Meet the Sorry About The Mess family…
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). I run my own photography business, and 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 nine 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 considered and precise. His observations and musings on life make me smile, and he can also make me cry with laughter like no other. Take a look at the #StuffArloSays hashtag on Twitter .
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. Rory also has a sensitive and affectionate side – he’s the one I go to for a guaranteed cuddle.
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.
There are two and a half years between Arlo and Rory. 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. They are fierce friends, and I smile when I imagine them being as close as this when they are all grown up.
Our youngest member of the family is our third little boy, Otto, who is three years old. 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.
When I first found out that our third baby was going to be a boy, I began the long process of saying goodbye to the idea of having a daughter. I write candidly about the experience of being an all-boy mum, the comments and assumptions that other people make about all boy or all girl families, and my honest account of gender disappointment are some of my most engaged-with content.
If I could go back in time to that 16 week gender scan, I would tell myself that three boys is awesome! I had my most enjoyable experience of the newborn and baby days with Otto (there’s a lot to say about the confidence of a third-time mum!), and every stage beyond that has been an absolute joy.
Otto is confident, unphased, loves a lie in, and is just generally the epitome of easy going. Everything he does is adorable, and I appreciate it with the wizened knowledge that it goes so fast.
The newest member of the family is our dog. We got him as a puppy in 2019. Ambrose is a Stabyhoun, which is a dutch breed that no one ever seems to have heard of in the UK – we seriously underestimated how many times we’d get asked about his breed when out and about with him!
We adopted our cat, Bear, after his first family made a big move to Australia, leading Otto to spend the first years of his life thinking that cats were called bears. Bear is often my favourite person in this family ; )
Never miss a post
You can keep up with the latest posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Bloglovin’. Follow my travels and musings on Instagram and check out what I’m currently reading on Goodreads. I also use Pinterest regularly, pinning the places I want to go, the indispensable parenting advice I should have followed, and the interiors I wish I had the time to create in my own home.
Where to next?
Check out my blog sections on travel, my musings on life and motherhood / parenting. Or click here to watch our latest videos.
To read more about my unexpected start to parenting and where it has lead us to now, read Our Story.
Or if you would like to work with us, check out my media kit and take a look at our recent brand collaborations.
Want to get in touch? Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org