The MADs factor

21 March 2016

Dear friend,

I used to love the X Factor. It dominated my Saturday nights for years. The glitz, the glamour, the clothes, hair and makeup and of course the singing. I loved finding out about the contestants the most and as the weeks progressed it was the main topic of conversation with colleagues and friends. We all had our favourites but certain people stood out; the characters, the exceptional talents, the ones with a story to share, who pulled at your emotions.

Now I find myself in my own reality show (well kind of). It is awards season in the blogging World and I have become wrapped up in the excitement and buzz created by the MADs and BiBs.

So which contestant am I and why would anyone want to give me their vote?

As I find it toe curlingly embarrassing to big myself up in any way at all. I'm going to hand you over to my fresh voiced, lovely and brutally honest blogging pal, Katie aka Mummy in a Tutu.

An Imperfect Mum... what kind of contestant would she be? Well let’s look at her info shall we? Catie quietly slinked into the blogging world in a very subtle way, whilst writing such poignant posts as ‘Is My Child Invisible?’ that when reading completely pulled at your heart strings and whilst emotional left you craving more of her writing right from the start. Catie started by writing about her feelings, thoughts and emotions and has gone on to writing posts such as ‘Advice for Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism’  and has gone out of her way to share all her highs and lows in a bid to help every other parent with a child who has autism. 
Catie came into my blogging life quite randomly, through one of the lovely comments she leaves on every blog she reads and I now could not imagine my virtual world without her. What has made me return to her blog again and again is her optimism and the way that she draws you straight in to what feels like a giant hug right from her ‘Dear Friend’ at the beginning of each post. The Diary of An Imperfect Mum inspires me... it inspires me to be brave and honest in my own writing and to face whatever I need to. 
You should also take a look at her Photography as she has a way of capturing thousands of words in one simple photo of both her family and wherever she may be. Catie also created her own link up called #FamilyFun which is fast on the rise and provides a wonderful place for anyone to share their own highs and lows and what makes it even better is that she really goes out of her way to leave such wonderful messages on the posts that are shared with her.
If you are looking to be inspired or for friendship, honesty or a virtual world hug then there is no other blog I’d rather go to.
So what kind of ‘X Factor’ contestant would Catie be? She’d be that quiet talent that you love right from the first audition who will probably surprise us all in the end!

(Thank you so much Katie for writing this. I actually cried when I read it!)

I'll leave you with a small speech too in typical X Factor style:

This means everything to me, it's all I've ever dreamed of. 
If you vote for me, I'll work so hard. 
Just give me a chance, please! 

But seriously, my blogging journey (Did you see what I did there?) has been pretty epic. 

I started the Diary of an imperfect mum with a few short posts; feelings, thoughts and ideas that I had been bottling up for a long time, that I had scribbled on paper, typed in notes on my phone or kept locked away deep inside. I have said it before but blogging for me is; like breathing out... 

As the mum of a special needs child it has given me the opportunity to open up and speak honestly, passionately and positively about the 'normality' of our life and provided a vehicle to raise awareness and acceptance of difference. 

Over the past year I have started my Autiquotes series: Quotes about Autism, reflections that I have made in my posts on Diary of an imperfect mum only in a more accessible form. I also shared my Hysterectomy journey by journaling my experience and completed the series with one of my most popular posts: What has having a Hysterectomy taught me. What I enjoy most about blogging is that it enables me to look back and see how far my son has come, to focus on the positives, like in these posts Life lessons my autistic son has taught me and Autism is...

I am very proud of what I have achieved so far but I don't just mean the statistics. I am most proud of the wonderful comments from people. People who have laughed, cried or perhaps learned something and felt compelled to tell me and to share my posts. Thank you to all of you who have supported me! 

SO which X factor contestant am I? I am the one who never in a million years would have done this if it hadn't been for her son showing her that anything is possible! 

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Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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