Every week I feature an interview with a blogger, so that whether you know of them or not, you can get to know them a little better! This week we meet the lovely Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum. Thanks so much for taking part Aleena 🙂
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family
My name is Aleena, I live with my 2 kids Amelia (4) and Wills (20 months) and my fiance Craig. We relocated from London to Wiltshire in July 2017, and so far we’re loving it! Craig and I met when I used to run businesses, and at one point he was my number two. We worked together for quite a while before our relationship started, and once it did we soon realised we couldn’t work together anymore! I gave up my business not long after returning from maternity leave. Losing my salary was a big shock to the system, but it’s taught us so much about enjoying the right things in life.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
I’m a total introvert, so my ideal ‘Mum’s day off’ day involves sitting in a coffee shop with the hugest mug they serve and a good book.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I mean, keeping two humans alive for this long is an achievement enough in itself! Aside from mumming though, I’d say becoming the youngest business manager in my company’s history back in the day (aged a mere 20 years) felt pretty good.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
The hardest part for me (as much as I’d like not to have to admit this) is staying calm. I’m gradually getting better, but my snap reaction to anything unexpected is to raise my voice. Unexpected behaviour (read: when I get whacked) and even unexpected noise (read: when my kids screech like banshees) makes me instantly want to yell.
The most rewarding part is definitely when I’m complimented on the kids, for whatever reason. That and seeing the bond between them grow as they get older. That’s priceless.
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?
To be honest, for someone who isn’t very organised in general, I don’t find that the juggle is too crazy. I’m naturally a night owl, and have had to train myself to rise early. I make sure to get up at least 30 minutes before the kids and use that time to prepare breakfast for them, eat my own breakfast, and guzzle a couple of gallons of coffee.
I’ve encouraged independent free play with both my kids since they were really small, and as a result they’re totally happy (most of the time) to follow the 20/20 rule. So we have 20 minutes where they have my undivided attention, then 20 where they’re independent, then 20 minutes of me again. I try to use those pockets of time as productively as possible.
We also have a steadfast nap and bedtime routine that is non-negotiable. I work on blogging tasks, and nap time is the only time before 6pm that our TV goes on, as Amelia has quiet time while Wills sleeps. They both get a bit of TV time between 6-7pm, then Wills goes to bed and Amelia follows once he’s asleep.
I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I’m up working until well past 2am more than I should be!
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I have a degree in English Literature, and I’ve always had a passion for writing. I wanted to share and help other Mums let go of the social pressure to be perfect. I hoped that I could help other Mums see that they didn’t have to conform to social expectations of perfection in order to be the perfect Mum.
The direction of my blog has definitely changed, but I still feel very strongly about championing that.
Tell me a bit about your blog?
Now I blog more about blogging itself. I’ve discovered a passion for the tech side of blogging, so I set up my own VA (Virtual Assistant) side gig, The Blog VA. I want to help other bloggers, and I’m fully aware that not everyone’s as crazy as me and actually enjoys the coding and tech aspects of blogging! So write posts based around tech tips and tricks as well as productivity and mindset for successful bloggers.
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
I love helping bloggers achieve that eureka! moment when they finally make a string of code or piece of tech work. So the more people I can help the better. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to earn a wage from my blog. My medium term goal is to earn £1100 per month from blogging and VA services, and my longer term is to earn £2200 per month.
I think sometimes we shy away from talking about money, like it’s not honourable to want to both help people and earn money. But whether we like it or not, we all need cold hard cash to survive! I’m not after a big chunk, just enough so that my family and I are comfortable.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
Start at the end. Write down where you see yourself in 5 years. Include as much detail about your life as possible, not just your blog. Then work backwards; what will you need to achieve by the end of year 5 to reach that lifestyle, by the end of year 4, 3, 2 and 1? Once you know that, you will have a much clearer idea of where your blog needs to go, what it needs to do, and even what your niche will be.
You’ll be able to set realistic and achievable annual, quarterly, and monthly goals. And you’ll be strides ahead of the competition!
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why
My Granddad, William Shakespeare, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
I lived with my grandparents for a large chunk of my childhood, and since he passed away a couple of years ago I’ve always wished I could have one more meal with my Granddad. As for the other two, I think they’d make for great conversation (with the benefit of a bit of eye-candy from Mr. Cumberbatch) and my Granddad would tell them both to “shut up” if it all got a bit too pompous!
Tell me three random facts about you
1. My friends in primary school called me the walkie-talkie dictionary.
2. I dropped from a size 20 to size 12 between 2015 and 2017 and have never been happier with my weight having struggled my entire life.
3. I ran pubs for a long time, so I know A LOT about beer and alcohol, but I only drink alcoholic drinks myself about 4 times a year! I’ve just never been a keen drinker.
Along with her blog www.mummymamamum.com, you can also find Aleena over on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And if you need help from a VA, then check out her other site www.theblogva.mummymamamum.com