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Mummy Mayhem

Jodie Ansted is a wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger and mother to three busy boys.

“I married in 2000. Turned 30 that same year. Hubby and I bought our first house in ’01. We had our first son in 2002, followed by our second in ’04 and our third in ’06.”

I found out about Jodie through ‘Bloggers without makeup’. More on BWM later. In her blog Jodie writes about her family, shopping mishaps, tooth fairy antics, kids illness, shares her trials and tribulations with baking “Baking is not my forte” and a whole lot more.

She is very candid about her younger experiences. Sharing her first deodorant experience and student life with ‘My High School Nemesis. Plus sharing her ‘Looking for love’ posts.

Admits she has a love of stationery and is easy drawn to buying more hair product “And when I open the bathroom cabinet, it will mock me, sitting next to the “styling mud”, the “hair straightener”….All of which are rarely used, and Hubby will complain are taking up space in the bathroom.”

Mummy Mayhem: Jodie

Accepts that “Some days, it just doesn’t go to plan.” So her blog is not all family happy stories. But “For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a mum” she declares.

“Since I’ve had my kids – I get it. There’s nothing more precious than a homemade card, drawing, letter – especially when it’s addressed to you with lots of hugs and kisses.”

And declares when she has a busy week “Tell me…is it age? Is it because I have too many balls in the air I’m trying to juggle? Whatever it is, it makes me feel like a right ditz at times!”

Jodie turned 40 last year and acknowledges the changes life brings. “But what has changed is me. I am far more confident than I was all those years ago. I care (much) less about what people think of me. I don’t hold grudges (what’s the point?) and I have strong, close friendships with a couple of girlfriends (who actually don’t know each other – so no chance of note passing)!”

“I’ve always been a daydreamer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming up scenarios in my mind to both amuse myself, and plan out what I’d like to happen.”

On the paid work front her first job was with a business magazine. “I took on advertising sales, and even though I was pretty good at it, I hated it…. I moved in to another role as the magazine’s Circulation Officer (promotion), then eventually their artwork coordinator, before moving in to a (far) less demanding role as a receptionist with a real estate office.”

She also has done some temp work before taking a PA role. After moving from Perth to Sydney with her husband, she worked with a large corporate bank before leaving to have their first son in 2002.

Jodie often writes about writing. “I remember the first time I became interested in writing. I was in primary school (8 years old), and my Aunty Maun brought me a pen back from Singapore. I loved it – it had a digital clock built in to it, and it inspired me to sit down and write a story called, Why Baby Boys Wear Blue.”

Her teacher at the time made a big deal about the story and gave it an award. “Miss Millar – you have no idea just how much your encouragement meant to me back then, and how much you inspired a love of writing in me. (And thanks, Aunty Maun for the cool pen. It’s probably your fault I spend so much on stationery these days. 😉 )”

At 14 Jodie was inspired by the TV Series Return to Eden and wrote Dance of Revenge.  Fourteen sections (so far) are available online on her blog. Enjoy!

She re-discovered her love of writing in 2009 when she helped write the school newsletter. It was where she delivered information for the parents mixed up with stories.  She received a great response, and encouraged by a friend launched Mummy Mayhem in October 2009.

On the topic of writing she writes “I’ll be honest. I don’t really consider myself a ‘writer’. I write, yes, but I think of myself more as a ‘blogger’.” And “But I’m not using my blog as a platform to kick-start a writing career.” And more “I’m doing this because I just like writing, and I like to entertain and get feedback (from you)! Occasionally, I like to vent (with a good rant), and I also think that some of what I write might actually help others, even in some small way. I guess this blogging thing is kind of like a hobby to me.”

About others blogging “If I can relate to that piece; if it moves me and makes me think, and it tells me a story then…what does it matter whether that person is considered a ‘writer’ or not? ”

Her blog is read by many. “If you had said to me, when I started this blogging caper last September, that within 6 months I’d be on the radio talking about it, I’d have laughed out loud!”

“And yet, the other day on Twitter, the lovely Carol Duncan of ABC Newcastle, tweeted me after reading my post on Taker Mums, and asked if I’d join her on her show the following day as her guest blogger. Wow – what an honour! I jumped at the opportunity. I just thought it would be a lot of fun, and a great experience.”

Listen to Jodie being interviewed by Carol Duncan of ABC Newcastle.

Blogging is not easy “I read a post recently that asked if a blogger needed to have thick skin in order to blog? I believe the answer is: yes, it most certainly helps. But even the most thick-skinned of people are not immune to nasty, spiteful and/or inappropriate comments.”

“For a writer/blogger, writing can be a healing experience when dealing with a difficult/traumatic situation. I know this for a fact.”

Jodie writes about other people she finds out about in other blogs or on Twitter. Sharing Layla and Angela’s stories with her own blog readers.

In a recent posting about Lori and her husband’s death Jodie writes “How can writing about depression be a bad thing? Why is there such a stigma attached to admitting a mental illness? If writers/bloggers didn’t write so openly about it, how would anyone know they’re not alone? How would anyone know that the feelings they are experiencing are not unlike what others are going through Right This Moment? How would people know it’s ok  – more than ok – to ask for help?”

“(Any blogger who tells you comments don’t matter to them is LYING! Bloggers love to know what you think and know that you’re reading.)”

Blogging comes with pressures, she write in Feb 2011 when she was “contemplating finishing up my blog”. But acknowledges “I thought back to the reason I first started blogging: to just write. And write, is what I’ll continue to do.”

Lots of give away products, product reviews and even book reviews. Time where does she find it? A list of her blogs is listed below. I am sure I have missed a few.

Jodie admits to loving lists, as well, so here are a few.

The 10 thing I just don’t have the guts to do….

  • Bungee jump
  • Skydive
  • Go on a really scary
  • Drive over 120kms per hour
  • Bake and decorate a cake for my sons’ birthday
  • Tell some people what I really think
  • Scuba Dive
  • Write completely openly – Some people have no problem detailing everything about themselves. Their strengths, weaknesses, their sex life… I mean, I read a lot of very, personal information in some of the biographies I read. But nup. Not me. I’m fairly open, but there are just some things I couldn’t write about. But I also think this is kind of ok. Only do what’s comfortable, I always say…
  • Cut my children’s hair
  • Pick up bugs

Seven food loves
Brie, chocolate mousse, eggs, chocolate cake, Milo, smoked salmon and bread.

Other Loves

  • I love family time: movie nights, holidays together, picnics in the park, a good game of Trivial Pursuit.
  • Dinner dates with Hubby. They’re rare – so we always have a good time and a nice, big old chat. We eat somewhere fancy schmancy, or somewhere we know serves good food.
  • I also love entertaining friends with Hubby (and family too – when they are here! They live interstate). Eating great cheese and drinking great wine is a favourite way to spend an afternoon or evening.
  • I love quiet time. It’s rare, so I cherish it.
  • I’m a sucker for chocolate cake, and if you invite me for a cuppa, I’ll probably outstay my welcome, because I love a good chat.
  • I love reading. Especially biographies. (Check out the home page for more info.)

Her blog has won awards and Jodie was the instigator of ‘Bloggers without makeup’ in May 2010. Why? “I just figured, why should we be afraid to show our true selves? ”

“I simply put out a little idea (and believe me, I thought it just a little one at the time) and it just went from there. So many of you were busy encouraging others to join in; were re-tweeting posts; tweeting me with encouraging words, and I thank every one of you who did so. You made BWN Day what it was. I can’t tell you how emotional it was for me at times, reading some of the blog posts. Women felt liberated by a simple act of posting their true self online – which was the point. That put a huge smile on my face.”

Body image is a consistent theme and Jodie was quite saddened about Heidi Montag and the surgery she did to her body. “It’s a mixture of sadness and frustration, actually. Here is a beautiful, young (23!), really gorgeous girl… What on earth makes someone do this to herself?”

Then overhearing a conversation with two woman in their 50s in a cafe about plastic surgery. “I felt annoyed. The second woman was basically telling her friend that she ‘needed’ the surgery (without using those exact words). ”

“I got up, paid my bill, and then handed my letter to the waitress. “When I leave, could you please give this letter to the woman sitting over there?” I pointed to the first woman.” ….”I will never know how everything turned out after that point.”…

But Jodie does have a sense of humour about body image and her columns like what is Hot or Not. “I have brazenly borrowed…OK – STOLEN… this idea from Insomniac Mummy”. Mark Wahlberg was 2010 Hottest of the Hot. So far in 2011 Hot or Not includes Simon Baker, Nicolas Cage,  Gerard Butler and Enrique Iglesias.

Jodie is modest about her use of technology but really has nothing to worry about. She started her normally monthly video blog vlog in September 2010.

At the end of 2010 Jodie reflects on the year that past “Gosh it’s been a great year. From publishing my very first post (with another 284 posted since!), to the surprise of discovering my first comment (thanks Nicole) to the joy of discovering my first official ‘follower’ (thanks Dramaqueen), to the fun that was writing my Looking for Love series, to the unbelievable surprise that was Bloggers Without Makeup Day, to being voted one of Kidspot’s Top 50 Bloggers for 2010, and to the dizzying heights of my Vogue cover shoot. ” (BTW it’s not a real Vogue cover, but it looks almost).

Jodie is a mummy blogger but mayhem, not always.

Of interest

Blog as at 9th March 2011

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