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Belfast Telegraph | 24 May 2019

MumbossManifesto:How‘Honest Mum’Vickibalancesworkandhome-life Vicki Psarias shares her secrets to blogging and parenting success with Davina Gordon

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rofessional blogger and mum of two Vicki Psarias’s book Mumboss has quickly become a No. 1 Amazon bestseller and is listed among the top 10 business books written by women, by The Independent. In it, she encourages readers to embrace her Mumboss manifesto, explaining how we can balance our work, our passions and our parenting. Vicki’s Honest Mum blog and social channels have a two million reach each month and she is also a multi awardwinning screenwriter, director and filmmaker. You will most likely have seen her on Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning, BBC Breakfast and Sky News. Vicki has also featured in Vogue, The Guardian and written for Grazia and Closer to name but a few. How does this entrepreneurial mum juggle work and family life with her husband, Peter, and sons Oliver (9) and Alexander (6)? “My kids are both at school so I work when they’re there, and stop at pick-up where I run around like a headless chicken getting them to and from lessons like swimming and helping them with homework and then if I’m on deadline, I work for a while again when they sleep. My husband and I share the load but having a freelance career gives me flexibility. It’s why I left directing and I feel grateful I can be so hands-on; my kids are my life. “Being a mum defines me but it doesn’t limit me. It makes me better at my job. Through weakness, you discover your strength,” she adds.

Black cloud

Vicki started writing her blog in 2010 when Oliver was 10 months old. “I had a

traumatic birth and I wasn’t being honest about how I felt. I was under a black cloud and was pretending to be strong,” she says, explaining she kept her blog light-hearted as she ‘wasn’t strong enough’ to write about her true emotions. That Christmas, she spoke to her parents about how she felt and as a consequence, she moved back home to Leeds and began seeing a therapist. “With my blog and being close to my parents, I was able to start healing.” Nine years on and her family live in Windsor. She values her mum, husband and closest pals being honest with her. “It’s the only way to be with the ones you love. Considerate but candid. “I’m tactful, or I try to be. I’m thickskinned – it’s the Greek Cypriot in me. We’re culturally honest and I’m also a Yorkshire girl – it’s not about keeping up appearances.” Being transparent is not always easy though. “It took five years before I could write about my traumatic birth and five months before I could talk about my thyroid operation.” Talking about trolls, she says: “I don’t engage. I’ll maintain a dignified silence. You have to pick your battles anyway. Therapy teaches you to take a moment before reacting.”

A woman’s world

Vicki hates the notion that women need to be ‘ruthless’ or ‘difficult’ to thrive. “Successful women are so often painted as being ruthless or tough to work with, which is for the most part, sexist nonsense. That doesn’t mean that some successful women aren’t difficult or ruthless. The same applies to men, but this stereotype, for the most part, is untrue and unhelpful. The majority of successful women I know are incredibly generous and sisterly. We are living and working in a limiting, unequal society and workplace where these dated, biased preconceptions need to change – and thankfully, are.” So why should we buy Mumboss? “I wish I had had it when I started my blog. I always wanted to work in a caring profession and used to teach. It covers everything from the imposter syndrome, finding your voice, purpose, juggling and self-care. Know your story matters and that everything takes a little time. It is a gift and a privilege to do what I do.” Vicki is only human, so how does she deal with self-doubt? “I talk my worries through with my husband and therapist. I’m learning to trust myself more and to be more compassionate with myself.” Vicki says that her family keeps her motivated and doing what she loves. “My family and friends are my roots. I believe in equality. We’re all human and equal. I hate hierarchy or those driven by ego.”

Making it work

Her advice to someone wanting to begin

Vicki Psarias with husband Peter and sons Oliver and Alexander a blog is, of course, to buy Mumboss. “It’s a bit cheeky but I’ve shared everything I know about blogging in it. It’s easier than ever to set up a blog now. You simply need the confidence to start, to trust that your voice matters. Twice a week is ideal when it comes to SEO and building your brand. Also, around 600-800 words minimum per post. Don’t forget to share on social media too.” So, can wo(men) have it all? “I think men or women have to compromise whatever they do, because that’s life but I do think it’s possible to have a family and a career. You just have to be realistic about your expectations and know that things take time. So, lower your standards when it comes to the home being perfect and share the school run/ childcare with your partner and friends and don’t spread yourself too thinly.” Vicki likes to relax by practising yoga, eating dark chocolate and watching reality TV. “I also love getting outdoors

with my family as much as possible. “Motherhood is a heady mix of joy, unconditional love and frustration,” she smiles. “The most difficult thing is ‘the juggle’. My blog creates experiences but we have a super normal life. Kids are really pure joy. “I accidentally created this job but ask yourself, are you having fun? My brilliant manager Jack Freud was the first to ask me to use that question as a barometer, to ask myself if I’m happy doing x, y, z. It’s important to say no to things too. “The best thing about this job is the creativity. You have to live life to write about your life. It’s not always easy. Just work smarter. “I think we’re bloody superheroes but don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept help.” The future is bright for Vicki but she likes not knowing what’s around the corner. “That’s the beauty of what I do, it keeps me on my toes. Every day, something new pops into my inbox but it’s not magic, it’s the product of hard, hard graft.”

Mumboss is available to buy on Amazone. Visit Vicki’s blog at honestmum.com Follow Davina’s motherhood journey at mumofsonny.blog

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