How was your journey to motherhood? Was it planned, a surprise, or was it a challenge?
From a young age I knew Iʼd like children. Iʼm from a big family and wanted to emulate that. Yet from my late teens I also struggled with my periods (or lack of). I was diagnosed with PCOS aged 23 and told to come back when I wanted to start a family. It was a constant stress in my life. It affected my mental health. My hormones and mood swings were horrendous. I started getting acupuncture as soon as it was financially viable aged 26/27 and it helped. When I was 28 I lost my brother. Shock and devastation enveloped me but exactly a year later I had an epiphany: I knew within a year Iʼd have a baby. I just knew.
I started doing yoga 3 or 4 times a week and loved it. I stopped smoking. 3 months later I was pregnant. I was 29. After Alma was born I started getting regular periods for the first time in my life! Herb came along just under 3 years after Alma was born. (We were v. lucky and conceived immediately) We donʼt plan on having any more kids. I thought I wanted a whole troupe but Iʼm not sure I have the emotional and mental capacity!
What has been the hardest period of motherhood so far and how do you deal with it?
So much of it is hard! Physically- the tiredness. Herb didnʼt sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time day or night for the first 2 years of his life. We got help from a sleep trainer in the end. It was life changing.
Mentally – when Alma was 18 months old I felt I was going mad. My anxiety was physically taking over. I confessed everything to my husband and went to the doctors. Iʼve been on citalopram ever since. Again, life changing!
Iʼve learnt asking for help isnʼt just good, itʼs essential. Swallow your pride. Tell someone youʼre struggling. Itʼs ok.
If you had to choose one parenting mantra for yourself, what would it be?
I’m always saying “itʼs a phase.” Take the rough with the smooth – theyʼre always changing. And forgive yourself, youʼre doing your best, love is all they really need. If you have a bad day, say sorry and put it behind you, donʼt dwell on it.
How do you tie your early mornings with TV in with your school run/ dealing with the work/career balance?
My husband and I share the childcare between us. Heʼs an audio visual tech at BFI – starting around midday, working long shifts and often at weekends so we have a joint calendar online which we are updating constantly and take it in turns to do school drop offs. Itʼs hectic but we both love our jobs and childcare is too expensive so we make it work. I love how equal it is.
Do you see or hear your mother in you when you parent?
Yes all the time! My mum sings constantly. Now I do too. And she is SILLY. I find myself doing a silly dancing or voice just to get a laugh. Thatʼs so my mum. I also lose my temper easily which is also like my mum and less fun..
What book would you recommend to our readers?
I read constantly! I loved Everything I know About Love by Dolly Alderton and Animal by Sara Pascoe.
What do your children think your job is?
My kids havenʼt a clue what I do! When Iʼve tried to explain they look bored and change the subject.