GEMMA Walsh Woodcock was a few weeks into maternity leave with her second child when the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Being stuck at home with a five-week-old baby was no picnic, she admits, but she was used to juggling work, family and home life.
With work suddenly out of the equation, wider family life suspended, and none of the usual ‘new mother’ activities available, she found herself craving some sort of outlet for her creative energy.
The 37-year-old, from Northwich, eventually settled on the idea of a food blog, with easy-to-follow instructional videos, about recipes she was in the process of developing for herself and her family.
The dishes are simple, nutritious, interesting family recipes – things like sweet potato, rosemary and chilli soup, lemongrass salmon curry and zesty quinoa, and Instant Pot ribs with garlic, ginger and soy glaze, and she would look forward to seeing the results of her efforts when she shared them with her audience every Friday.
“I saw it as an opportunity to develop a space to create,” said Gemma.
“As food has always been a big theme in my life, I decided I’d find a find a way of sharing simple, homemade recipes with parents who may struggle with that question, as we all do sometimes, of ‘what’s for dinner?’
“Family Feed has been on a bit of a journey since then. It has has evolved into a platform exploring wider family lifestyle through a lense of food, work and wellbeing.
“That still including plenty of recipes, of course, but also work and wellbeing, and how managing all of that can be more enjoyable, if you let it.”
With the focus still on issues concerning working parents, Family Feed’s content is now quite diverse, and often build on topics Gemma encounters in her work coaching people to be more effective in their working and personal lives.
Gemma regularly publishes articles about parents’ need to examine and give space to their own needs, covering topics like parent burnout, owning your own inner dialogue, and choosing how, where and when you work.
“If parents were to talk about their own needs, people would probably say they were selfish.
“It doesn’t have to be like that. I believe that family and work life can be easier, more enjoyable, and more rewarding.
“A lot of the time, we’re working from a broken blueprint.
“We’re not encouraged to look after our own needs as parents because we’re busy trying to juggle all kinds of commitments – work, career, family, chores – all those responsibilities.
“We have to create a new blueprint for working parents, so they can thrive in their personal and professional lives.
”That’s my goal and my work, and I love it.”
Family Feed launched a new newsletter in March. If you would like to sign up, or check out Gemma’s content, visit www.familyfeed.co.uk