Charlotte Harding meets a Brighton mum whose blog is providing a breath of fresh air to parents.
As a parent it can sometimes feel as if you aren’t getting it quite right.
Posts on social media of people’s seemingly perfect lives and perfect children can leave you feeling a little lost.
“When I had my first child I read a lot of books and blogs but there wasn’t anything I felt I could relate to,” explains Katie Kirby who set up her own blog Hurrah for Gin four years ago.
“I just started writing about my own personal experience. I had always loved writing so it felt very natural.”
At the time Katie was also being made redundant from a role working in advertising and social media and wanted something to occupy her mind. Hurrah for Gin is a very honest and open account of parenting two children, the highs and lows including finding out about World Book Day the night before and having to prepare emergency outfits to parenting with a hangover.
“I felt as if no-one was really being honest,” she reveals. “Social media has created this problem where everyone thinks everyone’s lives are perfect but people don’t post if their kids have been a nightmare or if they had an argument with their partner the night before.”
Katie tries not to censor her posts too much but is aware of putting anything up that will upset people or anything really personal relating to her children.
“I just want to be open with people,” she says.
“I love my kids and feel lucky to have them but it isn’t always sunshine and flowers, being a parent can be hard.”
The blog is also illustrated with stickman drawings created by Katie, something which has evolved since she started it.
“I have always been quite visual and I don’t want to read what looks like loads of loads of text so the images are a nice way to break it up,” she says.
Setting up the blog, Katie says she found the writing therapeutic but never expected it to be as popular as it has become.
“People think you write a blog and expect it to be popular instantly but at times when I started I felt like I was talking to no-one,” she explains.
“I read a few blogs while I was writing and hoped people would find mine but I never did it thinking it would be read by loads and loads of people.
“It was just something for me to do and I hoped if 10 people were reading it and could relate to it then that would be great.”
Since starting the blog Katie says she has received emails from people saying that they feel lonely or are depressed and that the blog has acted as an escape.
“There is a fear of doing it wrong but if my blog makes mums feel less alone than I’m glad to be able to do it,” she smiles.
The popularity of the blog has even led to Katie becoming a published author. Her first book came out in October 2016 and the second will be out this year. “About 70 per cent is new material and there is some of my favourite posts,” she reveals.
“It was a little daunting as a book feels very permanent. I was very aware that it would be around for a while, whereas I write a blog post it goes up instantly and then it is replaced. But with a book it is a lot longer process to put it together.
“It is nice to have done something that my children can have when they are older.”
Katie adds that she never expected it all to take off in quite the way it has and alongside looking after her children she does the blog part time.
As Katie says being a parent can be hard no matter if it is your first, second or third child so to know that there may be other parents out there going through exactly the same things with an added light relief it may even help to get through those 3am night feeds.
To view Katie’s blog, visit hurrahforgin.com
Katie’s first book - ‘Hurrah for Gin: A book for perfectly imperfect parents’ is out now, and her second book - ‘Hurrah for Gin: The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams (Aged 2 ¼)’ is due to be released on October 5.
This first featured in the July edition of etc Magazine pick up your copy now.