Interview With A Mummy Blogger: Clumsy Chic

Monday, 31 October 2016

Ever since I arrived in Qatar, there's been one blogger that I have secretly creeped on admired from afar. Karen's blog, Clumsy Chic embodies everything I believe in in life: displaying creativity, celebrating passions and embracing effortless living. It was a happy coincidence when Karen fell pregnant and gave birth to the cutie, Naomi Moon just two weeks after Sophia was born. Soon our babies were attending the same nursery and became best buddies, and not long after that Karen and I became firm friends too.

Many of my readers will know of Clumsy Chic already, but for those of you that haven't stumbled across Karen's blog, allow me to introduce you to the lady behind the brand. Fashionista, entrepreneurial blogger and super mom (as well as someone I can lean on after I've had a rough night and I'm feeling like a 'Mombie' - her word!), she is a woman that we can all look up to.
What have you enjoyed most about being a new mum?

I honestly enjoy spending time with Naomi. She’s a happy baby! I love waking up in the morning to her voice and her smiles. She’s now 7 months and has really started to show her personality and it’s fun watching her grow to this little human now. I love seeing her discover the world around her; the curiosity in her eyes gave me a fresh perspective on life. I see things from her point of view and it made me appreciate the little moments and things in life.

What's been the most difficult thing about being a new mum and what advice would you give to other mums experiencing the same thing?

Motherhood is the hardest job in the world and we all have different struggles. I had difficulty bonding with Naomi in the beginning and it took me a while to open up about it here. There were times where it made me wonder if I was fit to be a mom or if this bond would ever happen. The best I’ve done was to recognize that something was off and asked for help from my family and close mommy friends. My advice is to talk about how you feel and don’t ever let society define what motherhood is supposed to be like for you. It’s a personalized journey and there is no right or wrong.

How has life as an expat defined your experience as a new mum?

Having a support system is so important as a new mom and I’m very fortunate that my husband and I both have our families here. We make it a priority for Naomi to spend time with them and of course, their help is invaluable.

But I know the majority of expat moms in Doha don’t have their families out here and I find that there is a very supportive community of moms that can become your support system. Other moms instinctively embraced me as soon as I gave birth and they’ve become part of my mommy tribe. 

What are your top three things to do with Naomi in Qatar?

Naomi loves being outside and we go for strolls in her Bugaboo around The Pearl’s esplanade every morning. Now that the weather is getting better, we go for a swim or head to the beach on the weekends. She loves the water and she looks darn cute in her swimsuit. I also try to get her involved in a number of social activities like her nursery and going on play dates. Hands down, her favorite play date is Sophia.

You are one of the most stylish women I know! Does your individual style extend to Naomi's wardrobe too?

Oh thank you! When I found out I was having a girl, one of the first things that popped into my mind was all the clothes I will get to shop for her. My style has definitely influenced her wardrobe, which is more on the neutral color tones and lots of stripes. She’s adopted my flare for French fashion for sure.

I’m trying to get her to wear more pinks and girly colors, as there have been several occasions where people have mistaken her for a boy because she’s in jeans and blue striped t-shirt most of the time. I also recently bought headbands for that same reason.

What are your top 3 baby clothing stores?

I shop at H&M kids for every day clothes like leggings, onesies, and t-shirts. I particularly love their H&M conscious range. 

Monoprix has a baby range called Bout’Chou and it’s probably my favorite place to shop for baby clothes. They have beautiful prints and fabrics and their selections are pretty fashionable and modern, it’s definitely right up my style alley.

For special occasions, I splurge on Jacadi. She has worn a few pieces when she goes to fashion events with me. She has a better wardrobe than me now.

I enjoy shopping for her more than for myself now. It’s so fun dressing girls.

If you had to make three wishes for Naomi's future, what would they be?

This is a good question!

My number one wish for Naomi is for her to grow up loving and accepting herself. Much of our lives right now revolve around social media and seeking validations of our worth by the number of likes and followers we get. I want her to grow up embracing her strengths and accepting her weaknesses and most importantly, being kind to herself and to others.

My second wish is for her to explore her curiosity and have a sense of adventure to travel and explore different cultures. Traveling is the best form of life lesson. I want her to get to know different people from all sorts of background, and get to know herself better. 

Lastly and most importantly, I want her to grow up to be a strong independent woman. I was brought up with the belief that I can do anything as long as I set my mind into it and this made me fearless and determined to go after my dreams. I want to instill the same confidence to her and support the idea that anything she wants to do, she can.

Which mother(s) have inspired you / do you look up to and why?

My mom! Ever since becoming a mom, it was like I’ve stepped in her shoes and understood what she’s been through raising three children by herself in the beginning. I want to hug and tell her I love her any chance I get. She’s the strongest and most loving woman I know and I wish to be that kind of mom one day.

How has your relationship with Mr. Clumsy Chic changed since becoming a mother?

My relationship with Anthony has gotten stronger now that we are a family.
I saw a different side of him now that he is a dad and it made me love and admire him even more. He’s very hands-on and a supportive husband.
Nothing brings me more joy than watching Anthony and Naomi together. They adore each other to pieces.

I also feel that we are stronger as a team now. You go through so much during the first couple of months that you have to stick and support each other every step of the way. Good communication, empathy and love are key to us.

Up until now, your blog has mainly been about fashion - will this change now that you're a mother?

Clumsy Chic is a lifestyle blog that revolves around the idea of effortlessly infusing beauty into everyday life through fashion, beauty, travel and home décor. The blog is an extension of how I live my life and I’ve recently started taking my readers through my journey of being a mom. I am in no way an expert, but the blog will see my stumbling through motherhood!

You can read more about Karen's life and loves at:
Photo credits: Sofia Graniello Méndez (Instagram: @sofiagraniello)