Wonderful Women Interview with Blogger & Bestselling Author Sarah Turner (The Unmumsy Mum)
Sarah Turner is a freelance writer and Sunday Times bestselling author. Her first book, The Unmumsy Mum, has its roots in her parenting blog by the same name. Sarah lives in Devon with her husband, James, and their two boys, Henry (4) and Jude (1).
Describe a typical day for you?
The boys generally wake up between 6am and 7am (Henry is often already in bed with us by this point, I swear he creeps in without making a sound). The morning circus is often noisy and a bit frenzied, with hurried showers and lots of shouting up and down the stairs (“Can you find him some socks please. No, not a top. SOCKS!”)
Our childcare arrangements vary depending on what day it is: I look after them both for two days during the week and on the other weekdays when I am working they are looked after by a combination of grandparents, the child-minder and more recently preschool for Henry.
On a work day, I quite often walk into town and base myself at the library where I can write uninterrupted all day – though I am increasingly finding myself travelling for work (at the moment a typical day sees me heading off to library and bookshop events as part of my book tour, which is great fun).
After picking the boys up (we share this between us), we make some tea and then repeat the morning circus in reverse to get them ready for bed. Our house doesn’t have a bath (the shower-room is too small to fit a bath in) and that is something I really miss, as giving the boys a shower before bedtime is not relaxing for anybody involved. Generally, they are in bed by 7pm and I usually spend the rest of the evening doing more work on my laptop.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Personally speaking, my biggest achievement is creating (well, co-creating) two wonderful children. I still find it hard to believe that they are mine.
Professionally speaking, my biggest achievement has been publishing a bestselling book. I never for one moment thought that the blog would lead to a change in career direction but I am delighted that it has! The book will be published in America next year, which just feels like a big deal.
I also continue to be quite overwhelmed by the number of messages I receive from mums who have read the book or the blog. I generally receive hundreds each and every week and many of those are from mums who thank me for something I have written which has made them laugh or has in some way made them feel better about themselves. I am very proud of that.
What’s in your handbag?
A notebook, at least three pens (one of which is leaking), my make-up bag (disappointing range of products I’m afraid, I’m not that hot on make-up), some chewing gum and, if we’re being honest, a whole heap of crap…
What are your ambitions in life?
I don’t think I have ever really considered that question, so I sat looking at it with a puzzled frown for ages! I guess I would one day like to look back on my life and be satisfied that I made the most of the opportunities in front of me. I would also like to buy a house with a bath…
What advice would you give your pre-baby self, that you now know, having had children?
That having a baby does not automatically bestow some sort of magical motherly wisdom upon you and that sometimes you will feel like you are just not cut out for it (but that feeling like you are not cut out for it is absolutely fine, just part of a wider and very steep learning curve!)
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
With one or two further books under my belt, I hope. (Living in a house with a bath, obviously).
What advice would you give a budding blogger/author?
Don’t be afraid to do things your way and have the courage to politely decline opportunities, however great they may be, if they don’t feelright. Also, understand that you can never please all of the people all of the time (and nor should you try to) so almost inevitably at some point somebody will tell you that they don’t like what you have said/written. That’s fine, too.