I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Vicky of Honest Mum blog, at the Life and Style exhibition in Edinburgh recently. Vicky is one of the first bloggers I ever followed so I am delighted that she has started my ‘Cancer with a Smile’ meets.
Vicki of Honest Mum, is a mum of two and multi-award winning filmmaker, blogger, and author of Mumboss-The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home out May 3rd. Vicki started her blog Honest Mum after suffering a traumatic birth with her first son, Oliver, finding her voice and confidence in the process, pivoting into a new career as a blogger and vlogger from TV Directing soon after. Vicki has created a personal brand with Honest Mum sharing her life online while working with global brands.
Has cancer ever cast a shadow over your life and nicked your smile?
Yes, I lost my second-mum, my beloved auntie Zak to a rare cancer in October last year. It doesn’t seem real or fair. She seemed well then 4 months later was gone. Last year was the hardest year of my life. My family and I are in so much pain, and shock. We are all slowly learning to live again day by day.
“My family and I are in
so much pain, and shock”
What is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of you smiling more?
Loss. It’s tangible and cutting daily, but it’s becoming more bearable. I spoke to my aunt every day last year. Every single day. I’m embracing my life more than ever now, facing fears and just LIVING LARGE. It’s made me realise what truly matters in life. I worry less about the little things. It’s helped me refocus and become less sensitive in many ways. I’m lucky that I have a strong relationship with my husband, Peter, my amazing parents and close friends: they are all my rocks. I look at my kids too, for comfort and love. It’s funny that we give those little people so much yet they in return buoy as up as much as we do them.
Aside from that, PMT is a bitch. When it rears its ugly head, I’m a shadow of myself, becoming introvert over my extrovert default and essentially needing to move to an island. Still waiting for Richard Branson’s call!
What has been your Highest High and your Lowest Low?
The strongest of relationships with friends and family, and career highs stand out. Writing 63,000 words for my book despite the 12-month trauma of last year with two close relatives unwell and the pressures of juggling wor
k and a family alongside writing the book at night was tough-going. I’m proud I did it and ticked it off my bucket list. The lowest low was losing Zak and seeing another close family member very ill too. I made a promise on New Year’s Eve last year to embrace this year fully and have FUN, FUN, FUN. Also vitally, I made a pact to prioritise myself again, to make time for self-care and downtime and to work less and more smartly when I do. So far, so good.
What helps you get out of the dark and find your smile?
“I hid so much after
my traumatic birth”
Firstly, speaking honestly. I hid so much after my traumatic birth and learnt that recovery came when I spoke up and reached out. Yoga helps when I remember to do it and should make that more of a priority. Recent reflexology was amazing too. I’ve never felt more zenned. I adore walking and living in Windsor means I walk everywhere, literally. The group I’m in on FitBit must think I run marathons each week but I just walk and walk. It clears my mind and is a way of life now.
Do you find social media to be a source of positivity or pressure?
“My blog is my safe place,
it’s my online home”
It varies. When I have PMT, some aspects of social media can feel overwhelming especially if I’m lacking in confidence, but on the whole, I find it hugely positive. My blog is my safe place, it’s my online home. Twitter helped me find my tribe back in 2010. I love how social media connects and offers you a platform, as with the blog, to share instantly. I think like anything, it’s vital not to become obsessed with social media. Those days are long-gone for me. It doesn’t control me.
Who never fails to get you smiling and why?
My kids crack me up endlessly. My husband Peter with his dry sense of humour. My Dad is comedy gold too…Reality TV. The Long Walk in Windsor.
What made you smile today?
“I dreamt I was best friends
with Megan Markle”
I dreamt I was best friends with Megan Markle last night, so much so she mentioned me in her wedding speech with tears in her eyes. I know, so cringe. I woke up sad it was a dream and then couldn’t stop laughing!
A movie that gets you cheesing?
Dumb and Dumber or the Home Alone films. I love re-watching the comedy classics with my kids and laughing our heads off together. You get a second chance at childhood when you have children!
A song that cheers you up?
Ed Sheeran’s Perfect Symphony with Andrea Boccelli is the most perfect song, and music video I’ve ever seen. It makes me smile and cry in equal measure. So utterly moving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiDiKwbGfIY