Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Getting to know....Michaela Fox from Not Another Slippery Dip

I often wonder who the brilliant people are behind my favourite blogs. So I was lucky enough recently to steal some time from the writer of a blog I just love, which was really the first one I started reading avidly as I made my foray into the blogging world last year.

Michaela Fox is the talented blogger behind Not Another Slippery Dip. She writes passionately about motherhood and her beautiful daughters. My favourite thing about Michaela is her 'play more, stress less' philosophy of parenting, which is so inspiring. She is also pretty handy with a camera and extols the value of capturing those precious moments in motherhood. Even better, she is funny and knows the value of parenting down-time.

Read on to get to know Michaela!


Michaela Fox


You mention on your blog that pre-children, you lived in Vancouver and have travelled to 30 different countries. This sounds so interesting! What else can you tell us about this time in your life?


Yes, I lived in Vancouver in my early 20’s when I was footloose and fancy free! It seems like a lifetime ago now. I can honestly say that my year in Canada was one of the best years of my life. There’s something that’s both confronting and liberating to arrive in a foreign city in which you know no one. My time in Vancouver was amazing. There’s really nothing not to like about that place. It’s a STUNNING city, has a relaxed culture and the people are super friendly. And boy did I have fun. Bucket loads of fun. A friend of mine met me at the end of my year in Vancouver and we backpacked our way around Canada, the US and Europe. There are too many adventures from that trip to relay, and, as everyone knows, “what happens overseas, stays overseas!” Now that I am “encumbered” with a hubby, mortgage, house in the ‘burbs and three kids, I often reflect on that time in my life and couldn’t be happier I did it.
P.S If there are any single women who might be reading this blog, go to Montreal, the scenery is spectacular (read: the hottest and most stylish guys I have ever seen in my life!)


Your blog contains amazing photos that you've taken yourself. Have you always been an avid photographer?


I’ve always loved photography. In year 10 I did work experience at a photographer’s studio and then during my degree (professional writing & literature) I took a few photography subjects, so I’ve always “dabbled” in it. I love telling stories and I think a great way to convey emotion and context is through visual storytelling. I take a ridiculous amount of photos of my kids and I can easily shoot 100 photos of pencils (I just love pencils) in one sitting. But I need to get better at editing. And culling! In fact, thanks for the reminder. My hard drive is struggling with all those images!
 

Michaela Fox
 

Wow, three kids in three years - no wait, three labours in three years! That is impressive! Your parenting learning curve must have been strong and steep! What do you consider the biggest parenting lesson/realisation you've had since becoming a mum?


When I see it written that way I almost get heart palpitations!! What was I thinking?! You know, it’s a question I get regularly asked: “Were your short age gaps planned?” And the answer is yes.  Which leads into my answer. My biggest parenting lesson is not to have three kids in three years! LOL. I joke, a little, but honestly those years were intense. I really wanted to have my children close in age and I see so many benefits in doing so, but the early times were tough. I am one of five girls close in age and I think I wanted to replicate that in my own family (the short spacing that is, NOT the five kids part!).
I have learned that perfection and parenting don’t sit well together. Trying to do it all and expecting it can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Similarly, trying to maintain a perfect home is just inviting unnecessary stress into your life. We are all doing our best and perhaps my biggest realisation is not to buy into the guilt trap. I don’t accept that guilt is part and parcel of being a mother. Occasional guilt is fine but I do not allow myself to be consumed by it, and neither should anyone here.

Miss A started school this year - how's that going?


Brilliantly! She skipped through those school gates back in January and she hasn’t looked back. She’s a natural learner and the school environment suits her personality well. We made the decision a few years back to give her a “bonus” year of kinder as we felt she needed to develop greater social confidence before starting school. BEST decision of my parenting tenure so far. She’s thriving. Her teacher is now her idol. I think I have been surpassed, but Mrs P does know a whole lot more than me! I am really enjoying this new stage in our family’s journey. It’s definitely a shared experience and the day she started school was a family celebration.

Michaela Fox

 

Your blog has come a long way since its beginnings. Where do you see yourself and Not Another Slippery Dip a year from now?


Good question. When I started my blog, more than two years ago, I really didn’t think past my first blog post. I had no plan. I just wanted to write. I had two loyal followers (my sister and Mr NASD) and when my audience grew to triple digits I was astounded, and delighted. It became less a form of self-therapy and more about connecting with my readers. I am intensely passionate about supporting mums (particularly new mums) and to this end, I have bigger plans for my blog. I am tossing around a few ideas of how I can connect more closely with mums, particularly those having a tough time. I can’t reveal anything yet but I’d like this to be my primary focus. I still daydream about becoming a midwife, but I think One Born Every Minute is largely responsible for that fantasy. I ADORE newborn babies. Can’t get enough of those teeny toes. I will always swoon for babies. Maybe I could become a doula? LOL. I have lots of ideas….the hard part is choosing just one. Until then, I’ll continue writing, blogging, photographing and creating.

What's your favourite thing to do as a family?


Hands down my favourite place in the world is where my parents have a holiday house (lucky us!). It is where I got married and it is where a lot of our extended family time happens. I refer to it as my “sweet spot.” It’s where I recharge from the fast pace of life. It’s where we slow down as a family and do simple things like collect shells from the beach, stroll through the pine forests and the girls enjoy time with their many cousins. Oh, it also happens to be in a wine district, so yeah, there’s the wine attraction too.

You have so many amazing posts, many of which have been published in other places. Do you have a personal favourite, or one that is particularly meaningful for you?


I write for a number of parenting and lifestyle publications like Essential Baby, Practical Parenting and Mamamia. There’s nothing better than when a post is read and shared by a wide audience. It means it’s relatable and that’s always my motivation for writing anything. It’s very hard to pick just one favourite, so I am going to cheat and pick two. My first is an open letter to a new mum. I like this one as it sums up what my blog and I hope it is offers reassurance and comfort to new mums adjusting to motherhood.

Dear new mum: A letter of advice
And this is my second favourite as it describes how my own journey of motherhood began. I always love the personal stories I write. Often these are written more for me (and to show my girls later in life) but interestingly these are of the ones that strike a chord with readers too.

A story about conception
 

What was the best advice you got when you first started out with NASD?


Just write.
My sister encouraged me to pen my first post. I wasn’t sure anyone would be terribly interested in what I had to say but she told me to write from the heart. And that’s the best advice I have received as it is timeless. There are a lot of distractions as a blogger. People get caught up in the stats/marketing/social media side of things and they can forget to write about what is meaningful to them. When a reader strongly identifies with one of my blog posts, it makes me so happy. A lot of my interaction happens on Facebook and I love getting to know my readers. It’s my little virtual village and I’ve got plenty of room for more villagers, so I hope you’ll check it out.
 

Michaela Fox


Thank you, Michaela!
See, I was right, wasn't I? She IS fabulous. Ok, so you have my blessing to leave my blog this instant to go check out more of Michaela's work!

You can find her at Not Another Slippery Dip, on Facebook and on Twitter
 

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