This week's Mummascribbles meets is with the fab Alex from That Butterfly Effect. Thanks so much for taking part Alex 🙂
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
My name's Alex and I'm 34 years old. I live on the outskirts of London with my husband and our two boys: Leo who's 5 and in Reception, and Max who's 6 months. I'm a full time working mum, working as a Programme Manager for a national charity, and I'm currently on maternity leave.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
I've always loved writing and reading so these are my favourite things to do in my spare time. With two kids, I have less and less time for any hobbies, especially writing, but launching my blog last year means I have that creative outlet. I also love watching good films and TV shows with my hubby, travelling, yoga, taking photos of my kids and nature, and recently I've also started making my own skincare products.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Having my two boys definitely is the achievement of my life! I'm so proud of them & it's the biggest responsibility to try and bring them up to be kind and decent human beings! I'd also say that I'm really proud of what I've achieved with my work career so far – I’ve worked my way up at the charity and I feel very passionate about making a change in the world.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
Oh dear, where do I start? It's all hard work! With my older son, I used to be so anxious about every little decision I was making, like – should I be letting him watch TV, will that damage his eye sight, will he not be interested in books, what to give him for breakfast, lunch and dinner so that I develop good eating habits! It was such a stressful experience to scrutinise every little thing! Now that he's 5 and a kind, clever and happy little boy who excels in school and is praised by teachers, I know that we're doing a good job & I shouldn't have worried so much. This time round with Max, I feel I'm a much more relaxed Mum.
Parenting in itself is no mean feat; how do you juggle everything you need to in order to get everything done on a daily basis?
You see, I don't get everything done every day! Some days it's just not possible and I've learnt to accept it. If I don't manage to do the washing load as I'd planned, well – it's not the end of the world. I used to have mini panic attacks about the most petty things I didn't do or forgot to do but it was making me miserable, resentful and snappy which affected my relationships with my husband, children and wider family. Having low expectations for myself means I don't set the bar so high that I can't achieve it, and it's made me a happier person! In terms of organising my time though, I rely on lots of to-do lists because my memory is like a sieve these days!
Why did you decide to start blogging?
After I suffered a miscarriage in September 2015, I started questioning whether there was anything I’d done to cause it – was it the chemicals from getting my hair or nails done, or that eye cream that contained Vitamin A! I tortured myself for weeks and months but as I was researching the skincare products that I had used, I realised how little some of us know about what actually goes into our everyday skincare items and what potential effect they can have on our health. It’s unlikely that my miscarriage was caused by any of these ingredients, but I've become much more aware that what we put on our skin is as important what we put inside our bodies. On top of that, I’ve had quite a lot of experience of eczema and contact dermatitis as myself and my older son are sufferers, and I’ve noticed that as soon as we switched to natural and organic skincare, our flare ups have completely improved.
Tell me a bit about your blog?
Essentially, it's a green lifestyle and beauty blog where I review natural skincare products, raise awareness of potentially harmful ingredients in every day products and being a conscious consumer, share my attempts at DIY skincare recipes, as well as document our journey as a family to become a greener, more eco-friendly household. Oh and I may also post a few pics of my gorgeous boys and share recipes for some yummy (and mostly healthy!) cakes and treats! 🙂
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
My initial intention was to raise awareness of all the nasty ingredients that may be lurking inside our shower gels and body lotions so that's definitely one goal. I also want to prove that it's not difficult or expensive to lead a more natural, eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
- Follow a blogger like Aby at You Baby Me Mummy for helpful and practical blogging advice
- Plan your content and have some tangible goals for the whole year
- Define your niche and your voice, and hone it – don't try to be or write like someone else
- Blogging can be very addictive so set yourself some realistic targets for writing – I really want to churn out one post a day but it’s just not possible for my current circumstances and limited amount of time I have.
- Enjoy it 🙂
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
1. Writer Jeanette Winterson for a bit of culture
2. Bruno Mars for some brilliant entertainment
3. Graham Norton for the laughs – I simply love that guy!
Tell me three random facts about you
1. I have three tattoos.
2. My Nan taught me how to knit when I was 5 years old.
3. I used to read the dictionary when I was a young girl! 😉