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      28.08.2002 22:59
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      Being a mother of four children, I sometimes feel the need for the company of other mums. Of course, I have friends I can contact, but things are not always that easy. If I am awake worrying about something at 2am, I am not going to ring one of my mates! Also some problems or concerns can be very specific to the gender of your child(ren), their ages or how many kids you’ve got. I have three girls and a boy. My eldest will be 12 in October then my son is 10, my other daughters and 9 and 6 years old. Sometimes the logistics of getting a journey sorted for the six of us can be difficult or maybe needing new ideas of foods to cook. My eldest starts High School next week and that is another concern. This is where I find parental websites come into their own. I have visited UK Parents quite a lot recently, but also discovered another that looked promising – UK Mother. So I thought I’d share my experiences with you, in case they might be helpful for other parents or pregnant women on the site. When you look at the homepage, it is rather dull. The beige, brown and blue colour scheme really isn’t very inviting at all, but it’s the content we’re really interested in after all. There’s a button saying ‘Sign me up!’ and it all looks okay, so I click through to do so and find I’ve already registered. (Typical!) I can’t really recall being there before, but I think it was on the day I discovered UK Parents and pretty much stuck to that one site from then on. There are lots of interesting looking forums relating to pregnancy, children of various ages, miscarriages, baby names, reviews of certain child-related products and so on. As all my children are of school age, I click on the drop-down banner and am transported rather slowly to that section. I find forums a bit hard to navigate really though. I much prefer yahoogroups or emails to conduct my chats, if pos
      sible. There are a few interesting looking discussions going on, if you’re into that sort of thing – sleep-walking, pets, when school starts, Harry Potter and so on. The messages seem to be well read with tens of viewings and each one having between two and twenty-two responses. To begin to join in he forum, you click a link and then get started. Again, pages are slow to load but we only have a 14.4kb modem, so the problem could be ours ;-) I decide to post a question about my eldest starting High School. I click ‘post new thread’ and encounter a rather intimidating looking page with various icons and symbols to add to my message. I give in trying to work out the complicated stuff I can do and just type in my message. While I am waiting to see if I receive any replies, I browse around the rest of the website to see what I can find. I click on the baby names forum. I have always been interested in names and having had one of the most boring names ever throughout my childhood, I gave my four kids unusual names, including two of them being named after East European gymnasts. At the top of the page, you can put a name in the search engine and it looks for origins and meanings of the name. If it isn’t included in the database, you can get it added. Of my four children’s names, only one could be found in the database – but that’s a common downfall in unusual names! Browsing further, I found the birth stories section. Chances are, whatever kind of birth you’ve had, you’ll find others who have been through the same thing. So here are stories of women who have had water births, premature ones, easy ones, difficult ones and so on. I used to enjoy reading birthing stories when my kids were young and I subscribed to Mother and Baby magazine, but it all seems a long time ago now. But if you are pregnant or have recently had a baby, this might be just your kind of t
      hing. In this part, you can also view the lists of the most popular baby names in various countries over the past five years. Chloe and Jack are the most popular in the UK with Emily and Michael topping the charts in the United States. Whether you would use these charts to actually pick a name is another matter. Having always been one of several Karens throughout my school years, I would recommend picking a name that isn’t in these lists – but it’s up to you, of course. I tried out a few of the sections listed on the left of the homepage. Shopping was disappointing, taking me to a page of UK Mothers T-shirts, which don’t actually exist yet! Childrenswear is similar – some designs pending, but nothing yet. The Web Directory under Resources is useful and has over 6000 links. These are grouped under headings such as adoption, childcare, grandparents and multiples. I am interested in ‘large families’ which has 79 links. This section is then divided into personal pages and mailing lists. The spacing of this page looks rather clumsy with only ten links per page, but the links are useful – although there is obviously some debate about how many children actually constitute a ‘large’ family! The first link I clicked on took me to a group that didn’t exist, but a couple of other links were fine and I did find yet another yahoogroup to join. If you are finding the UK Mothers website a bit daunting, it might be an idea to post a message on the forum for new members. It looks like you get lots of replies and it seems friendly and welcoming. The UKM Community page had some tempting categories – recipes, classifieds and reviews – but all the pages were down and despite refreshing several times, nothing was forthcoming. As the review page seems to have been book-related, that was rather disappointing. Clicking on a section called Family Holidays, I
      got the same result. By this time, I was feeling a bit disillusioned. I had spent around 45 minutes browsing the site and found out very little. I decided to check out my post on the school age children forum but – perhaps predictably – the page could not be found. I think this would be a useful resource for pregnant women, but once your children get older, it doesn’t hold out so much interest. All children of school age are bracketed together and I can assure you that a twelve-year-old throws up very different problems to a six-year-old! I might pop back again sometime to UK Mother.com, but probably not. You see, we mums do need some useful resources but it is preferable that they are reliable and with a lot of dead links and pages failing to deliver, I can’t recommend this one. Try UK Parents though, I was much more impressed with them.

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        31.05.2001 05:43
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        I found out about this site after reading a short review in a magazine, and I was not prepared for the choices I would face as there was so much information to choose from. The homepage does not look anything special. It is a plain white background with different coloured writing detailing all of the various sections of the site, and at the top of the page there are messages scrolling along the width of the page. Dads, do not let the name put you off. This is certainly not for females only. There are many many sections that you will find useful and very interesting. For those of you trying to get pregnant, there is a very useful pregnancy planner. It is simple to use. You input the first day of your period, cycle length, desired sex of baby!!!! and how many months you would like planned for you. The site then delivers a fertility chart, telling you when you are a little bit fertile, very fertile, when you are ovulating, the date of the end of your cycle, and then the date that you can use a pregnancy test to see if you have been successful. It then also gives you your estimated delivery date depending on the which cycle you conceive on. I think it is very useful, although I won't be putting it into practice for a while yet! In the Pregnancy section, there are also an abundance of birth stories featuring nearly every type of birth imaginable. There is also a section on trying to conceive and miscarriages. The final section in Pregnancy is The Bunny Club, and the name had me intrigued. It is a messageboard for parents to be or recent new parents. You will all be pleased to know that Millwall23 is using this board and her absence from Dooyoo seems to mean her using her time elsewhere. There is a small section on infant nutrition which includes breastfeeding, and is useful for someone trying to decide how they want to feed their newborn. Have you wondered what your baby's name means. I have so I checked u
        nder the baby name section and was told my daughter Ellis has a boys name derived from Elijah. Oh well. You can also search for names by just entering the first initial you want, so you might get some ideas if you are stuck. If you like to stick with trends you can also find out what names have been popular in England, Scotland and Wales over the past few years. The Children section includes messageboards on infants, toddlers, pre school, school aged and even teenagers. Again they seem very supportive, and each one naturally moves from the next, so people move up the boards as their children get older. The only time the site alienates the men is in the lifestyle section, as the messageboards are for single mums, working mums, student mums, stay at home mums, young mums and vintage mums. Where are the dads??? Again I read some of the messages and there is a lovely community feel around the site. There are 2 chat rooms, parenting or general chat, and if the rest of the members are as nice as they seem from the messageboards then they will be great. This is a site that is criminally ignored by so many, and I think it would provide invaluable support to parents everywhere.

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          12.11.2000 21:56
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          I found this website after reading an opinion here on dooyoo, the person recommended it and said it was brilliant. I thought I would give it a try. UK mother is made up of lots of discussion boards including England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales, Single mums, technical advice, babies, toddlers, teenagers, etc. Once you have registered and chosen a user name you can post new topics on one of the boards or reply to someone else’s topic. It is full of really helpful advice, jokes, laughter and some serious subjects too. There is a chat room that holds various chat events each day of the week, you can even have a little icon to represent yourself. When you post topics on the boards you earn yourself “coconuts” which you can use in the auctions once a month, you use your coconuts to bid for items in the auction and if you bid the highest you get that item. You can look at member’s web pages and the photo album with some of the members and their family’s photos. If you need any help you can click on the human click icon at the bottom of the page and you can talk to one of the founders who will be happy to help you. UK mother is a brilliant website and is full of really friendly people who all enjoy having a laugh and talking about anything. Go on have a look and I'm sure you will find plenty of useful stuff. You will find me on there as tashababy!!!

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            09.11.2000 15:35
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            When I moved to England in AUgust this year, I kept looking for some UK parenting sites where I could feel at home. I found UKMother by chance really, and went straight and registered. My first post was at the England-board, and I got an overwhelming response, and felt at home straight away, even if I am not English by birth. I find the site a bit small, and theres not much to it but the bulletin boards, but they are the reason why I go there, so it's more than good enough for me. When I became pregnant last month, I missed Due date Bulletin Boards or trimester-boards, as for pregnancy theres only one board for pregnant women in all stages. But once I suggested to expand this board, I was met by a good response from the team, and was positively impressed. Unfortunately I lost the baby, but then found boards that supported this, and I gained even more friends. For those who say they haven't met friendliness at UKMother, I have to disagree. I didn't expect much, but I have never seen any cliques or unfriendly remarks anywhere I've been. I strongly recommand this site for any mother with children any age.

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            09.10.2000 19:09
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            As an internet novice and busy mum of three I like surfing the internet to find decent websites that give great advice, have a chat a gossip a laugh and feel welcome. I have found it all and more on the wonderful ukmother website. It is easy to register, post messages and you can even chat to a "real" person. It loads quick and I loe the smilies on the message boards. Great fun!! If only I knew how to use them! One of these days I will get used to it but in the meantime time it is a well worthwhile visit and essential to all us parents both mums and dads. They have given me really good advice on teething and othere problems. A brilliant website very welcoming and friendly. In fact I think it is the best!!!!

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              04.10.2000 05:43
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              I feel very lucky to have found UKMother. The first thing I like about it is that it is British and i can use words like nappy, cot, pram, dummy etc etc without everyone asking for a translation. I feel so at home there. One really good point is that it is not just about parenting, it is about parents. Their are boards such as the girly forum where we can forget about being mothers for a while and go bak to the days when we used to dye our hair, paint our nails and basically have girly fun. There are also games boards and so many other stuff going on. Of course there is still the parenting aspect and whether you are a fulltime mother, student or worker, there are other people to share your experiences with. It has a really community feel to it where members pictures are concerned and we share our birthstories and homepages. I have only been a member for about a month but I feel so at home there and was so warmly welcomed, I have never looked back.

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              03.10.2000 16:54
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              UK Mother is a brilliant site because it treats mothers as individual's. You can escape for while and make friends with a huge variety of different people who happen to have one thing in common - kids. But they realise we are individuals and have other interests, comments too. A lot of the other parenting boards are very useful, but most of the time they tend to be just problem pages, which can get you down after a time. UK Mother however, does have an excellent support network if you need help, but is also a chance to escape the sometiems hum drum world of being a mum. There are many forums split into regional and topical and everyone is made to feel welcome and wander around the boards at will. There's also technical help if your computer is playing up too. Personally, Uk Mother has given me support when I needed it (especially on the step family side of things) and most importantly a belly aching good laugh when I need it too. Keep up the good work girls (and boys)!

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              03.10.2000 02:58
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              I found this site an interesting one. You can sit and read through other peoples coments or just chat or even post your own coments. You will find obviously it is mainly mothers who have a say about family life etc. But I have noticed whilst reading through that some of us just want some adult conversation. If you are a mother who is at home with your children all day like I am, that can be invaluable to you. You sometimes feel like you are going mad. So this site really offers a break from the day to day bordom that being a housewife and mother can bring.

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              02.10.2000 01:20
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              Well, since I've now been a member of UKMother for a little while, I thought I had better get going with my review... I've read the other opinions on dooyoo about the people being a bit cliquey, and I only somewhat agree with that. I have found that to be true everywhere in life though, and UKMother is no different... however, having said that, everyone gets a fair chance and is soon right in with the pace of everyone else on the boards. I wasn't sure where I wanted to post at first because there were so many topics that were of interest to me, so I spent quite a few days just reading over everything and taking it in. Then once I put my first message on, it really got the ball rolling. I had lots of responses right away (within 24 hours for sure) and they just keep coming. Since I'm online so much, the speed of responses is pretty important to me, and it's not like other boards that can take days for someone to even notice that you've posted a message. Also, each time you log on, the new messages (since the last time you visited) are highlighted, so you don't have to waste time checking areas with no new activity. If you stick in there you will find the people more than helpful for everything you could ever imagine discussing. I like the fact that it is like an ongoing chat on every topic and you're free to join in at any point or start your own thread, and the opinions given to the website are taken very seriously... very much the people's website which is what it should be about. Because of this, the site seems to be regularly updated, and it is always a pleasure seeing new ideas put into action (especially if you're the one that suggested it!). It also has sections for people not originally from the UK, or people from the UK living elsewhere in the world which so far I think is unique to this site. I find this particularly useful as I'm from the states and I'm now able to
              have conversations with other people from the states now living here. Ok, I think I've covered all I wanted to here. Do check it out, I think once you're involved, you'll be really glad you did!

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              01.10.2000 04:18
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              Being on the internet for over 3 years ukmother is the first website where I was treated very bad by the webmaster. I thought great a uk website, and went to have a look. It appears that it's not a uk website, the webmaster is in the USA. All there is is the message boards, chatroom, auction site and that's about it. There is not much information on it relating to parenting issues within the UK. When I went into the chatroom and started talking to people and I must say I was having a nice conversation all of a sudden everyone had to leave the chatroom. When I asked why I id not get a reply, so I thought that there might have been a technical problem. Then the next time I was in and was talking about ordinary stuff (parenting stuff) I got booted out. According to the webmaster I was advertising because I mentioned another website, what is wrong with telling somebody a webaddress? I didn't gain anything from it, and did not try to sell anything. It's often that I have people recommending a website to me and I always appreciate that. I never experienced this on other sites and the webmaster was so abrupt he did not want to talk about it. Although the members I spoke to where very nice, I don't find the webmaster and mistress very welcoming. I would not recommend this website to other parents, save your time.

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                01.10.2000 03:07
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                I have been using ukmother for about a month now and I am very impressed. One of its major advantages is how friendly the site is. There is a real community thing going on and unlike some other sites everyone is made to feel very welcome. Even though it may be intimidating as a newcomer when everyone seems to know each other I can assure you that if you just jump right in you will feel like you've known everyone for years!! I use the internet a lot and apart from dooyoo, every site I seem to visit is baby related. Because of this I think I have visited every parenting site available! Ukmother is one of the only sites that recognises that parents are not only baby makers but that they also have other interests aswell!! The discussion forums cover extensive topics and they are not all about babies and children The coconut auction is an excellent idea, every time you post on a forum you earn a coconut, which, at the end of the month you bid on a product that takes your fancy. This is a great idea, ukmother is the only site that I have seen which rewards its members for taking part. Coconuts aside, I would still thoroughly recommend this site to anyone. .

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                  30.09.2000 21:44
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                  I`ve been visiting this young site regularly, virtually since it`s birth...and I must say that it has come through several bouts of teething pains without too much discomfort..and is turning into a very well-balanced toddler..... There is a very wide selection of easy to use message boards ...serious and not so.....supportive, informative and fun...The chats are always good ...and you will be intrigued by the "auction"..just for laughs but with excellent prizes!!! From the start as a "newbie" you are instantly made to feel welcome...and you soon get to know the "regulars.." oh yes there are quite a few of us who just cannot keep away now.... If you have visited and felt us "cliquey" I would beg to differ .....it is just that we all feel so confident and happy using the site..that is established members AND newbies....that it may appear we are all "best friends.." True, some members are....BUT...please remember that any stranger is just a friend you have not yet got to know!!! Come and join us....and you will soon feel you belong there too!!!!

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                  30.09.2000 08:48
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                  A new approach to parenting websites!!It's fresh, friendly and fun. Never have I found a parenting website that is so hard to fault. I joined this website about a month ago and very quickly felt like part of the family. It may appear "cliquie" as most people know each other very well, some of them are even related but they never fail to make a new member feel welcome. It's almost as if the members are handpicked, no-one ever falls out, everyone cares about everyone else and an offhand comment in a chatroom about a forthcoming celebration will get you a flurry of congratulations on your special day when it comes around! On a technical note, this is like the Betterware of websites - full of interesting gadgets you never knew you needed til you saw it! Posts made since your last visit are highlighted, an edit/remove facility in case you need to make changes after you post and direct contact with a real person should you need it during your visit to name but a few. This website just gets better and better. The owners make a tremendous effort to accomodate the wishes of the members. I've seen so many suggestions made only for them to become a reality within 24 hours. The owners welcome constructive critisism and work very hard to keep the site nice for members. There are strict rules about spamming/flaming etc. so I'd recommend reading the rules before posting. This site looks like it's going to grow slowly and steadily so it may not suit if you prefer a site with loads of sections but if you're looking to make some good online friends, it's certainly the best place to start.

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                  28.09.2000 23:11
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                  UKMother is a relatively new site and is growing every day. I’ve never come across such a friendly, supportive bunch of people who are all quite mad *g* Although at first glance it may seem that everyone knows each other, which indeed a number do, this is purely because of the nature of the site as everyone feels comfortable there. There is something there for everyone and new members are always made to feel very welcome. The forums cover a wide range of subjects from pre conception to teenagers. There are also boards on everything from The Girly Forum (a must for us women) to Bereavement. Another plus about UKMother is the Coconut Auction. A member is awarded one coconut for each post on the boards. There are also two boards (Billbo's Brain Bogglers and Games) where you can win coconuts. What do you do with your coconuts? Well you spend them! How? Monthly auctions with items such as toys, cd’s, cd players, books, clothes, etc, etc, can be bid for using coconuts. If you win – they are yours, delivered to you door. Kewl eh? *L* There are a number of moderated chats every week and everyone is again very friendly here. The chat rooms are very easy to use. Why not come along and see for yourself how friendly and supportive we are?

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                  28.09.2000 22:36
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                  Uk mother is a friendly parenting site aimed run by a Scotsman and his American wife who's parents are British. It is aimed at Brits through out the world, also with sectiojns for American and Australian mums. There are no baby magazine articles, just message boards, on many subjects, not just babies, and chat. Members are also rewarded with points (coconuts) which can be used to bid in the auction on various items each month. I find the boards easy to use as the whole subject is open, not just one message at a time. Also you have a quote option, so it is clear which message you are replying to. I find people who post on the boards capable of giving good advice but also of being capable of sharing a laugh. Theres a great community feeling that is missing on larger sites.

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