Ready, steady, go mamma! Why motherhood requires the discipline of an athlete.

If eating was an Olympic sport I’d win gold several times over. I’ve never been sporty, I’ve never had the coordination skills. I was always the last to be picked in netball at school, seeing a ball hurtling at me as something to dodge. My spatial awareness is awful, which probably explains why at almost 40, I still haven’t got my driving license.

That said, I do find watching women’s athletics quite thrilling. There’s a certain pleasure that comes from wearing your slobbiest tracksuit bottoms and hoody watching supreme female athletes throw themselves at various tortuous obstacles. OK. I’m just a bit envious of their taut, goddess bodies but there’s some entertainment observing their scowls when they don’t quite meet their expectations. Women, no matter how supremely skilled, how much they are admired, are so hard on themselves.

It’s the same as motherhood. We’ll always second guess ourselves, always compare ourselves to the ‘perfect’ Insta mum. It’s mostly bull. As a mum who uses social media in her career, I do hope I offer a real side of motherhood. While I follow beautiful accounts, I know they’re not real. They are carefully thought out, composed, editing software used. Motherhood is really difficult. It’s not all chubby pink-cheeked babies grinning in their pristine outfits. Every day is a marathon. Every day is beset with hurdles, sprints to stop your toddler from getting in the washing machine, hauling laundry up and down the stairs. Wiping up poo, regurgitated food, wiping streaming noses and big, heavy tears.

Every day is your eyes on the prize, getting your baby or toddler to bed and putting your feet up with your reward, a hot cuppa and chocolate bar or a big glass of red wine. That’s your medal, for getting through another day of motherhood relatively unscathed, ready to face another race the next day. Yes, mammas, it takes hard work, it takes grit, it takes patience, it takes determination. You know though, you’ll get there in the end. You’ll cross the line knowing you’ve given it your absolute best.

There will be so much to savour along the way.  Watching your child totter into their first day of school, their double-digit birthday, their formal or even going to university. Parenthood is for the long haul. It’s a marathon and the only way you’re going to get through it is with fierce discipline and blinkered vision.

Keep going mamma, you’re a winner, every day. Oh, and you did awesome Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Enjoy basking in your glory. You deserve it. 

Lemme at it!
And the gold pot goes to….

I get by with a little help from my mum friends

Having a baby changes everything, including your most important relationships. Such a seismic event will make many of those relationships stronger, and sometimes, weaker. Yes, becoming a mum can be a really lonely, isolating time but if you have a supportive, loving tribe around you, you will flourish. 

Being a mother is so overwhelming. Other mums understand the daily struggle. You don’t have to put on a front. Your mum friends won’t judge you if you haven’t managed to shower that day, brush your hair, or your house is upside down. Your mum friends are the first people you’ll turn to with feverish questions about any strange spots on your baby’s skin, the non-stop wailing, weird coloured poop. It’s a massive comfort to know that your best friends have your back when you’re feeling crap. 

This September, I’ve been championing Mummy Social, an app that supports and encourages mums to be brave and get social with other local mums. Sadly, maternal loneliness takes a lot of us by surprise and Mummy Social wants all mums to know they are not alone. It can do you and your little one(s) – or not so little one(s) the world of good to get outside into the daylight and meet other mums who are on the motherhood journey too. Coffee is the holy grail when you’re a sleep-deprived mum. 

I’m very lucky to have close friends who are also amazing mums. It does feel like you’re on this incredible, crazy journey together. I recently had a cinema date with a close mummy friend, minus the cinema. We ended up chatting for hours over wine and it was brilliant fun. It’s so important to feel that connection with another human being and sharing motherhood makes it all the more special. It’s quite surreal to watch your mini-me playing with your good friend’s mini-me.

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Mummy time!

It might be the end of September but it is definitely not the end of getting social! Mums supporting mums make the journey of motherhood a happier, healthier, easier and less lonely one. Maternal loneliness is real, it is all too common and we need to keep talking about it and do our bit to help.

As author Douglas Pagels says: “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have and one of the nicest things you can be.” Amen to that.

Download the Mummy Social app and if it’s something you’d like to get involved with, drop them a DM!

Visit mummysocial.com

 

Kate & Moon reach for the stars with their joyful children’s decor brand

I’m very passionate about shining a light on the wonderful homegrown entrepreneurs and creatives we have in Northern Ireland. This week, I’m featuring Kate & Moon, a unique children & nursery decor brand run by talented Belfast-based couple Sarah Wright (32) and Paul Anthony (36). I recently ordered a Humpback Whale Plush Toy (below) which has taken pride of place in Sonny’s nursery. I was so pleased with the quality and thrilled to be able to find somewhere local that I can buy adorable toys, cushions, shelves, and blankets. Needless to say, Mr Whale is incredibly soft and cuddly and will be Sonny’s BFF for a very long time – and mine.

Having a whale of a time…

A one-stop shop for all things nursery.

Sarah is a teacher by trade, and Paul is a computer programmer. Paul looks after the website and the technical side of things while Sarah, in her own words “takes care of pretty much everything else”. She says: “We decided to set up an online business in May this year. Paul has always been a whizz kid on the computer while I love finding beautiful products and of course, shopping! So, we decided to join forces and build something online together. We aim to build a brand that focuses on curating beautiful products for new and existing mums, and make Kate & Moon a one-stop-shop for all things nursery decor.

The importance of the personal touch.

“As we are based in Northern Ireland we can get goods quicker to local customers than online retailers. Plus, we find, when you order online, you often have no idea of who the seller is, or what the quality of the product is going to be like. We pride ourselves on ensuring that when you receive your purchase, it is beautifully packaged. We want our customers to relish the experience of ordering right through to receiving. We think a personal touch is so important. Knowing who is behind a business always helps too.”

It’s our aim to build a brand that focuses on curating beautiful products for new and existing mums, and make Kate & Moon a one-stop shop for all things nursery decor. 

Sarah

Kate & Moon is enjoying an influx of customers through social media and visual platforms such as Instagram. Sarah says: “We have a loyal network of local women who also helped us get started. The Mummy & Me Market were so helpful. The business community in Northern Ireland for women is wonderful, and we couldn’t be more grateful to those people who have helped us get things off the ground. In the run-up to Christmas and the new year, we also plan on doing a few other local markets.”

Black Tee-Pee Shelves.

The business community in Northern Ireland for women is wonderful.

Sarah

You can follow Kate & Moon’s journey on Instagram (@kateandmoon) and see when wonderful new items are added. So, what are you waiting for? Show some love and give Kate & Moon a visit and support our amazing local entrepreneurs. This business is set to soar.

Bunny Baby Plat Mat.

Visit: www.kateandmoon.com

Contact: hello@kateandmoon.com