Big Family Organised Chaos is a parenting blog about the day to day life of a family with seven children aged 5 to 21. Life is never dull and boring and the fridge is never full, but Mandi and Asa wouldn’t have it any other way. As if seven children isn’t enough, they also have 18 chickens and a giant Newfoundland puppy called Bree. Follow along to get caught up in the chaos (completely organised of course!) Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and Pinterest.
What inspired you to start blogging?
In June 2011 my sixth child was born. So many people used to stop and ask how Asa and I managed to cope with six children aged 0 to 13; to me it was pretty easy and I adored it. But it made me start to think – maybe I was a little unusual (my friends always used to call me Mother Earth); actually, some of my hints and tips could be useful to other parents, even if they only had one or two children. So this little blog was born, although it was originally called Hex Mum meaning six, until two years later we had Viggo, so it became Big Family Organised Chaos. Tyrus got diagnosed with ASD in 2016 and yes it does affect some aspects of family life, but it’s not what defines us. There will be occasional autism posts but that is such a small part of such a large family. The first paediatrician we met said having so many siblings will help him enormously, so that is what we shall continue to do, just keep swimming!
What are your blogging plans for the next 12 months?
I have never really had a ‘blogging plan’. In the last 8 years we have grown our blogging platform to six blogs in different niches (this one will always be my first love) so I guess I’ll just keep working on all of those. Our online life has changed quite a lot since I first typed my blog … no more breastfeeding tales or toddler tantrums – with Viggo now in full time school, it’s much more about primary school, high school, college and university, and there’s still plenty to say on those topics!
Can you share the three most popular posts on your blog?
Can you share any tips for someone who would love to set up a parenting blog?
Go for it! Everyone’s parenting journey is unique, and you never know, in some little way you may help another parent-to-be or a new mum with something they are struggling with. If you are thinking of blogging to get rich, then don’t bother! I love writing and originally started this blog as a way to document the children’s lives as they grow up so fast, but gradually it has turned into my job … but I probably work 4 times as many hours than I used to in full time work for a quarter of the money! Nowadays blogging is so much more than just writing down your thoughts and feelings!
If you could go back in time to when you first set up your blog would you do anything differently?
I wish I had thought about my blog name in the beginning, and worked out who my ideal audience are, and also gone self hosted from the beginning.
Which blogs do you love to read for inspiration?
I love reading Mummy Matters – we have the same family values and her camping posts always inspire me, so much, we are going camping this summer, the whole family!
Mother Geek has me in tears both funny and sad, I love reading the funny stories about her dog’s antics. Her heartfelt posts about autism resonate with me so much; she is also fab at listening to my worries about the future for our children.