Each week we will be featuring a local inspirational mama here on our blog, asking them 12 quickfire questions about life, motherhood and how they make it work.
With the launch of Mum's the Word we decided to test run the questions ourselves, so here goes...
What time did you wake up this morning?
Laura: 5.30AM but it wasn't because of my children, it was to try out an early morning bootcamp (I know - stupid!!)
What was your very first thought of the day?
Natalie: YESSSSS! (For the first time, in a very LONG time, I'd had a solid stretch of 6 hours sleep. New woman.)
Laura: Why am I doing this again?!
What are your 3 essentials for getting up, out and at 'em?
Natalie: Very strong coffee, dry shampoo & Octonauts to keep Ted amused whilst I race around the house.
Laura: Lady Grey Tea (by the bucket load), Chris Evans on Radio 2 and my red lipstick (hoping that the lip colour will detract from the eye bags).
Describe a typical morning.
Natalie: I'm an event project manager at the Roundhouse but I'm currently on maternity leave, so once I've dropped my eldest off at pre-school I hang out with my 6 month old Ray. Second time around I know this time with him as a baby will go SO fast, so I'm trying my hardest not to worry about the small stuff and to just enjoy him. We normally spend the morning at the park, at a baby group or seeing some friends before the lunchtime pick-up. He's at that amazing age where he stays in one place, can't answer back and has endless smiles for his Mama.
Laura: Herd everyone into the car shouting shoes, bags, drink bottles, seatbelts etc. Drop my son at school, daughter at pre-school then back to my desk to catch up on emails (I run a PR agency as my day job, which I set up 5 years ago when pregnant with my daughter). After another cup of Lady Grey and maybe a sneaky biscuit I catch up with my clients and journalists and plan my to do list.
Your perfect local lunch spot would be...
Natalie: A picnic in Dunorlan Park
Laura: Daily Bread in Rusthall – although I prefer to get in there for brunch – their pancakes are to die for!
The happiest moment in your day?
Natalie: All 4 of us squeezed into our bed before we have to get up and start the day.
Laura: Reading my children a bedtime story (and then the glass of wine afterwards!).
The hardest moment in your day?
Natalie: 6 months on I still find the logistics of getting two small people fed, in the bath and to bed a challenge! I have to turn the music up LOUD when the boys are in the bath to keep energy levels going until bedtime.
Laura: Juggling homework, with afterschool clubs and requests from clients and journalists which all tend to happen around 5pm when I’m also trying to sort the kids' dinner!
#1 tip for juggling work and family life?
Natalie: Have boundaries in place and try not to let your working life and family life blur into one. Make it clear that you will have to leave the office at 5pm on the dot but whilst you are there you will make every minute count - Mum's are super efficient, (rarely) hungover and brilliant multi-taskers. Do not feel guilty, you are an asset to any organisation.
Laura: Lists – I love a list and couldn’t get by without my work to do list, followed by my family to do list! Especially now my son is at school and there’s always something to remember, reply to or take in!
Most overused word of the day?
Natalie: 'Careful' - I have a three year old who is full of life and adventure (which I love) but the word 'careful' is said on repeat from the minute he bounces out of bed at 6am!!
Laura: I’m shattered!
Once the kids are in bed I...
Natalie: Tidy away the crazy amount of toys, have dinner with my husband and then open the laptop ready to work on all things 'Mum's the Word' - exciting times!
Laura: Collapse in front of the TV, chat to my husband over dinner and then start work on Mum’s the Word bits and pieces!
Top 3 local gems?
Laura: Grove Park is great for scooting, cycling and park action, followed by tea and delicious cake in Manna which is very child friendly (and gives all profits to charity) and Mink Interiors on Nevill Street for my interiors’ fix!
Best piece of advice for fellow Mum's...
Natalie: Don't listen to too much advice...trust your instincts because you know your baby (and what is best for your family) better than anybody else. Believe in yourself - you're doing an amazing job.
Laura: Life doesn’t stop when you have a baby, in fact it’s just the start (even though it doesn’t always feel like it to begin with…)