#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?
I have my hands in a few pies! I have a full-time job that is quite flexible so I fit it around school/childcare. I also run Worthing Mums, Kat Naish Photography and as if I wasn’t busy enough, I’m launching the Red Box Project in Worthing, a community project around period poverty of girls in education.
Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?
I have to say that I don’t normally get people being surprised. I’m glad. I think it’s really important for my son to see that I also work and contribute to the household, just in the same way that a man would.
What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?
Being a working mum is important to me but it is also the hardest thing by a mile, that I’ve ever done. There are many different times when you do feel guilty. School trips you can’t attend, dropping them at nursery when they’re crying their eyes out, using the TV as a babysitter when you have THAT deadline… the list is endless. That’s when I have to remind myself, that my life would be pretty dull if I didn’t work. It’s just not for me.
How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?
I went back to work quite early on, on low hours, three months after having my son. But this is not the only thing that made me more than a mum. Leaving the house completely alone, playing loud music again in the car, taking time to get yourself a haircut/massage/eyebrows done etc, that seemed a more gradual process and I probably didn’t do most of those until my son was one.
Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?
We don’t have grandparents in this country. This means we have had to be a bit more creative with childcare. My son is 7 now and over the years, I’ve gotten better at taking time for myself. My photography is my biggest passion and helps me switch everything else off completely. I am so focused on getting that particular shot, I forget everything else that’s going on. But it’s also realising that it’s ok to just nip upstairs, leave my husband and son to it, and have a hot bath with a nice book. It’s those little things that really make all the difference.
What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?
Be selfish. If you don’t look after yourself, you will stop functioning. What good will you be to everyone then? Take small steps. Lock the door for a half hour bath. Go upstairs and take out half an hour to read on your bed. The world won’t stop and your family will realise that that’s just what you do occasionally. I also highly recommend meditation. I often meditate just after the morning school run before I continue with my day. It has changed my life! Just 10 minutes of doing essentially nothing but concentrating on your breath is a total game changer on how your day continues. There are apps that do guided 10 minute sessions which are really easy to do.
Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?
Do what you love. When you do that, it shines through to everyone else. It’s good for your children to see you being a person with interests and things you are passionate about.
Who would you like to see featured next in the #MoreThanAMutha series?
Are you #MoreThanAMutha? Get in touch to share your story.