An inspirational chat with Emily Leary…
What we all unmistakably learn is that motherhood is a game changer. A complete, absolute and irreversible one. Suddenly we start focusing on a tiny version of ourselves and for a long time to come we become unable to remember our old lifestyle, we sporadically begin to experience various guilty feelings for the tiniest and silliest reasons, we reach exhaustion peaks, we feed on worries. Yet, what personally enthrals me about motherhood is that pretty often these challenges manage to push mothers to raise the bar so high that occasionally some of them end up becoming the same inspirational figures they used to follow for a long time before their own journey as mothers. Some of them are that ‘she’ person from the question: ‘how does she do it so effortlessly despite that untamed army of tiny humans behind her?’
This could pretty much be the story of Emily Leary, a brilliant and creative mum of two who quickly became a food and lifestyle inspiration for the busy parent. I’m therefore so honoured to share with you all, cool mums, bumps and lovely bundles, this inspiring chat with an award-winning food, lifestyle and parenting writer, presenter, photographer. And a mummy too (so impressed with the most delightful answer on question 9, because that is so in line with the tone of my work – empowerment!)
Here she goes…
1. How did the amazingly inspiring A Mummy Too project start its journey?
While on maternity leave in 2011 awaiting the birth of my second child, I created A Mummy Too as an outlet for my love of family, food and photography. It’s come a long way since then.
2. Which were the main challenges you had to face along the way?
There are a lot of blogs out there already, and no shortage of people who will tell you there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, but ultimately you have to learn to go with your gut – that’s the way to find your unique voice, which is ultimately what will get readers interested.
3. Trying to balance successfully both professional & personal lives can be one of the toughest experiences in one’s life journey. How does a regular day of Emily Leary look like and how do you create a balance that works for you and your family?
I tend to start work right after the kids leave for school (my husband, Mark, is generally in charge of the morning school run) and I’ll be found in my home office or cooking in the kitchen until they come home. That is unless I’m travelling for work or in a studio somewhere filming with a client.
I guess balance is the right word. It’s like a seesaw – lean a little too hard into work and things can easily tip off centre.
One of the reasons blogging works so well for me is that a lot of the work actually involves my family, which brings some of that work/life load into the centre of the scales. The kids cook with me, we all go out shooting photographs for posts together, my husband helps me brainstorm new ideas and so on.
Of course, all families are different. We all have different priorities, different pulls on our time, different family dynamics. What works for me – constantly mixing work and family life – might sound like a nightmare to the next parent. The challenge is to figure out what works for you. As long as you and yours are safe, healthy and happy, you’re nailing it.
4. From my own experience, I know that professional blogging can be a very demanding job where 9 till 5s hardly apply. Which are though your favourite perks of being a blogger mum? What does your family think of your work choice?
Aside from the flexibility, yes, the hours can be LONG! I guess the things I love about pro-blogging are being challenged to try things I never thought I would (I did indoor skydiving on a cruise ship last year!), and taking my family on adventures we’d never have dreamt of. That makes all the hard work worthwhile.
5. Where does your inspiration come from? Are there any inspirational figures you tend to follow?
My inspiration comes from all sorts of places, from magazines and TV, to walks around the supermarket, to sudden lightbulb moments while I’m in the shower.
Some of my biggest creative heroes in the field of cooking are cooks like Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson – they’re so natural and real in their presenting and cooking style. I love that lack of pretence teamed with oodles of enthusiasm. That’s what food is all about for me.
6. Going back to blogging…Which are your top tips for mums who would like to take on a blogging experience?
Just do it! Create a blog and get writing. Be creative and see what happens. As I said above, there’s no right way to do this.
The only thing I think it is important to decide early on is how much of yourself and your kids you want to share. You’ll probably instinctive not reveal school names, but how about personal photos, health ailments, rows you had or problems you’re facing. We all have our own parameters and it’s a very personal decision that’s easier made at the beginning. You can always decide to share more, but you can’t really un–share what you’ve already put out there.
7. What do you do and enjoy the most when you switch off from A Mummy Too? If this is even possible… 🙂
Ha, it’s not easy to switch off – it really is a 24/7 job. I love swimming with the kids – they’re getting really good at it and smile the whole time. Plus I have to leave my phone in my locker, so that’s a couple of hours of time off!
8. Last but not least, which are your future plans/ projects/ campaigns you’d love to take on board for A Mummy too?
I love doing what I’m doing, so I’d love that to simply continue and grow. I love collaborating and have decided that’s my buzzword for 2016, so this will be the year I team up with some of favourite fellow bloggers. Watch this space!
9. Which is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Comparison is the thief of joy”. To me, that means there’s room for everyone in this game. Just be happy for everyone else’s achievements, let go of envy, focus on the amazing things you can achieve and you will flourish.
10. What’s your favourite dish?
It’s always changing, but right now I’m hooked on these low carb quiches made in pepper cups instead of pastry. So good!
Click for the recipe and bon appetit!
Thank you, Emily, for the good vibes & creative tips you’ve kindly shared with the rest of us today. I also truly hope you’ll get your own cooking show on BBC soon 😉 (next to the big chef names!)