I’ve shared a range of inspiring and empowering stories this month, including Scarlett Curtis, BYBI and Georgie Coleridge Cole. I’ve saved the best for last though Glossies, and if you’re a mum or mother-to-be, you’re definitely going to want to read this interview with Leonora Bamford!
Leonora Bamford, or Leo as she prefers to be called, is the founder of MyBaba, an online expert forum that covers a wide range of parenting advice, including pregnancy-related information, lifestyle hacks, reviews and recipes. In less than a decade, the mother-of-three turned a small personal blog into a wide-ranging site with over 50 contributing experts.
Hi Leonora Bamford, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. You’ve grown MyBaba into the UK’s go-to parenting website. When did you start it and what led you to do so?
I started MyBaba when my son was born in 2010. There weren’t very many parenting blogs back then and very few of my friends had kids. I started the journey of motherhood on my own and I really just wanted to document it.
I wanted to share the parenting advice that had worked for me and spread positivity.
It started as ‘The Baba Blog’. I wrote one post a day about something cool that I’d seen, whether that was a new music class for children or a new beaker. I wanted to share the parenting advice that had worked for me and spread positivity.
It’s really incredible that what started off as a simple blog has grown into a wide-ranging site with over 50 contributing experts. How did you make the leap to becoming, as you’re often referred to, the ‘Queen of content’ for expecting mothers?
MyBaba grew into an expert forum really soon after I launched the blog. I encountered so many child specialists as a new mother. The more I saw paediatricians because my son was ill, or eye specialists because he’d poked himself in the eye, the more I realised all parents go through these experiences. I decided to share mine and ask these specialists for their advice too.
I wanted to cut through the masses, to give everyone an easy-to-read, educated view from leading experts who are at the forefront of child-related issues.
I didn’t pay people to write content, I grew a network of specialists who I met because I needed advice about my son. I started to ask all of the wonderful people in the parenting sector, from breastfeeding experts to GPs, to create amazing content for MyBaba. I would then link back to their services and websites so that other parents would know where to seek help too.
MyBaba started as a pregnancy and baby advice blog. You now cover a huge range of topics, from family activity ideas and lifestyle tips, to product reviews and recipes. How do you decide what content to write about?
As my children have grown, MyBaba has grown with us. I’ve recently started curating a lot of advice around internet safety because my eldest son, who’s nine, spends some of his time online. I’ve even started researching teenage skincare at the request of my 15-year-old niece. I also had another son two years ago, so I’ve been curating a lot of toddler-related content, including sleeping problems and weaning.
As long as there’s interesting content that people are reading, I’m happy to cover whatever topics are needed.
A lot of people get in touch on social media to ask questions too. We’re so lucky to have experts we can email directly with a specific question. They’re all so kind and eager to help. We can then go straight back to our readers with a specialist answer.
Leonora Bamford, you’re a mother of three and often talk about how close-knit your family is. How do you balance running your own business and being a mother?
I’m so lucky to run my own business. It gives me a lot of flexibility. I’m a very hands-on mum. I drop the kids off and pick them up from school. If my children are in sports matches or have a nativity play, I can leave everything and be there. Not many parents are lucky enough to do that. On the flip side, I work really late at night and wake up really early in the morning to ensure that I get all my work-related things done.
Keep your head down, stay positive and believe in yourself.
My advice would be to just keep your head down, stay positive and believe in yourself. If you want something enough, you can do anything. I always tell my kids ‘You can do anything and you can be anything’.
In an interview with Nine In The Mirror, you said “I think I was made to be a mother. I love it more than anything.” Why do you think motherhood is such an empowering experience?
Becoming a mother is a miracle. Having a baby, whether you give birth or you adopt, is a wonderful, empowering and humbling experience from start to finish.
When your baby looks at you and you know in your heart of hearts that they rely on you for everything, it’s pure magic. You never lose that feeling of awe.
Do parents regularly reach out to tell you how much your platform has empowered them and helped them tackle their issues?
That’s the best part! We have mothers and fathers who write in to say that they thought they were the only ones that were struggling with something, but now understand that they’re not alone.
I hope our content empowers parents and gives them the tools to enjoy parenthood.
I hope the content that we put out empowers people and gives them the tools and knowledge to enjoy parenthood. It’s so important. Watch your kids, learn from them and enjoy them.
As part of our campaign, we’ve been asking our team and our subscribers what empowerment means to them. I’d love to know what it means to you.
Being able to say ‘no’ is the most empowering thing I’ve felt in a long time. I’ve always had a need to please and make everyone happy. I’m discovering that when you stop and learn to say no, life gets better. You don’t have to say yes to make everyone else happy. Happiness starts with you.
Being able to say ‘no’ is the most empowering thing I’ve felt in a long time.
Everyone can follow that advice. It’s not a bad thing to start saying no to the odd thing. You need time for yourself.
Finally, Leonora Bamford, I’d love to know if there are any small, daily things you do to make yourself feel more confident?
I don’t love exercising, but when I do it, it makes me feel really good. I also love having my hair done. I always feel a million dollars after having a blow dry. It makes me feel so confident.
Mostly though, I believe in taking a breath, resetting my mind and giving myself a minute to realise I can conquer anything. The power of that can be amazing.
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