Thursday, 6 July 2017

Interview: Helen From Justsayingmum

Hi Helen, thank you for agreeing to answer some questions for Bad Mum magazine; I really do appreciate it.

Firstly, your family are stunning (and you too, of course!) You must be so immensely proud of all your children and of yourself for doing such a fantastic job?

Oh, Sophie, that really is so kind of you. Thank you. Yes, just a little bit proud. Well most days!

When your daughter was signed to the modelling agency (in London) what were your initial thoughts and did you have any worries?

Ah, a great question. Of course, like any parent I was little hesitant. No, stop, a lot of hesitant! Georgia, from a young age, has wanted to be an actress and attended stage school in London from the age of 16 so I was anxious that she would lose sight of her real dream but, in fact, they go hand in hand. However, in the initial stages I did feel that I was selling my daughter a little and that felt wrong. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to have her face rejection at such a young age but actually she has learnt so much and met so many wonderful people that it has opened our eyes to the modelling world. It is a lot friendlier than we ever managed it to be so it has helped to keep Georgia grounded.

As you are your daughters chaperone at all the castings does this give you peace of mind and has it brought you both closer together?

It has been a wonderful experience to share together and yes has of course really helped form a special bond as it’s not often that you get to share your children’s world quite so closely. It gives us a great buzz as we head off to another day of castings, stopping for coffee, waiting for her to come running out with a yes or no. It’s been amazing to be there for her every step of the way. However, she’s reaching that stage where she could go on her own but I’m a little bit thrilled that she still wants me with her. It can be quite long lonely days so I guess it’s always good to have mum about! I am careful, though, to balance my time with my other two as well so that all three of my relationships are as close and special. Not always easy, mind you but I try!

What amazing places have you both travelled to and has the fashion world opened doors to a whole new world, for you both?

Oh we’ve been to Paris which was just incredible. I’ve been able to see her walk for two London Fashion Shows. We got tickets to the Male Moschino Show last year that was out of this world. There are plans for her also to go to Tokyo and South Africa this year so that will be fun. In addition to this, which we have not talked too much about, Georgia has two films coming out this year that she had small parts in. It’s been amazing to watch her develop as both an actress and a model. Oh and a note for the diary – at the end of this month Georgia is the guest lead on Casualty so we are excited about seeing her in that too!

You are a blogging and a vlogger too, do you love the blog world as much as me and how has it changed things for you?

Oh I love to blog! It’s bizarre to think that blogging came about as something for me to do whilst I was sat at casting after casting with Georgia. I never knew that the blogging world was so big. I feel quite naive now looking back! I have always loved to write so it’s been an absolute joy to pursue and learn. Oh and I adore the vlogging too. I have so many plans to develop the vlog but life has got a little in the way. I have plans to pick back up on this shortly. When you say has it changed things for me? Yes, I guess it has from a personal perspective. I’ve got something that I can really call mine. It’s my escapism and my real creative outlet. I can’t imagine a world without blogging for now!

Were you nervous putting your very first vlog out there in the big world of the internet and was you pleased with the feedback?

One word – terrified! But it’s the same with everything isn’t it? That first step is the hardest. The best thing for me about the whole process is that I really have come to accept who I am. I no longer over criticise my appearance. I am who I am and I can’t change that! Well I could wear a little more concealer I guess!

I see that you attend many blogger social events which is a great way to meet up with fellow bloggers and make connections. You work with Prabsfrom Absoutely Prabulous to make great vlogs, that are interviewing brilliant bloggers. How did this all come about and start?

Ah blogging event are a fabulous way to meet other bloggers. Prabs and I met at Britmums Live last year and got talking. I started vlogging a little while before her and she suggested we try and work together. Bloggers’ cafĂ© was born and we’ve never looked back. More plans to further the series in September for sure.

I am a huge fan of Instagram and I think it is an amazing free tool for anyone and everyone to use, and has access too. It gives you endless possibilities and creativity. Has Instagram played an important part in your journey so far?

Oh, I am the hugest Instagram fan too. I can’t believe that I enjoy it as much as I do but I find it such a creative and positive environment. It definitely has played an important part and certainly provides a way of directing people to my blog which is ultimately why I set it up. However, I love how you can be a little bit of a mini blogger on Instagram. I think personality can really come across on those little squares for sure!

Your Instagram feed is gorgeous and you are a brilliant photographer too, have you always enjoyed taking photos and are the photos important to you, and your brand?

Oh thank you so much! I’ve definitely always loved photography but I’ve learnt heaps about the photos I really like and the images and colours etc that build up my feed. I’ve learnt heaps from Instagrammers that I enjoy following. Photography has become a huge part of my week now as I’m always looking for the perfect shot – not obsessively though but as an enjoyment!

As you will know the Mummy blogger scene is massive now and us Mum’s finally have a voice. We are no longer ashamed of saying “this is bloody hard work sometimes!” How do you find all this new honesty on parenting? Is it a good thing?

Ah, I’ve mixed feelings on this. Yes it’s very hard work but no more than the parents before us. We have different issues to contend with but as did they from the generations before them. I like to be positive. I’m not saying I don’t love a giggle about the reality of parenting but it’s not hugely my writing style. Does that make sense?

So, how is it being a busy Mum to three teenagers (going to many fabulous fashion events) and also keeping your blog going at the same time? Have you got any time saving tips you’ve learnt along the way for us bloggers out there?

Ha ha oh how I’d love some more time. I am quite structured. I blog during the day, or on the train or at shoots. The great thing about the internet is we can literally work anywhere. I am very strict that I do not touch my blog after the children are home from school. They go out at early in the morning so I get the bulk of my work done before lunch. I teach piano after lunch so I have to manage my time well! I also don’t put myself under pressure. My blog was started as I love to write so I always remember that when I’m feeling stressed about it. It was started as something fun to do and that perspective always need to be at the forefront of my mind. I never blog for the sake of blogging and if two weeks go without me writing a post then so be it! Hmmm I’m not sire that’s advice but welcome to my work ethic.

We all know that parenting has its good days and its hard days; we are all human at the end of the day. Over the years how have you learnt to deal with the hard days and have you got any golden advice you could share with us please?

Wine! Tears! More wine! And the mantra that tomorrow is a new day!
How is it being a Mum to three teenagers; do they keep you on your toes?

Yes, constantly. Oh, and for the record, boys are sooooo much easier to raise than girls. The drama of being a girl is relentless. I wouldn’t want to go back to being a teenager if I had to contend with what they do now in the world of social media. It is tough. Really tough. And just so so hard to parent because we don’t have the experience of it from our adolescence.

Please tell us how you always look so elegant and stylish all the time!? We need some of your beauty and style tips PLEASE!

Awww you really are so kind. I’m going to give my mum some credit here. She was and still is so stylish. She always looked beautiful so I guess my sister and I were brought up to always try and look our best .I always remember as a child my mum reapplying her make-up before my dad got home. She always wanted to look her best for him. Femininity over fashion I guess, always. My mother still has an ageless elegance. I must thank her for that next time I see her!

Lastly, everyone must leave us with a parenting confession that they have never told anyone before?

Ah, this is tricky! I’m too honest and always tell everyone everything I’ve done. I wish I had some big secret I could share. I’ve also told my three everything I did as a teen so that they know they can’t scare me! Ah, the only one I guess is that my husband once dished up dinner and gave the meat Bolognese to my veggie daughter instead of the veggie one – she loved it – we’ve never told her! Not that much of a confession really – sorry! If I think of one a little more exciting I’ll come back to you!

Thank you once again for giving me your time and I wish you all the luck in the future with everything you do.

To find Helen's blog please click here

Interview by Sophie Farrow

Photos credited to Helen @justsayingmum


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