Welcome to my #WonderMamaTribe interview series aimed to celebrate motherhood and all the WONDERful and inspiring Mums out there, working so hard to make sure their little ones are well, loved and appreciated, and to bring them up to be the best human beings they can be. That is no mean feat so we Mums really must support each other! Which is why every week, I’m bringing you one amazing Mum, her life story and her experiences of being a Mum.
We also have an Instagram community, using the hashtag #WonderMamaTribe, so that we can inspire each other and celebrate all the daily achievements we have. Feel free to spread the news and tag your friends, wives, partners, daughters, sisters, Mums and Nans in your Instagram photos with a hashtag #WonderMamaTribe. Each week, I’ll be selecting one special Mama to be featured on my blog as an inspiration to all of us.
This week, I’m talking to the gorgeous Alex from the Better Together Home blog. What I loved the most from learning more about Alex is how common having the ‘Mum guilt’ is and how debilitating that can be when we’re already so overstretched working hard and trying to make a living. Even though we bend over backwards for our kids, we still think we don’t do enough – why do we do that to ourselves? I hope this interview inspires us to feel more positive about our achievements but also to support our Mum friends because at the end of the day, we’re all going through the same things and fighting the same battles.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your children/ family.
Hiya! My name is Alex and I am a blogger at Better Together Home – a lifestyle blog with honest motherhood, interiors, travel and lots of other things! I am a mummy to my seven year old daughter Lily-Rose. We live in a teeny tiny flat in central London with my husband and two fish whose names are constantly changing! We love to travel, have family movie nights, go on adventures and spend time down our allotment. I dream of travelling the world and settling in Scotland, and hopefully one day that will come true!
2. What female role models did you have as a young girl and woman?
I had different female role models at various times of my life but my first were my Great-Nanny Rose and my nanny Margaret. I’ve had a turbulent relationship with my own mum (we no longer talk) and they were always there for me. Rose was one of those ‘typical movie nans’ – she loved to feed us up, was always baking and seemed to always have handmade sausage rolls baking in the oven. Margaret couldn’t have been more different but she was equally as loving – she has always had the most incredible stories and advice to share. As a woman, I’ve been lucky to have some incredible friends – I’m proud to know so many wonderful and inspiring women of all ages, from all walks of life and all over the world. I doubt many people are as lucky as myself to have truly found ‘their tribe’ in life.
3. What females do you currently look up to, inspire you and seek advice from?
Quite a few of the women I know now I met randomly through instagram. One of those is Mel (@melanie.1811) – she’s an incredible woman, raised two children as a single mother and has now established the life that she wants for herself; I find her to be strong and inspiring. I know so many incredible women – women who are brave, open, honest, kind, politically active, and creative, passionate, loving, fun and caring. The internet has opened up methods of communicating world wide and it’s something I think is so important and beneficial to us all. I look up to any other woman who is supportive of other women – there is way too much judgement out there, particularly amongst mums, and I find that so frustrating!
4. How would you describe yourself as a Mum? What sort of a parent are you?
I worry a lot that i’m not a ‘good mum’ and I have a lot of that dreaded ‘mum guilt’ that stems from working full time and trying to juggle everything. I can be quite strict but it’s because I want to ensure that Lily is raised properly, with good manners and respect for the world and everyone in it. I’m very creative and love to spend time with her drawing, painting and crafting but I find homework draining!
5. What and who has influenced the kind of a Mum that you are now?
I think I’ve been influenced in some way by most of the people I know – the people who raised me, but also the people I choose to surround myself with. I’m trying my best to become more positive, more generous and thoughtful and so I prefer to be around people who influence that. My dad is a big influence on the kind of parent I am – he’s hardworking but is always there for me – he’s a very good man, a real people-person and loyal and I would like to think that I am similar to him.
6. What’s your favourite part of being a Mum?
Lily is such an amazing kid – I always say she gets it from her dad and not from me but we do have a lot of similarities! I love seeing how kind and compassionate she is – seeing her grow is a real blessing.
7. And what is the hardest part?
For me the hardest part is knowing that I can’t give her a sibling – that my secondary infertility means that all of those ‘firsts’ that we had with Lily (many of which I missed as I went back to work when she was six months old) were also ‘lasts’; that is something I struggle with a lot. Also the amount of outside influences on our children is quite tough – I hate seeing her upset by something another child has said or done, or hear her coming out with something that I don’t think are appropriate for her age but which she has picked up at school.
8. Do you think it’s hard being a Mum in this day and age?
I do think it’s hard – there’s much more pressure to have an ‘insta-perfect’ life, and it’s hard to keep our kids ‘young’ for as long as possible. At the same time I also think we get it a little easier – we have a whole world of other mums out there who are accessible online via social media, or skype for example – which means if I’m struggling with something I can get advice from anyone out there!
9. What three pieces of advice would you give to first-time/ expectant Mums?
Follow your gut. Don’t feel like you ‘have’ to do anything in particular. Enjoy the time you get with your baby.
If you enjoyed this interview and want to read more inspiring stories, please join my mailing list for weekly updates and share this post to spread the love. If you’re on Instagram, you can also tag a Mum that you know and who inspires you, using the hashtag #WonderMamaTribe, highlighting why they are a Wonder Mama. You can tag yourself too! Each week, I’ll be picking one wonderful Mum to be featured on my blog. If you’d like to be interviewed yourself, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org