Monday Mother: Jo Fitzmaurice… Girl Boss & founder of Woodprints By Jo

Jo Fitzmaurice… Girl Boss & founder of Woodprints By Jo- make sure you check out her amazing work via the links at the bottom of the interview. I’ve recently received my first order from Jo and it is just gorgeous. The service was AWESOME too.image1-1Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

Hey, I work from home in my shiny new office which has literally just been finished and means I no longer take over my dining table! I have a very hard working husband and two amazing small humans; Fin who is 4 and about to start reception and Ethan who is 2 and does 3 days at preschool.

I create bespoke freestanding and hanging photo and quote woodblocks in all shapes and sizes and also do nursery and room decor items, I categorise myself under interior decor but I also do weddings and commercial blocks too!

 What kind of work did you do before having children?

Before doing the mum thing I had what I thought was going to be my dream job.. a visual merchandiser… straight out of interior design at college into a creative role..it felt like I was starting on a good path but it was awful.. long hours, no creative input and basically a dogs body for any unwanted job that arose!

After a year of being super upset and down my husband Scott pushed me to leave and get a ‘random’ job nearer home just to bring some money in and to start again…

So I worked at Toolstation in Leigh on sea, I met the funniest customers in the trade, pretty much belly laughed every day, made some life long friends and gained some well needed confidence!

I stayed for 6 years and in that time got married and had my boys.

img_4617

How did you get into your current work?

I had to leave the station for tools (Toolstation joke…its pretty lame and obvious) as the husbands shifts can be slightly crazy and meant family time was becoming a struggle.. it was a hard decision but the right one, I did love that job and I like to work!

I focused on decorating our home and we have a huge built in unit in the lounge with a large space at the top.. perfect for a frame.. I started to look for frames to fit this 90cm shelf and discovered that unless I wanted to pay over £100 for the frame alone I would need to think of something myself… so that’s what I did and that’s how I came up with my photoblocks!

What drives you?

The excitement of making my own money and being my own boss! I have a sense of pride about it all…plus I love being organised so it’s like a dream for me!

 What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

It’s all about timing in work and family life …getting my products completed and out on time… I am never not thinking about a customers order or my list of what’s next to do but also being able to put it to one side so I can play 12 games of frustration in a row with my children (that game is no joke).

img_8303

What are you most proud of?

The fact that I put myself out there and am doing it… I still pinch myself when orders come in and I feel so lucky to have the support of friends and family!!

Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?

I’m not too sure about this but I’m going to start getting myself to craft fairs and business meet ups to see what options are out there and keep coming up with new ideas to suit current trends!

What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?

I was very lucky in terms of having two very chilled out happy sleepers but after my first birth, a 42 hour labour and stitches I should have rested for longer but wanted to get up and prove to myself I didn’t need to sit around… it set me back in the end… so advice to past me.. sit down and enjoy being looked after!

Self care- what do you do to fill your cup? 

I like to be silly with my boys and do random adventures with Scott… date days & nights are so important for us!

My mum is someone I talk to all the time, she makes me laugh and is there for me always, I genuinely adore her company.

I also rely on my group of school mums and friends for regular cups of tea, cake and gossip and to share what funny things our children have been upto.. it’s the loveliest feeling to have a group you can say anything to without judgement!!

 

Your website and social media details please. 

Www.Facebook.Com/woodprintsbyjo

www.instagram.com/woodprintsbyjo

Do It Like A Mother provides kick ass hypnobirthing and pregnancy relaxation in Southend and Upminster. Our Motherhood Mindset Mentoring course runs online, and we support mothers in business (or those who want to be) in our facebook group (click here). Brand new Ts and Sweaters launching in the shop VERY SOON #doitlikeamother

The one thing almost EVERYONE puts in their birth plan, that they really shouldn’t…

img_8798
The one thing almost EVERYONE puts in their birth plan, that they really shouldn’t…
OK, let’s get a little controversial here today. I’m just going to come out and say that you SHOULDN’T include where you want to give birth in your birth plan… i.e. there’s no need to state that you want to give birth at home or on the labour ward or at the birthing unit.
WHAAAAAT?! I know, I told you we were getting controversial.
So, let me explain what I mean. It’s impossible to know exactly how you are going to feel on the day your baby makes an appearance, you might feel on top of the world and in control, you might not. You might feel completely confident in your ability to birth your baby, you might have a little niggle that something isn’t quite right. You might be riding the waves of your surges like an avid surfer or you might be finding the intensity and power overwhelming. Until the day comes you just don’t know.
Now, I would say that there are a lot of people out there, who probably feel as though they will definitely fall into the category of not feeling in control, not having the confidence in their body and feeling overwhelmed by it all- especially if this is your first baby. So, the usual response to this is to just decide to go into hospital- because you ‘might need the drugs’, ‘you might not be able to do it’, ‘you might not cope’- after all, if you’ve never done it before, how do you KNOW that you will be able to do any of these things?
Well, you don’t. But equally, how do you know that you WON’T be able to do these things? How do you know that you won’t be that first-time mum that has a ‘quick and easy birth’? Because they do exist and it does happen. How do you know that it won’t happen to you?
Back to my original point now, if you plan to go into hospital and, on the day, you find yourself in the position where you are coping and you feel great just where you are, at home. It is difficult to make the decision to stay there and have the midwives come to you instead. So, you have to leave the place where you feel comfortable and safe and get into an uncomfortable car, sit and wait to be seen in the triage before finally making it to the birthing room, where you feel OK but not as comfortable as you did at home and you find yourself wondering- would it have been better at home?
Equally, on the other hand, if you plan a home birth- you tell all of your friends and family that’s what you’re planning and you get all the usual comments of- “you’re brave” or “is that safe?”, of course you tell them that it is indeed safe but now you’ve got a point to prove. If something happens on the day, they’ll be saying- “I told you it wasn’t a good idea”. There’s so much pressure! So, when the day comes around and you decide that hospital is going to be safer for you and your baby (perhaps because there’s meconium in your waters or perhaps it’s just because you have a feeling in your gut) you have that nagging feeling of a loss of pride and embarrassment when you tell your friends and family that you didn’t have a home birth after all.
Apologies, I realise I’m painting a rather grim picture of hospital and home birth, but stick with me- it’ll all make sense in a moment.
OK, what am I trying to say here. Quite simply I’m trying to say- keep ALL of your options open. If there’s even a little glimmer, a small part of you that lights up when you think of having your baby at home, then make sure it’s an OPTION on the day you give birth. Tell your midwife you’re THINKING of a home birth but you’re not sure how you’ll feel on the day. They can drop off anything they need to, to ensure that you’ve got all the bits and pieces beforehand and then when the day comes you see how you feel. If you have one surge and decide- nope I don’t like it one bit, I’m going straight to the hospital- that’s fine! Equally if you feel like you’re getting close to meeting your baby and you’re still breathing through each surge with ease then have the midwife come and check you over at home and then decide with her where to have your baby.
Simple, no need to plan, no need to open yourself up to the judgements of others, no need to put unrealistic expectations on yourself- just go with the flow! So, instead of writing “I want to give birth at home/ on the birthing unit/  on the labour ward”, merely write “I want to give birth where I feel is best on the day and that may be at home, on the birthing unit or on the labour ward”.
PS Just in case you’re thinking but what about all the THINGS you’d need for a home birth- grab a shower curtain (you can get them as cheap as 99p) and a couple of old towels, and have them to hand- the shower curtain will save your bed/ carpet/ sofa/ whatever you give birth on and the towels will be used if baby needs a bit of drying after the birth. Other than that, everything else you need will be packed in your hospital bag anyway.

Monday Mother: Dawn at Girl Friday- Adventures in Embroidery

dawn

I’m a Stay At Phone Mum

img_2206

We’ve all seen them. THOSE MUMS. Glued to their phones while pushing their little one on the swing. While walking with the buggy. At a playgroup. In a cafe. They are everywhere.

It makes us feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Seeing them tuning out from those kiddies. Robbing them of their undivided attention. Effectively ignoring them.

And you know why? Because we know that SHE IS US and WE ARE HER. At one time or another at least.

I would struggle to believe ANYONE who says she’s not checked her emails, read her messages, replied, looked at a Facebook notification and gotten sucked in whilst in sole charge of her kids.

(I’m saying “she” because my business is focussed on mothers, and I am a mother, but the same applies to men too, of course).

We are so triggered by it because we know that even if we play with our kids non stop for an hour, our partner will walk in once we’ve settled down for a 5 minute phone break and assume that’s all we’ve been doing. We are triggered because we know how we feel when we are in the company of someone who zones out from us and into their phone- not good.

And so we judge ourselves, and feel we are being judged by others, and that judgement seeps out into our views of others around us.

Before we go any further, let me say: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using your phone, for fun, around your kids. Sometimes it’s your only adult interaction that day- a window to the outside world.
It’s about picking your moment, right? When they are *briefly* content without your interaction. Or hiding in the loo. Or inside the fridge door so you can scoff stuff you don’t want to share with them at the same time.

But.

What if those rare moments are not enough phone time?

What if you literally run your business from your phone? What if you know you can’t leave it all piling up until the end of the day because bed time takes ALL EVENING. And that once they go to bed you’re right behind them because they have you up ALL night. And by then your brain capacity is seriously diminished anyway.

This is my life. I started my business almost 4 years ago. In the beginning, apart from when I was with clients and baby was with Daddy, I spent minimal time working. I had very few enquiries to respond to, I had no real idea what I should be doing re visibility on social media.

The few things I did need to do could easily be done in the 90 minute nap time (normally with him sleeping on my chest- this is how I first fell in love with the capacity to work from my phone).

Then he turned 2 and STOPPED NAPPING. I know. WTAF?! This was not part of the plan.

Just as my business was really beginning to grow too. Just as I gained an awareness of how much I COULD be doing to grow and thrive.

So I tried putting him into preschool a couple of mornings a week. I spent hours, week after week, sitting on tiny chairs, unable to leave because he couldn’t take it. I wasn’t prepared to leave him hysterical when it wasn’t like I “needed” to go to work. I wasn’t answerable to anyone else, and I preferred to let the pressure build up on myself.

Then of course I resented it- why would he not JUST SETTLE?! Why was my work, my passion, so far down the list of family priorities?!
It was too hard on us both, the cycle of expectation and disappointment, so I canned it for a couple of months.

By the time we started the whole saga again, things were only marginally more optimistic, and I was struggling with a difficult first trimester of another pregnancy.

Truly, there was only a brief period where he was settled for a few mornings per week before baby number 2 came along. Everything that went on in between is its own never ending story, but an he summed up as follows- gentle encouragement, tears, tantrums, refusals (the last 3 on both sides), random good days, exhaustion.

During that turbulent time my phone remained my saviour. I would put a film on in the afternoon, drained by a difficult pregnancy, and cuddle up to him, pipe up the snacks and write my blogs, answer emails, do social media.

Once the new baby was here, my phone allowed me to work almost continuously. I had 10 weeks break from teaching, but kept my visibility and client contact up, and returned to a thriving business. All because I could get shit done whilst doing night feeds, day feeds, being a human mattress, etc.

Fast forward to these last few months- the baby is 1, Louis finished preschool for the summer, and I find myself increasingly irritated by my phone usage around them. And INCREASINGLY irritated by their displeasure at it.

“Mummy’s working”. I really am. My business is growing significantly, and over the 7 (yes, seven!!) week holidays, I’ve had a total of 9 hours of childcare. I will never do another summer like this. I’ve learnt a thing or two.

As much as I’m a bit uncomfortable with how often I reach for my trusty black lifeline, I know that without it, I’d be in one of 2 scenarios.

I’d be out at work. If I’d gone back to my old job, that would be 50 hours per week, and by the time I’d paid for the childcare for both of them… pointless. I’d be worrying about being around for these upcoming school drop offs and early pick ups. I’d be missing so much.

Or. I’d be full time stay at home mum. I’d be out of my mind. I have massive admiration for parents who devote all of their time to their kids, but it’s not for me. I need something else too.

Working from my phone allows me the flexibility to be physically present at pretty much every milestone.
It also means I’m not always entirely mentally present, and I have to be ok with that.

When Louis starts school next week, I’m hoping to have some nursery slots booked for Rory too, and I’m challenging myself to move into better balance when we are all together. When I actually have some time to myself, I think it will be easier to compartmentalise, rather than be constantly mothering and constantly, simultaneously having work on my mind.

People often tell me how lucky I am to be in this situation, being around my kids while they’re young, and still pushing my dreams, and that’s definitely true. But I imagine when I look back on this era, I’ll remember a lot of struggle too. Sometimes I wish I could just drop them off somewhere and work in peace like a normal person. Then if one of them is poorly I’m reminded of how much flexibility we have in our situation.

I’m both a stay at home mum, and a working mum. And that is thanks to my phone. So it’s a new thing, you heard it here first. I’m a stay at phone mum. Anyone else?

(written, in tiny bursts, on my phone- obvs) #doitlikeamother

Do It Like A Mother educates and inspires women in pregnancy via kick ass hypnobirthing and pregnancy relaxation in Essex. Online, our Motherhood Mindset Mentoring programme is changing daily lives, and our business coaching for mothers who are working their way is kicking OFF- join our free group for this here.

And the merch… new ranges coming very soon.

What does a positive birth look like? (And how you can get one for yourself…)

img_8767

Today’s blog is by Steph, awesome hypnobirthing teacher and mother of one. Her courses take place in and around Southend.

In one sense there is no answer to that question, so often I hear women say that the only positive births are natural, or home births, those without drugs etc… THIS IS BULLSHIT! A positive birth is anything a woman needs it to be… it could be an elective ceasarian, a ‘post dates’ induction, a home waterbirth surrounded by all people you love, an attempted VBAC ending in an EMCS, a birth with just by your midwife or HCPs present, or any number of variables in between.

There is no one perfect or ideal type of birth.  We women are wildly varying individuals so of course it makes sense that what we want and need from our birth experience’s will be wildly varied too. What really makes a birth positive is how you FEEL about it, not so much the physical experience.
So no matter how much or little intervention you have, how early or late your baby arrives, what drugs you need or where baby’s place of birth is. If you are listened to, respected, treated with dignity, and know and understand why everything that happens to yourself or your baby during the course of your labour was needed, you’re going to walk away knowing you had the best, most positive experience you could have – even if your labour veers away from your original plan, or your original plan includes medical intervention.
Sometimes birth is not a straightforward process, and we are SO lucky to live in an age and place where medical help is available to those who need it – interventions which most of us are generally keen to avoid, can be lifesaving and essential when used well. So despite strongly believing that birth is largely a natural process not an emergency or medical event, I know that for some women and babies (even those initially planning an intervention free birth) that is exactly what they need to walk away healthy and feeling positive about their experience. Know that a positive birth is NOT the same as an intervention free birth!!
It can also be really hard sometimes if you were feeling confident about the type of birth you feel is best for yourself and your baby, but you are made -intentionally or not- to feel like you are making uneducated or poor decisions (which by the way is extremely unlikely if your choices are going against the grain – most women who choose to decline or postpone intervention, choose to birth outside of a medical setting or in the face of medical advice, have extensively researched the safety of their choices beforehand and will often be more educated about the process of birth overall) and although it can often feel easier to bow down to the pressure from ‘those in the know’, be confident in your choices if you know they are sound. If you’ve asked all the questions you need to, made sure the answers are relevant to your individual situation, checked you have both sides to each option, spoken to an impartial source such as AIMS if needed. Then take whatever time you can to mull over your options and be confident in your decisions. If things do take a turn from your original plan, repeat the above process again (and again if needed!) until your baby is here. If you do, I can guarantee you will feel happier about everything that has happened when you look back than if you followed advice which felt wrong for you or didn’t have the research to back up its safety / health benefits.
And remember when taking advice, that people experiences shape their expectations and belief systems – for example those who only see complex medical births, will strongly believe that birth is inherently dangerous, when for the majority it is a straightforward process which requires little medical help. It worth asking more than one care provider for an opinion if you aren’t 100% sure on something you’ve been told. You may find someone else sees the same situation completely differently and can offer alternative options.
There is so much more I could say here, the support of your birth partner, use of doulas, the environment you birth in etc… For more information on how to achieve a birth which leaves you feeling on top of the world, check out our private and group hypnobirthing classes and pregnancy relaxation groups and birth your way – like an absolute mother!! 
You can find out more about Steph here, and our courses here. Steph currently has a couple of slots left for private hypnobirthing in the Southend area in August, and similar for her relaxation group on Sundays in Leigh on Sea.

New HQ and so much more for you…

img_8852-1

img_8852-1

As of August 1st, we are moving into our new HQ! 801 London Road, opposite Chalkwell Park.

This is so exciting for me- it has been my dream since getting into hypnobirthing to have a space that women (and their partners) can return to time and time again, knowing that they will find solid info, support, inspiration and community.

All of our Southend courses and workshops will move into the space from August, and we will be extending our services too.

Click here to see event page for our Opening Party on August 12th, which will be back to back freebie sessions and CAKE. Hit ‘going’ and tag or invite any friends on the pregnancy or motherhood journey who might like to know about it.

I have a thousand ideas about how to use the space, but I really want to know what YOU would like. Drop me an email, keri@doitlikeamother.co.uk, message the page, comment on the post, etc.

EXCITED to see you ll soon x

Labour seem to be slowing down? Try THIS.

img_8798

Today’s wisdom comes from Chloe, Hypnobirthing teacher, hypnobirthing mother and working midwife. If you want more of her in your life (and if you’re preggers, you should), check out her new Pregnancy Relaxation groups in Upminster, and sign up to her mailing list for secret deals on her private bespoke hypnobirthing courses.
When giving birth to your baby, there are often times that your body will need to rest. This often means there will be a time when your surges (hypnobirth speak for ‘contractions’) might stop or space out significantly. This is a time to be welcomed, celebrated and enjoyed. However, our naughty minds can interfere with our ability to make the most of this time- we can find ourselves thinking negative thoughts like “this baby is never coming out” or “everything is slowing down”. So, we do everything we can to make the surges come back- maybe by going for walk or bouncing on a birth ball or using essential oils. We do everything to try and get things moving again. Now, there may be times when this is appropriate (your midwife can guide you with this) but the majority of the time, listening to your body is best.

Your uterus is a huge muscle, very capable of producing the powerful surges you need to birth your baby, but muscles require a steady supply of oxygen and glucose to keep them going and they can become tired. Think about it like this: if you were running a marathon and you became tired at the halfway point- would you power on through until you collapsed or would slow down to a walking pace and allow your body to recover before starting to run again? Now, I know there are probably some elite athletes out there that would just push on through but I’m not one of them. I know that I would slow down, refuel and continue when my legs felt able to. That’s exactly what your uterus is doing during the birth of your baby. It’s slowing down so that it can refuel and gather the energy it needs.

So, what can you do when you find yourself in this situation. REST! If you can, lie down on your left side and sleep. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, if you can, then sleep. It may only be for 10 minutes, it may be for a few hours, however long you can manage, sleep for as long as your body allows. Try to eat and drink something, too. When your surges are in full swing, you probably won’t have much of an appetite. So, when you’re having a little break you may find this is the only time you are able to refuel, so do! If you can’t eat, then isotonic drinks are best to rehydrate and get some of that all-important glucose into your bloodstream too. And, finally, remember to stay positive- just because your surges have slowed down, it doesn’t mean your baby isn’t coming, it just means you uterus is having a well needed rest, so that it can do exactly what it needs to do when the time is right!

There you go, a bit of a short and sweet blog for you this week, but it really is that simple. If your body is giving you time to rest then embrace it and relax, it’s normal!

img_8798

What Wimbledon can teach you about birth

img_1107

I’ve told you before- I can make anything about birth. Let’s get stuck into this…

You don’t have to win every game, or set, to win the match, or even the Championship. 

This is totally true of birth. You do not have to tick every box on your birth plan, or fulfil all of your desires to win at it.

What’s a win? When you emerge feeling utterly in awe of your own capacity. You get there through solid preparation. Whatever happens, you know you were in charge, making decisions that were right for you and your baby.

Didn’t make it into the pool? Transferred in from home? Unplanned c-section? Of course you may be disappointed, that’s your right. But I hear from women time and time again that this is not what stays with them. They were autonomous, respected, supported. That’s what they remember. If you’re in this headspace, you enter into motherhood as your highest possible self- knowing that you can do anything. You’re winning.

Making noise is GOOD. Is anyone hearing the Williams sisters and saying, “Ooo, they’re not coping very well…”. NO. We see strong, powerful women, channelling their energy. It’s been shown that when a tennis player makes noises when striking the ball, they hit harder and faster than when silent, without additional strain on their bodies (sweating, pulse, etc).

We instinctively know that expressing ourselves grounds us to our experience and connects us to our power. Don’t be a good girl, keeping quiet for the sake of politeness. If you want to hum, or roar, do it. Check in with yourself- is it helping you? Or have you accidentally slipped into performing birth in the way you’ve been shown it your whole life? If it could be that, try focusing on breathing and movement instead. If it’s helping, keep going.

When I watch a birth video and hear a woman roar, you know how it translates to me? “I grew a human and now I’m getting it out of my body- is everyone getting the fricking magnitude of this? Watch me creating life right now- I m basically a God”.

Ok I could only think of 2 parallels. Was gonna try and spin women playing fewer sets as- it would take longer to birth if men had to do it, or something, but could’t really work it out.

To sum up- a positive birth doesn’t mean every moment was positive.If your experience takes a dip, get yourself back on track. Be defined by your resilience, rather than the compromises. And roar the place down. Make it known that you are doing something almost beyond belief. If it feels right to you, you will find yourself in warrior queen mode, and wonder how to stay there because it’s SO GOOD.

If you would like some birth prep that goes beyond Wimbledon ramblings, because you want to feel in control and confident, you can find info on our courses here and read birth stories from some of the families we’ve worked with here.

#doitlikeamother #positiveimperfectbirth #incredibleimperfectmothers

How to feel like you’re an amazing mum

img_1100

You gorgeous mothers. You, me, the lot of us, are doing the most challenging of roles. Imagine being offered a role in the workplace with this intro:

It’s 24/7. Your client is also your line manager and they don’t communicate well. Every mission is different so we can’t give you any specific direction about what your client wants. But we will bombard you with shed loads of other people’s opinions about what you should do. And then we will line them up to judge your progress. Of you’ll feel like we have. That might just be in your head. Even if we knew the brief to begin with, it changes daily. Hourly, sometimes. Oh, and most of the skills you’ve relied on until now? Useless. You’ll be paid in love only, but some days you will have to look really hard for it.

How could you imagine succeeding at this role? Would you ever get a sense of satisfaction? How could you assure yourself that your efforts are culminating in the right outcomes?

How can you feel like you’re an amazing mum?

The short answer? JFDI. Crack on. CHOOSE to feel that way. Because if you are even querying it, troubling yourself with the moments you could have done ‘better’, I’m pretty confident that you are nailing it.

I used to hear my husband, or family or friends saying, “She’s such a great ,mum” (for clarity, they were talking about me- it would’ve been quite harsh in my presence otherwise…). And I would immediately say, “Oh not really. I don’t (insert ‘should’ behaviour) enough. I’m always (insert ‘shouldn’t’ behaviour) when I don’t mean to.”

We are harsh on ourselves in many areas of our lives, but I think motherhood is the pinnacle of self deprecation amongst the women I know. So we bat away any recognition of our outstanding performance 97% of the time (or whatever) and focus on our shortcomings. Telling ourselves “I’m a crap mum, I wish I was more like her (whoever), more like I thought i would be. Then I would enjoy it more.”

I’ve got news for you. You will start enjoying it more when you accept, embrace, 100% believe that YOU ARE ALREADY AN AMAZING MUM. Maybe you’re an amazing mum having an off day. An amazing mum who is knackered. An amazing mum mourning her old life. An amazing mum who is learning all the time. And guess what- when you shift your focus, not only can you accept the moments you currently perceive as shortcomings with gratitude, you will notice them less and less. You will lean into the mother you’d prefer to be, simply by choosing to define your experience positively now. You can’t wait until you are ‘doing better’ to accept yourself. Unless you change your attitude, there will always be something else to tell yourself a shitty story about.

Do not be defined by the things you wish you hadn’t done or said. Don’t wish them away either. Because you can learn from them. We all start at a different point, but we are all on the same journey. Growing into that job description (hello- challenging beyond belief), growing into ourselves. Often we are too blinded by exhaustion and the need to do more, to be better, to be perfect, that we are unable to see our own shining magnificence. The strength, courage and optimism that allowed us to accept the job.

“But I didn’t know it would be this hard!”, you say. No, you didn’t. Neither did you know that you are SO fucking capable and powerful. Maybe you still don’t.

Imagine if you did think that you were an amazing mum- what would that feel like? Actually sit for a minute and accept that belief, and see her. This version of you who knows she is more than enough in every way- see her. How does she wake up in a morning? What are her first thoughts? She’s not judging or berating herself. She’s not resenting her kids for making her feel this way, or her husband because his life just carries on undisrupted. What is she feeling? Calm, maybe. In control. Confident. HAPPY.

Isn’t that what we all want? Wouldn’t it be pretty fantastic to live in that reality?

You can. If I can, you can. I was an absolute mess. I hated myself, I hated my husband (soz babes), I hated the way that my children had changed my life, and had changed who I was.

I’ve made some simple (but consistent) changes to my mindset, and they have set me free. Now I am that version of me. I am calmer, more confident, happier. I am more in control- not of my circumstances, or of my children (tempted to say if anyone has that nailed down, let me know how, but it’s not what we REALLY want when we dig into it). I am more in control of myself. My thoughts, feelings, behaviours, choices, my internal environment and the resulting external version of me. It feels even better than I thought it would. Not every second of every day, let’s be clear. But the highs are higher, and the lows are fewer, further between, less intense and quicker to fade away.

The praise, when it comes, is accepted. Feels weird at first, give it a go. Just say ‘thank you’ when someone recognises how brilliantly you are doing. Because you ARE an amazing mum. You are exactly the mother your child needs. Stop robbing yourself of the joy of that acknowledgement. Let go of any other story. And know that when you do, it will change your life.

ps- the longer answer is to grab yourself one of the last remaining spaces on my Motherhood Mindset Mentoring programme at the pre order price of £49. It goes to full price once 20 spaces have gone, or on launch day this Sunday, whichever comes first. In it, I’m sharing EXACTLY what I’ve done to upgrade my experience of motherhood.

Find out more or secure your spot here. Email me with any Qs, keri@doitlikeamother.co.uk

#doitlikeamother #positiveimperfectbirths #incredibleimperfectmothers

Monday Mother: Julia West, photographer at ‘Julia and Mia’ & ‘Julia and You’

me-julia-and-you-photography-1
This Monday, we are thrilled to feature Julia West – photographer at Julia and Mia – fine art baby photography AND Julia and You – editorial wedding photography
arthur-baby-photography-54
What kind of work did you do before having children?

I was actually a photographer but only for weddings, alongside that I was art director at big bridal glossy WEDDING magazine. Doing both was intense but I loved it but I quickly realised if I wanted to have a family I couldn’t do both.

How did you get into your current work?

I was a photographer but only did weddings, when I fell pregnant with my daughter friends were also expecting and said “hey you’re a photographer can you take photographs of my new baby” I must admit I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do babies and families at first, but I loved them. So I did full safety and newborn training whilst I was pregnant and set up Julia and Mia – named after my daughter (and me).

What drives you?

My photographs will hopefully be on walls for generation after generation to admire and albums to treasure. I think that’s pretty cool and a little bit of me will hopefully live long after me.

 ava-newborn-baby-photography-20
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

Obviously balancing family life can be hard, and I can be a bit of a workaholic, but its so much easier working for myself.

What are you most proud of?

My children, but within the business my baby photography has been featured in national newspapers and magazines, like my wedding photography. Which is pretty cool!

Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?

I strive to always offer the best, most creative with exceptional customer service. But as my children grow Id love to expand the business to include other photographers. But its always my aim to have balance with family life.

ava-newborn-baby-photography-45-1

What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?

It is going to be ok.

My daughter was fairly easy, but my son was born and shortly after we discovered he had a chronic illness, the first year was a rollercoaster – but you know what we made it through.
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup? 

Cuddles with my children and occasional quiet time. I’m just happy to read a book

You can find Julia and her gorgeous work here

www.juliaandmia.com

Do It Like A Mother supports women via hypnobirthing, postnatal support, and mama merch that does good work. Our core values are HONESTY, EMPOWERMENT, COMMUNITY. Our courses take place in Southend and Upminster, Essex. Our merch makes its way all over the UK.

If you’d like to feature as a future Monday Mother, drop me an email at keri@doitlikeamother.co.uk

www.doitlikeamother.co.uk or on Facebook

beau-newborn-baby-photography-33