FOR most mums, parenting blogs hailing the latest recipe for organic beetroot baby puree or high fashion for trendy tots can seem a world away from the realities of raising your brood.
But one acclaimed blogger, who describes her site as being for “women who want to start a family but are not sure quite how ‘into’ babies they are”, has put what we were perhaps all thinking, but not saying aloud, online.
With posts from the likes of Breastfeeding in public: How to get them out when you’re out and about, and Is My Son a D**k?, it’s clear to see how Kirsty Smith’s Eeh Bah Mum blog attracted a legion of fans, and a book deal.
The mum-of-two has just seen her first book, How to Have a Baby and Not Lose Your S**t, published, and is now working on a novel.
Originally from Haworth, Kirsty, Mr Eeh Bah, as her partner has become known, and their two children moved from London back to her native Yorkshire and Ilkley in 2012.
A few months later, she published her first blog.
Within a few weeks, her eighth post, the aforementioned one about son Albert, was noticed by Netmums, who picked her as blog of the week. Similar acclaim was later given by Mumsnet.
Fast-forward just under two years, and many blog posts, with hilarious episodes courtesy of Albert, now three and big sister Iris, five, and she was approached by a publisher.
“I’d always wanted to write a book but never really had the confidence,” Kirsty, 43, said. “When I was first approached I was horrified, and told him to go away. But after I thought about it a bit more, I decided to go for it.”
The book isn’t a collection of blog posts, instead about enjoying and celebrating parenting but acknowledging its challenges, “about how you can love your children to the moon and back but still not like having fingers that smell of poo”.
“When I write my blogs, in my mind I am writing them to myself before I had a baby or toddler - things I think would be useful or funny,” Kirsty said.”The book is for me too, for people who have a career or have just started a family.”
But why start blogging in the first place? Kirsty, a former television producer who worked in magic and comedy, had moved up from London and had few friends with babies, and found her own experience wasn’t represented in the blog world.
She said: “I didn’t know anything about blogging, but I’d always written. I started the blog to stop myself going mad with a baby and a two-year-old.
“I’d started reading blogs, but none were my experience of being a mum. I didn’t understand that there was this parenting blog thing going on.
“I just wrote. I didn’t really understand the whole social media aspect to it. I didn’t have a twitter account or promote my posts in any way, I just put them up. I still don’t know how Netmums found me to make me blog of the week. I just started writing and didn’t expect anybody to read it.”
Kirsty rarely sits down in front of the computer and starts from scratch, instead, ideas are jotted down in notebooks during “snatched moments” on the go. Her first post, in February 2013, wasn’t about parenting, but the loneliness of the long distance runner, but Albert and Iris soon snuck in.
Popularity hasn’t changed what she writes, but has made her conscious of it.
“I’m friends with a lot of bloggers now, and it’s something we talk about, “ she said. “But you can’t change what you write to be what people want to read.
“Though if I have a successful post, it’s hard not to think ‘ooh I’ll write another of those’”.
Instead, her blog is a real mixture of advice, anecdotes and photos of the anarchy left behind by two under-sixes. But she never claims to be an expert.
Before she had Iris, Kirsty says she’d never read a baby book.
“The real reason I hadn’t was because when I started trying to have a family, I kept having miscarriages,” Kirsty said. “I felt like it was bad luck to read about something that might not happen.
“When I came home from hospital with my daughter I hadn’t done a single NCT class or read a book.
“But it was a really nice time as I met so many women who had just had babies. It was that support network - and Google - that got me through. It’s not rocket science, just don’t drop them!”
Ever the perfectionist with her blog, writing the book was a new experience for Kirsty.
She already had the chapters in mind before her first publishing meeting, but when it came to writing, she had to learn to let go.
Kirsty said: “When it comes to a blog post, I edit it loads, go through draft, after draft, after draft. But I learnt, working with an editor, to send it off. I still fiddle with my blog now, so it was a strange thing to send it off and be done.”
The book went on sale on Amazon on November 30, and early reviews have been very positive. She’s already working on a novel, as well as juggling television scripts and a script for a theatrical production based on Grimm’s fairytales.
“It’s still quite a shock that I have got a book out,” she said. “But I like to have a few things on the go.
“When I started the book, when I got stuck I’d sneak off and write a blog post. You’re putting off what you’re supposed to be doing, but getting another thing done.
“But my house is still an absolute tip.”
How to Have a Baby and Not Lose Your S**t is available from Amazon
Read more from Kirsty on her blog Eeh Bah Mum
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