Today on the blog we interviewed one of our favorite Instagram moms, Dominique Davis, but you probably know her as allthatisshe. As an instagram influencer and growth mentor, Dominique is changing the way she uses social media. Every post is full of creativity, honesty, and a beautiful look into “all that is she”.
1 – As a working mom, how do you find a balance between your career and your life as a mom?
If I’m completely honest, I don’t. If I’m on top of my work, then I feel like I haven’t spent enough time with the kids. If I’ve had a day out with them, then my work is falling behind – it’s a balancing act that I’m still yet to master. I just have to make sure that when I am spending time with the family, I’m 100% involved, phones away, computer off, and just be with the girls.
2 – With the saturation of so many mommy influencers why do you think your account speaks to so many people?
I don’t see myself as a mommy influencer, more just an influencer who also happens to be a mother. I try not to focus too heavily on the kids, of course, they’re part of my blog as they’re part of my life, but I feel like my feed is a space in the world where I get to be creative, I get to meet other like-minded people, and I get to be me.
However, I would say to any mommy influencer who has started a blog or who would like to, don’t let the number of other accounts deter you. There are 500 million active users on Instagram, so there’s someone for everyone.
3 – What was the genesis of starting your instagram and blog? Did you feel there was a need to be different?
My blog began because I was miserable at my old job. I needed a way out, or at least, something that I could believe would eventually give me a way out. When I first started, and like most new-users, I would scope out and often imitate what the bigger, more established accounts were sharing. As my account grew, I started to understand what I enjoyed taking photos of, what worked, what didn’t, and I once I stopped trying to imitate others my own style finally clicked into place. I wouldn’t say I ‘needed’ to be different, I just realised that you’re not going to get far by following the trends that are already out there – people have seen it all before. Be yourself; find *your* thing, and that will result in an account that’s different to the rest.
4 – How long does an image take you. Is it much more time consuming then people think?
The entire process can take as little as five minutes or as long as a full day – it varies massively. The entire process would include thinking of the idea, setting it up, shooting it, and then editing it. In my experience, it’s not the taking of the image that’s time-consuming, but trying to figure out the idea. For us, taking the image has to be quick otherwise the kids, the rabbits, even myself will lose interest.
5 – Your images are incredibly artistic. Have you always been an artist growing up?
I was never seen as being artistic at school because I couldn’t draw, and still can’t. That was 15 years ago when photography wasn’t a subject you could take at school, so the only way you could be seen as being an artistic person would be if you could paint or draw. I’m sure things have progressed since then; however, I do feel like we need to realise that art and creativity can come in many forms, it’s not as simple as just putting pen to paper.
6 – Where do you draw your inspiration from for your work?
For me, inspiration can come from anywhere. If you’re a creative then you’re consuming inspiration without even knowing it. Whether you’re scrolling on Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, watching movies, traveling, or just living your everyday life, inspiration can come from every angle. For me, personally, I find my greatest source of inspiration comes from Instagram and Pinterest, but also my own account. I often look back at my own images and try to recreate them, but making them better.
7 – Do you ever deal with guilt while at work? If so, how do you move past that?
Of course, don’t we all. It’s trickier when your office is based in your house. You almost believe that the kids don’t need to go to after school clubs, they don’t need to watch more TV than you would like just so that you can hit a deadline, but in actual fact, they do. We try to follow a typical working day as much as possible (my partner is also self-employed), so we’ll head straight to the office once the kids are at school, and will push ourselves to work non-stop before the kids get back. Once they’re both home – usually bringing a hurricane of chaos with them – we do homework, make tea, bedtimes routines, etc. and then it’s time for us to pick work back up again.
I often feel like I’m not spending enough time with them, that I’m always working, but when I compare my days to when I worked in an office, I see them a lot more. I’m lucky enough to be able to take them to school, pick them up, eat breakfast and tea with them every day, do their homework with them, and to be around for every school event or occassion. It’s something I’ve never been able to do in the past, so I never take it for granted.
8 – How has becoming a mom changed you?
I became a mother at nineteen, so it changed me and my life a lot – it had to. I believe being a mother helps me to be less selfish (sometimes I have to give up the last of the croissants and give it to Penny ?), and not to stress the little things.
9 – What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received?
When it comes to kids, nothing is ever permanent. If your baby is going through a bad sleeping stage and you feel like a zombie, just remember, it doesn’t last forever. Unfortunately, it can work the other way too, and if your beautiful baby is an angel one week it doesn’t necessarily mean that’ll be the case the next. Like I say, no matter what is going on, when it comes to kids it doesn’t last forever.
10 – You wrote an article about parenting fails. Has there ever been one parent fail in particular that still haunts you?
Probably too many to mention. I’m such a disorganised person, and incredibly forgetful, so dates just never seem to stick which often causes a lot of embarrassment. Being a parent is a tough job, and we set ourselves excruciatingly high standards, so it’s only natural that we have parenting fails now and again. We’re only human after all. And even if we do fail at something, at least we’re giving our kids something to talk (and most likely laugh) about in the future.
11 – If you were given a weekend away, free of kids and all other responsibilities, how would you spend it?
In a remote cabin, on a mountain, in Norway. I’d sit in front of a log cabin, cup of tea in hand, and read all weekend. Until you have kids, you never fully understand how precious time to read really is.
12 – How do you and your husband keep the flame between the two of you now that kids are involved?
I think when you have kids it’s the little things that you do for each other that matter the most. So, for instance, Dominic makes me a cup of tea, religiously, every night, and I repay the favour by making sure his dark chocolate stash is always well-stocked. At this stage, it’s not about the big things, it’s about all the thoughtful, little things.
13 – What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids?
We’re quite an outdoorsy family, so it’s great to throw on coats and head out to the forest (especially when there’s a roast dinner waiting at the end of it).
14 – What’s your greatest regret?
I try not to have regrets, they’re more mistakes that I try and learn from. However, I do hate confrontation, and if I find myself in that kind of situation I often freeze and stumble on my words, so I guess, my biggest regret is often not saying how I feel.
15 – What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
Penny. And not in the lovey-dovey way you might think, just that she comes in every morning and pulls me out of bed.