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Today’s Feature Friday features the lovely Helen who is the face behind Parenting Fails & Pigtails. If that’s not the cutest name for a blog, I don’t know what is!
Helen was kind enough to take us through her blogging journey, so I hope you enjoy her interview!
Without further ado, here’s Helen’s story.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Helen, a former Marketing Manager, now aged 35 and have spent the last decade being pretty much a SAHM. Other than a brief love affair with cake making, and my involvement in the family business, I have been attempting to be a responsible adult and drag the kids up in a relatively successful way.
Team Twiglet, as they are affectionately known, is comprised of my 9-year-old Twins, Thing 1 Henrietta, & Thing 2 Joshua, and last but by no means least #BossBaby Imogen/Tinks who is 7.
Between us, we are navigating life, one fail at a time! I am plagued with bad luck and one-off situations garnering a life motto of:
“It can only happen to me!”
What do you blog about?
I waffle about all sorts of genres of life and parenting over on https://www.parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk but have a certain panache for things happening in an epic fail kinda way, leading to humorous posts in the worst of situations. I have endeavoured to create sections on my website that represent the many facets of family life. From Me, Myself & I to The Twiglets, I endeavour to touch on reality as opposed to an Insta-worthy lifestyle that I can assure you, doesn’t exist.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog as a way to get back into writing, originally under a more Home and Interiors guise known as Harts Art. I was trying to remain anonymous and write about the DIY and art that I paint, with visits to the many homeware shops around, of course, any excuse! In the end, I found it quite hard to write without including the Fam and all the strife that can come with it!
So from Harts Art, I redesigned, rebranded and have spent many hours, and tears trying to build a website that represented me and my family. Parenting Fails & Pigtails was born.
What did you hope to achieve when you first started blogging?
I hope to be able to connect with like-minded folk who enjoy a giggle or two. I have learnt over the years not to take life so seriously, and I feel like I wanted to express my love of normal in the world. Whatever that may be for each and every one of us. We are all different, and that’s cool. I think it is a shame so many people out there on the world wide web feel it necessary to engage a permanent shit-filter. No one’s life is so perfectly polished, so I guess I wanted to show that. The PJ parties as well as the red carpet kinda thing!
I had really hoped to receive instant success, and achieve a virus overnight! To write/tweet/insta something so hilarious that every man and his dog loved it, but alas, this is yet to happen!
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
I absolutely LOVE waffling to all and sundry! To write posts that resonate and make people laugh. It is so heartwarming when I am left a message or get a DM saying my waffle brightened someone’s day. I love hearing people thoughts on my work, my site, and even my parenting! No one is perfect after all!
Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
My favourite bloggers are vast and wide, I absolutely love Vicki over on https://honestmum.com and Emily & Nigel over at https://www.twinmummyanddaddy.com I love reading blog posts that are funny and interesting, to me, the topic isn’t all too important if there is a giggle or two in there!!!
Rachel Hollis https://thechicsite.com very much inspired me to give blogging a proper go. It has been on my mind for so long, and I owe it to her and Vicki for encouraging me to take the plunge!
Blogging is awesome, I have met and befriended (potentially accosted in some cases!) so many wonderful people, and it is by far my most favourite thing about blogging. When I started this, I thought I could just waffle and the world would read it. But there is so much more to do than that. It has been a steep learning curve, but I am so glad I am continuing to grow and meet amazing people.
What’s a blogging tool you can’t live without?
I couldn’t live without Canva when it comes to blogging. It helps me resize pictures and brand posts with ease. It is an amazing tool. I think brand consistency is key and going back to my marketing days, I know it takes a lot of reminders before your band is stuck in someone’s head. I would also recommend Yoast. It helps you navigate the world of SEO in a simple and easy format.
Whats a piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling with their blog?
Keep going! Do not give up! You’ve got this!
I think everyone has struggled at some point with their blog. I don’t understand so many things, but I am determined and stubborn so hope to figure it all out eventually! It is a journey and a process and it won’t happen overnight. I wish someone had told me this when I started out, it would have saved many a teary evening!
It can be quite lonely and disheartening to write and watch the readership trickle upwards, or not move at all. Don’t get hung up on your numbers, enjoy the interaction with real people and it will inherently grow and get you to meet even more folks. Blogging is filled with friendly people, go find them! Ask for help when you need it, and rest if you need to too. Take social media with a pinch of salt.
I am ashamed to say I once got angry over a tweet! Actually blood boiling angry! A person somewhere sat at the other side of a screen managed to induce real-life anger in me. It was a one-time thing, I checked myself and got my shit together. Never again shall social media invoke such a ridiculous overreaction!
What has been your biggest blogging achievement?
My biggest blogging achievement is pressing publish on a piece I absolutely loved writing. It fills me with joy. Each and every time. I think it is that that keeps me focussed and gives me the buzz to do it again and again.
Aside from blogging, how else do you spend your time?
I spend most of my “spare” time running around after Team Twiglet and trying to stay sane!! I have Thyroid Cancer too, so have to do the odd battle with that. I am currently 6 weeks post-op, but sadly had some nerve damage so I haven’t bounced back as quickly as I had hoped.
I like to see the positives in life, so whilst being laid up and wheel-less for 6 weeks has huge disadvantages and problems, it has given me the opportunity to learn so much about the world of blogging, which I would never have had otherwise. As you will learn from my weekly waffle, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Even if you can’t see it straight away.
Where do you hope to see your blog in 5 years?
I would love my blog to be a community in time, somewhere people feel happy and safe to chat, interact and meet fellow parents, cancer warriors and any like-minded folk that fancy a giggle!
If you want to find me on socials below are the links, come and say hi, I promise I don’t bite. Well, not often!
I absolutely loved learning all about Helen, and I’m sure you did too! Be sure to follow her around on all her social media linked above.
Thank you, Helen, for being such an awesome addition to Feature Fridays!
Feature Friday – Kelly Jones