Back in the days when I was still able to wear underwired bras, and nothing was more exciting than ‘boys’, I attended an all girls grammar school in Chelmsford, Essex which had (and still has) a reputation for turning out over-achievers. There seems to be at least one politician / CEO / best selling author in each year group (and the stories I could tell you about some of the things we got up to could make a best-selling book in themselves). One of my classmates at the time was the happy-go-lucky, ever-smiling Milly, who brightened up even the dreariest of 9am German lessons.
Fast forward several years (thirteen actually, but who’s counting?!) and Milly is now a popular beauty, baby and lifestyle blogger with six years-worth of blogging over at Milly Naomi to her name. Having worked with collaborations with world class brands ranging from Lancôme and Clarins, to Mac and YSL, I caught up with her on a recent trip back to the UK over a cuppa to ask her just how she manages to balance being a full time blogger with being a hands-on mum to her gorgeous baby, Florence. Several hours (and lots of giggles) later, here’s some of what she had to say…
until Florence came along, Milly Naomi (formerly Pearls & Poodles)
was largely a beauty blog with snippets of lifestyle. How has your focus
changed since you became a mum?
I think my blog has developed and evolved very organically as I
have grown and matured over the years. My interests and the way I wanted
to present my blog has shifted so it was very natural then when
Florence came along and I became a mum, I wanted
the focus to reflect my new life and new job! I still very much enjoy
my beauty and love writing reviews so I still keep this up but also
enjoy sharing the other snippets of my life – Florence, her development
and milestones, the highs and lows of motherhood
and general snippets of our new life together.
Which other mummy bloggers have inspired you along the way?
Oh there are quite a few other mummy bloggers and
YouTubers who I have avidly followed ever since I found out I was
pregnant. I adore Laura Byrne (Belles Boutique), Mrs Meldrum, Liza Prideaux, Ysis Lorenna, Hannah Maggs, Lucie and the Bump,
and the brilliantly funny Ruth from A Model Recommends. These ladies
keep it real, are down to earth and always there on the end of a tweet
to reassure you on those tough days.
What are your top tips for mums that work from home like you do?
I have found that it is imperative to plan your
workload and never over-commit yourself to campaigns that you worry you
may not be able to complete on time. The beauty of these babies are
their complete unpredictability so even though I know
I might get an 1 – 2 hours a day to myself whilst Florence naps, this
is not always guaranteed so I plan for the worst case scenario! But when
you do get that precious window of time – be focused, turn off any
distractions, knuckle down (and drink lots of tea!)
Also it is important to ask for help if you need it – don’t be afraid
to ask Nan or a friend to take baby out to the park for an hour if you
need to get something done. Working from home is such a luxury but I am
still a mum first and foremost, and then my
blog work fits in around that.
What’s your favourite mum moment or memory to date?
I have been blessed with so many lovely memories, I wish I
could just bottle them all and relive them time and time again. I think
when Florence first gave me a proper hug my heart just melted. One of
those proper, tight, round-the-neck nuzzles. It
What has surprised you the most about motherhood?
You could have had the hardest
day ever with your baby – they could have fought all their naps, refused
the perfectly sliced carrot sticks and parsnip mush you’ve prepared,
cried all the way home in the back of the car and
been sick on that freshly ironed outfit but the moment you lay them
down at night and close the door…you miss them. You cannot wait to see
them again and, come the morning, you will love them even more than you
did the day before. A mother’s love really
What’s the hardest thing about being a mum?
Before I had Florence, when I heard people say that being
a Mum is the hardest job in the world, I struggled to visualise just
how looking after this tiny little tot could be that challenging. But
boy oh boy, I now get it! I think one of the hardest
things is how I can’t be very spontaneous anymore and anything I want
to do on my own has to be planned like a military operation. I can’t
just go off and have my hair done, go to the gym or meet a friend in the
evening for a drink without plenty of notice,
lots of planning and jiggling of plans to ensure little F is going to
be ok for food, not miss her nap and I’m close by in case I need to rush
If you had to make three wishes for Florence’s future, what would they be?
All I ever wish for for Florence
is for her to be completely happy in herself, feel supported in every
decision she makes and to love cake just as much as her mum does!
What are your top 3 must-haves for busy mums?
My three top must-haves would include a baby carrier – I
have found this invaluable to get jobs done whilst handsfree. A jumperoo
to keep baby contained and entertained for at least five minutes whilst
you get those household jobs done. A thermal travel
mug as I never seem to have the chance to just sit down and drink a hot
cup of tea in between removing Florence from the fireplace or climbing
up the stairs.
What’s your favourite mum-related blog post to date and why?
One of my favourite and most well-received mum-related blog posts has to be
this one on my breastfeeding journey. Never did I realise that
something supposedly so natural could be so hard, emotional, exhausting
and distressing. I wanted to share my experience in the hope that any
other new or soon-to-be mums found reassurance in
my story and that with perseverance and the right help, it can become
the most natural thing in the world.
If you could give one piece of advice to other aspiring mummy bloggers out there, what would it be?
I would say just go for it but
don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are already doing an
amazing, life-consuming job bringing up your little one. But if you love
to write and fancy documenting your life, record those
special milestones and keep a little memento to show your baby when
they grow up, then it can be a great thing to embark on and is a
valuable way to escape in the evenings and have some you time.