirs.
6. Why do you feel it’s important to blog about chronic illness?
Chronic illness is lonely and exhausting. This is especially true when your illness is rare. Blogging is a great way to reach out and find others going through similar struggles.
7. What are your top 3 blogging tips for other bloggers?
1. Have a vision and a mission and stay true to both.
2. If you can’t say something nice then back away from the keyboard.
3. Turn off your ad blocker. Ad revenue is one of the few ways blogs can make a dent in their operating costs. You don’t need to click on them, just don’t block them entirely.