First up, hello!
My name is Laura and I began writing this blog way back in 2011. I was in the last few months of my maternity leave with my second child and, to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to work.
This blog became an outlet for me to express how I felt and chronicle the last few months of being at home with my two children, my return to full-time employment and my ongoing struggle to balance family and work. As someone working in the world of communications, I also wanted to try to understand what the growing phenomenon of blogging was all about.
Almost 7 years on, my situation has changed (I’m now working part-time while growing a business of my own), but I’m still a mum who has trouble keeping all the metaphorical plates spinning. And one thing I’ve learnt in my time as a parent is that it doesn’t matter how much you think you’ve got your sh*t together, that age-old ‘mum guilt’ is never far behind.
The Brat Race is where you’ll find me writing about our family life alongside things like holidays, work-life balance, ways to save money – stuff like that. You can find out more about us as a family below and if you’re interested in working with us then we’d love to hear from you.
The faces behind the blog.
- I work in charity communications and am also a journalist, multi-award-nominated writer and video content creator.
- I am married to James, but you won’t often see him on the blog or in my videos or social media feeds. Despite being a TV journalist, he’s a bit camera shy.
- I became a mother in 2009 when I had my daughter, Olivia. I discovered I was pregnant on my birthday, which made it the best present ever. Her brother, William, followed two years later.
- I may have more than 9 years experience as a parent, but I still feel like I’m learning as I go.
- Something I’ve learnt is that juggling family and work doesn’t get easier as your children get older. It just gets different.
- Sometimes my children think I am the worst mum in the world.
- I share my birthday with my mum and with my grandfather, who sadly passed away in 2014.
- Olivia was born in 2009. She is thoughtful, caring and knows her own mind.
- She loves the colour purple.
- She does not love princesses. Except for maybe Moana and Princess Fiona.
- Before she was born she was diagnosed with bilateral talipes (clubfoot in both feet). She has been under the care of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the treatment of her talipes since she was 3 weeks old.
- In 2016, doctors discovered that Olivia had an abdominal tumour. She was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children where it was surgically removed and found to be benign. She remains under their care as an outpatient.
- Apart from all that, Olivia is a healthy and active girl.
- William was born in 2011. He is cheeky, mischievous and loves to make people laugh.
- He likes the colour blue.
- He does not like vegetables.
- He used to be an exceptionally fussy eater and, to be honest, I struggled with this. Thankfully, things have gotten a lot better over the last few years. This is mainly due to a lot of work and patience.
- He likes to practice his breakdancing skills on our kitchen floor.
- He can do maths. Like, really well. He can add, subtract and multiply huge numbers as quickly as anything in his head. I’m not even exaggerating. I feel like a total maths dunce next to him.
- James is the most elusive member of our family (on the blog, anyway).
- He works in TV news, but prefers to stay behind the camera. It’s why you won’t see many pictures of him here or on social media. It’s also why he doesn’t really feature in my videos.
- We met at university on the same post graduate journalism course. We moved in together after 3 months, got engaged after 4 and eventually got married 4 years later.
- James is my rock who tolerates my continuous requests for photos and my constant filming. I can’t help it – I love to record our life so that I can still remember everything when I’m old(er).
- He can be a right grumpy bugger at times.
The furry members of our family
Herbie (the white one)
- Herbie joined our family in October 2012 after Olivia wished for him really hard. She calls him her ‘wish cat’.
- He has odd coloured eyes and is completely deaf.
- He used to have a black spot of fur on the top of his head, but that disappeared as he got older.
- His default mood is grumpy, but he’s a soppy thing at heart and loves to curl up on me.
- He doesn’t like waiting for his breakfast and will wake me up at the crack of dawn most mornings for his food.
Bella (the brown tabby and white one)
- Bella joined us in 2014. She is a rescue cat from Bulgaria.
- She has a poorly front leg, which was broken at some point before she came to us. She had an operation to repair it, but it still causes her problems.
- She is very affectionate and will often be found rolling around on the carpet or jumping up onto laps to try to get cuddles.
- She’s small, but feisty. If Herbie is grumpy towards us or does something naughty, she’ll give him a slap.
The Brat Race started life in 2011 as ‘Adventures of an Ordinary Parent’ before changing in 2012 to ‘Chez Mummy’ (you may find some references to these names in some of my videos so I thought I’d better explain). This blog officially became The Brat Race in 2015 and I think the name is perfect – as a working parent it’s all about surviving the rat race while raising a family.