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Fantastic news folks! Following my review of her book “Mum Boss“, I have had the privilege of gaining an interview with number 1 best selling author and award winning blogger, vlogger and all round lovely person, Vicki Psarias. Yay, I did a thing!
To give her a brief introduction; Vicki started her career as a director of both films and TV shows, however despite considerable success in those fields, decided on a change of career following the difficult birth of her first child. She realised that there were very few honest parenting blogs online and maybe most importantly that she wasn’t able to spend as much time with her new baby as she wanted.
Both her blog and book have a heavy focus on honest, practical parenting (let’s face it, rasing kids isn’t all rainbows and fairy farts – just regular farts!) and taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. This is something that I’m sure most people can appreciate parents get very little chance to strive towards, while taking care of small people.
Her book also delves into the nightmarish topic of finding time to do what you want/ need to do to succeed around child care and family obligations. When you can barely find time to pee it seems like a pipe dream that you could possibly build a business but her book offers advice that is simple enough to implement. Main things to remember? Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme and you are going to have to sweat it out and work your socks off! Most of all it’s doable with some skill and plenty of commitment. Wooo, I might just succeed at this thing after all! Oh wait, no, she said skill – nevermind.
Anything I’ve missed….
Oh yes! Vicki also writes for a few small time publications that most people probably won’t have heard of. Insignificant things like “Vogue”, “Grazia” and “The Guardian” as well as some minor TV programs such as ITV’s “Good Morning Britain”, “BBC Breakfast” and “SKY News”. Nope, never heard of them. Definitely not. Never. Ahem.
All this while looking after two kids and holding a home together? Blimey I’m exhausted just writing that (sounds like the perfect excuse for a nice mug of coffee to me!) and as you can probably guess at this point I am delighted to start this interview up! Woohoo – starstruck rambling in 3…..2…..1…..
1) Tell me about your family and where you live…
We live in Windsor in Berkshire and love it here. My husband and I met during our uni days and lived in London for many years before returning to Leeds where I’m originally from for a few years. We moved to Windsor a year ago.
2) What’s an average day for you? How do you manage to make room for both family time and working? That must be quite a challenge at times.
I have great balance, to be honest. I work during school hours then collect the kids and we tend to get out to the park or the Long Walk which is close to where we live, before homework and dinner. I try to go live twice a day and often shoot on an evening for campaigns or recipe posts when the kids are asleep. I go into London once a week or every two weeks depending on my schedule for shoots/ TV and meetings. My schedule works well for all the family. I get lots of downtime and am very active at school too helping the PTA etc.
3) Did you show any early signs as a child that would indicate that you would end up where you are today? (Feel free to tell childhood stories, anecdotes or anything else you feel might be relevant, such as personality traits or early influencers.)
I always wanted to be on TV as a presenter or broadcast journalist. My parents did some TV cooking when I was young so I got to go on set and loved the magic of it all. After my MA I became a screenwriter and director then pivoted into blogging and vlogging when I had my first child. I love appearing on TV now and hope to do more of that combining it with my digital career. Live TV is my favourite. The buzz is utterly addictive.
4)What were the main reasons that you started blogging at honestmum.com?
I suffered from a traumatic birth and craved a space to call my own. I didn’t expect it to become my career but I’m glad it did as it offered me a creative, fulfilling and vitally flexible career around my kids.
5) What are the best and worst things about being the ‘Mum Boss?’
The pressures that come with running a business, the fact the internet never sleeps, the juggle…The pros always outweigh the cons though. The joy in the every day, the opportunities it offers my entire family from holidays to working with world-class creatives like the Oscar winner Brad Bird, TV star David Walliams and Chef Jamie Oliver to name but a few.
6) Take us through some of your posts that have gone viral. (feel free to provide links) How did you react and was it exciting? Do you feel like any of these posts pushed you towards where you are now?
Not sure what counts as viral anymore, to be honest, but the three below stand out as having a huge reach…
My Proud in my Bikini post empowered lots of women and felt amazing and the viral fish finger post from a Birds Eye campaign was hilarious, even ending up on TV after a tweet went viral…The one which meant the most was my traumatic birth post which encouraged many women to reach out for help. I received emails from the parents of women suffering too. I think consistently writing and sharing has the greatest impact though. Of course, the more people you reach, the better but you don’t have to have gone viral many times to succeed. Small, targeted audiences are precious too and even those with overnight success have to consistently share quality content to sustain.
Traumatic birth: http://honestmum.com/being-honest-a-traumatic-birth/
Proud in my bikini: https://honestmum.com/proud-in-my-bikini/
7) What was the moment that you realised that your business might just succeed?
It’s been an organic process but realising I was earning the same as directing when my second son came along in 2012 was the turning point for me. It was when I knew blogging and vlogging could be my job.
8) Your book has a strong focus on self-care and being kind to yourself. What are the top three tips that would be helpful for the average stressed out mummy?
Stop. Go for a walk, read a book, spend time over creating your lunch or do some yoga, even if it’s from your desk. When you feel overwhelmed you just have to press pause, accept how you feel right now and do what you can to help regain peace.
Distance yourself from negativity and those who consistently bring drama into your life. Cut people out who aren’t good for you.
Eat well. Eating a plant-based diet for me has changed my mental and physical wellbeing while helping to save the animals and planet.
9) If someone walked up to you on street and asked for three very quick pointers about how to be a successful parent in business, what would they be?
There’s no easy answer or one way to be successful. Success for me is health and happiness, and working on your own terms doing what you love. You can’t go wrong if you let passion lead you.
10) Recently there has been more of a focus on honest parenting; where people are a lot more open about their triumphs and frustrations as they raise their little ones. Do you welcome this more transparent outlook or do you feel that perhaps we should be less willing to share everything that happens with the world?
I’m ‘Honest Mum’ so for me, being candid is the only way. It means parents feel less alone and supported, and everyone benefits.
11) What are your top five must-have beauty products? Do you use any homemade cosmetics?
I use olive oil as a moisturiser and Bio Oil too. Coconut oil is great as a leave-in conditioner too. I love my natural products. Make-up wise I can’t live without my Rimmel eyebrow pencil and I do love Eyelure fake lashes which open up the eyes and are perfect for when you’re on camera. Laura Mercier is a favourite brand (I love her lipsticks especially) and Bobbi Brown, MAC, and Nars are all awesome too.
12) Are there any interesting little facts about yourself you’d like to share?
I was a multi-award winning filmmaker and TV Director before starting my blog.
I can bark like a small yappy dog!
I came 4th in the North in Junior Masterchef but didn’t make the 3 who appeared on TV.
I used to teach English GCSE.
I dated twins aged 4 at primary school because I couldn’t choose between them!
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