This month we have an awesome interview with Nicole from The Mum Reviews. I met Nicole over a crazy #tribalchat night on Twitter and that was my first introduction to her blog. Not only is she an awesome Mum of two, but in between mumming and working she finds time to write her blog. Her blog is full of yummy recipes, tips on parenting and of course reviews of products and places. Her posts come just in time for me as they always seem to strike a chord, and not only intelligently written with wit, but are insightful too. Definitely deserving of a coffee break read!
Tell me a little about yourself and your little ones
My name is Nicole and I blog at http://themumreviews.co.uk. I live in Surrey with my husband, 2 boys (aged 2 and 4) and a black & white cat. My day job is in academic publishing, so I love coming home and writing a blog that requires very few footnotes. My boys spend their days fighting over toys and refusing to eat (sometimes the eldest does that at school instead of in the home). In their spare time, they both like to play with trains, make the noises of trains, and point out trains that are passing by.
How would you describe your blog?
I quite literally cannot write a blog post unless I’m “feeling it”. I write about whatever takes my fancy, although I always try to keep in mind that it is for someone else to read. So I try to write something that would be interesting or useful to someone other than my grandma (not that she has any idea what a blog is or where to find one). I write about the slings and arrows of parenting small children, and I particularly like writing about how to take young kids on days out without meeting disaster. I also have a friend who writes recipe posts for me, which is good because I can’t cook. Well, maybe a spag bol under extreme duress.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I was on holiday with my family on the Isle of Wight. The kids were asleep and my husband and I were drinking wine on the deck of our caravan. I was boring him with all my opinions of the things we’d done on the holiday. The holiday park itself, the places we’d eaten, and the tourist attractions we’d visited. It suddenly occurred to me that I could write my thoughts about these things down and they might be useful to someone. So the blog was conceived to offer reviews, but once I learned a little about blogging it became more varied and personal.
What’s your typical day look like?
I have two different sorts of days because I work in London half of the week and work from home the other half. On a London day, I wake up and hurry to leave the house so I don’t have to change any nappies. I go to a lovely civilised office where I chat with colleagues, drink tea, eat sushi for lunch and tap my computer keys all day long. On the home days, I feed the kids breakfast, dress them, do the school/nursery run, do some work, pick up the kids, feed them tea, put them to bed, deal with tantrums, etc. I have Fridays off, which are much more relaxed!
It’s a rainy day, and you’re stuck in doors, what do you do with your little one?
Call me lazy but I just love to put on a film! Our favourites at the moment are Inside Out, Minions, Big Hero 6 and Home.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve found about parenting so far?
The need to exercise self-control. My kids seriously wind me up sometimes! I have really had to work at keeping my cool and applying proper “parenting techniques” to deal with naughty behaviour, instead of just shouting at them! Sometimes I do have to leave the room and just jump up and down to get out my frustration. One time my neighbour heard the jumping and came running over to check all was well! #embarrassing. I’ve been planning to write a post about dealing with anger/frustration as a parent but I’m still trying to figure it all out!
Lastly, is there any advice you’d give to new parents like me?
Although I suppose I sort of sometimes offer advice on my blog, the only real advice is not to take advice! I think as a parent it’s so easy to feel insecure and worry about whether we’re doing it right, and there are a lot of people out there who want to give us their opinion on our parenting. It’s hard not to worry what those people think, but at the end of the day, you know what’s best for you and your children.