Women and work: Anissa Ljanta

In the Women and Work series women discuss how work fits into their lives. Whether it’s paid work, voluntary or domestic, the shape of it and affect on their lives will be explored. Each woman will answer the same ten questions about their relationship with work.

In this interview, the lovely Anissa Ljanta talks about blogging, social media and being mindful of what’s important.

WAW Anissa Ljanta

Anissa Ljanta

Anissa is a mama, writer, blogger, activist, craftswoman, dynamic workshop facilitator, an op-shopping queen and traditional herbalist.

She has lived in over twenty countries in everything from a tipi to a high-rise and is passionate about connected parenting, her writing, natural foods, living with integrity and finding magic in the mundane.

Anissa makes, bakes and blogs over at GrowMama.blogspot.com.

How would you describe your current work status and what is it you do?

I am a freelance writer , blogger and Social Media Manager. I work based from home, while homeschooling, and love it.

What led you to it?

I have always been a writer and am a born networker, so despite loving books and all things vintage, it was actually a natural step for me to embrace Social media. My work draws on all my strengths so it’s been a natural progression to where I am today.

If a friend wanted to do what advice would you give her?

It is always great to talk to someone in the industry you are thinking about entering before you leap in. I would advise to get a few people to give honest feedback about her plans. No point in investing a lot of time and money into a business and there not be a niche, or for you not actually to be good at it.

Developing a company’s voice and representing their brand in an appropriate and consistent way is a lot harder than people think!

Some of the skills involved are inherent and can’t be learned easily. With social media you have to not let negative feedback and comments get to you, and be available multiple times a day to monitor, that puts a few people off.

What purpose does work serve in your life?

I only work for companies and projects I feel ethically aligned with. This means that I LOVE the work I do take on and it fits nicely with the rest of my life. It is more than just money. Otherwise I would work in the corporate big money arena more!

Has choosing that work meant that there are other areas of your life you don’t dedicate as much time to as you’d like?

Definitely. I want to put more time into my personal blog, GrowMama.blogspot.com and my own writing. I have been writing the GrowMama blog for five years now and it has a growing readership.

I struggle with feeling a bit envious of other homeschooling mamas who don’t have to rush off to meetings or shelve projects because of paid work. And juggling any kind of work with children can present some interesting dilemmas.

Sometimes I just want to throw it all in and hang with my boy! Luckily my main paid Social Media job is part time and I can fit in a bit of everything around it.

How do you reconcile that imbalance (in reality or philosophically)?

Ha! I take a deep breath and remind myself of what a high class problem that is! I am so blessed to have work I love. I get to work with and interview some very cool people.

In your working life what are the three most powerful skills you possess?

  • Commitment. Once I say yes, I am 100% committed to a job or article.
  • The combination of writing and photography skills – means big savings for those I work with, usually those are two different roles.
  • Top notch communication skills (come in handy replying to negative comments on facebook!) from years of facilitation and conflict-resolution work.

If you could invite three amazing women to dinner at your place who would they be? (they could be from anywhere or anytime)

I’d invite Jeanne d’Arc, Emma Goldman, Brene Brown and Vandana Shiva. There is always one that can’t make it, right?!

How do you relax?

Darn good question. I often work at night to get things done or meet a deadline. I take a long bath, love to go for walks on the beach, read voraciously, make a juice, cook up a storm and play with my son, who is really good at reminding me what the important things are in life.


Hey guys it’s Lisa here – be sure to keep an eye on the NZ Herald’s Element Magazine towards the end of June, so you can catch Anissa’s next article about Gardening with Kids.


  1. says

    “What purpose does work serve in your life?” Great question and I love Anissa’s answer. It’s great to hear that she has the choice and chooses to work with companies she feels aligned with. Thanks for sharing her story with us, gonna head over to her site and check it out.

    • says

      Hi Celeste, Thanks for your words. The choice can get tricky when there is alot of money involved, but i really need to sleep at night and that makes it an easy choice. I find that it all works out beautifully in the end…I might be feeling a bit sad about saying no to a corporate sponsor or work, then the phone will ring with an amazing opportunity totally in alignment with my ethics. Tada! xx

    • says

      Hi Celeste, I think that is part of my secret of how content I have been to slow down with motherhood…mine was a very full life for awhile there. I copied that line from a biography from a conference, I just did the math, and counted 16 countries I have lived in, so they may have exaggerated somewhat, but then my coffee hasn’t hit my bloodstream yet! One day I will write that book. xx Off to look at your blog. x

  2. says

    Oh, I love this series! I also work from home as a social media manager so I understand how round-the-clock this kind of work can be (and certainly NOT intended for everyone). I don’t have a child like Anissa, but I imagine that must be very difficult to juggle it all. What a great series this is and I’m so glad I stopped in from SITS Saturday Sharefest so I could read :) Have a great weekend, all!

    • Lisa says

      Hi Charlotte – great to meet you (your blog’s lovely btw)! I’m so glad you found something to connect with here – classic that you’re a social media manager too! I’ll have to visit your blog regularly to check out what social media tips you might have.

  3. says

    Great interview! I’m jumping in without doing any research, but, like you, I’m very fortunate: my husband earns enough so I can take a sabbatical to try it all out for a year, and I can go back to my part-time job after that if I want. As for your choices, I can certainly assure you that as the kids get older you get fewer of those dilemmas you mention because the kids become more independent. You don’t have to be with them all the time, and they can start doing things themselves, like making their own breakfasts and so on. You end up with considerably more time by the time they’re teenagers.

    • Lisa says

      Thanks Rachel! Yes you’re right, the constant monitoring will lessen which must be an exciting time in terms of one’s own development. Mama time will come! I like what you’re doing on your blog – I’ll be following along to see what you develop on your sabbatical.

  4. says

    Thanks so much for sharing! I love the concept of interviewing other “women and work” . . . I learn so much from so many different view points! Bravo!

    • Lisa says

      Thanks Lisa!

      I was just browsing through the time-management stuff on your blog – I definitely need some today. I’m putting off writing a post. Sigh. Is it lunchtime yet? Haha – I’ll put some of your tips into action…

    • Lisa says

      Go the vintage lovers! I love that navy outfit over at yours btw. Definitely feeling the envy over that!

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