Get to know: Emma and Alf
For those who haven’t seen your blog or Instagram, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Emma, soon to be mum of two with our second baby due this December. I’m a Scottish girl, born and raised in Glasgow - it's where we live now and I love it. I created Emma & Alf in 2017 to share my journey into motherhood. Since then the blog has grown in a number of dimensions and it has been the most incredible year since I first published in October last year. You’ll find all things travel, home interiors, kids' fashion and everyday motherhood. I’m a shoot from the heart kind of girl with a passion for photography. I like to think of the blog as a raw approach to motherhood backed with some pretty pictures.
What inspired you to start blogging/Instagramming?
For as long as I remember I’ve loved photography: I believe some people have it built into them to capture a moment and I’ve always loved doing that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a complete amateur when it comes to taking photos! People are so surprised that all of my Instagram posts are taken on my iPhone; however, I’ve always believed that to capture a moment is less about what you see and more about how you see them. Before becoming a Mum I travelled quite a bit where my passion for photography peaked - however I didn’t have much confidence in sharing my captures. It wasn’t until I found motherhood and understood the importance of sharing that both photography and writing came together. It just felt so very natural to start the blog, I think Motherhood came with a quiet confidence that gave me the push I needed.
You already have one adorable little boy, and then another baby on the way, so how are you getting prepared for the arrival of your second one? Do you feel more prepared as you have already done it before?
I wouldn’t say I feel more prepared this time, life with a toddler is just so demanding - there’s very little time left over to even consider what’s ahead. I would say I’ve learned a lot from first time round and there are lots of changes I will be making this time. I already feel less pressure this time which is a nice feeling to have. I think first time mums are so overwhelmed and put so much pressure on themselves to perform every single day. The truth is it is hard, so very hard, in those first few months. I’ve learned to let go of the supermum status and accept that as long as I do my best every day then that’s enough.
You have the PacaPod Hartland and the Loreto - what are your favourite things about these bags?
Both incredibly beautiful bags, let me start with the Hartland (although my other half may be best telling you his thoughts on this one - he pinches this bag almost everyday)! The Hartland was the product that first had me fall in love with the PacaPod brand, I had never seen a product like it. Put aside how super stylish it is, the Changer Pod and Feeder Pod were game changers for me. I loved the idea of being organised but just didn’t seem to quite get it right. As an anxious Mum, I felt there were times I’d be out and about with my little one only to realise I had left something at home. There were occasions sheer panic would set in, so I wanted a bag that helped me feel like ‘I got this’ and the Hartland most definitely does that. For our newest arrival I’ve opted for the new Loreto which I just love. My main focus here was finding a changing bag that sits well on the pushchair and gives easy access to the things I need. I love that it opens from the front to give access to the pods, no rummaging around. The handy front pockets make good space for things you need in an instant, like a soother when you sense a toddler tantrum coming on. These bags are wonderful: they organise me, they make me feel like I’m on top of my game and that makes a difference. The quality and attention to detail just amazes me.
What are your top tips for travelling with a little one?
Be organised but don’t overthink it! I like to pack by having a run through in my head of how an everyday pans out for us. What do I need for that particular day: lunch, snacks, change of clothes. I pack my bag and then I’ll have another run through before leaving house. Truth be told, travelling with little people is all very much dependent on how that little person feels. In March I travelled a 32 hour trip to Bali with my 16 month old and didn’t break a sweat - he was a delight. I worried and over thought the trip beforehand: what if he cries, what if he’s fed up, what if… Don’t overthink travelling with little one, more often than not they will be happy to take in new surroundings and appreciate a change of routine, they will surprise you.
What advice would you give to other parents who are also expecting?
Don’t be too hard on yourself, you most definitely are enough. I worried a lot throughout those first few months, looking back it took away so much precious time that I should have been enjoying with my baby. You have a Motherly instinct, go with that, always. Some days are hard but the tough times really don’t last long at all. It does sound cliche, however, cherish every moment - those little ones don’t stay little for long at all.
Your photos are so beautiful - how do you capture such great shots as a family?
Thank you. I have to admit as Alf gets older it is certainly more challenging to capture as many moments. That being said I do actually prefer to take candid shots of him. I prefer him to be unaware of the camera so I’ll take most of my photos from afar or when he’s occupied with something else. I feel like that captures more of a moment rather than a ‘stand and say cheese’ snap. I also love those grab and click posts, the ones which aren’t thought out, the ones which just seem to happen without thought - those little moments are the best.
How do you and your partner juggle parenting between you? And do you think this will change much when you have two?
It’s definitely tough. I think the key for us is we just never stop. I work part time in education as well as running the blog and Darren is out of the house 5 days a week. Days are long and very tiring but when the weekend rolls around we make the most of every minute. There are times we promise to make more time for each other, however we both equally love family time and appreciate how quickly time passes with kids. Before we know it we won’t be cool enough to hang around with our kids - until then we’re going to make the most of it.
What is your top parenting hack/piece of advice?
Trust your own instinct, no one knows your baby like you do! Mum sure does know best so believe that and go with it. Oh, and never leave the house without a muslin cloth, they literally fix everything and anything!
If you had to sum up parenting in 3 words, what would it be?
Oh what a great question, since today has been a good day I’d say… Joy, Adventure and Love.