Today we meet Talya from Motherhood the Real Deal. Thanks so much for joining in Talya.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
We recently moved back from living in Asia for 4 years, and have settled just outside London in the leafy burbs of the borough of Richmond. By we, I mean myself, my partner of almost 7 years and our little girl who will be soon turning 2.
Amazingly, or perhaps not so amazingly, I met my partner after I moved into the same house share as him – at the time he was away and when I was shown his room, it had been turned upside down. I thought – who the hell lives like this? I later found out he did it purposely…he returned…we fell for each other…I forced him to move out, and then we moved back in with each other and I answered my own question haha! The rest, as they say, is history.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
I am a big lover of the arts – love going to exhibitions, the theatre and musicals. I dabble in a bit of upcycling although I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it which usually involves me cursing myself when I’m halfway through a piece! I try to use 20 mins of my spare time a week to keep fit (and usually fail).
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Apart from having my daughter, which has been the most incredible yet often bewildering achievement of a lifetime, next in line would be the online city guide in Singapore which I co-founded and was the Editor in Chief for – City Nomads. It’s a sort of Time Out for Singapore…it built up a huge following and reach in a pretty small amount of time. I’m no longer part of it, but I feel like having that behind me has really helped me fully embrace motherhood, and not left me feeling restless about it.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
I think the hardest thing, especially as a first time mum, was the not knowing of everything and the absolute intensity and present-ness one requires to bring a little you into this world, and nurture them the best you can. I found this particularly the case being on the other side of the world when we had E, and this was further intensified by the fact I had to go back to work after 3 months to co-run the company. There is no off button. There is no rule book. You just have to do the best you can in your given situation.
The most rewarding part is when all of that hard work comes to light as you see your little one develop – when they hit their milestones, when they start talking, when their little personality really starts developing, when you can really start communicating with them. We had a really hard time with E until she could start talking and now she can pretty much get across whatever she wants at 21 months of age, it’s a whole other ball game and most of the time, hugely rewarding and lovely (when you’re not being beaten over the head with a virtual toddler club, that is!).
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?
At the beginning, I tried so hard to be perfect…to do everything, to make everything from scratch, to the best this, that and the other and would beat myself up about my shortcomings constantly. Two things really help with the juggling – a little bit of thinking ahead and preparation and a little bit of corner cutting and not beating yourself up about it goes a long way. If this means you need to give them a toddler ready made meal once or twice a week (which is not going to kill them), or do a quick bit of food prep the night before, then do it. I was at a point when I thought I was going to have a bit of a meltdown trying to do everything, and was really lucky that my partner understood that in order for it to be a happy house, I had to be happy, and so he stepped up and started helping with more around the house, including cooking, and that helped massively and for that I am very lucky. I think the best thing you can do is don’t try to do everything yourself and don’t expect to get everything done on a daily basis!
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I had been previously blogging before setting up the media entity I mentioned before…once I was no longer part of that, I actually thought I was done with all that. But after a few months…I started getting itchy fingers again. I also had a lot of thoughts knocking around in my head from conversations I’d had with so many other mums about the general WTF-ness of being a first time mum…and felt like I had a lot to say and share on the matter…I wanted to represent the thoughts and feelings of all those mums I had been talking to, and to talk about some of the things that are not spoken about openly enough.,..I also wanted to make light of some of the absolute ridiculousness being a mum can entail!
Tell me a bit about your blog?
Motherhood: The Real Deal is driven by the pure frustration (and of course amazing experience!) that is motherhood, and my disbelief at how much people don’t talk about or share, I’ve created this platform to get some of the issues, struggles and general WTF-ness! mothers should be aware of out there. I periodically showcase guest writers (if you’re interested then do please get in touch!) to share their experiences and view points. The blog is a mix of thought pieces, lists and humour.
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
Being such a fledging blog, Motherhood: The Real Deal has a looooong way to go. It’s already begun to get a regular following, and I would love to see that grow exponentially month by month as it has begun to do. I would love to get more guest writers on board, and eventually host a linky where mums share their candid experiences of motherhood. I would love to see it notch up some blog nominations/awards and am currently gunning for the BiBs2015 under Fresh Voice category (please vote for me!). I’m a big believer in using Twitter to amplify your blog voice, and I really would like to hit the 1000 follower mark soon so please do follow me over there to stay up to date with the latest!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
Be passionate. Be authentic. Write with personality. Find your own voice. Write down ideas as they come to you. Write when you feel inspired. Don’t write if you don’t feel inspired. Content is king and presentation counts!
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Oh my gosh this is so hard!!!! I could sit here and think about this all day….so I’m going with off the top of my head here…they would be:
1. Margaret Thatcher…I still can’t get my head around how this amazing iron lady came into and stayed in power while she was both hated and loved in equal measure. I think she must have been terrifying. I’d love to hear all about the behind-the-scenes of her time in power.
2. Madonna…purely because I used to jump around to her music for so many years whilst I was growing up. Well, that and she has managed to re-invent herself time and time and I’d love to find out who the REAL Madonna is.
3. My grandmothers…because neither of them are still around and I’d love to hear all the stories about life in their times and snippets of family history straight from the horse’s mouth.
Tell me three random facts about you
1. I can tap dance.
2. I play the piano, ukulele, flute and can pretty much get something out on most musical instruments you hand me.,
3. I am a festival loving wanna-be boho mum (oops failed at the boho mum thing)