I’ve been reading Jenny’s blog Monkey and Mouse for quite a while now and more recently I’ve started to read literally every post. I love her writing style and her posts are both interesting and useful. She does some amazing crafts with her children and explores her local area with lots of outdoor activities. She inspires me to do more with my children and her blog has even influenced where we want to go on holiday next year!
1. Tell me about the most unexpected change to you as a person or to your life since becoming a parent?
I had always expected to give up work and become a stay at home mum, but I originally thought that it would be just for a few years until they went to school and then I would go back to work. But then I realised that school would not be the right place for our eldest son and when we took the decision to home educate my life changed and I realised that there was no way I would be going back to 9-5. Life is different than what we had planned, but I love being home with my boys and home education works so well for us.
2. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since having children?
The sleepless nights. Ever since our eldest was a baby we have not slept well. Before we realised he had intolerances he would wake over 25 times a night (then I would stop counting), fortunately it went down to 2-3 times after we cut out dairy and gluten (at 9 months old) and by the time he was 3 he slept through the night for the first time ever. But his little brother was born when our biggest was 2 years old and little is yet to wake less than 3 times a night. Sleep will happen one day, but not quite yet!
3. What do you regard as your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement. Can I be cheesy and say my kids? I’ve done a lot of great things in my life, but there’s nothing I am more proud of than my children.
4. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What hasn’t killed you?
Oooh, such a hard question! I really don’t know what to say, I haven’t had the difficulties in life that some people have had and although I have various family and friends who have gone through life threatening illnesses, which have been emotional roller coasters, nothing has threatened my life. But a lot has made me stronger.
Coping with the sleepless nights, the bitchy mums at toddler groups and then most of my previous mummy friends ignoring me when they found out I wasn’t sending my son to school with their kids. It’s all difficult, but nothing you can’t get through with a positive outlook and a couple of really good friends (and now my amazing community of bloggy friends I have!).
5. Who inspires you?
Oh, so many people inspire me! My parents have always inspired me to do be and do whatever I want, there’s nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.
I am inspired everyday by people in the blogging world who have written amazing articles or taking fantastic photographs. They inspire me and push me harder creatively. They are also so kind and supportive that you can’t help but be inspired to help other fellow bloggers whenever you can.
6. I have just invented a time machine (and you thought you’d achieved something great). You can now go backwards or forwards to any point in time and deliver any message to any person, what’s your message and who is it for?
My first thoughts go straight to recent politics in the UK and U.S., but I won’t go that direction with this answer.
In actual fact I don’t think there is anyone I would want to deliver a message to in the past or future, there’s loads of people I would like to meet or parts of history I would love to watch unfold, but if a message is delivered from another time then it might just wreck what happens in the past or future and I would rather just let it happen the way it should. This may be because I have watched Back To The Future waaaay too many times…
7. You have the opportunity to influence the entrepreneurs of the future. What life changing invention would you like to see on the drawing board?
I’m not sure, some inventions I find ridiculous and just make us all lazier in the long run, so I would actually do without the majority of time saving inventions.
However, making more time would be amazing, perhaps a little time turner device like Hermione has in Harry Potter. Then I could do lots of activities with the kids yet also spend time working on my blog! I suppose that is magic rather than an invention, so can someone please invent that time machine?!
8. I have waved a magic wand and all of your responsibilities have been taken care of for 24 hours. What are you going to do?
I hate being away from my boys for long, so I would like to fly us all across to the Western Isles and play on a gorgeous sandy beach and splash in the turquoise sea for the day. Someone would have pre-packed us a huge hamper filled with our favourite food and drinks and we have lots of laughs together. Simple, but that’s what I would want.
9. How can parents best be empowered to properly balance a career and a family life?
Realise there is no one right way and just follow whatever you think is right for your family. The balance may not always be right, but be brave and keep changing things until you’re happy.
10. You’re off for a night out tonight. Where will you go, what will you drink and what will be the topic of conversation?
I am off to Easter Island to have a fresh lemonade and discuss how and why the giant Moai are there. This may only happen if I can get a teleporter invented…