Mum to three boys – eight years old, six years old, and three years old. Raising our family in London. Finding our feet after an accidentally early start to family life in our mid-twenties.
Want to get in touch? Drop me an email: [email protected]
Read on to hear our full story:
I have always been a planner.
Once upon a time, the ‘life plan’ for my twenties was to live with friends, travel, take my time exploring careers, before moving in with my university boyfriend, settling down and getting married at the very reasonable age of 30ish.
Except my life had other plans for me.
Ever since I saw two lines on a pregnancy test, aged 24, I’ve been completely winging the life plan.
I’m now heading towards my mid 30s, and I got as far as ‘live with friends’.
When I got pregnant, Sam and I had to hastily scrabble together a new plan. By the time we moved in together, I was just three weeks away from giving birth. The past few years since I became a mum have seen me slowly process the fact that a lot changed VERY quickly in my life, and I never quite felt like I was in control of it all.
The adjustments we have faced through unplanned pregnancy, starting a family way before any of our friends, unaffordable childcare costs, high London living costs, and budgeting for a family on one ‘first jobber’ salary are topics that have had a huge impact on our lives over the last few years, and are often reflected upon in my blog posts.
I started blogging in 2011 when my first-born was a baby. Not knowing many young families or people with babies in real life, it was my way of connecting with other parents, whilst also being a catharsis that I felt comfortable with – I could write whatever I was feeling without worrying that I was burdening anyone with my unimportant troubles. Blogging not only gave me the connections I was seeking, but also found me other parents to talk to – people who had been through similar to me, people who ‘got it’.
Although things certainly felt scary at first, there was a lot of happiness too (which you will see, looking back over my blog).
When we first found out I was pregnant, I promised Sam that we would look back at that time and laugh about how devastatingly life-altering it had all seemed. Even though I wasn’t very convinced of this promise myself.
Life is so different now. We are a tight family unit of five, and I am finally happy with my sense of life and the motherhood balance. We are out the other side, with a renewed sense of life’s curveballs and a knowing sense that you always can’t plan everything down to the last detail.
One thing’s for sure, my promise to Sam turned out entirely right – whatever happens, there is always a lot of laughter.
What is Sorry About The Mess?
Sorry about the Mess is a UK family and parenting blog based in London, UK. Written by Chloe, the blog name generally refers to my state of mind and our cobbled together plans in the early years of unplanned parenthood. But given that we have three young children, it also refers to the state of our house at any given moment!
I am Chloe – writer of Sorry About The Mess and mother to three boys. Having grown up in London all my life, we have now settled into our own family life in a corner of South East London. For five years, we lived with two children in the tiniest two bed cottage – you could almost touch both sides in most of the rooms! We recently moved to our first proper family house and are enjoying renovating it from head to toe.
I love recording our memories through words, photos, and video – I am the documenter of the family. Having always worked in photography, my interest in my own photography really exploded when I had children. All images on this blog are taken by me (and occasionally Sam). People are my passion in photography – I am addicted to the feeling of nailing the right expression, and I love the fun unpredictability of photographing children.
Before I had babies, I was project manager for a leading retouching and creative production house. These days, alongside my photography work, I work from home as a photographer, video maker, writer, social media and blogger outreach consultant. My blog is my platform to earning a living, and I am often commissioned to make creative content through brand collaborations. I absolutely love being able to flex my creativity across a variety of different mediums.
I love going to see bands live (although I don’t get to do that as much since having kids!), I probably eat far too many avocados, and I have a penchant for books and films aimed at teenagers. Because I think I still am one.
Sam and I met at university. He lived in the flat upstairs, I lived in the flat downstairs. Our ‘similar interest level’ was through the roof, and we quickly become friends. After a year, we (not-so-quickly) realised we wanted to be more than just friends.
Despite not particularly having a strong desire to become a dad at twenty four, Sam fell in love with parenthood straight away. There are three small people who think that he is the best, most fun person EVER.
Without Sam, our house would be a sorry state. He does the cooking, the cleaning, and all the things I bypass entirely in day-to-day life in favour of my other full time job: moaning that it’s hard for a creatively-inclined person to find the time to be creative when you have children.
Sam likes to watch every single type of sport there is. I’m convinced he does this purely to annoy me.
He made a big entrance into our lives as soon as we saw those two lines on a pregnancy test, and he continues to surprise us. As our first child, our parenting “firsts” happen through Arlo, through which we continue to learn things about parenting, and things about ourselves.
Arlo is eight years old. When he likes something, he really delves into it. We’ve been through the train obsession, the dinosaur obsession, the space obsession, the death obsession, the wildlife obsession, the numbers obsession, the football obsession, and the architecture obsession (his favourite building is The Shard).
Arlo is very articulate about his way of seeing the world. He is fiercely pedantic. His observations and musings on life make me smile, and he can make me cry with laughter like no other. Take a look at the #StuffArloSays hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
As he gets older, Arlo has become more vocal about not always wanting to be in front of my camera. Any photos and videos you see of Arlo have been documented on his own terms. These days he’s far more interested in making videos of his toys over on his YouTube channel.
Our cheeky, smiley second born. Six year old Rory is our little ray of sunshine because he delights in everything he does. He is always ready for fun and dives into all the little things in life with great pleasure. Rory loves dancing and singing and has the most infectious grin.
Despite Arlo’s one-off conception, it took a little longer for me to successfully conceive baby number two, with several losses along the way.
Choosing to have a second child gave me an experience I felt I’d missed out on first time round – an experience of pregnancy where I wasn’t in a constant state of anxiety for the future, an experience of pregnancy where I wasn’t living with friends. Or with my mum.
Rory really looks up to his big brother (and his big brother adores Rory). One of my greatest pleasures in life is watching how much Arlo and Rory enjoy each other’s company. I smile when I imagine them being as close as this when they are all grown up.
Our newest member of the family is our third little boy, Otto. He hurtled into the world three weeks early and with a very quick labour, proving that just when you think you have this parenting thing down, something can still surprise you. Everyone in the family has fallen head over heels in love with little Otto, including his two big brothers who absolutely adore him – he doesn’t know it yet, but he is one very lucky guy.
If you are a first time visitor to Sorry About The Mess, my favourite posts page is a great way to learn more about us.
Or if you would like to work with us, take a look at our recent brand collaborations.
Want to get in touch? Drop me an email: [email protected]