First-time parenting can be a difficult proposition. You question your decisions, wonder about your child’s progress and often time want another parent to talk out your questions when you’re unsure of what to do next. With that in mind, Heather and James Johnson founded their blog The Parenting Patch in September 2011, as they were months away from being first-time parents. Daughter Poppy was born in December of that year.
“The mission of The Parenting Patch is to share the parenting experiences of preconception, conception, pregnancy, birth, and parenting with other parents, bloggers, and other interested bystanders,” Heather said. “The Parenting Patch is pro-breastfeeding, pro-vaccination, pro-homebirth, pro-co-sleeping/pro-bed-sharing, anti-ultrasound and anti-circumcision. All other viewpoints (expect pro-circumcision) are welcomed. The Parenting Patch encourages respectable debate and discussion.”
The blog allows Heather, a librarian, linguist and wife, to put her education to work. She holds English, creative writing, library and information science degrees.
“James, my husband, and I decided to start our own website after we had been doing some freelance blogging,” she said, “When that job ended, we decided to start our own blog as a way to continue writing about our parenting experiences. I also use my blog as a journal of my daughter. I love writing and am thrilled to have found an outlet for my creativity and a use for my creative writing minor.”
While she spends at least a few hours a day writing, Heather also works outside the home part-time at the University library.
“I get up and write,” she says of her typical day. “My daughter gets up a few hours later, so I take care
of her and hang out with her for a while. Then I go to my part time job … where I deal with all sorts of interesting problems from students and faculty. Then I come home and spend the rest of the evening with my daughter. My life is simple and predictable, but I love every moment, especially those that I spend with my daughter.”
There are few things Heather can’t live without. Atop the list are coffee, snuggles and her iPhone.
“I am still breastfeeding my daughter, so I am awoken a few times a night to nurse her. When I get up, I need my coffee to function.”
“Snuggles from my family, which includes my daughter, hubby, dog, and cat, are just wonderful. I cannot go a day without cuddling with my loved ones.“I use my iPhone for everything. I keep in touch with my hubby when I am at work with my phone. My phone is my alarm clock. All of my social media for my blog is on my phone. I find recipes on my phone.”
Heather feels confident and stands behind her words. She’s never regretted a post she’s written.
“I am very thoughtful about what I post,” she said. “I never post anything that I would be embarrassed to have a co-worker read. My readers may not always agree with me, but my opinion is my own, and I am not afraid to share.”
She spends a lot of time writing about breastfeeding and cloth diapers.
“I always planned on breastfeeding, but I never thought that I would become so impassioned about the subject,” she said. “Also, I never planned to cloth diaper but now I am obsessed. I would even go as far as to call myself a cloth diaper addict, although I prefer the term cloth diaper collector.”
There are several blogs which Heather is most proud of. These include her week-by-week pregnancy calendar series
“I spent almost a month writing about what happens during pregnancy each week. I researched and compiled all the information into a calendar that I want to use.”
Her sign language series was also quite popular among her readers it chronicles her daughter’s progress in baby sign language.
“As a linguist, I am interested in all languages. As a parent, I am especially interested in using sign language with young children. I was super excited when my daughter started signing ‘milk.’
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