Julie Kynaston, mom to Ilan (4), Kira (2 in Sept) and Judah (16mo), lives in a little town house in the suburbs. She has a heart for adoption and is figuring out what it means to be a rainbow-nation family in Cape Town with her marvellously hands-on, handsome, bearded husband who surfs less than he’d like.
Physio turned freelance event and project manager, Julie works from home in the mornings and spends her afternoons with her little ones in crazy, beautiful chaos.
Her blog is about starting and growing a family through adoption, and we just love it.
What’s the name of your blog?
Why ‘Heart Mama Blog’? Moms through adoption refer to themselves as ‘Heart Mamas’ when we explain adoption to our little ones – because our kids grew in our hearts, not in our bellies.
What got you into blogging?
When I left my full-time job as a physio and started working as a freelancer, I suddenly had some space in my life to start blogging, which is something that had always interested me. I felt that I had the capacity to learn a new skill and although there are many adoption blogs out there, there are very few local ones and so I took the gap.
My heart is to start conversations around adoption through my blog and to make adoption more ‘normal’ by creating a network for adoptive moms to share their stories, be encouraged and also feel part of the ‘mommy community’.
How do you find inspiration for each blog?
My family! And the way my kids stretch me and teach me every day. Mostly I blog about how much I love them – I write every post imagining that they will read it one day for themselves. I’m currently running two series ‘Meet the Mama’ where adoptive moms share their stories and ‘I’m adopted’ where we hear the other side of the story and chat to adults who joined their families through adoption.
What are we likely to find on your blog on any given day?
My blog is about my personal journey as a ‘Heart Mama’ so many of the posts are related to adoption but you’ll also see posts about the mixed joys of parenting, a few product reviews and a giveaway or two thrown into the mix to keep things interesting.
What’s the best thing about being a mom blogger?
I’ve loved learning how to blog. I wish I had lots of money so that I could get professional help to make my blog look pretty, but I am proud to say that I’ve been figuring things out by myself through watching lots of WordPress video tuts and playing around online.
It’s a great feeling to have your blog recognised by brands and to be approached to work with them as an ‘online influencer’, but the real highlight for me is when prospective adoptive parents pop me a mail to ask about adoption or to share their story with me. I love this! This is the main reason that I blog – to talk adoption and grow my understanding of adoption. I’ve also made some lovely ‘mommy blogger’ friends – it’s fun doing this thing together!
What’s the worst thing about being a mom blogger?
As with most things in your early days of parenting, you may not have the time or resources to throw yourself into blogging in the same way as you may have done five years ago but that’s okay. It’s good to learn to do what you can with what you have.
How do you find time to write a blog?
I’m a sporadic blogger at the moment, but I blog in the mornings or when my husband takes the kids to the play area at gym after work. You’ll usually find me propped up in bed with my electric blanket and a cup of tea balancing precariously close to my laptop.
Have you met anyone interesting or famous on your blogging journey?
The first ‘celeb’ that I met was Leigh-Ann Williams (from the Expresso Show) at the Magnum Pop-up Shop Media Launch at Cavendish (still not sure how I even cracked the nod for that guest list). She asked me ‘Where are you from?’ and I said, ‘Cape Town’. Blind. I’m pretty sure she wanted to know why I was there, not where I lived which was pretty obvious because we were in Cape Town at the time.
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is a hobby and a creative outlet for now.
What would you say to other moms thinking about starting a blog?
Just go for it. I wanted to wait until my blog looked beautiful and had great content before I published it, but the best advice I got was to just to jump in and learn as I go along.
At what age will you stop telling your kids that ‘babies don’t come from your belly button?’
Well, we’ll never have to use that one – but we’ll have to explain why our kids grew inside someone else’s belly which will be tricky in its own way. Luckily we have a bit of time on our side before we hit this stage!
Describe your first week of being a mom in 3 words.
Oh my gosh!
Give us your top 3 must-haves for new moms?
A sense of humour
A diaper champ nappy bin – saves my life (and our noses every single day)!
If we take a look in your nappy bag what would we find?
Hopefully some nappies (you’d be surprised), some Marie biscuit crumbs and probably some odd socks.
Best piece of mom advice you’ve received, and from whom?
‘Your kid joins your family, you don’t join their family.’ – PJ Smythe
Your whole day doesn’t need to revolve around your child, but get down on your child’s level and fully engage in one on one play for ten minutes every day. – Meg Faure, Parent with Sense
What’s the most important thing you’d like to teach your child?
That love makes a family.
If you enjoyed meeting the lovely Julie, why not take a look at how Mandy Lee Miller is changing the world one blog at a time too?
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