This week we meet the fab Rachel from Rachel Swirl blog. Thanks so much for taking part Rachel 🙂
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family
I am a thirty-something old blogger from The Lake District UK. I have a wonderful husband Paul and two amazing children J & E. I originally trained as a teacher but was made redundant a few years ago and since then have been enjoying being a Mum whilst looking into future career opportunities ideally within Education.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
One of my biggest problems is that I enjoy doing far too much, I find it hard to focus upon one particular thing and often end up flitting between different activities. When I do have a moment to myself I tend to either write or work on design (mainly for my blog), catch up on my favourite TV soaps or box sets, play the piano, sit and read a book or grab a coffee with a friend.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievements are my two amazing children. I feel blessed to have ‘one of each’ and am so proud to be a parent.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
The hardest part of parenting for me has to be the lack of sleep, I am a bed bug and find it really difficult to function with little sleep. This isn’t helped by the fact that I am a night owl and tend to stay up far too late!
The easiest and probably the most rewarding part of being a parent for me has to be those moments when you are with your children, at their level being involved within their play. I love playing with the kids and find it far too easy as I am a big kid myself, although I have to admit I am a stickler for ‘sticking to the rules’ when it comes to board games!
The best thing ever for me personally has to be when my children come to me, put their arms around me, tell me that they love me and sometimes even give me a kiss! It just melts my heart.
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?
It is a daily battle but I am a multi tasker and don’t settle until things are ‘done’. I live by lists and cannot settle until things are ‘complete’. I will openly admit to having OCD, whilst it can drive me bat shit crazy at times, it can also be a great help in ensuring that things get done.
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I actually first wrote a blog back in the 90s on a social media type website named ‘Bolt’. It was the usual teen angst malarky and from there I took it one step further and began a ‘Livejournal’. I wasn’t the best of writers back then and I am still far from it now! Thankfully I deleted those blogs from ‘way back when’ as they were just full of teenage trivialities.
I have always continued to take an interest in online blogs and have read plenty of them over the years. Rather than writing, I decided to give vlogging a shot from 2008 onwards. Whilst I enjoyed editing videos and capturing those special Mummy moments, it just didn’t seem to work for me, especially in terms of my career as a teacher. I decided to stop vlogging and blogging completely but after some time I realised there was a void in my life. I think I need to have a purge every now and then and blogging seems to be my niche.
I decided it was time to give myself a fresh start and whilst having a few drinks on New Years Eve I somehow ended up buying some webspace and it went from there really… By February I had managed to figure out the technicalities of my blog theme and had set myself up ready to begin ‘parent blogging’. After my first few posts I began receiving some feedback from my 'mummy friends' regarding my blog, they seemed to think it was a refreshing read and encouraged me to continue… So here I am!
Tell me a bit about your blog?
RachelSwirl is my little space on the tinterweb where I document the day-to-day of Motherhood. I aim to tell the truth about parenting from the frontline, hopefully offering advice and amusement to other parents out there. Whilst I tend to write about parenting, I sometimes touch upon other random topics too, it’s whatever is on my mind at that moment really. I have also started to participate in other blog series to build my blogging portfolio and to create regular features.
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
I would like to think that my readers may find my posts informative, humorous and who knows, they may even learn something from my posts. I have to say that I write purely for pleasure but if that were to develop somehow or other then I would have no objection.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
Go for it! Just try not to get too obsessed with the design, focus on the content rather than the cover and all that. I would also suggest going ‘self hosted’ as it seems to offer more flexibility in terms of design and technical features.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
1. Tori Amos- This lady blows my mind Musically and I would love to have the chance to sit with her for even a moment, a whole dinner would just be incredible!
2. My Nana- I would love for her to meet my kids, especially E given that she was named after this incredible lady.
3. Brian Cox- I am a complete geek and love learning about our Universe. This guy has the ability to make Science seem sexy somehow, he is the ‘Nigella’ of Astronomy.
Tell me three random facts about you
1. I wrote a poem, aged 15 that was featured in the Worlds tallest book (this was featured in the Guinness book of World records apparently).
2. I had pioneering surgery on my hand a few years ago due to a random tumour, this amazing surgery means that I can continue to use my hands to play the piano, type a blog post or send a text to the hubby!
3. I love cheese, so much so that I once went to a restaurant and couldn’t decide between two cheese based starters and so had one as a starter and one as a desert!