This week we speak with Fiona Anderson, finalist in the Making a Difference category. Fi is the force behind Journey Of An Ambitious Turtle, a blog about parenting with a disability.
In her blog, she shares her story of navigating motherhood with Muscular Dystrophy.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I took the plunge to start a blog after finding next to no resources, blogs, positive articles or just general information about parenting with a disability in the UK. Parenting with Muscular Dystrophy meant generalised parenting guides didn’t meet my needs. I’d have to find alternative ways to many practical aspects of baby and childcare tasks.
Disabled parents aren’t talked about in mainstream media which cements the notion that disabled people shouldn’t have children, it’s almost taboo… I didn’t ‘fit’ into mum and baby groups and ended up doing all my own research, product finding, positivity building and more myself. I knew after finally finding online support groups for parents like me, that I wasn’t alone in feeling frustrated and isolated that there isn’t MORE out there for us.
Not wanting other individuals with disabilities to feel deterred from parenthood through finding nothing positive on the internet, I set out to provide future disabled parents with a resource they could depend on. This included lived-experience from all angles; navigating motherhood and life with Muscular Dystrophy/general physical disability, giving them the tools and information I never had at the start so they could spend less time worrying and problem-solving the practicalities of disabled parenthood, and more time enjoying this new and exciting chapter of their lives.
What other blogs/organisations do you turn to for advice?
I work with various disability charities such as Muscular Dystrophy UK, Habinteg Housing,Scope and recently became a trustee and Communications Manager for a brand new, first-of-its kind charity in the UK called Enabled2Parent – supporting parents with disabilities and additional needs. All of these organisations have played a vital role in helping me grow as a person, parent and given me opportunities I may not have otherwise had to be a voice for others.
Describe yourself in three words
Ambitious, passionate, determined.
Cucumber sticks and hummus!
Favourite thing to do if you have some ‘me’ time?
I really enjoy doing anything crafty.
If there was a film of your life, what would it be called?
A Life Well Lived.
Which talent of yours are you most proud of?
Not a talent as such, but I have been fluent in British Sign Language since childhood. I learnt it from a young age so I could communicate with deaf children in my primary school. I’m proud that I pursued getting certificates in BSL as an adult.
If you could be one fictional character, who would you be?
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
What’s the closest thing to magic?
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start blogging?
Don’t look at ‘big bloggers’ and get overwhelmed that they have swanky banners or a big following; it’s your content that will make you stand out over anything else.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s BAPS Awards?
Meeting other SEND bloggers and sharing in others’ happiness when they are recognised for the amazing blogs they’ve created.
The Baps Awards Ceremony takes place 4th November from 6.00pm. This year, due to COVID19 the event will be held virtually. Want to join the celebrations? Sign up for free here.
The BAPS Awards
The BAPs (Bloody Awesome Parents) Awards allows SEND bloggers to be recognised for their talents, tales and achievements. Founded by Bringing Us Together and My Family, Our Needs, these awards celebrate SEND Bloggers everywhere. Click here to find out more…