#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 am a 41 year old, boudoir and intimate photographer for women, men and couples. My work in this type of photography began because I battled with a chronic illness that literally drained the hell out of me. At the time I had just had one of premature babies, and had 2 other children that I was responsible for. The next 9 years were trying, but the kids kept me motivated though sometimes I felt I needed to throw in the towel and let my body just do what it wanted to do, live or die.
Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?
I can be a bit of an exhibitionist, especially as I just watched myself deteriorate. I had a somewhat relaxed nature with my kids. I mean discipline is important, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t really hide the kids from too much. I much rather they heard, saw, experienced it with me, than to learn from the internet or opinionated people. I think some people were a bit shocked about it, but what could I do. I’ve lived as a single mom on and off for 18 yrs.
With my work, I have recently pushed the level by taking more provocative images. my ethos is still helping others over come body confidence issues, but now I have added “feeling sexually powerful” to the style of photography I give my clients.
No, it doesn’t bother me. I was once told “only one person fits in a coffin”. It’s my life, my business, and my story. But I LOVE people, I love learning about them, I love finding out why they like or dislike things, so I don’t believe I have that many haters. I believe that people respect me because I just “do me”. They know I am kindhearted and loyal, I just think that when you realise you have no control over your health/life/work you need to find ways to make life a happier place.
What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?
I have just recently moved back to England from being in Scotland for almost 4 years. When I moved out there (Scotland) it was amazing how I was able to build my business and even ventured onto starting my own magazine called FF Magazine Scotland. Everything seemed so easy even with my 2 younger kids in tow. Then all of a sudden I felt I was working more to pay for childcare and not being able to give my kids their time, and with the magazine very new and not earning any income, I was juggling trying to introduce my style of photography with being a single mom. I didn’t really make any friends outside of the media and fashion industry and it was quite lonely. Just me and my babies, so I had to reduce my time working which in turn affected my income. I had to make the decision to move back to England so I could get some help with my kids fathers to take some responsibility so I could get myself back into the industry. It has been a bit difficult because I have also been going through a medical relapse and sometimes I think was it “this world” that made me ill in the first place? Bit of a battle.
At the moment I am starting again, so no old friends and family to rely on really, BUT I have made some new ones who have no clue about how I juggle these responsibilities, but they make me feel quite positive on those days where it just doesn’t seem like I made any right directions since birth haha, you know that feeling?! I also have my 18 year old daughter back in my life again after being separated for almost 4 years, so having her reunited with her younger siblings has been amazing.
How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?
I think every time I feel like the world is on top of me and then I look at my kids and daydream about giving them what my parents gave me, it sends a little reminder. I CAN do this! Also, my sister just had her child and I see how she supports her family, she has so much time for her son, and though she is my little sister I have so much bloody respect for that girl and I learn a lot from her at the moment.
Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?
Hmmm, tricky one. I am single and trying to date. I say trying because I still have insecurities after my break up in Scotland. I am part of some dating sites and groups. One in particular is all about making women feel empowered and to be honest, those in that group, help me escape for the little time to remember I am a woman and I still have needs regardless of being a mom. I’m still working on finding the man of my dreams, but it has been fun trying out being a single Ageless gen and dating the Millennial gen.
I normally watch a lot of the Real housewives series, don’t judge me! I watch it sometimes to remind me that my life is good, I can also build myself up to be financially secure like them. I call it research. I am in between homes at the moment, so when I do have time I will go back to cooking and baking. I love doing those to escape from stresses. And finally for those who really know me, I have my prosecco to keep me feeling good!
What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?
Stay strong, but don’t be worried about the fears you are going through. It will actually make you stronger. NO matter what happens, your kids are the ones who you need to concentrate on. Don’t push yourself or ignore medical issues if they come up. It’s absolutely useless if you work so hard and can’t enjoy your hard work
Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?
Hang in there Chick! There is no such thing as a free lunch. When times get tough, find your inner “real housewife”. Actually, Married to Medicine is quite a good one for escaping and learning about being a powerful woman and maintaining a strong relationship with demanding professional lifestyles #justsayin HAHA.
Don’t give up on your dreams. I read somewhere that “you don’t need to keep starting over if you just stick to your guns” and get your sh*t done!
Are you #MoreThanAMutha? Get in touch to share your story.