Abby Gilmore graces our social media pages with gorgeous photos of her two girls, sharing her daily life and more recently a personal glimpse into her struggles with mental health, being a single mum and her separation from Western Bulldog’s player Jake Stringer. Her blog ‘According To Abby’ is refreshingly honest and has helped countless women, and men, in similar situations.
I sat down with Abby to find out what makes her tick.
Hey Abby! Thanks for taking the time to chat. You are now a public figure with a huge following. Did you ever expect that your blog would take off in this way?
I guess I am, yes! I didn’t really have much of a vision for my blog to be completely honest as it was made to benefit myself more than anything. Writing is my way of dealing and coping with everything so I tried to just be as honest as I could so that people could relate, but to also help me de clutter everything from my brain.
So, what motivated you to start blogging?
I wanted to start writing because I was in a position where I had already built my following up quite high with just my everyday antics that people where asking me to take it further. I wasn’t really keen on the idea as there are already quite a lot of mum bloggers out there, so when my separation happened I felt like I hadn’t really seen anyone discuss the journey of single parenthood and the constant every day struggles you face in finding your feet again so I wanted to make these women, and surprisingly I connect with some men too, feel a little less alone and help them relate to someone.
You once had your website crash after releasing a post. Is this large response what you were aiming for when you started blogging?
When I first started my aim was just to help a small handful of people. Never did I think I could connect with such a diverse range of women and men. My target audience is not only single mums. But young girls, older women with kids and without. Married, divorced, widowed. You name it, I some how relate to them in some way or another, it’s unbelievable and I’m talking hundreds! I’m absolutely blown way I really am.
How has your life changed since your blog/ social media presence has taken off?
My life I suppose has changed in the sense that I may be walking down the street or in a shop and someone might come up and tell me how they love following my journey and how I’ve helped them in some way or another. My life has changed immensely since my separation, but I’ve changed so many people’s lives just by sharing it. Life took a turn for the worst but I made it better by not letting it keep me down. I suppose I used it to my advantage and chose to make a difference with the knowledge it taught me.
What is the most difficult part about being in the spotlight?
The most difficult part would probably be the questions. People think that because I share some of my life I must share all of my life. At the end of the day I don’t have to share anything! What I share is my choice and the rest will be known in good time if that’s where it takes me. Hate and negativity is just a given when you do something like this so I don’t really read into that stuff.
And the best?
The best? The messages I receive daily saying I made someone re consider their life. Nothing will beat that. Helping people became addictive to me, sharing my story and being vulnerable will forever be worth it if it means saving or helping a life.
Without media attention and a platform to build a huge following, where did you see yourself headed?
Without media attention and a platform, I was on a path to just being the best mum I could possibly be. I don’t know where life was taking me outside of motherhood, but it was definitely in the field of helping people somehow. I never longed to be anything more desperately than a mum so I really believe I was put on this earth to be a mum, which if you ask me is the most underpaid job in the world!
You’ve been a part of recent cyber bullying campaigns. How do you handle public scrutiny and yucky comments on social media?
I honestly don’t go out searching for it so, unless it’s written on my page or someone has brought it to my attention, it doesn’t fuss me. No one likes to read anything negative about them and at the end of the day I’m only human so when I do see things I don’t like it. It hurts my feelings but I don’t let it get me down. Like I say to myself, the impact on peoples lives I’m having makes any kind of comment I receive from a person sitting behind their keyboard with their small mind totally worth it.
To see some of Abby’s raw, hilarious and relatable posts check out her blog here!