So I recently interviewed the lovely Penelope Magoulianiti, the author of inspirational self help book ‘Women, Motherhood and Independence’ and it sparked talk of a possible interview with one of my most admired blogging mum bosses Vicki Psarias, founder of Honest Mum.
I was so excited to be govern the opportunity to ask all of my burning questions to this beaut of an inspirational Mama. Her site Honest Mum started as her outlet for overcoming the loneliness that being a new Mama brings and has ended up being a source of support and empowerment to mothers and women all over the world.
So without further ado… here is my interview with the amazing Honest Mum.
1. Tell us a little about you and your family.
My husband Peter and I, have two boys, Oliver, 7 and Xander 4. I met Peter in the uni years, I was finishing my MA, he was starting his MSc-it feels like we’ve been together forever…When it comes to my kids’ personalities, Oliver was born wise, he’s such a thoughtful chap who just wants to excel at everything so he inevitably gets frustrated at times. He’s a real perfectionist. A bit like me, really. He wants to bring his A game to everything that he does. I’m teaching him it’s OK to fail, that those lessons from mistakes, are crucial.
Xander is completely fearless, a risk-taker to the core and such a character, a born performer who loves the camera (wonder who he gets that from)- and we call each other ‘besties’. Oliver is going through that, ‘You’re embarrassing me, Mum’ phase so I’m trying my best to be a bit cooler. Ha! I really do need to stop dancing in public and speaking so loudly. But that’s me so whilst I keep embarrassing him, I’m showing him it’s important to be yourself!
2. What does Motherhood mean to you?
It means unconditional, overwhelming, life-affirming love. It also means worrying more, so much more, about everything, mostly worrying about them, and myself as I want to do my best for them and always care and protect them. It also means not enough sleep, a mumtum forever and feeling like I never have enough hours in the day to do everything I want to, yet, somehow things get done, life happens and importantly we laugh. A lot.
Having kids means having a license to get on the swings in the playground, and play Tag again! It means seeing the world anew through kid’s eyes. My children are also the reason I have the career that I do. I owe them so much.
3. What struggles have you faced as Mama and how have you overcome that?
I suffered from a traumatic birth after Oliver was born. I felt broken and lonely and I was lacking in confidence. My blog, seeing a great therapist and moving closer to my folks in Leeds, helped me to heal. My post on that time, which took 5 years to write, has helped many women to date. I still receive emails today from women and even mothers of daughters struggling, thanking me for encouraging them to seek help.
4. Do you find time to relax and remember YOU?
I’m lucky that usually once a month, I get to say yes to a fun day/night in London where I combine work with hanging out with close friends be it attending a premiere, staying at the beautiful Royal Garden Hotel (where I’m resident blogger) or meeting up with my manager Neil or literary agent Robyn for a catch-up. I often call those times eatings: meetings where we get to eat are the best kind, huh!
I also try and do yoga when I remember, and I run a lot. It helps me to de-stress. The key is consistency really, and I’m honestly trying to consistently run and do yoga!!!
5. Tell us about your incredible business ‘Honest Mum’
Thank you for your kind words. It’s a business which started on my kitchen table and is still thriving from that very same kitchen table. I started it as a way to rediscover my voice, to find a space for me to express myself and make sense of my new life as a mother, and whilst returning to directing a few months after setting up, it eventually became my full time job. I now have several people who work for me in a freelance capacity and Honest Mum® is growing by the day. It was an accidental career really. I started the blog at time very few even knew what a blog was. I never thought that one day I’d be signed to an airline for example, Jet2.com
, as their digital ambassador, that my blog would be regarded as one of the biggest in the world across all genres and that sharing my life candidly and my view on the world, so many doors would open.
I’m currently writing a book on being a Mumboss (published by Piatkus/Little Brown/Hachette) to help encourage other women to become tech entrepreneurs, themselves. To seize this dynamic digital space. Blogging and vlogging is such a liberating, empowering, well paid career that works around young families, and inspiring others to follow suit is the most rewarding part of what I do.
6. What first inspired you to start blogging?
One of my closest friends Amancay Tapia encouraged me to start blogging when I shared stories of new motherhood with her. I’m so glad she nagged me until I did, too. Blogging gave me a voice, it gives us ALL a voice and it’s therapy to me. It’s always there for me, it’s my comfort blanket and creative tool all in one.
7. Do you have any tips on balancing Mamahood, your career and YOU?
Organisation, reminding myself what my purpose is in life and in work, accepting that if I can’t write, I can’t be happy and feeling grateful for everything. My kids motivate me, they are my biggest driving force. Guilt will always be there of course but not letting it stop me, is crucial. Also time-out with the family, having boundaries and learning to say ‘no’ help me.
8. Do you have a favourite inspirational quote or phrase to share with our readers?
‘Nothing can dim the light which shines from within’ from my hero Maya Angelou.
I am so in love with this quote… and thank you so much Vicki for taking the time to let me interview you.