TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
Hi my name is Therese Gilbert 🙂
WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?
I started blogging when my daughter was just over a year old, and had just moved to England while pregnant, from Norway. It was time to start looking for a new car seat for her. I then came across many issues because when I went into the high street shops that sold car seats. They were all forward facing, or had the same rear facing limit as the infant car seat. I found this really odd because I’m from Norway. In Norway the norm is to rear face to at least 4 years old. Not knowing as much then about car seats and rear facing as I do today – but I did know that I wanted an extended rear facing car seat. So that’s really where it all started.
I wanted to learn more about car seats and very soon my passion took me on a journey. So I started the blog to help educate other parents and people about the importance of extended rear facing car seats – and why buying a forward facing car seat after the infant seat wasn’t the safest choice to make for your child/baby. I also wanted to educate people about the dos and don’ts, how to correctly put the children in their car seats, why certain things are very dangerous and so forth.
HAS YOUR BLOG CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
Yes it really has! 🙂 For the better I think. I have learned so much through the years, and participated in so much. I’ve been able to travel and take part in crash testing, meeting with top experts in the industry, I’ve made so many good friends in the industry, some I “work with” on a daily basis online and on Facebook… it’s just been such a blessing really, and it’s gone far further than I ever imagined. I absolutely love my job and my blog.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FUNNIEST MOMENT SINCE STARTING YOUR BLOG?
It’s impossible to say really, I’m afraid that my blog niche deals with more horrors than it deals with funnies hehe. In-car safety will have that effect on you. I’ve had some good experiences though and some of them are meeting up with the other men and women whom I have gotten to know through the passion that we all share. And that is amazing.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORST MOMENT SINCE STARTING YOUR BLOG?
Worst moment… I don’t know if there is any single one I can really think of. But I have had some bad experiences. I mean I work in the car seat industry as a freelancer, I check car seats, I help people online and so forth. I do come across quite a lot of negativity at times from individuals. And that is not just online.
If I were to think about one particular event, it would be a couple of years ago. It was summer, so quite warm and across from where we lived there was a pub. Now I was on my way home so cut through the parking lot, with my kids, and this car pulls up and parks just by us. Out comes the dad and he shuts the doors and is about to walk away. Now it was about 25 degrees outside and it was about 6pm, so quite hot considering. Sun was still shining.
He had 4 kids
In the car – he had 3 children who were all sleeping. He had a baby that was about 1,5 years old in a forward facing car seat that was installed incorrectly – but the baby also didn’t have her harness on properly, it was very slack and sort of just hung around her. Then next to the baby were two other little girls, maybe about 3 years old and 4-5 years old if that. None of them were in a car seat of any kind. And they were both sleeping, slumped over – picture kids sleeping in the back seat all bent over as if in a bed. The youngest one had her seat belt under her arm and the oldest one had it behind her back, so she was only wearing her lap belt.
Now, this parent had just driven into the parking lot, so he had driven with the kids in the car like this, it didn’t just suddenly happen whilst in the parking lot – on top of that he was going to leave them in the car, either to go into the shop or into the pub, I didn’t ask him.
So..I stopped him, and I said, you know, you can’t leave the kids in the car, it’s far too hot and it’s dangerous. (Not to mention it’s also against the law, but I didn’t mention that.) I then saw the state of the kids in the back seat and I tried to explain to him in a gentle way – you know, how unsafe this was and why. (Also his two children without a car seat should by legal standards also be in one.)
My kids were with me
Now, I had my two youngest children with me, but he still got right up into my face, and started yelling abuse at me. How this was none of my fucking business (his words), they were his kids, he knew best – I should mind my own and stop pestering strangers etc etc. You get the picture. 🙂
Through all this, the doors were closed, no window was up – and he went at it for a good 5-10 minutes with me trying make him see sense. Obviously I should probably have just left it right? But no, you see I can’t just leave it. Because as a passer by I have a responsibility to take action. What he was doing was dangerous, potentially life threatening – leaving the kids in the car first and foremost. But also not securing them in the car properly at all would have had dire consequences for the children, should he be involved in an accident.
So that would have to be my choice of “worst moments”. It doesn’t happen very often though and even if it did it wouldn’t make me change taking action.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BLOGGER STARTING OUT?
It’s your blog. You can put what you want there. Choose a niche, you can even have more than one on the same blog, and just go with it. Don’t let anybody really tell you that “this is the right way to blog” because there isn’t a right and a wrong way in my opinion.
The only thing I will say is that grammar is important. So I would make sure to check for spellings. I use Grammarly, it’s free and it seriously helps a lot. 🙂
WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT BLOGGING THAT YOU DID NOT REALISE BEFORE YOU STARTED?
Spam emails. haha. I get quite a lot of them, which I find a little odd because my niche isn’t that common you know? But no, I think the reach I could get. The lives I have touched, people I have been able to help. It’s quite humbling at times, some of the thank you emails or messages I get on my Facebook page. It’s very rewarding. Because there are days where you just feel so burnt out and you wonder, should I be doing this? And then…up pops one of those messages and you just…you can feel the energy coming back really. 🙂 For every negative, there is always something positive.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I do most things on the PC actually, I play online MMORPGS. But I also have a dog, and a family – so family life things and outings really. 🙂
IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
I would buy a croft or similar in the village we live in with and build (if it wasn’t already there) an overhang + convert a barn to my office/showroom. 🙂
WHO IS YOUR BLOGGING HERO AND WHY?
I’m afraid I do not have one at this point. 🙂 I must admit I don’t read a lot of blogs, I read books. haha
But that’s one of the great things with opportunities such as these. I hopefully get to “meet” other bloggers, so who knows, I might find a favourite. 😀
You can follow Therese at
Blog – erfmission.com
Facebook – @EfrMission
Twitter – @ERFmama
Instagram – @inniebin
Pinterest – @arearfacingfamily
Thank you Therese for introducing yourself and telling my readers all about your Blog and yourself.
If you missed last weeks post, or any of the other posts in the series, you can find that in my Meet The Blogger Section