Sophie blogs as Franglaise Mummy; she is English, has a degree in French, is married to a Frenchman, mum to two half French/half English girls and lived in La Belle, France for 12 years. One daughter was born there and one daughter here in the UK. Sophie blogs about pregnancy, parenting and life in general in France and England. Following her recent maternity leave she left her role as an Account Director at a digital marketing agency in London to retrain as a childminder.
Describe a typical day for you?
I look after one baby all day (alongside my own baby), then one child in Reception after school (alongside my own daughter who is in year 2). Once the school run is done, it’s time to go to the park or a local playgroup/baby activity with the two babies, then back home for lunch. I usually inhale my lunch in 5 minutes so I’ve got time to blog while the babies nap. Then it’s time for the school run – if the weather’s good we stay afterwards to play in the school playground or we’ll go to the local park. Once the other children have had tea and been picked up, it’s bath and bedtime for my girls at which time I can start thinking about reading other blogs, catching up on Twitter and spending some time with my husband. Fortunately he is a blogger too, so is understanding about the time I spend on mine (he writes a blog in French about the stock market: www.BourseEnsemble.com).
The transition from being an account director in a digital marketing agency to being a childminder has not been as hard as I expected as I was on maternity leave before retraining as a childminder. In fact the hardest thing for me was going from my full time office job to being a full time mum last year when I went on maternity leave.
Despite having a high-flying job in London, including working with high profile clients such as ITV, Virgin Atlantic and TNT Express, I wanted a different path after having my second child. I reassessed what I wanted – to spend time with my kids but also have a job, and earn my own money – and childminding was the perfect solution. I’m also lucky enough to look after two girls who my own daughters love spending time with, so they get their own playmates too.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Having two amazing daughters and still having a great relationship with my husband after 10 years of marriage. I am very proud of my blog too as it’s really going from strength to strength.
What’s in your handbag?
These days my handbag is a changing bag so it is full of nappies, wipes, snacks, toys and all the usual baby paraphernalia!
What advice would you give your pre baby self that you now know having had a child?
You will not lose your own identity. You will still be Sophie, and not just “Mummy”, and you will still have a life.
What are your ambitions in life?
To laugh every day, and to provide a fun, safe, friendly environment for the children I look after (mine and others) to grow up in. To further develop my blog and my writing in general.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Still writing this blog, and maybe one or two others. With one or two books written about the differences between pregnancy/parenting in France and the UK.
What advice would you give a budding childminder/parent blogger?
Firstly, re blogging, live life and enjoy being with your kids as well as writing and blogging – it is easy to get caught up in writing and to not actually spend time making the memories with your children.
My advice to a budding childminder is to be organised, there’s a lot of paperwork involved! Ask for help and information from your local authority (most are good, although mine was useless!), also PACEY (former National Childminding Association) is very helpful. If you can find existing childminders to help you with tips and advice that’s always a bonus. I didn’t find any locally, but got lots of help from childminder Twitter friends.