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Motherhood: The Real Deal - Q&A

  • 5 min read

Motherhood: The Real Deal - Q&A


Bold, authentic and straight-talking – Motherhood: The Real Deal is a digital parenting magazine which publishes honest parenting articles and interviews as well as curated lifestyle updates including travel and leisure, health, beauty and wellbeing and interiors. It reaches over 40,000 parents a month through the magazine and social media network and has been featured in The Guardian, on Good Morning Britain, on BBC World News & The Victoria Derbyshire Show, BBC Radio Surrey, BBC Radio 5 Live’s School Running’s and Talk Radio.

The woman behind this successful blog is former editor-in-chief Talya Stone. Having given up the working mum role when her daughter turned 12 months, Talya has sat on both sides of the fence as a working and then stay-at-home mum and like many, grappled with the issues which come hand in hand with both scenarios in modern day motherhood.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Before becoming a mum, I had actually owned my own business. However, once I transitioned into motherhood, I realised that although incredibly hard work - having your own business offered so many benefits of flexibility that you just couldn’t get working for someone else at the time. 

I wanted to be that mum who was around to pick my daughter up from nursery, pick her up from the school gates, see her in all her school performances, be there to chat to her about her day, and not feel stressed about making childcare arrangements or having to take the day off when she was off sick.  

It was ultimately that notion that led me to wanting to create something sustainable where I could be my own boss, and not have to worry about all of the hassles that comes from working for someone else and not having enough support to make it work and all the guilt related to those circumstances.

Photo Credit: Victoria Welton Brand Photography.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced while running your business and what advice would you give to others who may face the same challenges?

There are a hell of a lot of tough times. Times of incredible self-doubt, times when profits take a bashing, times when life feels overwhelming and you are struggling to balance the demands of having a business with life.

During times like this, it’s important to keep perspective and focus on your why. Although having your own business can be lonely, exhausting and sometimes overwhelming, it’s important to focus on the positives it brings you - positivity, creativity, that you are doing something for yourself and for others too. 

As a business owner self-care is vital. It’s important to carve out time to step off the hamster wheel at the end of the day. For me, staying sane involves exercising and meditating every day. You need not only huge amounts of faith and focus when running your own business but also frequent pressure releases and strong boundaries too! 

How have you grown your readership/follower base? What are the 3 top tips you can give to achieve this?  What are the 3 things you have tried and wouldn’t repeat?

How I grew my readership/following (3 tips):

  • Be authentic & honest - don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Authenticity is an important part of building trust with your audience.
  • Think about people’s pain points - the more relatable you can be, the better. People want to feel they are not alone in their problems and struggles. If you can offer a solution or something to make them feel better then it’s a win-win situation. 
  • Show up even if you don’t feel like it - there may be days when you feel unable to share or feel down. While it’s ok to sit with it, think about how you can use this as a way to connect to your audience. If it can make you and them feel better simply by articulating how you feel then that is for everyone’s benefit. 

3 things I wouldn’t repeat:

  • I would never say never. There are things I may have tried that weren’t right for me at the time simply because I didn’t have the bandwidth or expertise to make it work but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try them again, but perhaps differently next time round.  The only thing I would not repeat would perhaps be anything that didn’t make me feel good or fit with my moral compass.

Photo credit: Sarah Wills Photography

Do you think the rules are different for women running their own businesses? Or do you think things are improving?

Yes! Men are so much better at compartmentalizing. As women, we take everything on board all of the time until we are often at breaking point. Women are now expected to run their own businesses whilst having to still do the lion’s share of the domestic drudgery and parenting at home. That is a lot to have on one person’s shoulders.  

I do also think sexism is still rife. I sometimes get the most inappropriate/patronising responses and I always think to myself - I bet they wouldn’t dare to speak to me in that way if I were a man.

Which bloggers / sites are you following and would recommend to others? Tell us why?

I love my longtime friend and blogger Love Life and Dirty Dishes. She writes with such warmth, humility and humour. I also love following Toby & Roo’s Instagram feed. She is absolutely bang on with her observations of motherhood and the farcical side of raising kids. And lastly, on the content creator side Big Fat Greek Mother never fails to make me giggle as does Mamas Still Got It whose videos are hilarious.

What are the plans for your business in 2023?

I got a bit over-excited emerging from the pandemic and spread myself way too thinly during 2022 so 2023 is all about streamlining and focusing on what I always set out to do -  providing useful content to mums who need support. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by new shiny projects and suddenly before you know it you have bitten off more than you can chew. I’m going back to the old adage - KISS! Keep it simple stupid.  

I also have to run a tighter ship and be more cutthroat with my time as I have taken on the marketing for my other half’s AI start-up Permutable which is doing some really exciting work related to climate change and sustainability that I am hugely passionate about as we all need to double down and take action now. There really is no tomorrow. 

Which brands / businesses are you working with / admire at the moment? Tell us why?

Micro Scooters of course! I love your whole ethos and that you are also registered as a B-Corp. Kudos to you! I also love working with companies who actually have doing good at their core, and it is great to see more companies and brands genuinely caring about their impact on the environment and society for the greater good. I find the brand Patagonia so inspiring because they have purpose at the centre of everything they do, and a very good purpose at that - saving the planet! I am also really interested in mental and physical health and self-care so love working with companies and brands that fall into that genre too.