Leading, International Parenting & Lifestyle Blogger
She is someone who has turned challenges of motherhood to her advantage and is a true example setter. A former TV and film director, she established a blog Honest mum in November 2020, which was aimed at voicing her experience and regaining her confidence after a traumatic childbirth. Meet Vicki Broadbent, the lady behind honest mum blog and a parenting and lifestyle blogger. She reaches out to nearly 4 million parents a month through her social media handles and shares her ideas about family, food, beauty, style and more!
How does Vicki Broadbent (the real honest mum!) manage her schedule with three children (including a newly delivered girl)?
I’m currently on maternity leave, so my workload is heavily reduced. However, life is still busy as I’m still appearing on TV work or filming the odd shoot on the weekend, and my parents live over 4 hours away, so juggling work with motherhood can be intense.
My two sons, aged 9 and 12, are at school during the day of the week, so it’s usually the baby and me, and we spend time with other friends and their babies or attend wonderful baby groups. I love that bonding time singing and dancing with my daughter.
I feel fortunate that an incredible lady, Najiba, who has become a close friend, helps me two to three days a week for a few hours. I wouldn’t cope without her!
Any incident during the pregnancy period you didn’t expect at all?
I looked quite different during my third pregnancy than with my boys, which was unexpected. My sons said I looked like I’d swallowed a basketball, and they were right! I had a high, round bump, and my cravings were completely different from when I was pregnant with my sons. I craved apples day and night and experienced a sweet, not savoury, tooth this time around. Some of the old wives’ tales appear to be true. I couldn’t even look at a piece of fruit with the boys! Also, I felt more anxious during this pregnancy as I sadly suffered a miscarriage before becoming pregnant with Florence. I thought I couldn’t fully relax until she was in my arms.
What is your typical weekend? Has motherhood changed your weekend plans or your holiday plans?
My life is radically different now that I have kids and Florence; being a pandemic baby means we haven’t been abroad together yet. We hope to travel in May, though, if her first passport arrives soon! I think the spontaneity I used to have when working and travelling abroad has changed now. Planning is meticulous even when travelling in the UK, and our kids’ needs always come first. We seek out family-friendly destinations/ resorts etc. when we travel, and we try to ensure wherever we will meet the whole family’s expectations and preferences. Weekends too are full but fun, usually with trips to London to museums, galleries, markets and diverse restaurants. It’s also the time I try to catch up on emails and write! I’ve just written a children’s book, and of course, I’m busy with my blog and social media platforms.
If you feel frustrated (as a mom!), how do you cope?
Frustration is normal, and I can’t lie; I feel pretty exhausted most days. Sleep deprivation is hard as a parent for a 5-month-old, and dividing myself, my time and energy between three children can be challenging some days. My energy divides, but my love multiplies, thankfully! Motherhood, to me, is the most rewarding job of all, though, and the unconditional love and the immense pride I feel in my little family see me through the more challenging times. Still, I have days when I cry with tiredness or feel so frustrated that I feel so stretched. I know the third time around that this is normal, and the first year’s trials (teething, etc.) will pass quickly, and life will become easier. But, of course, we have tons of fun too, and Florence is such a happy, calm baby most of the time, so I can’t complain (too much)! Luckily, I have a strong circle of close mum friends and my mum visits where possible, so we all support one another. As the well-known proverb goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m grateful for mine.
Please tell us about juggling a tricky job and managing your boss, baby?
My husband Peter is incredibly supportive, and I’ve learnt to work smartly. I managed to get my working week to 2 days a week over the past three years whilst still growing my business and my freelance team, and I’m proud of that. I love my work, but I don’t live to work.
I started honestmum.com to spend more time with my family, and I adore that working online means working on my own time and terms, flexibly, remotely and around my children.
What is the worst and the best advice you got during your motherhood journey? Do you pass on the same advice?
Best advice: ‘trust your gut/ never doubt yourself’, worst I think was that you should, ‘put up and shut up. NO! Parents need not feel afraid to speak up when they’re struggling and ask for help. Motherhood will feel hard some days. Everyone is in the same boat. You must never feel you’re the only one struggling and you must never feel silenced or unable to reach out for help and advice. The emotional and physical changes that occur when you have a baby are immense, and it takes time to feel anything close to your former self. You build resilience and strength in that time, but some days can be immensely trying. Be kind to yourself, and importantly, be patient. Caring for children is a huge responsibility, and it’s a 24/7 job.
Anything very close to you that you gave up after being a mother?
After my first child, I changed my career from being a director/ filmmaker to becoming a blogger and broadcaster. I deeply miss that part of my old life and hope to return to it one day. I won many awards from film festivals from India to LA and industry awards like the Channel 4 4Talent Award for Best New Director, but it’s an inflexible industry. I’ve written a feature film and hope to make it a reality one day. That’s a big dream. Hopefully, I can combine my careers: screenwriting and filmmaking, with my digital work. I trust the timing of my life, so if it’s meant to be, it will be.
Are your children supportive of your work? What is their response to your work life?
My children seem to be proud of my job and work. They came with me on a book tour when I released my bestselling book MUMBOSS, and I’ve taught them the importance of academia, a strong work ethic and the value of money. My kids are involved in my job, too, appearing in campaigns and even on TV with me. Without them, I wouldn’t be a mum boss!
Do you look back and remember the advice or things that your parents used to say now that you are a mother yourself?
My parents are wise people; my mum is a retired university lecturer, my Dad is an entrepreneur, and they have both passed down invaluable advice over the years, practical be it in business or the home: cooking, gardening etc. and emotional lessons too, teaching me the importance of having fun, winding down, meditating, exercising and eating well.