Tell us about your family
I have three children. Two girls, Beaver (7), Godivy (4) and The Boy with No Name (2). Their nicknames were criticised recently and I know Beaver's is slightly unfortunate (eek) but you can't always help how names find themselves and I guess that's the whole point in nicknames, isn't it? I've never used their real names as I think it's important to protect their privacy, to some degree.
How and why did you start your own blog?
I started my blog, Surviving Motherhood, three years ago. Only because I'd self-published a book and my techy cousin told me I had to start a blog to publicise it. I didn't know anything about blogging back then and thought it was something I would never keep up. One blog post in, I totally fell in love with the medium and forgot all about the book.
Why do you think people are responding increasingly well to bloggers, instead of typical media like magazines or mainstream 'voices' like celebrities?
I think it's down to pure relatability and accessibility. A blogger's no different to that person at home. We're doing the same everyday stuff like raising kids, making mistakes and trying to make sense of it all. We're just writing it down.
It can be hard to juggle a career and family life. What, if anything, do you feel you've sacrificed by choosing your current lifestyle?
I think my family are benefitting far more now from me pursuing a freelance career than when I was working full-time, or even part-time, as a PA. I can be so much more flexible without my hours being dictated. That said, the downside is that I'm on my phone A LOT. And it's not always easy justifying the time I spend on it as work but the truth is, it IS work. Usually. Building up a social media profile takes time and consistency but it's crucial in opening up opportunities.
What's your dream job/project/partnership?
My dream job is writing, which I'm finally doing, thanks to blogging. But I would like to do more magazine and newspaper work. My dream project at the moment is supporting new mums in the early months of motherhood. I don't think we do that very well, currently. We just leave new mums to it, to either sink or swim. Beyond that? Africa. I want to go to Africa and see the maternity conditions there and do something useful, whatever that may be.
What's your top tip for mums on maternity leave?
Do what YOU want and don't be surprised if that isn't what you expected. I thought I would be more active and go to art galleries and generally make the most of having a year 'off.' I hadn't factored in the overwhelming nature of having a baby and feeding every 3 minutes. So my advice is, take it easy, watch loads of box-sets whilst cuddling your baby and keep it low-key. You can conquer the world when you have a toddler who won't let you sit down. EVER. Argghhhhhhh!
What are your favourite books and blogs?
Books? What are they? I can't actually believe I'm an English Lit graduate as the only time I read now is on holiday. Every time I go to bed early to read a book, I seem to end up on Facebook. Why is that? But when I do read, I have to pick something that grips me otherwise I'll never finish it. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave is amazing. I also loved Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. And my all time favourite book is The Fault in Our Stars, young adult fiction! I'm obsessed with how John Green managed to write as a teenage girl. To me, that's pure talent. I read less blogs since I started blogging (a lot of my blogging friends say the same) but there are lots that I dip in and out of. My favourites are the ones that give me a new perspective. 'This Life I Live' (a blog about country singing duo Joey and Rory and her battle against cancer, which she sadly lost this year) has really affected me but it's also given me, and so many others, so much inspiration and humility.
Make us feel better about ourselves. What's your biggest mum fail?
There are so many, I'm not kidding. Never sending my child to school with ANYTHING she actually needs. Forgetting to put her snack in for after-school club. Being the mum who forgets the suncream and sunhat for sports day. Honestly? I'm a bit ashamed of myself because I always thought I would be the most organised mum but I actually have a very laissez-faire attitude to motherhood and this deep-rooted feeling that they're going to be ok no matter how off the wall I am. On one of my many parenting fails, I said to my daughter, 'Your teacher must think I'm rubbish.' 'She does, Mummy,' said my daughter. 'But don't worry, you're not.' I hope she still feels like that in 10 year's time.
Are there any other mums out there who inspire you?
All mums inspire me. With their strength and commitment to their families. I'm constantly surprised by how tough we are and what we tolerate every day, without question.
Where do you hang out with the family?
We are fortunate that we live in a lovely leafy part of London so come the weekend, we have to force ourselves to leave Blackheath. There's just so much to stay here for and Greenwich Park is our favourite place in the world. But we do occasionally get in the car and go to a National Trust property, take the kids to the farm or camping for 19 hours (don't ask!).
What's next for Surviving Motherhood?
Well, The New Mum's Notebook, a sanity-saving journal for new mums, is launching in September so that will be my focus for a while. Beyond that, merchandise. I'm going to be collaborating with a graphic designer to produce some slogan t-shirts and other products, based on the blog and Facebook page. When we find some time! And more writing. I'll always write. And hope someone wants to read it.
Surviving Motherhood blog - www.amyransom.com
Surviving Motherhood on FB - www.facebook.com/amyransomwrites
Instagram - www.instagram.com/survivingmotherhood_
The New Mum's Notebook website - www.thenewmumsnotebook.co.uk