#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 broken all the rules when it comes to working within the fashion industry. My modelling career started over 20 years ago – I should be considered extinct within the business, but by hook or by crook I am still working.

Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?

Errrm yes! The amount of times people have asked what I do for a living then look at me like I have 3 heads when I say I’m a model.. They’re expecting to see a 18 year old size 8 stick insect, not a 37 year old size 14 mother of two. It bothers me that people can judge me so quickly. If I’m a model it must mean I am up my own arse, miserable and don’t eat. On the contrary.

What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?

There are always challenges with being a mother – it comes with the job description. For me, the challenges are child care battles when I work abroad or overnight. There have been times when I’ve been offered a fantastic modelling job but had to turn it down due to not having the child care in place.

My husband is fantastic and does lots to help, but he travels in his job too, so if he is already away and I get a last minute trip to Italy (for example) I have to say no. Once I had a shoot in Manchester for 4 days so I was away from home and my husband had to do all the drop offs and pick ups – the huge feeling of guilt crept up on me that I wasn’t there for the kids… but I have to remember that my kids are happy and loved that their dad was there to collect them.

How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?

About a year.  After my second baby was born, it was all about being there for the babies – of course! But I lost a little bit of my identity too.  I had forgotten who I was as a woman and was purely focused on my children.  I wasn’t looking after myself properly and in effect this made me feel rubbish.

Then I got a call from my modelling agency (who I thought had given up on me) and told me I had a shoot with a great photographer and client in Milan and did I want to do it.  I looked at my baby and said ‘Mama still got it’.  And that was it.  That was the light bulb moment that went off above my head – I wanted to let all mothers know that under all this motherhood we are still fabulous – we just need a little reminder every now and then.  I bought the .com immediately and the rest is history.

Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?

I do lots of little things… Every Monday night I go to a tap dance class where I feel myself completely switching off from everything and getting lost in the music and dance.  I love having candle lit baths when the kids are asleep, my husband and I have a date night once a week – whether it’s to a gig, the cinema, the local pub, or just diving into a new Netflix box set cuddled up on the sofa together – and very importantly I see my friends.  My closest mates and I are all in a WhatsApp chat and we try to get together once a month for brunch/dinner/yoga.  Work is also a great escape from motherhood as it’s the total opposite of being a model!

What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?

Take some time out for yourself – even if it’s just sitting down in silence with a cuppa stating at a tree in the garden (I do this a lot)… Or take an afternoon off (on a Saturday perhaps so your partner is around to watch the kids) and do a beauty MOT.  Get a hair cut, manicure, pedicure, treat yourself to lunch… when you look good, you feel good.  When you feel good, stress levels lower. When stress levels lower, the world is pretty good place!

Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?

Believe in yourself. The only person that can make you happy or give you what you want is you. So be kind to yourself and know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Who would you like to see featured next in the #MoreThanAMutha series?

 My sister Bonnie @mrsbonnie_barry
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