A few months ago we got to thinking, how many mums and dads can truthfully say that becoming a parent has been exactly what they imagined? Yes, us neither, and that’s why we decided to create a quiz where you can find out the statistics behind what parenting is really like. Subsequently we decided to have a chat with one very experienced parent blogger to hear exactly how her expectations of being a parent lived up to the realities… so without further ado, please welcome Vicki from http://www.honestmum.com.

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Hey Vicki, thanks so much for chatting with us today, firstly can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your family..
V: I’m a Blogger and Vlogger at lifestyle site honestmum.com, and mum of two. I was a TV Director and Filmmaker pre-blogging and I’m currently writing my first book Mumboss on how to survive and thrive at work and at home.

What question surprised you most about the quiz and why?
V: I was pretty spot on with the answers and got most correct. I said 30 for age and it was 28.5 and 33 for men, it was 33.1 etc.  I guessed education. The one which surprised me was the most spend being 1-4, I guessed the older years.  I also thought girls who flee the nest earliest. I do quite a lot of research generally when writing posts on the theme of the quiz so glad I remembered things!

You said you were surprised that parents spend the most money on their child between the ages of 1 and 4, where do you think most of this money goes?  
V: I anticipated the most money would be spent on the teenage/uni years but it makes sense that so much is spent on clothes in those early years as babies and kids grow out of them so quickly, and of course food from 6 months, along with larger items like prams and car seats all add up.

Did you have any expectations as a first-time mum that didn’t quite pan out as you expected?
V: Lots. I think it’s normal that expectation vs reality will never truly match up, especially when it comes to first-time parenthood. No one can prepare you for that. It’s equally shocking as it is wondrous; the sleep deprivation is the worst. The love is overwhelming. It’s such a whirlwind. Thank goodness for honest blogs which help us feel less alone: places to connect and celebrate.

What aspect of your life has changed most since you became a parent?
V: I think the unconditional love and bond with my kids has been the biggest life-changer for me. I think having children have enabled me to focus more, to really hone in on what matters in work and in life. I’ve also become more creative and driven. I want to succeed in all that I do, for them.

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You’re a very well established parent blogger, what originally inspired you to start blogging?
V: Thank you, I started on maternity leave in November 2010, at a time I felt rather lost and alone as I was suffering from a traumatic birth with my first son. I started blogging as a means to rediscover my voice and build my confidence back, and to connect with others. It was an accidental career that grew from there that I’m incredibly grateful for. I get to do what I love every day: write, and film. Being a content creator is the greatest job of all!

You seem to balance work and family life very well, are you magic or is there a secret you’re not telling us? 
V: Ha there’s no secret, some days I feel I’m winning at everything, others I’m not, although the winning days definitely outweigh the losing ones, as I feel I have a lot of structure to my work time and I’m strict about switching off too. Not tonight, it’s midnight now and I’m answering this interview! I think the key is compromise, really. To be kind to yourself, always. You must live in order to write too. Down-time is vital to the creative process and as a parent, I carve out quality time with my kids. This is a full time job which is flexible and works around my family. A far cry from directing all day on set.

We can see from your blog that you’re very close with your own mother, do you ever take parenting advice from her?
V: All the time. She’s so incredibly wise. A former university lecturer and teacher means that she is always a fair mother, and a role model too. A strong feminist, so loveing and one of the smartest women I know, if I’m half the mother she is, I’m doing well.Her greatest advice has been to always trust my gut on everything in life. It never lets us down.

If your child looked back at this interview 30 years from now, what one piece of advice would you give them?
V: The same as my mum’s and also to be true to themselves. I hope they’ll have confidence in who they are, and will be doing good in the world.  I hope they’ll still be part of my blog too!

If you could give one piece of advice to a first-time parent, what would it be?
V: Trust your gut and reach out for support. No one expects you to be a superhero, please remember that. Parenthood can be tough. It takes a village.

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If you’d like to know more about Vicki and her life as a parent then head over to her blog. 

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