The Conversation - ThankFifi
Fashion and travel blogger Wendy H Gilmour talks to us about her blog and Instagram, ThankFifi, her views on social media for new mamas and how her family has welcomed their newest arrival.
Congratulations on the arrival of baby Summer! How are mum and baby settling into their new lives together?
Thank you so much! We are really good - to be honest I did not feel all that well for most of my pregnancy, suffering from HG (severe sickness), so mostly I am just feeling delighted to be at this stage and have her in my arms. And, touch wood, so far she has been a very good baby.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
I started Thankfifi in 2011 following the suggestion of a friend, Fi, and then it focused mainly on fashion and my first dog. As life has evolved over the years so has the blog and now I like to think of it as a bit of a 'style menagerie' - fashion, life with kids and dogs, interiors (we moved into our new home a couple of years ago) and as much travel as I can still squeeze in!
Did you envision your blog and Instagram to be such a success?
I always hoped it might be, but you never know. To be honest I never embarked on it as a hobby - I worked very hard on it alongside a full time job for many years with many a late night and did everything I could to turn it into a business. It has not been an easy journey, but I now work on the blog full time and consider myself so lucky to have a job that I really love and that is so flexible around my life as a mother.
How has this pregnancy affected your blog/Instagram?
I felt a really strong connection with a lot of people this time around - particularly when I shared the struggle I was having with the HG
sickness - it was nice for me to know I was not alone and vice versa.
And I think that whilst I generally try to focus on the positive, my readers appreciated the reality of me opening up about this.
From a personal point of view the pregnancy meant I had to take things a little easier than I might have liked at certain points over the months, but I muddled through with a bit of help from family and a very supportive husband... and now that Summer is here it's much the same - it takes a village as
Who or what inspires you as a mother?
My own mother. She is the kindest and most generous woman I know and now that I'm older and a mother myself I can really appreciate that she probably spent the majority of her life just trying to make me happy - all that any mother really wants for her children.
How do you find juggling the work/mama balance?
I always call it the work life blend... the two sort of merge together in
many ways. I try to work when the babies nap and of course on the days
I have childcare. And I am conscious to put the phone down on the days when I have them myself so I can really focus on them.
How does Hunter feel about being a big brother? Were there any challenges that you faced?
We're only a few weeks in so maybe come back to me on that in another few weeks! So far he's been absolutely brilliant and just gives us a running commentary on everything she does - 'Baby crying', 'Baby milk', 'Baby kisses', 'Baby bath', 'Baby toes'... he never stops.
How are you managing the change in family dynamic now that Summer has arrived?
With an open mind and an open heart... I am learning to accept that I can't do everything all at once and sometimes someone or something just has to wait. And that's ok.
What are your thoughts on how social media affects new mums or mums to be?
I think it can be a wonderful source of support to be honest - if you're looking in the right places. It all depends who or what you choose to follow and I hope we are getting smart enough to know that not everything we see is real - we can view images as a source of inspiration rather than an ideal to live up to in our day to day lives. And then there are a myriad of accounts we can seek out and follow if we just want real, raw, life. I personally love following a mix of both.
What are you favourite mama blogs/Instagram accounts?
I love the Aussie @notsomumsy most of all for her glorious images and real words, and some homegrown mamas I love to follow here in the UK are @emma_mcmenemy for her wonderful shots of the babes, @thefashionbugblog for her lust-worthy fashion (although I can't afford much of it!) and @mywildsparrows for her wooden toy edits and colour palette.
What was your go to outfit whilst pregnant?
A dress, always a loose dress. Hands down the easiest and most comfortable way to look pulled together without making much effort - just add a headband or sunglasses. Plus, they're brilliant for layering so
work for all seasons.
Any key tips you would like to pass on to new mamas and mamas-to-be?
Relax. Enjoy it. I know that's easier said than done but you really just have to go with the flow and also don't give up who you are - if you want to go out for lunches then find a way to make it work and do it and if you want to continue working find a way to make that work too. Also, create a support system of family or friends or whoever but you need some people in your life you can lean on if the going gets tough.
Find out more about Wendy on her blog, Thankfifi, or on her Instagram