Hello Amanda! Thank you for joining us for this week’s “Blogger of the Week” at Baby Hints and Tips! We’re very excited to be able to chat with you about all things motherhood and blogging. Before we start, can you introduce us to yourself and your family?
Thank you for having me! Well my name is Amanda Nicholls and my tribe includes my husband Corey and our two girls, Grace who is 5 and Charlotte who is 3. We live in the lower Blue Mountains so we love exploring the Blue Mountains on the weekends – both finding new playgrounds, family friendly cafes and activities and bush walking! We are also a stone’s throw from a lot of great places in western Sydney so we’ve really enjoyed taking the kids out on new adventures every spare moment we have.
If you had to choose a movie that closely resembles your life, which would you choose and why?
Totally Sex and the City. Haha – but more like Charlotte from Sex and the City 2 when she has two kids and two red hand prints on her skirt and locks herself in the cupboard for some ‘me time’.
What does an average week look like in your household?
Chaos probably! But organised chaos. Grace started kindergarten this year so that has really changed the way our family functions. I work part time in real estate (can you believe that?) and the rest of the week I try to dedicate to Entertain My Tribe and managing the household. Both Grace and Charlotte are doing dance lessons and swimming lessons which keeps us busy. Corey loves cycling and I am part of an outdoors exercise group where I do kick boxing and running. That’s my time out. I recently did a 14km fun run which both amazed me and exhausted me.
You are a blogger over at Entertain My Tribe. Can you tell us a bit about your blog?
I decided to start Entertain My Tribe earlier this year. I used to be a magazine editor for a long time and then moved into more digital based projects including writing for Baby Hints & Tips for a while! I absolutely loved working in digital and was inspired to start my own website. I wanted to create something that included my family and focused on having fun with my kids. But the other thing that inspired me to do this was moving from the Inner West to the Blue Mountains.
When we moved here I was on maternity leave with Charlotte and had no friends and didn’t know where to go with the kids. I started googling trying to find activities to do with them. I struggled to find what I was looking for. I thought about starting up a website with a local focus, but then we took a holiday to Byron Bay and it rained while we were there. We had to find activities to do with the kids and again found ourselves struggling to find places to go with them. I thought why not make my website national and ask other parents to contribute with ideas for things to do in their local areas.
The concept is that it takes a village to raise a tribe, so why not be a part of our community and find and share fun things to do with your tribe, anywhere in Australia.
How long have you been blogging for? What has kept you motivated to keep blogging?
Since January when the site launched. I’m a journalist by trade – I have been writing since 2002. I started out as a newspaper journalist at my local newspaper and then moved into magazines where I stayed for 12 years. I’m even toying with the idea of creating a publication for Entertain My Tribe down the track.
What I have discovered though is that the blogging community is so supportive! Everyone is super happy to share each other’s content and help us to build our own unique audiences. It’s so amazing to be a part of the mum blogging community. I feel like I know all of these other bloggers and their kids. I went to an event once and recognised a fellow bloggers kids and was like hey!!! It’s Sunshine and Striker!
How does blogging fit in with your day-to-day life?
I’m constantly thinking about the next post – if I’m at the real estate agency I find myself quickly taking notes on my phone to come back to later on so I don’t forget. But I try to write a few nights a week when the kids are in bed (which is why a lot of my posts appear online around 10pm). I also try to squeeze some time in on my days off so it’s either writing or adventuring on those days. School holidays have actually been the best time to get work done because we’re busy every day going on new adventures!
As a first-time mum, what was your biggest concern?
I think I remember saying to my husband when Grace was born “Who let us do this?” All of a sudden we were someone’s parents! But probably my biggest concern initially was the breast feeding guilt. I totally guilted myself about it and just felt so helpless and stressed if it wasn’t working. I remember when I had Charlotte being absolutely determined to get breast feeding right. And I realised when I had her, that I actually had been successfully feeding Grace, it was just that I was a new mum and clueless when it came to figuring out how to tell if she had enough milk so I kept topping her up with formula. In hindsight, I now know that it really didn’t matter how I fed either of my girls. If you look at them, you can’t tell which one had breast milk for 13 months and which one had it for four months. Mum guilt is so unnecessary but the sad truth is, we sometimes do it to ourselves! #fedisbest
What is your most embarrassing or funny motherhood story (to help us all feel better about motherhood?!)?
Not long after Charlotte started toilet training, we were in a public bathroom at the shops and Charlotte says really loudly to me, “Mum, are you doing a wee or a poo? A wee? Good job.” There was a lot of laughter coming from the other stalls.
What is/are your best baby hints or tips for new mums out there?
Here’s a couple of oldies but goodies:
- Get out there and meet other mums
This is exactly why I started Entertain My Tribe. I wanted to meet other tribes! Now we have some very dear friends that we’ve made through playgroup, dancing, daycare and school. Our kids get on like a house on fire and the parents are now our friends. Win win!
- We all feel guilty for something – you’re not alone
Seriously mum guilt is the pits. I feel guilty with Grace still to this day when I realise I could have been doing something with her a bit earlier. But Grace is a happy, bright, energetic and well behaved girl. I need to remind myself she’s perfectly fine. And that she is our oldest which means we’re still learning new things every day about being a parent.