You may have seen our next blogger on TV shows like Daybreak and Lorraine or even read about her in The Daily Telegraph or The Sunday Times. Hayley Goleniowska set up her multi award-winning blog Downs Side Up, after her daughter Natty was born with Down’s Syndrome, as a place to share her story with other parents and perhaps help or give them advice.
Reasons we love this blog:
Downs Side Up is a blog with a purpose – the words ‘love, inspire, support, educate, change, campaign, include, fundraise’ sit on the blog and Hayley is making it her mission to fulfill those words through the blog. We love the fact that Hayley is such an advocate for Down’s Syndrome and fundraises and raises awareness for such a great cause.
Q: What made you decide to begin Down’s Side Up?
A: I so desperately wanted to buy new parents with a baby with Down’s Syndrome precious time with their newborns and help them cut through the fear and uncertainty that I felt. I cannot go back and re-live those early days, but I hope to make a difference for others.
Q: What’s your top tip for expectant first-time mums?
A: Learn to expect the unexpected and to love and accept your new baby for exactly who they are, not what you think they should be. Don’t compare yourself, or them, to others and take time to cherish those early days. They pass so quickly.
Q: What tips and advice would you give to other mums (and dads!) looking to start a parenting blog?
A: Blog for you, not for others. If you find your unique voice and always blog with integrity and authenticity the rest will follow. I never look at my stats, they are irrelevant to me. If just one person reads something I have written and find their life changed as a result, then the post was worth it.
Q: What are your thoughts on parents constantly comparing their kids to others?
A: I feel a little sorry for parents and children caught in this trap. The beauty of being in the exclusive ‘special needs club’ is that all bets are off and everyone celebrates the smallest of all children’s achievements. It’s relief in many ways and it teaches you how to get your priorities straight. I put happiness and self-esteem first for all our children now.
Hayley Goleniowska is multi award-winning blogger, author and writer at Downs Side Up, a blog about parenting a child with Down’s syndrome. She advocates for acceptance and understanding of the syndrome and provides a resource for parents to educate themselves.