This mother of two discovered blogging as an avenue to encourage others, make a difference, and win an award along the way.
Contributed By Theresa Tan
“I started my blog three months after taking the plunge into full-time stay-home motherhood,” says Daphne Ling, 29. “At first, it was meant to chronicle my journey as a mom so I could look back in 10 years and remember all the heart-melting baby moments. But as I started writing, I found that it was a great way to stay connected to the world outside.”
Ling also admits, “While it was fulfilling to stay home with two non-talking babies all day, I was starved for conversation and blogging was a good way to use up some of that 20,000-word-a-day quota I had.”
Ling’s blog Mother, Inc was started in February 2009. In the short two-and-a-half years it has existed, Ling has used the site to not only share her honest views on parenting issues, but galvanize supporters for a good cause, such as a fun day for the beneficiaries of the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Ling was awarded the Best Parenting Blog award two weeks ago at the Singapore Blog Awards 2011, beating out nine other finalists. Bloggers were judged on how entertaining and inspiring their blogs are, as well as how well they express and present their content. The Blog Awards is organized yearly by OMY, under Singapore Press Holdings. Judges this year included filmmaker Kelvin Tong and fashion designer Keith Png.
Kids and Clicks
The stars of Mother, Inc are Truett, 3, and Kirsten, 2. “They’re as different as two kids could possibly be, but they’re each other’s best friends. I’d say that most of the blog posts are inspired by the crazy things they do and say, like this one time when they almost got us into trouble with the police, having made numerous nuisance calls to 999 without my knowledge,” reveals Ling, adding that she received a warning letter. The blog post was wittily titled: “I’ll Remember To Blog When I’m In Jail.”
While every parent feels that their own child is the most adorable/intelligent/funny, Ling captures her offspring’s moments of strengths and weaknesses the way one tries to catch bubbles without bursting them, with all the swirling colors and sentiments intact.
“Truett is a sweet, sensitive soul,” she describes. “He loves his sister as much as he loves trains and gummies, which is an awful lot. Occasionally, he says that he loves trains and gummies more but we suspect that deep down inside, it’s probably the other way around. Kirsten is a free spirit and an attention magnet. She sings at the top of her lungs in the malls and runs up to peer at the uncles sleeping at the void deck. She’s usually the one instigating her big brother to commit random acts of mischief and rushes to comfort him when he’s upset.”
Ling, who used to work in advertising and media relations, and for a season was a volunteer editor for City News, writes well—her heartfelt post on the May general elections struck a chord with many first-time voters, attracting 5,000 Facebook “Likes.” It scored her a recent meeting with Dr. Tony Tan, along with other prominent bloggers like mr brown.
She credits her husband, Kelvin Kao, 31, a senior account manager in a public relations agency, for being her partner and chief cheerleader in Mother, Inc.
“My husband is the biggest fan of the blog, and besides taking care of the technical stuff like adding the Facebook ‘Like’ button, he often gives ideas, both topic- and treatment-wise. It’s definitely one of the reasons why I’m still blogging today, because it’s a commitment to write and edit photos—which I sometimes do late into the night—and I’m glad that he understands what I do. Also, he gives me awesome feedback on my posts. And by that I mean he always says that my posts are awesome, which is extremely encouraging.”
Making A Difference
In October last year, Mother, Inc organized Happee Day for kids from the Children’s Cancer Foundation. “Through the blog, I managed to get the word out and got a lot of support from over 40 bloggers who helped publicize the event,” she says.
“I also used the blog as a platform to get sponsors on board, in exchange for publicity. It was a risk though, as everything from the logistics to the venue to the different booths was entirely sponsor-driven; for example, we only confirmed the catering sponsor for 250 people about two weeks before the event. If that hadn’t worked out, I would have had to fork out over S$3,000 for the food alone! But in the end we got over 30 sponsors, so that was pretty amazing.”
Ling evidently enjoys touching lives in ways big and small. Her blog draws regular emails from readers. “From the onset, I wanted to keep it as real as possible, which meant talking about topics bloggers don’t typically talk about, and sharing difficult personal experiences I’ve gone through, like post natal depression and breastfeeding. And because of that, I often get emails from readers who share how they felt encouraged after reading some of my posts. It helps them to know that they’re not alone and someone else has made it through to the other side,” says Ling.
“My personal take on parenting is that it is a tough enough journey without having others judge you. A lot of parents have commented that they felt better as parents after reading my posts.”
Ling’s blog Mother, Inc is at www.motherinc.org .