#MoreThanAMutha is all about celebrating the things that women are, as well as being amazing mothers. In a world where many women feel like they lose their identity when they become a mum, it is important to celebrate and shout that we might be mums, but we are not only that and we are still a force to be reckoned with.
What makes you more than a mother?
Both of us have always been ambitious and driven people. We met in our much younger years when we were pursuing our careers and shared the same work ethic, interests and pretty much the same mind. Laura had kids first and although we always remained close, Laura often spoke of her loss of identity and her desire to be more ‘More than a Mutha’ whilst Amy was still fixated on the career, and not really ‘getting it’.
When Amy had Ruby (her first and only child!) all of a sudden, we were back on the same page. We met for lunch on those rare childfree days and shared our innermost thoughts and feelings (mum guilt, lack of fulfilment) whilst constantly reminding ourselves how lucky we were to have such lovely kids (etc etc). We remembered how much spark we gave to each other and that there was a potential to get that back if we could collaborate on a project. We considered a few options but our website idea kept coming up, until it got to the point when we were asking ourselves ‘why would we NOT do it?’ instead of ‘why should we’? So now we are here, trying to take the idea into the big bad world. We’re constantly juggling mum life and know that our careers will always come second to our husbands’. Our children will always be our first priority, no matter how much we try to give to the business, but we are determined to balance the two.
Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?
Every mum is more than a mum, even if their kids are their first and only priority. Everyone has their own mind and we don’t believe anyone is entirely fulfilled by only giving to their offspring, waiting for the day that their kids realise what they did for them and finally saying “thanks”. People may be surprised by the choices we make (why would you work at night when the kids have gone to bed when you could just be texting your mates, having a bath or watching Netflix?!) but not by our capabilities or ambitions.
What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?
It’s all about time (and lack of it). Childcare is a constant battle but you can work around that practically so you can allocate portions of time to work. The frustration is when we get knee deep into an aspect of the project and then it’s time to do the school run. Or when the dads go away travelling for a period of time and we end up solo parenting and putting work on hold, or having to prioritise paid work over the new project to make up the numbers.
However, we recently saw a quote that said “Beyonce has the same amount of hours in a day as you”, (she probably has a nanny too, but it is a good point)… so you just have to do your best and keep your perspective. Our only deadlines are the ones we put on ourselves, and that’s the beauty of self-employment and self-funded projects.
How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?
No time at all for either of us. We both struggled with the baby stage, in terms of the constant routine and the restrictions little ones can put on you. You have that voice in your head that tells you to be satisfied by the overwhelming love you have for your kids and to feel lucky every day, but you can’t shake your personality and we both recognised what was missing in our lives. It was just a matter of time and making sure we were doing the right thing in taking on something else as well as the responsibility of being a good mum.
Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?
The business helps us both with that. Neither of us came from a digital background so the learning aspect is a great way to engage the mind. We’ve had some really enjoyable experiences so far – pitching to retailers, speaking on panels and basically window shopping for gifts to put on our site. These opportunities tick a massive box for us in terms of headspace away from family life, time spent together (because we really feed off each other and are great friends) and getting some energy back. And because we feel like we are trying to achieve something and be role models for our kids as opposed to just meeting for lunch, spending money and moaning to each other, it comes without quite so much mum guilt. It’s a really positive way to channel some of the pent up frustration ‘mumming’ can create.
What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?
Without trying too hard to sound like Moana’s grandmother (said like a true mum), just remember who you are. Feelings are temporary and everything is just a phase.
Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?
Give it a go and be kind to yourself – the most you can do is try. You probably won’t manage to be quite as productive or efficient as you were pre-children but that’s completely ok, being responsible for keeping another human (or humans!) alive is a pretty good excuse for most things that could possibly go wrong.
Who would you like to see featured next in the #MoreThanAMutha series?
|Amy and Laura have now entered DLHD in VOOM 2018, the UK and Ireland’s most exciting business pitching competition. New partners, joining organisers Virgin Media Business this year, include Crowdcube, G by Grant Thornton, PayPal, PwC and Virgin Money. Entrants can win a cut of the £1m prize pot for their firms, and finalists will pitch live to Virgin boss Richard Branson and a panel of business superstars on 23 May. To vote for DLHD head to their pitch: https://voom.virginmediabusiness.co.uk/pitches/dont-let-her-down|
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