Mandy Lee Miller, author of SA mom blog Pregnant in Cape Town & Ever After , is first-time mom to 18 month old Charlotte Rose AKA Charly. She married her best friend, Brett, on their 7-year anniversary, because they decided they wanted to start a family.
When she discovered she was pregnant with their honeymoon baby, she left a successful career in business-to-business public relations to follow her own path. She is now a self-employed writer, editor and brand consultant, and believes the work-at-home-mom (WAHM) has the best, and the worst, of both worlds.
She’s passionate about sharing stories; her own and others’; to help people feel less alone, and she’s on a crusade to help other mommies in whatever way she can. But let’s delve a bit deeper:
1. What got you into blogging?
When I fell pregnant, I was frustrated by the local resources and groups available to mommies, pregnant mommies in particular, and I was sick to tears of reading about everybody’s perfect pregnancies when I felt awful.
So I started writing about my own pregnancy experiences in a very real way, hoping to make other mommies feel less alone, and create a sense of community and support through that.
2. How do you find inspiration for each blog?
At the moment my blog is balanced out into three types of posts – my journey through parenting and life as a mom; sharing other mom’s stories through my interview series’, and reviews and giveaways that allow me to give awesome things I love away while supporting small local, often mom-owned, businesses.
My goal remains the same always – making others feel less alone on this journey through parenthood.
My posts I write as they happen; they are inspired by my feelings, frustrations, experiences, things that amuse me or make me sad, decisions I have to make, things I have learned along the way, and the antics of the most beautiful girl in the world.
The mommies I interview are my inspiration for the series’ interviews I write. I choose my mommies very carefully, to try to provide my readers with a variety of experiences for them to relate to, look up to, be inspired by and share with others.
3. What are we likely to find on your blog on any given day?
Monday is interview series day – at the moment I am running “Surrounded by Supermommies.” Thursday is Review & Giveaway day; and the following Thursday is the winner announcement. Every other day is me, depending what is happening in my world
4. What’s the best thing about being a mom blogger?
Hearing from other mommies that they can relate to what I am writing; that I have made them feel less alone; that I have made a difference in their day or week or month. Making people laugh or cry or look at something a little differently is an incredible blessing.
5. What’s the worst thing about being a mom blogger?
People not understanding the value in what I do. To me, there is no greater goal than reaching out to other people and helping them feel less alone. People kind of look at me funny when I say that’s why I blog.
6. How do you find time to write a blog?
I used to blog whenever I had a spare moment; usually on my phone while my daughter breastfed or slept on me (which I still do). Now, I have built it into my calendar; I have set times of day where I work exclusively on blog content. I haven’t quite struck a balance as yet, but I am working hard at it.
7. Have you met anyone interesting or famous on your blogging journey?
I am not really that aware of who is considered famous nowadays. The other mommy bloggers I have met have left me pretty starstruck at times though. I am a huge fangirl of a bunch of blogs; the #CTMEETUP’s run by the amazing Cindy Alfino is the equivalent to the Oscars for me in terms of Who’s who.
8. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is currently halfway between the two. I am a writer by trade, and I make a small income from my blog; so I would qualify it as a part of my profession.
9. What would you say to other moms thinking about starting a blog?
Everybody has something of value to say, and every voice has an audience.
You don’t have to be a writer to blog, but you do need to have something to offer – an expert opinion, a unique perspective, the ability to make someone laugh, or cry, the ability to make people want to engage with you – you will have something, you just need to figure out what it is. Do it for the right reasons. Know what you want to get out of it. Don’t try to copy anybody else. Be yourself and find your strength. Don’t expect to get rich quick!!
10. At what age will you stop telling your kids that ‘babies don’t come from your belly button?’
That’s a tough one. I’m hoping I will pick up on that shift in my child as she grows. I am very big on not rushing her into the adult world, but I am also a big believer that knowledge is power. She’s only 17 months, so hopefully I will have a better grip on this at some point; I still have to navigate potty training and get her to sleep more than 2 hours at a time…
11. Describe your first week of being a mom in 3 words.
Besotted. Exhausted. Elated.
12. Give us your top 3 must-haves for new moms?
- Camp cot with changing table
- A great breastfeeding pillow
- Bepanthen for cracked nipples!
13. If we take a look in your nappy/hand bag what would we find?
A spare set of clothing from vest to jacket, a bib, a snack (possibly half eaten), nappies and changing paraphernalia; and a bunch of random toys and bits and pieces that Charlotte has likely shoved in there when I blinked that one time.
14. Best piece of mom advice you’ve received, and from whom?
There is no such thing as a perfect parent; but you are the perfect parent for your child <unknown> I have received tons of advice, good and bad, and I think I have combined a few different pieces into that one
15. What’s the most important thing you’d like to teach your child?
That she is perfect just the way she is – she is strong and smart and gorgeous. I want to teach her to love and respect herself first and to believe in herself completely. If I could give my child one gift only in this life, it would be to be free of insecurity.
If you have a favourite mom blog or are an author of a blog yourself and would like it to be featured on Mammas’ Meeting Place, we’d love to hear from you. Leave the details in the comment section below, and we’ll be in touch.
If you enjoyed meeting the lovely Mandy, why not take a look at how Julie Kynaston is changing the world one blog at a time?
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