‘We raise one another up when our motherhood journey challenges us.’
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we were really keen to celebrate the extraordinary power of mothers and everything they do. From instilling words of wisdom to the level of care they give to their children and the truly magical power of unconditional love, these women are perhaps the closest thing to a superhero there is. With this in mind, we decided to create a mini-series and for second Mum’s Moment, we spoke to Siobhan McAuley, mother to a beautiful son, Mason and creator of the hugely successful travel blog, They Wanderlust.
What job did you do prior to starting your own blog?
I started my blog while I was on maternity leave with Mason. When Mason was 9 months old, as part of our visit to some of my family in Sri Lanka, we took a little honeymoon to the Maldives (with Mason, as I was actually pregnant when we got married- so I never got to have a honeymoon). The tourism PR spotted our content we had posted on our personal accounts and inspired us to start the blog. And especially as I was in this space where I genuinely didn’t know what the future would hold for me career wise from having Mason- it seemed like maybe it could be something that would allow me to raise him the way I wanted. I was, and still am, extremely attached to him and breast-fed him for 3 years.
I had just completed my bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing and so had begun a role in corporate account management before I fell pregnant. I did also work in my father’s accounting firm in the first 2 years of having Mason to help fund the blog on a very flexible, part-time basis to help me not be too far away from Mason, or for long periods of time that I couldn’t handle.
Your blog and social media are such a powerful voice for mothers seeking to be the best version of themselves. Can you tell us a bit about your journey leading up to the creation of the blog?
Not only is it such a powerful platform for letting people voice their opinions and lessons, it is also a huge support system for so many moms out there. I actually connected with so many expecting mothers on Instagram while I was pregnant too, that just helped me through my journey as a new and first-time mom. We raise one another up when our motherhood journey challenges us. We simply inspire one another. And it feels so good when my followers look up to me and my decisions as a mother and individual. You never feel lonely in the community.
What do you love to do in your ‘me time’?
I very rarely get much of that these days as I am so busy with admin, shooting, beauty and lifestyle campaigns and driving our mortgage application to completion. So, a simple 20 minute home work -out after I drop Mason to creche, or throwing on some music while doing the housework is my sanctuary! Hahaha!
What is your favourite thing about being a mother?
I honestly just love the bond, the connection and unconditional love that fills my heart every day. Mason is literally my best pal, we have the chats, whenever I am sad he comes and hugs me and tells me it’s ok and that he loves me… we watch movies together and go on shopping dates… we have travelled to so many beautiful places together with my husband, his dad. Not to mention he fills our home with life and laughter!
What advice would you give to other mums for helping maximise the time and productivity of their days?
Begin early, set out your goals the night before so that you can begin ticking them off the list as soon as your day begins. It gives me so much satisfaction and confidence to see how many tasks I manage to complete.
Who influences your fashion sense?
My own mum, actually. She has always said style and how your hair looks is the first and lasting impression people will have of you when they first meet you. She has always followed fashion icons like Gabrielle Chanel and Audrey Hepburn, so she gets her fashion sense from them. I don’t necessarily dress like them, however their love for what fashion meant to them is key to how I carry myself.
How does your work life typically fit in with your family commitments and child care?
It is very challenging as Mason is only in preschool from 9-12 Monday to Friday so I typically have to get all the work done before he finishes, unless Byron is off, so he can look after him when I need to go to attend events, and meetings. I have had many days where I have felt so guilty being so busy with my blog, particularly in the first year where I had to devote so much time in to it, rather than embracing his baby days. I can never get those precious days back. Also having date night or simply ‘mommy and daddy only time’ is also difficult -as Byron is a huge part of my brand, so it feels like we are always working. We have also never not been away without Mason, we travel as a family 95% of the time.
How do you avoid the stress and burnout that might otherwise be typical of this lifestyle?
I have been burnt out many times, especially when I was travelling every 4 weeks in the first year and a half of the blog. It was just exhausting. I have just learned that burn outs will happen and just how to better manage them when they do occur. Simple acts of being mindful are always how I begin to release the stress and anxiety. Being with my close friends is always an amazing therapy for me also. Simple things like laughter and non-judgemental support is paramount to anyone’s success and state of mind. We all need balance.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? Are there any perks/downsides?
Seeing the world with my family and working with brands I have always looked up to just makes me so proud, even if it is on a collaborative basis in the beginning. The downsides are the fact your life is open to the public and what you do or say can never be erased. When you go through hard times , you can’t look for privacy, your followers always sense when something is up, because they have invested so much time in to your body language, your voice, where you are or what you do that it’s just hard to even expect them to allow you to not share.
What would be your one piece of advice to any budding mum bloggers?
Don’t let anything stop you. Being a mummy blogger is harder than someone who is single, but you have that constant source of inspiration to be successful and someone who will always be your number one fan, so always remember that!