Today’s interview is with Jocelyn who runs the fantastic blog The Reading Residence where she shares her days out and family fun. Check out her blog to also read about the range of gardening, food and home projects that she’s working on.
Tell us a little about your family?
I’ve been married for 16 years and we have two children, an 8 year old daughter and a 5 year old son.
You’re the founder of a fab blog. Congratulations on your fantastic success! What inspired you to start your blog?
I initially started a blog around children’s books, moving onto one for promoting an old business before writing The Reading Residence. I wanted to share ideas and tips with others and create a place to document my thoughts and family life.
How do you juggle being a mama and running a blog?
Fortunately my kids are aware of what I do and have been used to be doing it for several years now. This means they are used to posing and pausing for photos at any given moment and they know that when I’m on my PC or phone, I’m probably working. I used to put in a lot of evenings, though since my youngest started school in September, I try to keep 9-3 working hours so I can switch off and be with them when they come home. I’m actually studying full time this year as well, completing my degree, so that does give me a bit more to juggle!
Do you ever deal with working mama’s guilt? And if you do, how do you push through it?
I do, I think many of us do. But then working flexibly from home, around the kids, means that they still get a lot more of me and my time than I would have been able to give if I’d remained in my previous career, so I do remind myself of that. They also do get to have some amazing experiences and gifts connected with my blog, so they definitely benefit in that way, too.
What’s the best thing about working for yourself?
Being flexible with my hours, and the projects that I choose to take on. If my kids are poorly or home during the holidays, I can pause work if needed. I tend to take on less projects over holiday periods, and if illnesses crop up, I shift my work until night times so that I can be here for them.
And the hardest?
I’d say that with being self-employed, it’s the uncertainty of income from month to month and the fact that if I do take time out, of course I don’t get paid. I find that the pros outweigh the cons for me, though.
What’s one tip you would give to other mama’s that are considering starting a blog?
Go for it! I have written a few blogging tips posts on my blog, so check those out. You need to be yourself, write because you want to write and create, and work on quality content. It does take time and hard work to build it up, so be prepared for that.
What’s one of your favourite blogging tools and why?
There are several WordPress plugins that I wouldn’t be without, such as Yoast, and then I find Tailwind, Canva and LinkyTools invaluable, but there are so many more.
If you could recommend a book or a podcast for business or pleasure what would it be?
Ah now, this is tricky. I don’t listen to podcasts but I do read, a lot. I am a bookworm, and asking me to pick just one to recommend is pretty much impossible!
Do you have a tip you can share for making your home life run smoothly whilst also running a blog?
Write everything down. I have a bullet journal that I would not be without, a family planner calendar and then I use a diary for my blog work. I rely on all of them.
If I came to your home and looked inside your fridge(!), what’s one thing I would definitely find?
Spinach! There’ll always be milk, cheese, yoghurts and the like, too, but spinach is the one thing that I can never run out of. It’s our guinea pigs’ favourite food, so I always have some in!
Who are three people that would be on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
Assuming I can choose from past and present, I’d go for Jane Austen, Gandhi and John Lennon. I’d probably be exhausted afterwards, as I think that would make for a thought-provoking evening!
Please complete the sentence… “I would consider my role as a mama to be successful if my child(ren)…”
Are happy, kind and confident in themselves.
Thanks so much Jocelyn for taking part in our interview series!
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