It’s time for the latest Wonderful Women interview, which is one of my favourite features on this blog – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there!
This week I’m featuring the wonderful Natalie Trice, a mum of two young sons, wife to Oliver and the keeper of a cat and dog.
As well as being a blogger and freelance writer, this year, she fulfilled her life long ambition of becoming an author when Cast Life, a book for parents of children with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), was published globally in October.
Describe a typical day for you?
Everyday is different but they all start with coffee. Earlier this year I seriously reduced my caffeine intake but I love that first strong, steaming mug of coffee and drink it whilst the rest of the house sleeps and I catch up with the news, emails and my social media feeds.
Once the boys are awake it’s go, go, go until I get them to school for 8.40. We live next door but only ever seem to get to the gates by the skin of our teeth, if we are lucky.
As well as working as a freelance writer, my days are currently spent promoting my book, Cast Life. My son Lucas was diagnosed with DDH when he was five months old and has just undergone his 4th operation aged 6.
Whilst it’s a common congenital condition I couldn’t find any information to help us understand what was happening so I decided to fill the gap in the market myself.
This year I not only wrote Cast Life but also founded Spica Warrior a charity intended to empower and support families on their DDH journey.
Whatever I’m doing, I always try to take the dog for a walk so I get some exercise and head space.
I recently started to meditate and find that helps me tune out from my hectic schedule and a noisy house; I am one of three girls and had no idea that boys were so loud.
I love that freelancing means that I whilst I often work into the night, I’m always at the school gate for pick up and around to help with homework, listen to the boys read and make their tea.
I end every day with a bath and cup of tea and I’m pretty sure in a past life I was a cat, as once I’m in bed, I could happily stay there forever.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Whilst I am really proud of my career, my greatest achievements are my sons.
They say no two children are the same and that is the certainly the case when it comes to my boys.
One is blond and feisty the other dark and totally chilled out but they are both very happy, sparky little men with a love for life.
Eddie is fiercely protective of his brother and they have a strong bond that has really been evident whilst Lucas went through his recent hospital stay.
Don’t get me wrong, they bicker about everything from the Xbox controller to fresh air and everything in between, but I know they adore each other and when I look at them they make my heart swell with love and pride.
What’s in your handbag?
I love bags and have way too many. Day to day I either go with a black Coach or Jimmy Choo tote and always carry a pair of sunglasses, my iPhone and a Rimmel lipstick in vintage rose.
Depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing I will also throw in my diary, a notebook, pair of gloves, pens, a pack of tissues, mints and my Kindle.
I only recently went to the Kindle dark-side and whilst I have a stack of books on my bedside table, having this means I’ve always got something to read rather than resorting to a dog-eared copy of Metro.
What are your ambitions in life?
In my early 30s I was in the thick of my broadcast PR career, flying around the world, managing budgets and agencies and my ambition was to be the best.
Fast forward ten years and how things have changed.
I aspire to ensure that my sons to have a happy, stable home life and that we bring them up to be confident young men with a passion for life and the desire to go out into the world and do what makes them sparkle.
When it comes to my career, I have a long way to go but hope that Cast Life is the first of many books. I am also dedicated to raising awareness of DDH and offering support because whilst it isn’t life threatening, it certainly is life changing.
Slightly less realistically, I would love to enjoy a latte before it goes cold and to have a wee alone on a dry seat!
I live in a house of boys and can only dream.
What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having had a child?
You’re stronger than you think you are.
One minute you’re knee deep in nappies and sleep deprived and the next you’re packing lunch boxes and patching up grazed knees but getting from a to z hasn’t been a bed of roses.
From post-natal depression to having a sick child needing multiple operations, being a mummy hasn’t always been plain sailing for me.
The thing is, unlike the corporate world you can’t resign, there is probationary period with this job, and if you’re a parenting control freak like me, then delegating can be tricky.
At the end of the day you have to be strong for your kids and whatever life throws at you, you will deal with it even if you think you have nothing left to give.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years I would love to be living in Devon near the beach having published at my first novel.
Writing Cast Life was pretty straightforward as it was based on our experiences of having a child with DDH and navigating the murky waters of this condition.
I’ve started my novel, have an agent to contact and whilst I am already planning the launch party, I know this could be a trickier project, but one I am really excited about.
What advice would you give a budding author?
Don’t give up.
To this day I still remember sitting in an English lesson age 14 and my teacher, with his nicotine stained fingers and rotten teeth, telling me that I would never have the vocabulary to be a writer and should train to be a nursery nurse.
I used that throwaway comment to go out there, work hard and make my dreams come true.
If you’re serious about being a writer, get a job that involves writing, write a blog, carry a notebook with you to jot down ideas, go to networking events, make contentions, use social media, take courses and have the confidence to do it.
Finally, happiness is…
Being comfortable in your own skin. For too long I worried about my looks and figure and never felt I was good enough.
I turned 40 last year and finally believed that happiness comes when you accept yourself, flaws and all.
None of us are perfect but you can create a life that is perfect for you and those you love.