I admire Erika for the changes she’s made in her life, she’s a wonderful person too who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person earlier this year. I had the chance to interview her and ask her about the things that make her tick.
Tell us a little bit about your blog (or business).
My blog, Ever-changing Life of a Mum, just celebrated its first birthday! About six months earlier I took a massive leap of faith and decided to leave behind my 15-year career in journalism and then PR to spend more time with my family. Even though my children were aged 5 and 9 at the time and everyone was encouraging to step up my career, inside I felt like I needed to do the opposite and that my children needed me more than ever before. So for the first time since having children, I decided to become a stay at home mum and I was in a fortunate position to be able to do so. It all felt a bit backwards – when most mums were stepping back into careers as their kids entered school, I was leaving mine behind – but it also felt so right. I thought that there must be other mums like me out there, questioning what they are doing, perhaps wanting to make the same decision as me but worried about the consequences financially and otherwise. My blog was born as a creative outlet for me to write as well as a way to share my journey with others as I started to seek out a simpler, less stressful lifestyle for me and my family.
What do you love most about your blog (or business)?
I absolutely love the flexibility that my blog and being my own boss provides me. I can write and post on my blog as time allows and can fit this in around my needs and family commitments. As well as being a blogger, I’m also a freelance writer, however, have had to put that on hold for a little while after falling pregnant and having my third baby girl earlier this year. I know it’s something that I can always come back to and my blog allows me to keep up my writing in the meantime.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
To leave behind the fear of missing out and stop comparing myself to others. It’s all too easy for old habits to start creeping back in. A few months back, I felt pressure to grow my blog, that I wasn’t doing enough and needed to take on more. This pressure was coming from no one but myself, so I stepped back, took a short break from my blog then wrote a few posts about my thoughts and feelings to remind myself of the reason I made the decision to leave my job in the first place.
What’s the one piece of golden piece of advice you could offer other women?
Set aside at least 10 minutes a day for yourself. Even if it’s just to have a hot cup of tea, read a few pages of a book or magazine, do some yoga or a quick meditation. Breathe, fully enjoy the moment as you connect back with yourself and recharge those batteries. Even just a few minutes can make a big difference to the rest of your day.
Do you believe women can have it all? Why or why not?
It’s a very tricky juggling act. At the end of the day, it’s about putting first what is most important to you and what makes you happy. If it’s truly important to you, I believe you can make it work. Personally, I wasn’t able to juggle the demands of full-time work with family life, however, I know there are plenty of others who do and do so very well. I also think it’s important for women to remember to still look after themselves in this process and not to put their needs at the bottom of the list.
Top time-management tip?
Learn to say ‘no’ and don’t over schedule your or your family’s life. I go as far as agreeing to only one social event per weekend for my family. It can be a little tricky at times, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, but it’s important to include some ‘me’ time and family time in your calendar too.
What makes you happy?
Definitely my family!
If I were prime minister of Australia for a day, I’d…
…. give you a day off on your birthday!
Describe yourself in five words.
Friendly, positive, family-orientated, organised, reliable
Fave app: Word Swag
Last person/page I followed on social media: A crafty page on Facebook
Three things in my bag I can’t live without: Purse, mobile phone and lip balm
Last book I read: Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell. I have just started Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford.
Quote I love: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly” – this is very close to my heart and a strong idea behind the title and logo of my blog.
If you love inspiring other women and would like to partake in an interview, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org