I have been asked about my blogging story for so long and now that I am switching to Jeddah Mom, I think it is the perfect time to tell you all how I stepped into this field.
My Blogging Story
13 years ago, I was sitting at the breakfast table on a Sunday, reading the Times of India. There was an article about Web-logging and how it was going to be the next big thing.’Hmmm…’ I thought to myself.
That evening, I googled the word and so started my next biggest addiction.
I was waiting for my University seat to start my Masters at that time. In the four months since I had given my College exams, I had already done everything creative that I knew of and more. I was itching to find a new hobby so… Blogging was perfect because I knew nothing about it. I taught myself how to start a blog (which was easy) and then stayed up all night for three days in a row learning HTML and a bit of CSS so that I could get that perfect theme for my page. Then started the process of having every pretty thing on it! (A girl will always be a girl, even online!!) 🙂
I should mention, I did all this without spending a dime. Everything was free.
Those days, I wrote about my ‘repatriated expat kid and spoilt brat’ lifestyle and then when college started, I wrote about my adventures to surviving the first year of University. There were a lot of ‘memes’ and ‘writing prompts’ kind of articles but now looking back I think I wrote… total nonsense!
How Words ‘n’ Needles came to be:
The blog still existed during that time although I didn’t write much on it. The good thing about Blogger is that you can just go change the address of the blog and if it is available, you can very easily have a change of name and your whole content transferring over. Thank God for that, but I had to delete posts about my personal life and I started hiding my identity online.
Fast forward to another year and I had met my husband, married and taken the big step to move back to Saudi Arabia with him. I was brought up in Saudi Arabia and had moved to India when I was 15 years old to continue my education there. Almost 10 years later, I was back in this country and it had changed so much. Although I loved Jeddah, I was completely alien to other parts of Saudi Arabia.
It was different; The people, the climate and the life, I was having a hard time adjusting there. All the years that I had spent in India and all the freedom that I had so grown to love made me feel confined in this country. It was a different kind of life here. Don’t get me wrong: It wasn’t a bad life… It was just a different life. I was newly married and my husband was out at work all day and it was depressing me. So, I started blogging again to keep in touch with my closest friends and family. This blog was more private and password protected.
Becoming a mom…
In 2006, I got together with my best online buddy and together we started a mommy blog. We would write together on it and although it was only about our adventure to growing our children, I soon found that I loved writing about my mommy adventures. It made me keep track of my child’s growth and keep sane from worrying about being a bad mom. The blog spoke to me. It told me I was doing okay as a new time mommy. My biggest fear at that time that I was going to completely mess up this new role that I had been pushed into with the birth of my child. My friend, who was a new mommy herself, was very supportive and I loved comparing notes with her.
Aysh Gets Crafty…
Along with this mommy blog and my private one, I started a new blog when I discovered Tatting. I was doing the 25 Motif Challenge to learn to tat and one of the requirements of participating was that we have a blog where we will share our progress. For a whole year, I found myself writing on all three of these places. This was too much work and I was neglecting one or the other place so, that year, I clubbed all my blogs to make Words ‘n’ Needles. I talked about my ramblings as a new mom as well as about my crochet and tatting projects. I also made this new blog public so that my tatting buddies wouldn’t have any problem.
All these years, I have been Aysh from Words ‘n’ Needles. I journaled my journey moving from the Eastern province to settling down in Jeddah here . I wrote about my adventures finding yarn as well as ways how I entertain my kids. Ladies wrote to me asking questions about life here in Jeddah or where to find stuff or to tell me how much they enjoyed my patterns.
Why Jeddah Mom
In 2014, I rediscovered blogging when I was accepted to a community of Kid bloggers. I found activities for my kids and how to parent hands free. I had been struggling with ideas to do with my children before that time and my daughter Lil’ was having issues. Doctors couldn’t help me and I had a new baby with me too. I was also diagnosed with a rare Liver Disease. Between all this, my blogging saw a shift from creativity that was totally me-centered to getting creative with my children. As my children were growing up, I also found that more and more of my time was spent finding entertainment or resources for them.
I became a professional blogger because I found that I had the power to help others who were in the same boat as me: New moms who had been married to the expat life but were lonely in their journey. I had been there and understood completely what they were feeling. I saw me in them. I saw me looking for resources to parent right, me looking for ideas to juggle my home and kids. I knew that guilt of wanting me time but seeing your child’s face and wondering if it was ‘against the rules’ to find that me time. I had been there and now, I was seeing my family and friends at that point in their lives. At their stage, I had wished there was someone who could tell me I was doing okay. I found I could do it with my blog now.
But… everybody I knew thought I was blogging about Crochet and crafts. They thought I was a crochet ‘expert’ and a crafting genius. That is very far from the truth and no matter how many times I tried to avoid writing about these topics, people still thought I was good for only that.
I am not an expert Crocheter and I am sorry to say that I have no craft bone in me. I am only a hard worker. I enjoy crafting when it is a good challenge and crochet helps me keep my mind right. I am ADD with OCD and crochet helps me tame my monkey brain. I don’t crochet 24/7 but I do parent 24/7/12/365!
From the blogging point of view too, I was attracting the wrong kind of readers. Ladies who did not relate to my journey. It is just unfair- on their part and mine. I love that you like my patterns and I will gladly send you my latest ones but isn’t it wrong if you didn’t know that this is a mommy blog first?
So… I am now Jeddah Mom.
Jeddah, not because I am writing for Jeddah but because that is how I describe myself. I am a Jeddawi. I grew up here and then returned to find myself completely at home in this environment. For 12 years, I struggled with finding my identity elsewhere but things just clicked back to good ol’ times as soon as I made this city my home. Through this blog, you will read my story. How this Jeddah mom parents, keeps herself busy and the places we go. You can follow this blog to know more about my Jeddawi lifestyle.
I will still share my crochet patterns because we Jeddah moms love to crochet. It is one hobby here that crosses cultures and nationalities. But, you will also find help for moms and ideas for kids activities.
I hope you will like the new look. I am taking baby steps with rebranding this site. I am doing this all by myself with no prior experience and no technical background. It is all learning and implementing so… don’t be surprised if you come here and see things a bit weird. 🙂
Love you all,