Hello Carlie! 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. To start off with, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
Thanks for having me! I’m a mum to two little monkeys, aged 4 and 6 months. I live by the bay in Melbourne with my handsome man.
He used to be my boss and we had the typical secret office romance, which was a lot of fun, and just what we both needed after each of our marriages broke down. Our baby son was a lovely surprise after we’d been dating less than a year. We actually moved in together the week our bub was born!
My daughter’s daddy is a great guy who is very much a part of her life, and my partner has grown up kids so we’re a big, blended, complicated family – but there’s a lot of love to go around!
I never pictured my life to look like this, but at the same time I feel so lucky to have the things that I do.
What three words would you use to describe yourself, and why these words?
Energetic – Being a working mum with two young kids it is so important for me that I look after myself and really manage my energy. People ask me all the time for my time management tips, and I love to share them, but so often we actually have more time than we think we do. It’s about keeping your energy and motivation up so you can make the best of the time you’ve got!
Tenacious – Over the years I have learned to just back myself, put one foot in front of the other and keep working towards the things I want. Doing one small thing every day that gets me closer to my goals, soon enough adds up. It’s nice to look back sometimes at how far I’ve come.
Earthly – Strange word but I think it fits. I love to be in nature. I am very much in sync with the moon. If I’m stressed I step out onto the beach and somehow things feel better. If I’m overwhelmed I look up the sky and remember how grand the universe is and how small my supposed problems are.
What does an average week look like in your household?
When I’m not blogging, I write resumes and coach mums who are returning to work. So in between kinder drops offs, making snacks and running around on the beach with my babies – you’ll usually find me at the laptop, in my activewear, putting together a gorgeous resume or on Skype with a client. I also work in my partners business so if my to-do list isn’t done by the time the kids go to bed, I sometimes do another work session on the couch with my partner watching TV next to me.
With so much on my plate, I tend to outsource what I can. I do all my food shopping online and have a housekeeper come once a week. Some might think it’s indulgent but it frees up my time to work and help more mummas to do work they love so for me it’s a must!
You are a blogger over at More Than Mum. Can you tell us a bit about your blog?
More Than Mum began, as so many do, when my first baby was 6 months old and I just needed an outlet. I’d started my little VA (virtual admin) business and wanted to share my journey. Back then it was only my friends and family reading but it didn’t matter. I just loved writing and using my brain in a different way.
Not long after that, my marriage fell to pieces around me, and writing about it was so therapeutic. I realised that I needed to write in order to heal. Some of the things I write got shared, some not til much later and some was just for me. When my husband got a new girlfriend I knew she felt quite strange about joining our family dynamic, so I wrote an open letter welcoming her to the family.
Unfortunately she took issue with the fact that I referred to him as my ‘husband’ (we weren’t divorced at the time) but many others really related to the article and it was shared around quite a bit, which was nice. I still get emails from people who have come across that piece and have found it healing, which inspires me to keep on writing.
My ex and I are on really good terms so I don’t write about that stuff much anymore and he’s always been given a heads up when I’m going to publish something. It’s been quite funny when people we know have called him up saying ‘Have you seen what Carlie posted?’ and he always says ‘Yeah she sent it to me ages ago!’
How long have you been blogging for? How have you been kept inspired for so long?
My daughter just turned four, so it must be around 3.5 years. It’s the feedback from people who relate to what I write that has kept me going, as well as my love for doing it. My writing has evolved so much over time and it’ll continue to do so.
A psychic once told me that I have to write for my own wellbeing. It’s such an incredible outlet for me. When I’m feeling stressed I just sit and I write. And sometimes I read back over what I’ve written and I think that maybe it’s something someone might enjoy reading, so I share it.
The people close to me are used to me now. Sometimes I just go ‘I have to write!’ and I disappear with my laptop or journal. Sometimes even just in the notes section in my phone. Often it’s in the middle of the night! Allowing thoughts and feelings to just come out of me like that helps me to avoid bottling things up and making me crazy. So writing is definitely a necessity for me!
How do you juggle blogging around motherhood and your day-to-day life?
I don’t schedule it in. I do it when I feel drawn to, which luckily is often. At present I have a dozen half written blog posts. I’m waiting for the right moment to finish each of them! That’s the thing with creative endeavours. You can’t really force it, or that will come through to your readers. Right now I’m launching Resume School, which is an online course for mums who want to start their own resume writing business from home, so most of what I’m writing is linked to being a work at home mum. I’ve been really enjoying doing Facebook Lives, and so much great content has been coming out – so now I need to go and turn each of them into a blog post!
As a first-time mum, what was your biggest concern?
EVERYTHING! I worried constantly, about everything. I read everything that I could and I did my own head in, and my husband’s. The second time around has been very different. I wish I had of just tuned in to my own intuition a bit more and just enjoyed my daughter instead of worrying about doing things ‘wrong’ with her.
What is your most embarrassing or funny motherhood story (to help us all feel better about motherhood?!)?
Recently I was in the foyer of a car hire company at an airport. I had my baby strapped to my chest and he’d poo’d so I had to pull everything out and change him in the foyer. I could tell the people behind the desk weren’t thrilled but I had luggage galore, a cranky threenager and a 2 hour drive ahead of me. I was not walking back to the airport to find a parents room. I just had to get it done and get on the road.
So I’m standing there while the guy is taking an eternity to look up my booking on the computer, and my daughter trips over one of our suitcases. She turns around, kicks it and drops the F-bomb, so perfectly in context. She was all nonchalant, like it was part of her everyday vocabulary. I couldn’t believe it. I’m not sure who was more glad for us to be out of there – me or the staff!
What is/are your best baby hints or tips for new mums out there?
Read everything by Pinky McKay, get a super comfy carrier and wear your baby all day if you need to. And if you plan on having more than one, get a double pram and just take the second seat off until you need it. I wouldn’t have thought I’d need a double pram with such a big gap between babies, but even at age 4 little legs get tired!
But most of all – don’t lose touch with who you are. It’s ok to miss your old life without wanting it back. You don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to do things for you. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You love your family like crazy but there is no medal for giving everything that you have, every minute of the day. Sometimes putting yourself first, is the best thing that you can do for your family. You matter too!