30 May 2019
Hi Nina! First of all, congratulations on being Mum-of-the-month!
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Firstly, thanks for asking me to be Mum-of-the-Month, I’m really touched.
Well, I’m mum to three amazing boys and a super little girl! My husband and I have been together since we were sixteen, we never planned to have four children, perhaps three, but four!! Some would say we are mad and sometimes I’d be inclined to agree, but it’s wonderful chaos in our house with lots of laughter and muddy wellies!
Before I became I mum I trained as a primary school teacher and have taught in schools across North Leicestershire. But even before training as a teacher I trained in aromatherapy and baby massage and worked with local health visitors delivering classes and workshops – something I still do on and off.
What aspects of motherhood do you most enjoy?
I love the moments of spontaneous love and excitement most of all: the moment when I’m changing Cora’s nappy and she grabs a muslin and starts to play ‘boo’ giggling her head off. My heart swells.
My youngest son loves football and I don’t often get time to play with him, but sometimes when loading or unloading the car his ball might find itself heading towards me and that 30 seconds of playing together on the drive is almost magical, he just loves it (mostly because even at 4 years old he is better than me and he finds my lack of skill hilarious)!
My second son, now almost 8 has loved the police for as long as I can remember. Two Christmas’ ago I bought him, much to the horror of my husband, a decommissioned police riot helmet. He put it on the other day when we were getting the car washed in hope that it would ensure the gentlemen washing the car would do a really good job, we giggled so much at the sight of him in the back of the car, sat there with a full blown riot helmet on.
Fin is now 11, and it’s the quiet moments and actions that mean so much to me. He will tell me quietly about things at school, things he wants to share and confide in me. I am loving see him grow up into a kind hearted boy. It makes me so proud.
And the not-such-fun bits?
There are times, most especially at the end of the day when it’s homework, dinner and bedtime, when I am absolutely exhausted. It’s so overwhelming to do everything whilst being the thing that each child needs all at the same time, especially when you are on your last legs. And if you’ve had a tough day when say you’ve set yourself just one goal e.g. I will put away the washing (not even a hard goal) and haven’t even managed that, then it can be a hard old job being a mum. It can feel so overwhelming and make you feel a failure when you can’t even complete the most simple and mundane task.
But with the p’s in place (my friends will laugh so much at me saying this to you) I find things run much more smoothly and we are all much happier - ‘proper planning and preparation prevents pi** poor performance’. It’s my mantra. I love it. I live by it!
What’s your favourite gadget in motherhood, the one you can’t live without?
For a little baby – a stretchy sling, it saved my live, especially after the 4th c-section.
You did your postnatal fitness with me but have you always been interested in exercise?
No actually. My love for exercise and the belief in myself to be able to achieve ‘physically’ leads directly back to you Jo. I played a little sport at school, never in an ‘A’ team, and I didn’t do a single thing between about the age of seventeen and starting your classes. Jo, you are the wonderful reason that I love exercise so much now. Thank you so much for opening this door for me.
Are you into healthy eating? What’s your all-time favourite dish?
We try and eat as healthily as is possible without ‘busting a gut’ and we do love a good pudding! I try and cook as many meals as I can from scratch and as of a few months ago we now only eat meat about once a week and it must be locally sourced, organic and free range. This has been a huge change as we would eat meat almost every night, so I don’t have a favorite dish at the moment as I’m almost re-learning what to cook.
How do you currently find the time to fit in exercise with young children?
To be honest it’s really tough finding time. I run with the running buggy two or three times a week if I can and I am trying to find a way to fit in a ‘core strength’ exercise class. You have to really want to fit exercise in when you have young children because there are so many obstacles trying to prevent you from doing it! I’ve entered myself in a few races over the summer and autumn to give me the motivation to keep it up!
You used to run an amazing aromatherapy business. Can I be nosey and ask you if you have any exciting business plans on the horizon?
Anyone who knows me well will know that I always have loads of ideas on the horizon! I’m not going back to teaching for the foreseeable future; I’m needed too much as a mum right now.
So yes, Baby Alchemy may well be up and running again soon, I love teaching baby massage and aromatherapy; it combines my love for teaching with my passion for being a mum. But I’d also like to go back to university in some form and would also like to do some voluntary work with mums (a few different plans here!) so we shall see because I can’t do it all!
We all need a bit of “me time” when we’re mums. What’s your favourite “mummy me time” activity?
Running doubles up as my “mummy me time” just time to be outside in the fresh air, to move and be free, I don’t need childcare and I can do it in the day before the tiredness hits! I love it J
Thank you so much Nina and I had no idea that your love of exercise and belief in being able to "just do it" stemmed from my classes. That's just made my day! xx