Teacher Maria Rushe has been blogging as The S-Mum for almost three years about her life with her husband, Emmet, and their two daughters.
“I write about the realities of being a parent,” she said. “I try my best to dispel the false perfections and perceived ideals that are portrayed online. As mammies, we all do what is best for our own kids and what another mum thinks about your style of parenting is quite frankly, not your problem.
“I don’t hold back. I sometimes swear. I post and blog about the highs and the lows and I like to make people laugh.”
Maria describes blogging as “therapy” and she loves connecting with like-minded people.
“I enjoy the interaction on my Facebook page. My favourite thing ever is when I read a message or comment from another S-Mum saying how I’ve ‘read her mind’ or how she ‘could have written this’. To know that your words can have a positive impact is such a treat. And realising that I’m not the only one who feels like I’m about to lose my marbles helps too!”
The mum-of-two is cautious of social media but embraced blogging to better understand the students when she teaches English.
“Social media is our ‘Terrible Beauty’; it’s wonderful but so dangerous. I enjoy the communication and new people it brings to me, but I find it difficult to keep up with it all.
“Blogging helps me in my job as being submerged in Social Media definitely helps me to understand the world of my students. I try to teach them how to read it; how to recognise it as a genre, rather than a reality.”
Maria found remaining anonymous challenging and sometimes struggles with trolls online.
“At the beginning, I tried to remain anonymous. After a few months, that became difficult. I grew more confident in my writing and the response was encouraging.
“I do use my poetic licence sometimes. I have to inject a little bit of fiction into the S-Mum to prevent it from being too intrusive to our lives. I chose what to share. I chose what not to share.
“Your first hater or troll is a challenge too. I don’t take them on. I ban and block. End of.”
She says the support she received from fellow parent bloggers has been encouraging.
“I have found them to be such a supportive and honest bunch. It’s refreshing talking with like-minded people and it’s intriguing how many different avenues people take their blogs.