For my dissertation this year, I created a baby and parenting magazine called Little Love and I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki Psarias, Director, film maker, blogger, mum and author of the book, Mum Boss for a piece on inspirational parents.
This was a book that I couldn’t put down once I started it and I found myself reading it at every given opportunity.
An Interview With Vicki Psarias, AKA Honest Mum.
I asked Vicki what her advice would be to someone who was struggling to manage their work and life balance and is feeling guilty about working. She told me that, “there is never an easy answer. Schedule quality time in with your kids where possible but remind yourself how your work nourishes you metaphorically and literally. My children are my motivators. I’m ambitious because of them. It’s always a juggle. Some days will seem easy and others will be tremendously hard. I think it’s key to be kind to yourself and have fun!”
Vicki said that, “Many women want and need to work. Stay at home parents have the hardest job of all! I believe in equality and support parents in whatever they choose to do. I understand that the guilt is there but I also believe it to be futile”
Vicki’s book, MumBoss, was published in 2018 and she told me that it’s publication made her feel both elated and scared but ultimately proud! I’ve written a review of the book below for you to find out a bit more what the book entails and why you should get yourself a copy!
When I asked Vicki to define MumBoss she said that it is the “honest mums guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home!”
A Mum Boss Book Review
Here’s my thoughts on the book.
One of my favourite things about this book is the normalisation of your feelings during pregnancy and after birth. So many people talk about an instant rush of love when you first meet your newborn but often it’s not like that.
For me, I was more relieved that we were both alive as I’d had visions of one of us dying during the birth or something going wrong. You’re in a state of shock and in a lot of pain and so you don’t really realise that the love is there straight away. This is something that personally I felt very guilty about but you have to remember, you’ve just been through a HUGE ORDEAL. Birth is no laughing matter, it’s not easy and it’s by no means a walk in the park, you’re not going to be in any mood to spread much love while you’re being stitched up, if you know what I mean. I love how this is normalised in the book because new mums need to know that feeling like that is 100% ok and natural.
“Yes there will be relief and joy that you have your baby safe and sound in your arms but it’s also totally normal and natural to feel anxiety, pain, confusion and shock – mostly shock – often before love gets a real look in. That emotional cocktail can make it hard to enjoy the ‘happy feels’ at first” – MUMBOSS
Vicki also touches upon post natal mental illnesses within her book which I think is so important to raise awareness and reduce the stigmas attached to it. Like she says, the whole notions of birth and motherhood are romanticised into a fairytale which can make it hard for new mums – as they feel lost and as if they’re doing it all wrong. This section of the book, I feel, normalises it all and tells it how it is in a crucially honest manner.
Vicki’s award winning blog was set up in 2010 after she suffered a traumatic birth of her first born son and felt there wasn’t enough support or advice out there for those going through it. Vicki told me that, “I felt isolated as a new mum in 2010 after my traumatic birth and I also feared that my feelings were completely abnormal as I found very little help online at the time. Blogging has naturalised motherhood and enabled women like me to seek support and help”
All about Confidence
“While you need to work hard to achieve results, a lack of confidence can result in others struggling to invest in you [..] you need to believe in yourself to make the most out of life and from business too, so make confidence building a priority” – MUMBOSS
‘Faking it til you make it’ has always been a favourite quote of mine and something that I live by. In the third chapter, Vicki states that you can 100% feign confidence until you actually feel it and I think that’s such an important message to put across.
This chapter also tells the readers to relish in your failures and use them to your advantage to push on, in the same way that you would with positive results and that’s the best way you can feel confidence and gravitate others towards you.
I love the sections about confidence as I think everyone, but especially new parents, can benefit from boosts of confidence. When you’re a new mum, You often worry that you’re not getting it quite right as you compare yourself to the mums you see online or around you. The truth is that everyone only posts the best versions of their lives and very rarely their struggles. Vicki states that, “one of the biggest zappers of confidence and one of the key contributors to the imposter syndrome is comparison” – page 81.
She tells us that although it is easy to compare ourselves to others due to the surge in social media, we must remember that a little bit of competition is vital for evolution but we shouldn’t let it destroy us, instead we must use it as it it motivation and inspiration to improve ourselves. Vicki tells us to turn our mindsets upside down and ensure that we are so wrapped up in achieving our on goals that we won’t have time to focus on what we don’t have or what other people are doing.
I think the book is perfect for any parent who needs a boost of confidence to remember what Mum Bosses they actually are. It’s a great read to make you realise that actually your goals aren’t out of reach and your life doesn’t stop once you give birth. The book also helps a lot with blogging and social media tips! If you’re looking to set up a blog or a side hustle such as an etsy site, a craft, anything, during your maternity leave then this will really be the ultimate guide to get you though it and ensure you that you deserve success and that you can achieve your goals with confidence.
“Speak to yourself as you would your best friend. When self doubt creeps in shout NO or STOP. Be the friend you need and value in your life” – MUMBOSS
I feel like this is such an important quote and often something I need to be reminded myself and probably many other do too.
Mum Boss also has amazing advice for returning to work after maternity leave as that can be extremely unnerving. You can also feel a lot of guilt, and nobody feels guilt like a mum.
Vicki recommends being open with your employer and to ease gently back into your role if possible. She tells us that the standard work day doesn’t suit parents as working away from their children can be heart breaking and obviously, we want to spend as much time as possible with our babies. She tells us that Lucy Griffiths told her to use her maternity leave wisely and this is what we should all do! Although we’re tired (exhausted) and drained, we should imagine how life could be without the 9-5 commute and therefore plan and create what we want to do to achieve our dreams. We’re all hustlers if we put our mind too it!
The book makes the dream seem achievable for anyone, not just the fabulous girls we see on social media everyday. It helps us to realise when we are ready to reach out, how to go about it and the challenges we will face during. I think this is an essential guide for any mother or even just someone who wants a shot at setting up a blog or online business as there is so much advice in there from Vicki herself and also a select set of other professionals.
She tells her readers to plan and to not feel too nervous in front of the camera, or atleast don’t worry about your nerves because everyone feels nervous on camera! There is so much helpful advice about blogging and vlogging and what kit to use, what to post, when to post and how to get hired in the blogging world with a lot of PR tips and advice on getting noticed on social media.
“Remember that your body is made from stardust, so you are designed to shine” – MUMBOSS
I can’t recommend reading this enough, I think Vicki will have empowered a lot of women and helped them through difficult times with their baby and reminded them that they are able to achieve everything. That’s definitely the message I took from this as it helped me realise my feelings are normal and that actually, I’m doing pretty good. She has made me feel like a total Mum Boss! This would make a great gift for a new mum.
I think Vicki is a very inspirational woman who makes an excellent role model to women across the world with her empowering nature. We could all learn a thing or two from her!
Also, her boys are very lucky to be raised by a woman like her.
Also while you’re here, do yourself a huge favour and check out Vicki’s award winning blog, HonestMum.com
Buy MUMBOSS – HERE