Following on from my “Ask Me Anything” post on my instagram, and the majority of questions being answered on Rock My Style yesterday, I wanted to feature the questions that related directly to parenting on Rock My Family.

The Rock My Wedding book “Your Day Your Way” is released on Thursday so it’s a significant time for us – the header image is a little snippet of Mabel and Lottie’s daughter Alice, taken from the chapter on wedding party fashion.

This blog has been live for over a year now and we’re really trying to find out what works and what doesn’t in terms of content, design and the general user experience – I’m going to go into more detail at the end of this post.

loud_slap I just want to ask have you thought if doing features especially on RMF about “non traditional” types of family…sorry I can’t think of another way to put it…e.g. Single parents, same sex couples, co-parents etc…I’m a recently separated co-parent and I’d love to share my story and hopefully help others going through a bad time see how positive it can be…I’d also love to hear the stories of others. I do feel RMF can sometimes be biased to the coupled up with 2.4 children (though I’m aware you do share warts and all re miscarriages, breastfeeding, etc which I salute!). X

pipsomalley @loud_slap while being very “2.4 children” myself (so unable to help) I agree that this would be a great feature – it’s so easy to get focussed on your own situation and forget about others’.

lottie_mvp @loud_slap you read my mind. I came across RMW when I got married, sadly it didn’t last but I love the RMF stuff but sometimes I agree it does feel a bit 2.4 children and as it’s all relatively recent would love to hear others and share mine to help others known it gets better. Also how did you find your team were they friends in some way first? Xx

Hi All!

I would agree with you. Not all of the team are married but we are all in heterosexual partnerships bringing up our children. I would love to feature more diverse family units, so if any of you want to share your story then please please do send us your submission via the “submit” button on the home page. Without submissions we can only share our personal parenting experiences – the benefit is there are a fair few of us in the team so there’s a range of opinions and viewpoints. But ultimately we are limited to our own real life situations.

Lottie – I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out but really glad to hear you are already thinking positively and want to let others know it does get better.

The team (there are now 11 of us who work for Rock My Ltd) has been built from various situations, quite a few we met via shoots or projects. Lottie baked cakes for a photoshoot, Becky did some graphic design and various decor bits and bobs for a party and Lauren (The Editor of Rock My Style) actually assisted on a few shoots too but we had featured her wedding in the past and she was randomly friends with a friend of mine. They then made themselves so indispensable we couldn’t shake them off for love nor money.

Lorna was recommended by Lauren (they used to work together), I met Lisa via my NCT classes and Fern essentially demanded a job – she was very much like a polite yet very persuasive Pocohontas that you couldn’t say no to.

Adam met Lolly on a shoot but the process was more traditional in that she was interviewed for a specific role. I discovered Laura via instagram and Laura recommended our latest recruit Amy.

There is obviously a lot of detail I’ve missed out for fear of waffling on incessantly but that’s about it in a nutshell.

kerrysjohns Hello! I would love to know your thoughts and learnings (logistically and emotionally) on balancing being an amazing mum and career lady. It’s so tricky.

Hi Kerry, this is a very interesting question. Logistically my husband and I have to be super organised, one of us has to drop Mabel off at nursery and someone has to be there to pick her back up again. We both work full time and often have to go to London for client meetings (we are based in Warwickshire) so it’s a case of keeping our online calendars up to date and inviting each other to everything, that way we know who’s doing what and where and who needs to be available to look after Mabel.

Like any parent I have days when I don’t feel amazing at all, I feel over stretched and guilty for all the time I’m not spending with my daughter. Mabel loves nursery, so I no longer feel as though she should be with me instead of with her friends (I used to feel like that, pretty much all the time). And I’m working on being much more present when she’s around – I endeavour to put the phone away until she’s in the land of nod.

I love having a career and I love being a Mum, it’s a balancing act and nothing is ever perfect but I feel very lucky to be in the position I’m in – and that even though I often work long hours, being your own boss means you can also be reasonably flexible.

jenny_journo How does one go about working at Rock My Ltd?! Also what has been the toughest motherhood challenge you’ve faced and how did you conquer it?

Hi Jenny! We always invite submissions as I mentioned in the top question, it’s the best way for us to share a wide range of experiences. As for joining on a more permanent basis we do tend to pick up folk as we go (also explained in the top question) – a bit like a travelling circus with a lorry load of props and flowers (!) but that’s not to say opportunities don’t come up. Sending in your CV and a covering email about yourself means we have it on file should anything become available.

The toughest challenge was without a doubt, going back to work so soon after Mabel was born. I don’t really believe in regrets, but I regret that. I felt torn between doing what was right for the business and what was right for my baby. The guilt was crushing and overwhelming. And actually I never really considered what was best for me.

You live and learn. If I am lucky enough to have a second child I would do things very differently.

Back to the evolution of this blog.

We’re finding it confusing as to what our readers actually want. We feel as though we do cover a wide range of topics and experiences – “Warts and all” as Loud_slap pointed out in her question above. Yet there does seem to be an undercurrent of negativity and references to “Prosecco and rose petals” or “hearts and flowers” in the comments threads, as if what we post is somehow shallow and or/not appreciated unless it’s gritty and essentially about only the very challenging aspects of parenthood.

For me being a Mum is challenging, but there is also joy. Lots of joy. Sometimes I really want to share what excellent bargains I bought Mabel from Boden. And that is my real life. As is being so tired sometimes I can’t remember my own name.

As a brand we’ve always experienced a very friendly and supportive community, and I assumed that we would continue to create this on Rock My Family. It’s got to the stage where some of the team are sometimes nervous about writing a feature, in case they are made to feel somehow inadequate. This makes me really sad.

I know there are thousands of you who’s criticism is always constructive and in general like what we do. I’m not naive enough to think you can please all people all of the time. And I see some amazing advice and sharing of ideas on a weekly basis that is rewarding to witness. I’m not even calling out those who don’t seem to enjoy the fluffier stuff – I really like Prosecco. And flowers.

I don’t want to own a blog where my own team don’t feel welcome. It goes against everything we’ve worked so hard as a brand to achieve – a place where brides, those interested in interiors and fashion or indeed parents, feel accepted and encouraged.

Ultimately I feel responsible, and I’m looking at ways we can turn things around. I don’t believe in dwelling on the past so I want to move forward from here on in. We have some new features and contributors in the pipeline and I’m confident we can make this a positive platform to be involved in. As always I welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments section.

Image by We Are // The Clarkes