I have always loved to write. When others might have phoned a friend for a chat, I wrote letters. I sat in my room and wrote short stories and magazine articles as a child. I wasn’t very good at things like science and mathematics at school; even though my exam grades were decent enough, I was bored silly. But in English lessons, I felt alive. Words spilled out of me and I knew from a very young age that I wanted to write, to be a writer, to be heard.
After studying English at university and sending my very first email (how strange to think that was just 12 years ago), I started working at a series of magazines and national newspapers in London. I found my way in fashion and beauty, compiling my own shopping pages and assisting on fashion shoots all over the world. I attended London Fashion Week season after season, and was invited to parties on a nightly basis. It was a fun, tiring, and very memorable time in my life; but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to write.
So in 2008, I handed in my notice and started my own online beauty magazine, writing reviews, news stories, and round-ups on a daily basis. Over the next few years, I got a dog, got married, moved to Dubai, and had my first baby – but throughout all of it, I kept publishing that website every single week. The website did well and I made regular money from it, but I was bored and it became a bit of a chore.
When Wilfred was born in January, lipstick and mascara just didn’t seem that relevant or important to my life anymore (given that most days, I didn’t even have time to apply it). That reflected in the words I was writing and you could tell that I just didn’t care. I don’t regret starting my beauty website for one second and I learnt a lot of very valuable things about the online world, but I now realise that this was my ‘practice website’ – and the best was yet to come.
I started Mum of Boys in May 2014. Suddenly words and ideas were spilling out of me again and I found it refreshingly easy to write regular blog posts to help, inspire, or just make other mums laugh. Writing isn’t a chore anymore, in fact, it’s what I do in the evening to relax.
Of course, there have been moments of doubt. Should I put the boys in the public eye? Should I stop blogging and put all my photos of them in lockdown? Am I being too honest?
It’s something that is constantly on my mind since the website traffic started to spike. It’s been wonderful to see so many people are reading my words, but it’s been terrifying too (especially the few ‘hate comments’ I have received, which my friend Simone tells me is a mark of success, hello haters!)
But I am aware that the blog has given the boys lots of opportunities too, with a real incentive for us to go out and try exciting things, create yummy things in the kitchen, and make plans for the future. I don’t think that starting a blog is the answer for every family, of course – but for us, this blog gave me a virtual kick up the bum and that has to be a good thing.
I may not be a fashion stylist on location in New York anymore. I may not be a beauty journalist running around London in my 4-inch heels. But I am a Mum and suddenly people want to listen – and that seems apt, considering it’s the best thing I have ever done.
So that is why I blog. And I hope you are enjoying it.