Bearded Backchat with Karen from The Mad House of Cats & Babies
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Karen from The Mad House of Cats & Babies where we talk about dairy free Yorkshire pudding recipes, what would cause her to stop blogging and more.
Who are you?
Name is Karen Reekie.
What is your “day job”?
I am a mum, I also run a local family charity (we have just started) and I run toddler/parent groups locally, working with social services and various other local community groups
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
The Mad House of Cats & Babies www.themadhouseofcatsandbabies.com
What’s your blog about?
Parenting, family life, food (my son and husband are dairy and gluten intolerant, I share recipes and stuff) and we do reviews and occasionally I have a totally unrelated rant (Friday’s Rant from my Soapbox).
I try to be honest and humorous about family life and parenting. I have written about my mental health issues and sleep deprivation too.
Why did you start blogging?
My son didn’t sleep and had lots of issues as a baby and I needed a space to vent and get things off my chest, and I like writing so I started it, and it grew. We have two socially challenged cats, so that’s where the name came from.
“Socially challenged cats” I love that! Why do you still blog?
I love writing, I like to think that my blog has helped people (I have had lots of comments and messages about my sleep posts, my posts on mental health and also some of my food intolerance posts)
How has blogging changed since you started?
It’s got more popular, and there are now many more blogs out there, and so many different ones. I think it does feel very different.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
I see it as a job, but at the moment, with our new charity, it’s very much part time, but I would eventually like to write full time, and I plan to try and make that happen. I work in my other job 20 hours a week, and blog about 10 hours a week currently.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
I write about our family and what we are going through or things that have happened to us, and that tends to be off the cuff and as the idea hits me, I also plan stuff, like reviews or recipe posts.
I tend to get ideas and then jot them downs and try to plan blog posts around them, but sometimes I will just write a post as the mood strikes me.
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
There are so many good ones out there. This is hard.
A not so well known blog, but one I love is OFamily. She writes about Home education, but also sensory issues, which my son struggles with, and she has been a huge resource for me, both on her blog and in real life (her son goes to dance classes with mine)
I also love MummyBarrow, because she’s an amazing woman who is very honest and blunt, but has done some amazing things for charity and fundraising.
I also love MamaMummyMum too, but really there are so many lovely blogs out there. Oh, and yours of course! 😉
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
Meeting people, both online and in real life that have formed a community I call “friends” who have been very supportive and propped me up, when I have been struggling. It’s an amazing group of people.
What would be your perfect blog post?
To be able to climb or visit an active volcano and write about it, or to meet a famous person, who is a parent and get them to share an honest interview about their parenting/family life
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
Have a site that is easy to navigate, and use, don’t just be all about product reviews and making money selling stuff and also keep it real.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
I have worked with some really lovely brands. My ideal would be to work with a brand or brands that make really good gluten and dairy free products that work for family life, and meals, that we could share about.
I would also love to work with brands that do things for kids with sensory issues,
Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
My sleep posts, and also mypost. They seem to be the ones that are read the most and I put my heart and soul into them.
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
Oh gosh, I don’t know. Maybe ScaryMommy or one of the big parenting blogs like that?
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
What would make you stop blogging?
… And what is your answer to that question?
I have always felt that blogging was my way of sharing about family life and stuff, and if it helped someone out there, to realise that they aren’t alone and that this parenting thing is hard work and it’s ok to not be perfect and have it all together.
If I ever got to the point where people thought I was one of those blogs that looks too perfect and amazing and intimidating (fat chance of that, ha ha) or if people felt that my blog was pushing “my way or you are a crap parent” (because we know there are blogs like that out there) then I would stop.
Also, I write about family life, so if my kids asked me to stop sharing about them, I would have to respect that and change what I wrote about or stop.
Thanks, Karen, for taking part!
You can catch up with Karen in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit her blog too over at The Mad House of Cats & Babies.
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)