Mommybites Chit-Chat: Conversations with luminaries, entrepreneurs and influencers in the parenting world
Tell us a little about you (your background, your job, what makes you tick or anything else you think our Mommybites moms will find interesting).
I basically founded Tech Tonic because one of my friends made me! She’d been trying in vain to find someone to help her organize, and manage, her iPhone, Mac and photos.
The ‘tech help’ of the world just kept talking jargon to her, and worse, they made her feel incompetent and more overwhelmed! She was insistent I should fill this gap. Initially I was not convinced. My ‘A ha’ moment came when she told me ‘you could be the Marie Kondo of technology!’. So the idea of a boutique consultancy, for people with little time but a need for personal service, began to take shape.
Tanya was my guinea pig and our first consultation was 2 very productive hours conversing, drinking tea, consolidating files from numerous devices, discovering long lost photos, synchronizing and backing up. It was a very collaborative process but the most compelling thing for me, was the relief she felt knowing everything was in one place, saved and she didn’t need to look at her old technology again. It was very clear that this was a gap in the market that I could bridge.
What or who inspires you?
That is such a big question! However, the people who immediately spring to mind are Michelle Obama (the work she did on food and exercise with ‘Let’s Move’ and girls education worldwide with ‘Let Girls Learn’).
Amy Poehler, and her ‘Smart Girls’ movement is inspiring. I love women who are supporting and encouraging other women.
My mum has always been incredibly independent but in recent years this has been tempered drastically due to her back and leg pain. She never complains though.
My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in September and within 5 weeks, she had the lump removed and breast reconstruction. Her scar is a foot long. I was with her just after the surgery to help out and what amazed me was that she was still herself. It was still my little sister I was talking to and we still laughed about the same old things. Her bravery and desire to keep going as normal, as much as possible throughout this process, is humbling. She also allowed me to share post-surgery progress images on social media, which has already inspired several women I know to get themselves checked out too.
My children always inspire me to be better, do better but essentially keep me focused on raising good, kind, empathetic human beings.
What is your best piece of parenting advice?
As parents, we are in this together. We all run around doing so much, so lets take the pressure off ourselves, keep the bar low and enjoy the precious time we have with our children. “The days are long but the years are short” is a phrase that springs to mind!
What’s the worst piece of parenting advice you have heard?
Ha, ha! That the role of parents is to raise a child’s ego up as large as possible.
What’s the most common question you are asked by parents?
Do I need to accept when my iPhone asks me if I want to increase my iCloud storage? The answer is, “Yes.” It’s the price of a cup of coffee per month to have EVERYTHING on your phone backed-up to the cloud. Come on people, how much do you spend on coffee a month and how precious are your kids photos?!
What are some of your favorite T.V. shows? Books? Foods?
Recent TV shows are The Crown, Big Little Lies, Grand Designs and The Great British Baking Show, which I watch with my daughter. Real people, in the English countryside, baking.
Books – I wish I could say a book on the NYT bestseller list, but honestly chick lit is one of my guilty pleasures. After juggling and running around all day, it makes me feel good to go to bed and read for half an hour. It’s my true free time and helps me forget the day and fall into a nice sleep.
Foods – If I could only live on 2 things it would be tea and dark chocolate. However, back in the real world, I eat clean and simply as that is how my body works best. I do love the dark chocolate sticks from Trader Joes though. Organic and only 3 ingredients!
What parenting books do you most recommend to parents?
I only read one series these days and that is Your X Year Old by Louise Bates Ames. They cover every age from 1 through 14. These book are now 35 years old, but they provide an amazing insight into why children behave the way they do at each age. This insight makes me far more empathetic when they’re doing some random thing I’m wondering what on earth is going on! They are also short, which makes them more manageable for a busy mum!
What are some of your favorite parenting products?
The white noise machine in my children’s bedroom. I actually like camping out with them occasionally, as I sleep so much better with it on. I’d have one in our room, but my husband isn’t keen…
Fairy Tales Shampoo and Conditioner and Tangle Teezer hair brush. My daughter has ridiculously long hair and tons of it.
Place mats with a world map and capital cities. I still haven’t learnt them all but the kids love testing my knowledge and are learning from my mistakes!
If you could be someone else for a day who would it be and why?
I’m very tempted to be mischievous here… Instead, could I be my younger self? I’d love to re-live some moments from years gone by and to experience those feelings again.
What’s up next for you professionally?
Lots!! The consulting side of my business continues to grow and I’m doing more writing. I love it! This is leading to speaking engagements for parents (and I’m working on reaching children too) on essentially what I would call “Tech Etiquette” and ‘How To…” in relation to efficiently using devices but also for the purposes of internet safety and protecting our children. The stat that 80% of children have seen porn online by the age of 11 is highly motivating to me!! To accompany and support this, I’m developing training courses which will be accessed online.
Are there any other questions you wish we asked? If so, what and how would you answer?
No, I think you’ve heard enough about me 😉
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.