Monday Mother: Amber Bourne, Personal Trainer, Founder of Upminster Yummy Mummies and ‘This Girl Can’ Ambassador

This week we have the wonderful- Amber Bourne, Personal Trainer, Founder of Upminster Yummy Mummies and ‘This Girl Can’ Ambassador. She’s a local mum to two gorgeous children and an inspiration when it comes to really looking after ourselves and our bodies. She’ll show you how to exercise properly pre- and post-baby, plus she’s great fun to have a coffee (err I mean fruit smoothie) with!

If you’re local to Upminster and want to exercise safely and effectively then click on the links at the bottom of the page.

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Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

 

I am a Mum to a two year old and a three year old. I live with my husband and children in Upminster where I also run my personal training service and bespoke pre and post pregnancy group training sessions. Primarily Upminster Yummy Mummies (UYM) is a fitness solution for new mums wanting to break [back] into exercise, and more recently Bounce Back, for re-introducing exercise after pregnancy / giving birth.

 

What kind of work did you do before having children?

 

I spent 15 years in the city working in corporate travel running the firm’s London office. I worked with some amazing people who worked really hard and partied even harder. It was a fantastic, fun chapter of my life that I look back on fondly.

 

How did you get into your current work?

 

I’ve always been mad on sport… growing up my favorite book was the Rules of Every Sport! I’ve done several marathons, triathlons, and love to challenge myself… I long to do an Iron Man! So it was always a pipe dream to work in the fitness sector, but knowing where to start was difficult. Whilst pregnant with my first child, I decided to train as a PT and Spin instructor, but also whilst being pregnant it was difficult to find qualified fitness instructors that knew what they were fully doing for pre & post natal clients, and so decided that’s what I would focus on.

 

What drives you?

 

Well my children drive me round the bend if that’s what you mean!  (I love them but it’s true)

In all seriousness though I have a few key drivers…

I am really driven by the idea of setting a good example to my children – both in terms of leading an active and healthy lifestyle but also in terms of working towards goals. I would never suggest that all mums should work and I appreciate that not everyone even has the luxury of choice. (There are definitely benefits to be had from both situations) but for me I am driven to, a) work, first and foremost, and, b) work as a PT because of the positive examples it set for my children. I passionately want my children to understand that I work to earn money, but also that I love my work and that I love being able to help people. I want them to see the pride I take in my work and for that to inform their own life choices. And c) The enjoyment I get from seeing my clients develop on different levels, and finding a bit of their old selves again after a good workout, run, well, basically challenge away from their new life of being a mum and achieving something for themselves

 

 

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

 

Accepting it almost never all works… In order to fit everything in you have to be constantly adaptable. There are so many variables and obstacles both in my life and the lives of my clients, and so many things can get in the way – from sick kids to traffic jams. You aim to run things like clockwork and stick to a schedule but in reality, stuff gets in the way and you just have to accept it and find a workaround. Don’t sweat the small stuff!

 

Another issue I find really challenging is finding a balance. I am ambitious with my business and I absolutely love working with my clients but I also cherish my family and my home life. I can most definitely have both but I regularly need to check myself to make sure one thing is not encroaching too much on the other. I have to be strict with myself and learn to say no when a client asks for an appointment during designated family time and, vice versa, I have to use the time when the kids are in nursery and my husband is working effectively and efficiently. Scheduling training times logically to allow time for planning new sessions or getting that all important admin out of the way is definitely a juggling act and I definitely drop balls along the way but I am getting better all the time which is the most important thing! 

 

What are you most proud of?

 

My proudest achievement goes with out saying are my children (I so have to say this as it would officially make me a bad mum if I didn’t lol), but when it comes to personal life-goal achievements, this is what I personally struggle with I don’t naturally think I’m proud of myself very often. Which is ironic as I’m very good at telling my clients about the importance of stopping to pat themselves on the back!

 

I have always been goal driven but I have a habit of setting the bar high when it comes to my own goals. I do stop briefly to revel in the satisfaction of reaching a target but then I very quickly close my mind to the achievement and start aiming further ahead at a new target. I spend very little time resting on my laurels!!

 

On a professional level, I am really proud that I have created UYM but more than that, I am super proud of the camaraderie that I see every time I run a training session. The women really motivate and keep each other going and it’s so satisfying to see. I love watching my clients grow and change whether that’s helping a bride reach her target dress size in time for the big day, helping a client achieve a physical first or PB, or simply being a part of someone’s journey to becoming comfortable in their own skin and most importantly leading a fulfilled life due to not being in pain.  Keeping up with and carrying their ever growing children!!

 

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

 

This sounds cheesy but I would like to help as many women as I can in varying stages of life whether that’s pre wedding, pre and post pregnancy, Peri menopause, menopause post menopause or just general life fitness.

 

I am fully trained in pre and postnatal exercise and, alongside my regular bootcamps; I have started a small exercise initiative called Bounce Back.

It’s a small class for groups of 6. One to one training can be cost prohibitive for many but exercising in small groups like this helps clients spread the cost whilst still receiving a more tailored service, which is a key consideration with pregnancy and post-partum exercise.

 

This is also something I offer at my home gym where I train groups of 2-4 people at a time. For some people it’s about reducing the cost whilst for others it’s about having an ally or someone to train against. Whatever the motivator, these sessions are proving really popular and I definitely see them being a key part of my offering going forward.

 

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

 

The best advice is to take no advice! Everyone you speak to has such different opinions and the Internet just compounds that even further!  Definitely be informed. Speak to people, read books, look online but ultimately make your own choices and trust your own instinct.

 

Block out the noise and you start to hear you own inner voice – your maternal instinct really does exist.

 

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

 

This makes me chuckle because I am all about everyone looking after each other and I generally forget myself! Nothing fills the soul more than spending quality time with my nearest and dearest and by this I mean both time as a family but also couples time away from the kids. I also really cherish time with my group of girl friends and I come away from our catch-ups happy and invigorated (and also sometimes a little broken!)

 

Meditation is something I use to keep me centered (don’t mean sitting cross legged Om – ing even though I do love it) I mean stuff like a 20-30 mins you can do quickly and anywhere.  I am massively into the concept of Mindfulness in a frantic world!

 

I recently found (and now love) restorative yoga. I went along to a friend’s class and now I’m sold. They bolster you, put pillows around you, encourage you to relax and loosen up to a point where you’re almost asleep – BLISS! I went in with a tight ball of stress in my tummy and a metallic taste of adrenalin in my mouth and came out floating (in the middle of the day). I can’t recommend it enough

 

Amber’s contact details:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/UpminsterYummyMummies/

This Girl Can Campaign in Essex- https://www.activeessex.org/tgc-essex-ambassadors/

 

 

 

 

Monday Mother: Sophie Farrow, Founder of Bad Mum® magazine.

This is EXCITING… So thrilled to be featuring Sophie Farrow, Founder of Bad Mum® magazine. I am so on board with her ethos, and I am always so inspired by stories of women building something around caring for little kids, as well as wondering how others make it work…

Check out all her links at the bottom. DO IT.

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Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

I am a stay at home Mum to my son, Jake. I run Bad Mum magazine when I possibly can and when Jake is at Nursery. I’m hoping he will be doing more hours in January and then I will have two full days working on Bad Mum, which will be amazing!

What kind of work did you do before having children? 

I was an event and wedding planner in a hotel.

How did you get into your current work?

Well I don’t work but I run the website (and hopefully go into print soon) which can be very hard work…unpaid too! I have been blogging since 2008, back when it was just for geeks and called an online diary. I have had many blogs and websites, written for many websites and now it has all come together into what I do now.

What drives you?

Two things; my son and my dream. This will sound so odd to some people but I have always known I’ll end up doing something that will be successful (I’m getting there) and I’ll be good at it. I would day dream away and get excited, I just knew I would work it out somehow but it’s taken me years to work out what exactly I should be doing. Then Jake came along and it all clicked into place. I want to show him that if you work hard and at least try then anything is possible. That he can be anything he wants to be! If his Mummy can go into a new industry and learn a new craft in this point in my life, then imagine what he will achieve in his.

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

Learning something I’ve never done before (making a printed version of Bad Mum.) I am way out of my depth and I’ll be the first to admit it. I need to learn loads and ask many questions, plus work very hard as this is a full time job. I am on my own doing this with a son and partner that have no idea what I am trying to do so it can be very lonely and hard at times. It can be so hard to find the motivation to keep going everyday when you work alone and unpaid but it’s keeping that dream in mind. I just don’t have the time to do all the things I want to do until Jake goes to school which is tricky.

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What are you most proud of?

My son, Jake! I look at him and think “I made you!” Which I am sure most parents do but it’s the best feeling in the world. That should be on every parents CV…”I made a child. End of!”

I am also very proud of Bad Mum magazine and what I’ve achieved in a year so far. I love the fact it builds a community, I can showcase people’s talents, bring everyone together and help where ever I can. When I started out, I really wanted my writing just shown somewhere so if I can help people do the same, then I will. Everyone involved builds Bad Mum.

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

I would love to see my printed magazine in shops and selling well. I want to see it up there with other magazines and holding its own. I want to break the mould with parenting magazine.

I would love to hold events as that is what I used to do! I would like to attend events to get out meeting new people and networking. I also would love to give something back to people in some way too. 
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?

You’ll be fine! Go with what your gut tells you as you’ll always be right to trust it. You don’t need all the brand new gear as it’s mostly a waste of money! What you will experience will change your life completely and be the hardest most challenging time of your life but also the best. There will be very hard times but keep going as they always pass by. Cherish every moment as it will go so fast. Hug and kiss when possible! You’re doing the best you can, and that is perfect.

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

Be on my own!! I HAVE to be on my own at some point. It’s my way switching off and recharging, otherwise I feel suffocated. I like to just sit and watch one of my programmes with some lunch. I do like my own company and good on my own.

Your website and social media details please. 

www.badmummagazine.com

www.sophiefarrow.co.uk

Instagram: @bad_mum_ 

Twitter @bad_mum_ 

 

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).
Ts and Sweaters in the shop now and watch out for our new campaign spreading some mindset magic and solidarity.
Opening our new HQ in February, keep up with progress on Instagram here.
 #doitlikeamother #doitlikeamotherhood
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Monday Mother: Charlotte Rogerson – Life, Career and Confidence Coach

This week it’s the lovely Charlotte Rogerson. I completely relate to the utter satisfaction of facilitating women’s discoveries about themselves. It’s no secret that I think the transition into motherhood is an extremely challenging one. It’s so fantastic that we have more options than ever in terms of how we move forwards- we just can’t always see them.

You might never have considered hiring a coach, but receiving (and delivering) coaching has had a MASSIVE impact on my achievements- it’s something I couldn’t live without now. You can find out more about Charlotte’s business at the links at the bottom.

Tell us about what you do?

I’m mum to two daughters, Jasmine and Megan who are 1 and 2. I run a coaching business, working specifically with mums who want to discover their dream business/career. We work together to connect them with who they truly are, gain clarity on what they genuinely want to do and build confidence to achieve what they desire by living authentically.
What kind of work did you do before having children?
I worked in London for 18 years as an Executive Assistant before moving on to set up my own business as a Virtual Assistant.
How did you get into your current work?
I’ve always wanted to work with people on an emotional level and I studied counselling at college in my spare time before I had children. After having my first child, I knew I didn’t want to go back to the 9-5 in the City. I wanted to live life on my terms. I started my VA business as it felt safe – I knew I could easily do the job, plus it gave me the flexibility I needed as a mother. I was doing well and getting clients but something didn’t feel right – I didn’t love it.
I did some digging and realised I needed to work with my strengths, not my skills. I loved counselling but being a mum to two little ones, I no longer felt it was the right path for me so I started to investigate coaching. I fell in love with it – it totally aligns with who I am. I enrolled in courses and hired a coach to work intensively and set up my business.
The reason I have chosen to work with mums is largely due to the fact that I have been there. I know what it is like to want more but not really understand what more means. I want to help mums live life on their terms and understand that they can have it all – a dream career/business and still feel like a great mum.
What drives you?
Helping other women become the best versions of themselves. It gives me so much satisfaction to know I have helped someone discover the path they were always supposed to be on.
My children also drive me –  I want to be a strong role model and show them that you can achieve whatever you desire in life with hard work, determination and belief in yourself.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
Time. It’s a bit of a juggling act to ensure I am present in all areas of my life (family/work/social) and I am certain all mums can relate to that! The great thing is I no longer resent the time I spend working because I’m doing something I love and believe in, plus it allows me to make time for family and social life because I set the terms.
What are you most proud of?
 
Aside from my children, my determination. I am sure most people who have set up a business will agree it isn’t always easy and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve had my own wobbles, but the underlying belief and determination that this is what I am born to do pushes me on to the next level.
 
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
 
The sky’s the limit! I would love to run group programmes and retreats for mums/women – watch this space!
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
 
Make the most of it and this is something I still say to myself. They grow up so quickly and I’m extremely grateful to have a career that allows me to be so involved with my children.
 
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup? 
 
I am a huge believer in self-care and keeping my cup full. You can’t run on your reserves for long so by taking some time to yourself, you have a lot much more to give.
I love reading a good book, a little bit of indulgence in the form of a spa treatment or some quality time with my husband (child-free!).
 
Your website and social media details please. 
If you would like to explore deeper into what having it all means to you, download my free workbook: www.bit.ly/haveit-all
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).
Ts and Sweaters in the shop now and watch out for our new campaign spreading some mindset magic and solidarity.
Opening our new HQ in February, keep up with progress on Instagram here.
 #doitlikeamother #doitlikeamotherhood

Monday Mother: Sarah Ridge of Sarah Jane Loves

What I love about this interview with Sarah is that it shows us, life is made in how we respond to our circumstances- she could have given up, but she didn’t, and now…
Shop her lovely stuff at the bottom.
Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
 
Back in January 2016 I found out the jewellery company I was working with had gone bust….by email!! It broke my heart at the time but fast forward to June 2017 and I’ve been able to launch my very own jewellery business, Sarah Jane Loves… It’s been a huge rollercoaster so far but I’m loving every minute!
 
Being my own boss means I can be there for my two children – Rosie who’s about to turn 13 (how can I be Mum to a teenager?!!) and Oliver who’s 9. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a massive juggling act and sometimes it can feel like you’re dropping balls left right and centre!! But I’ve always believed that it’s really important to show your kids that if you want something badly enough and you work hard, you can achieve anything. Also, having a daughter, I want her to see that it’s ok to have a strong work ethic and that you can be an independent woman capable of anything you put your mind to.
 
What kind of work did you do before having children?
 
My career history is varied to say the least!! I worked as a professional dancer when I left school which was a dream come true! I then fell into TV & Radio presenting briefly until my husband Paul and I got together, which was when I began to explore a career in the sales industry.
 
How did you get into your current work?
 
I first discovered direct sales when Oliver was a baby. I stumbled across Jamie at Home, Jamie Oliver’s party plan business, and immediately fell in love with all the products. I also really liked the way I could build a business within a business and work flexibly around my family. I’ve since worked with several DS companies and each one has taught me something that has helped me get to where I am now. I’m passionate about mentoring women in business and nothing makes me happier than seeing ladies I’m working with blossom and grow.
 
What drives you?
 
Quite a few things! Some I’ve mentioned already – most definitely being a role model for my children and the ladies I work with. But also wanting to take the pressure off of my husband who works so hard for us! I’d love for him to be able to retire and go back to doing things he loves. Hopefully one day I can make that happen!
 
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
 
Time management for sure!! I know that’s true of any working mum though! Even with both of my children at school there never seems to be enough hours in the day!!!
 
What are you most proud of?
 
Firstly, I think it’s my determination and resilience. I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off more times than I care to remember!! Secondly, my new business – it was so scary setting up on my own but I’m immensely proud of what I’ve achieved so far.
 
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
 
As my business is still so young, I’m keen to build things up gradually. I’ve seen what can happen when you grow too big too fast!! I’m really looking forward to mentoring lots more ladies and helping them build their own businesses, on their own terms.
 
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
 
That no baby ever died from crying too much!!! That it’s ok to not be ok and to ask for help more. Also to cherish every single moment as they grow up wayyyy too fast!!!!
 
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup? 
 
Walking my pooch Barney makes me very happy! If I had more time I’d love to get back into performing. I pop along to an adult singing class when I get the chance – nothing makes you feel better than belting out a show tune with a bunch of like minded ladies!!!
 
Your website and social media details please. 
 
 
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). Ts and Sweaters in the shop now and watch out for our new campaign spreading some mindset magic and solidarity  #doitlikeamother #doitlikeamotherhood

Monday Mother: Michelle Virtual Assistant

Today’s Monday Mother is Michelle Anderson from Michelle Virtual Assistant. This is such a fantastic service, and something that the rest of us growing businesses around our kids can really benefit from. Her links at the bottom of the interview…

Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that. 

I have a 2 year old and 1 year old! (Stupid or clever idea having them so close I’m not sure! Maybe clever in a few years :)) Before having children I worked in London for 15 years in the Finance Industry. I always thought I’d go back to London to work after having my children but I felt too guilty putting them both in nursery for 12 hours a day. I’m also very aware that they won’t stay little for long so I decided to embrace this time! However, being in employment since the age of 16 I found it hard not having a profession so in July 2017 I set up Michelle Virtual Assistant.

What kind of work did you do before having children?

Office based 9-5 in London.

How did you get into your current work?

Actually it was a friend that suggested I should become a VA. At first I had a bit of self doubt and thought no I can’t do that. Then I come to my senses and realised that I’d only be doing what I’ve done for the last 15 years and the only difference would be is that I’m control!

What drives you?

I love having goals and something to work towards! It’s great that I am able to stay at home with the children but I really need to use my work brain too! I also want my children to be proud of me!

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

Having very young children it is difficult to get all the time I need to be able to promote my business and attend networking events. However, I am happy to let it grow organically and enjoy the ride!

What are you most proud of?

My children! Being from a single parent family, I am proud of what I have achieved in life without any financial help.

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

In the new year I hope to attract more clients! In the future I see myself hiring associates to be part of my business!

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

That it is hard but all you can do is your best and that is good enough! You will laugh and cry but we all go through the same! Just take your time to adjust to your new role/life and know it will get easier! Being a mummy is the most amazing gift you can be blessed with!

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

I wish I had more time for self care but I know this will come in good time! A nice walk, extra sleep if I can get it and a yoga class is a nice treat!

Your website and social media details please. 

www.mvirtualassistant.co.uk

[instagram.com/mvirtualassistant]instagram.com/mvirtualassistant
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 in the shop now and watch out for our new campaign spreading some mindset magic and solidarity  #doitlikeamother #doitlikeamotherhood

Monday Mother: Joanna Bullock – business strategist – helping mums grow their empires

This week for our Monday Mother it’s Joanna Bullock – business strategist – helping mums grow their empires at Blossom Coaching. You can find links to her at the bottom of the interview. This is a very moving piece, and her advice for new mums is just perfect… read on.

Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

I teach mums how to grow their online empires, by creating and implementing systems to make their lives easier /more productive and raise their visibility by teaching them how and where to show up, be seen / heard.  You could call me the helpful fairy coming in and streamlining your biz so you can concentrate on the stuff that lights you up.

Daisy is now 11 months old but I still feel like a “new mum”. When does that change? Outside of work, in my downtime, I’m normally watching some form of “real housewives of…..” or reading some sort of personal development book.

In my “non” working days, it’s all about soft play and meeting other mums for processco Fridays ;0)

What kind of work did you do before having children?

I was an account manager for a business development team in London so customers service is A+ for me. Selling / marketing / streamlining processes, Lots of drinking. Lots of events and 60 plus hours a week. Hence why I burnt out pretty quick.

How did you get into your current work?

I lost 5 family members in 5 years including my parents and had to do a huge amount of inner work just to be able to get my arse out of bed in the morning. I was told I’d make a good coach so I just looked into it and hey presto, I loved it. I was a student of Bob Proctors and done every single course I possibly could. It was an easy transition to see where I could help others save time and be more productive.

What drives you?

Losing the people I did, when I was young, has made me realise that life is too short. Make each day count. Don’t do the shit you hate. It’s made me super focused.

Also Daisy, ensuring she has the best of the best and can accomplish anything in this life.

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

Definitely my baby, Daisy. I’ve massively struggled with becoming a mum and keeping my business current and earning money. Hence why I had to remodel / restructure it!!

I was fiercely independent so to have a baby and not be able to just “pop” to the shops to get milk was an eye opener. Also to not have family around that can help with babysitting duties, so it really is about being super organised, super focused and productive. No more scrolling through Facebook for an hour. I need to get shit done!

What are you most proud of?

Building a house, whilst being pregnant and keeping the plates spinning! Even making 3 meals a day is an achievement whilst living in a caravan.

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

My plans are pretty simple. To be the best, and to show others how they can grow their empires, regardless of their limitations / circumstances or backgrounds.

I want all mums to realise their dreams, how they can have it all, and do what they want. It’s that simple to me.

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

I am a brand new mum. Say what?! Erm, don’t worry about the cleaning. No one is going to remember that when you’re gone. Take pleasure in being with your baby as they grow waaaay too fast.

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

Self care….I don’t.  I teach others this all the time but at the moment, it’s all about filling the sleep bank and sometimes reading a self help book.

Your website and social media details please.
Blossomcoaching.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1251096304985171

Monday Mother: Stephanie Witt, Founder of Dress Doctor

This weeks Monday Mother, what a fab concept from Stephanie Witt – Founder of Dress Doctor… links at bottom of interview
Tell us about what you do- your mothering situation and your work outside of that.
I have three little ones that call me Mummy: Max 6, Hugo 4 and Estella 2. My little girl has just started a few hours in pre school, which has given me the gift of time to concentrate on my business Dress Doctor.
Dress Doctor was born in 2008 stemming from my obsession with style and fashion. I offer style consultations to establish how I can tailor your clothing choices to suit your personality and lifestyle. I also do wardrobe surgeries to sort out the hoarder in you and encourage a wardrobe that works for you. I then offer shopping trips to help give you the knowledge and ideas to dress for a new confident you. I can then return home with you to incorporate your new purchases into your existing wardrobe. My mission is to make everyday dressing simple and make it easy for my clients to select outfits that make them shimmer with natural confidence.
What kind of work did you do before having children?
Was there life before nappies and no sleep?! If there was I used to be a personal assistant to directors at Elle and Red magazines. Previously to that a was a personal assistant to fashion designer Nicole Farhi. I also more recently worked as the weekend stylist for Lakeside shopping centre.
How did you get into your current work?
My styling business was created because of my insider experience of the fashion industry, through working at magazine and design houses.
My life long obsession with Vogue magazine led to me sharing my knowledge of fashion through my business.
What drives you?
I want to break down the misconceptions surrounding the fashion industry. Lots of people think it’s all air kisses and anorexia. I want to help people realise that fashion, style and dressing to enhance, is and should be available to everybody.
I am totally down to earth and honest. I offer a fresh pair of eyes and a new way of making yourself feel good, by choosing attire that reflects your personality and unique style. I will give you the foundations you require to go shopping knowing what to pick out to flatter and enhance your individual shape.
I especially want to reach out to mums to share my experience in how to keep your confidence through all that physical and psychological change. We grow so much as people after having a baby and your wardrobe also needs to mature with you.
What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?
Swapping to a ‘can do’ attitude and shaking off a bad case of Imposter Syndrome. I am great at talking about what a need to do, but find it hard to physically achieve it.
I need to stop doing housework!
What are you most proud of?
I am really proud of my stint as the weekend stylist at Lakeside. I learnt so  much and really grew as a stylist in that time. I now feel ready to focus on my own stylist venture.
Where will your work take you in the future? What are your plans?
My goal is to be the ‘go to’ stylist in Leigh on Sea. I want to work hand in hand with local boutiques in Leigh to educate woman and men on how to dress for their unique silhouettes. We have a wealth of beautiful shops in the area, we just need to know how best to use them.
What would you say to yourself as a brand new mum?
Enjoy your fresh little bundle, because that saying they grow so fast couldn’t be truer. I worried I was doing it all wrong, but now I know to trust your instincts and to close your ears to all those “he slept though the night at 2 days old”. It’s all lies!
Self care- what do you do to fill your cup?
I cocoon myself in a blanket with a bar of Green and Blacks 70% and devour as many fashion magazines as possible.
I also place myself under my husband’s armpit once all three are upstairs and watch Netflix. Narcos is our current love interest!
Lastly, go shopping and or for a latte with NO kids / nappy bag / Peppa Pig paraphernalia…
Your website and social media details please…
FB @dressdoctor15
Instagram dressdoctor15
Twitter stephanie_witt@dressdoc
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 in the shop now #doitlikeamother
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Monday Mother: Gemma Bennett, founder of Hidden Gem Holistic Health & Happiness and one half of Soulful Hearts modern day wellbeing events

I am SO THRILLED to feature Gemma Bennett, founder of Hidden Gem Holistic Health & Happiness and one half of Soulful Hearts modern day wellbeing events. I first met Gemma around 3 years ago, and was immediately struck by her authenticity- it shines out of her. She has supported me with reiki and EFT, I send my family, friends and clients to her whenever they are in need- SHE. IS. AWESOME. Her links at the end of the interview…

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Tell us about what you do – your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

I am mother to a lovely and incredibly fun 2 year old boy. I work within my own company hidden gem as a counsellor and holistic therapist, specialising in emotional wellbeing and balance. I use various therapies such as CBT, EFT ,Reiki and Bach flower remedies to assist in releasing emotional difficulties like anxiety, stress, depression, trauma or just a general feeling of loss of self.
I am a Reiki master and regularly teach Reiki courses throughout the year and have also recently teamed up with my friend and Reiki therapist Ella, as Soulful Hearts, to run various wellbeing events and reiki shares.
My husband owns Platinum PT Studio in Leigh Broadway and although this is very much his ‘baby’ which i’m super proud of him for, I do help out with certain admin aspects as a Co-director here too.

What kind of work did you do before having children?

I opened Hidden Gem 5 years ago and have been working with Reiki and EFT for nearly 8 years so I was working in this way before I had my Son. Since having him I now work part time and running the courses and events is new, I feel my therapies have naturally evolved too as things do but the basis is the same.

How did you get into your current work?

I discovered these therapeutic techniques relatively young whilst on my own personal journey , I’d say Reiki found me really and the rest naturally evolved. I was working as a personal trainer at Excel gym at the time, surrounded by wonderful colleagues who opened my eyes to the power of the mind, it’s effects on emotional health and a holistic way of living. It was here my journey of self connection accelerated and my interest in people really sparked. I then divided my time at the gym between personal training and Reiki before undergoing further qualifications in counselling, EFT and naturopathy and setting up on my own as Hidden Gem.

What drives you?
I’m driven by happiness and inspired by people . How cheesy is that! But seriously let me explain. It’s my belief we are naturally meant to feel good, that our natural state is one of inspiration, balance , self love and  connection, but so many things can make this feeling seem fleeting. So many people are battling various emotional blocks that prevent this , I feel passionately that we can find our way to a happier state given the right tools and if I can facilitate a person’s journey to this in any way I’m driven to do so. I love people, I was always told off as a kid for talking to much and have a keen interested in acting which i think this is just my interest in connecting with other people and characters. I love our differences our uniqueness and I enjoy meeting all different souls, my clients are my inspiration.

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

My biggest challenge is time. Balancing mum and home life, making sure i have time for my relstionship, my friendships, myself and the work I love to do. My mind floods with ideas and i want to do it all but I’m part time, and if I eat into my mum time or me time that’ll not serve me either. So my challenge is 1. to balance my time effectively and 2. to park an idea for later if needs be.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of myself when I make choices, be it business or personal, that are true to my values and authentic to me. It feels good to me to create a life on my terms.  I’m proud that I do I job I enjoy and that enables me to have plenty of time with my son too. I’m super proud of my baby boy too, he makes my heart burst.

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

I’m writing, slowly but surely I’m writing a self help book on emotional balance based on my therapeutic experience and that is accessible to the modern world we live in. Once this is complete and published I actually have a number of children’s stories floating around in my head that i’d be excited to release. I’m interested in doing more public speaking engagements too. I do have to allow this all to happen at a steady pace though if i want to maintain my work and life balance. Oh, and throw more children into the mix shall we, I intend to increase the Bennett brood at some point.

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

It’s all just a phase and we’re all learning as we go. With newborns things are constantly evolving and changing so make the most of the moments to cherish and take comfort in the hard times that’ll it’ll pass, it won’t stay that way forever. I think as well you are gifted a baby and have this expectation on self to be a perfect mum, what is that anyway? We’re All  learning and trying and some things go smoothly some things don’t, just remember you are Mum you own that title no matter what, make your own mum ways.

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

I’m a cheerleader for self care, I whole heartedly believe self care is a necessity and should be prioritised and not a luxury that may or may not happen. You have to make it happen and saying you haven’t got time is a priorities issue not a time one. We can’t give  from empty so I truly believe it’s essential to feed your soul.
I think hobbies are great! Kids have loads of hobbies and things they do just for fun and as adults we unlearn this essential life skill. Well I do things I enjoyed as a kid. I dance and sing and get involved in productions. For example this Christmas I’m involved in a local improvised pantomime, it’s so much fun, super creative and really fills my tank. I love to move so I exercise regularly, I feel good when I’m using my body and so grateful that I can. I obviously don’t have time to do this stuff particularly the performance based things as often as I did when I was a child, but I make sure it’s crowbared in enough to keep things sweet.
Me time to re charge is important too, especially needed since juggling work and being a Mum, so I block out some time every 6 weeks thats just for me, in this time I may have booked a treatment to enjoy, or I’ll mooch around shops, take myself for a coffee or lunch, read a book, but it’s me time.  I’m really strict with this marking it in my diary 6 weeks before, as it’s all too easy to prioritise something else or let the habit go, especially as a mum, but not once have I regretted self charging like that, even if I could of been doing something else. I just see it as super important not just for how I feel but for me to be the best  version I can be as a mum, wife, therapist etc. I created this 6 week system as a new years resolution this year and have totally stuck to it. And hey, It makes me easy to buy for a Christmas too, as I just stock up on my treatment vouchers to use throughout my me time.

Website
www.hiddengemholistic.co.uk

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Hiddengemholistic/
https://www.facebook.com/soulfulheartswellness/

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 in the shop now #doitlikeamother

Monday Mother: Beccy Mae-Rose Founder of RED Matchmaking Ltd, Love Summit and Co-Founder of Mum Means Business

Today we have one seriously multi tasking mother…As a multi passionate woman myself, it’s fricking fabulous to read about someone spinning so many plates. The wonderful Beccy Mae-Rose Founder of RED Matchmaking Ltd, Love Summit and Co-Founder of Mum Means Business. You can find her links at the bottom of the interview.

Tell us about what you do – your mothering situation and your work outside of that.

First and foremost I am Mum to two of my favorite people on this earth. Hannah is 10 and Olivia is 9 so yes I was pregnant forever, or at least it felt that way at the time! I became a single Mum when they were tiny, just nearly 3 and 17 months old and my business has always been built around my girls. I find that the flexibility of being my own boss allows me to take the time I need to be full out there for them. While they lived with me for the first 6 years they now live with their Dad and spend 4 consecutive nights a fortnight with me, it’s not the life I would have chosen as a Mum but it’s where we are and I am always one to make the best of any situation.

Having 10 straight days to focus on my businesses has certainly allowed me the time to make a greater impact. My core business is as a matchmaker where I get to know my private clients exceptionally well and then head hunt for matches and arrange dates for them. We work together closely so that my client becomes the very best version of their selves which in turn allows them the quiet confidence to be able to match with their best chance of lasting love. I have a team who help with this from an incredible stylist too an outstanding dating counselor, of course, we have a super talented photographer and makeup artist, our beauty and wellbeing expert Courtney Smith is an angel and really helps to relax clients….and me!

Love is such a huge passion of mine and I have always believed that it is more than romantic, it can change your life. When people learn to truly love their selves just as they are everything shifts when people pour love into their relationships they also thrive and business that is done from a people first or heart-centered space isn’t fluffy, woo-woo or just for charities, it is sustainable and good business sense. The Love Summit has been created to have one day focusing on this and it is a bit like my business baby, I love the bones of it!

Mum Means Business has the most wonderful story and example of heart-centered business, collaboration, and support. Leah, Lucy and I have created a space both online and face-to-face where women can be truly supported in business. We have networking events with onsite childcare, online courses, and community that help women to grow their businesses and we are here to help women shine full out in business and life.

What kind of work did you do before having children?

Would you believe that once upon a time before I had my children I was a management accountant in the City? It all seems like such a lifetime ago when I used to get the train each day and work with numbers, not people. At the time I loved it though and I always worked for entrepreneurial companies from private hospitals Head office in Rochford and then the UK’s first ever Prepaid Mastercard company. I was their 11th ever employee and both the first and the second to go on maternity leave…..I literally hid behind my hands when telling my boss about the second pregnancy.

How did you get into your current work?

I became a matchmaker after having what can only be described as an epiphany one sunny Saturday in London. I had set up as a motivational speaker and business coach and it was going brilliantly. I loved my life, children, business and I was managing to ace a degree….no small feat for a dyslexic but I was still single some 5 years after my marriage broke down. Not only that I had experienced some frankly awful, even scary and dangerous dates. So I did what any proactive woman would, I set out to learn from the best. For me, that is Paul C Brunson, a matchmaker from Washington DC.  As he stood there training us 70-80 awesome women how to find true love I realised like a bolt from the universe: I needed to be a matchmaker.

What drives you?

What drives me to be a matchmaker is the wholehearted belief that if we all had more self-love then we would find healthier matches. Healthier matches are even more than happy couples, its families that stand the test of time. Children with 2 parents, not that single parents aren’t awesome because they are but it is healthier and easier with 2 parents and that begins with finding the right match. I truly believe that healthy & happy couples make healthy &happy families which then make stronger communities……basically I want to save the world one happy couple at a time as crazy as that might sound!

What is your biggest challenge in making it all work?

The biggest challenge of making it all work, really, opening my heart and soul….fear of success. I am the first to shoot for the stars but I will often inadvertently sabotage myself because deep down I had a fear of success. I want to do this for everyone else, for the greater impact to the people I can and do help but that whole “I am not worthy” stuff rears its ugly head. It is something I have coaching to get me past as a fundamentally believe that every one of us in a unique miracle and deserves everything your heart desires….I’m just better at getting it for others than I have been for myself. Yikes, I feel super vulnerable being so honest about that one!

What are you most proud of?

Other than my children as the will always be who I’m most proud. Without a doubt, I am most proud of the teams that I work with. I am blessed to work with extremely talented people from the events manager Linda Elsdon who has worked with me for years now, to Lucy Davidson and Leah Layzell who have co-founded Mums Mean Business through to the incredible speakers that I have been lucky enough to work with, speak alongside and the crews, sponsors and exhibitors at the events I host…..so very many incredibly talented and hard-working people. If ever I am having a tough day I always stop and have a moment of total gratitude for the people I get to work with and who support me to be and do all that I do….I just couldn’t do it without them.

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

In the future, I am powering through my fear of success and have nearly finished my first book which is about values, how people can define or decide their core values and build a healthy life from there.  However the underlying and almost core theme it is more about relationships, the impact of toxic relationships and our ability to move on to healthy relationships and break that cycle. It is the book I wish I had been given as a teenager or again as a divorcee and shows how to rebuild yourself after any toxic relationship. I have recently been interviewed on Sky TV about the Mother-daughter relationship and how to repair after a toxic relationship….super scary but such an honor to have been invited.

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

If I were to speak to me as a brand new Mum I would say “You aren’t perfect, nor do you have to be. Ask for help, stamp your feet and demand help as you do not have to and please never try to do it all on your own. You ARE loved and those who love you want to help you; just darn well swallow your pride and allow them to help you”…..P.S. if you made babies that beautiful surely you can finally see how stunning you are too.

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

Reading is my go-to self-care, especially a good self-development or psychology book. There is something about snuggling up and reading a book, preferably from cover to cover if it’s a short one. I need to do that at least once a month. Otherwise finding the time to read a few pages every day. Exercises is also an essential for me, be it jogging slow but long distances or heading to the Gym for a half hour killer HIT class I am a nicer, kinder and vastly more chilled person if I read and exercise.

http://www.redmatchmaking.com/

www.redmatchmaking.com
Find Your Love RED Matchmaking is committed to supporting singles in finding lasting love. Matchmaking is a world away from internet dating. We meet all members personally, complete background checks and work with you as an individual to find your ideal partner. Our service is discreet, professional and secure.

 

https://www.facebook.com/beccy.maerose.18

https://www.facebook.com/lovesummituk/

https://www.facebook.com/mummeansbusinessuk/

https://twitter.com/BeccyMaeRose

 

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 in the shop now #doitlikeamother

Welcoming Indy Alexa

Thanks, Laura, for this amazing account. This is a brilliant demonstration of our philospohy- positive, imperfect birth. (I say positive with confidence because this legend of a mother has told me that’s how she feels about it). We cannot control everything in birth. We can do lots more than you possibly think, and we can own our responses too. This makes all the difference. #doitlikeamother
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Monday 19th June 2017 was not only mine and my husband Neil’s 9-year anniversary, it was the day before my due date. I woke up with a feeling I’d started to lose my waters, however it was such a small amount I wasn’t 100% sure, and would keep an eye on it. I spent the whole day walking around Leigh and Southend seafront with a friend, 28 degrees and no breeze so I was knackered by late-afternoon! I had only lost a tiny (and I mean tiny) bit more water throughout the morning but I thought best to ring triage anyway. They really didn’t think it was my waters as it was such a small amount & hadn’t continued to trickle throughout the day.
A few hours later I had a couple of light tightening’s I thought may be Braxton Hicks, and on telling Neil he said we should cancel our anniversary meal in case it was the start of things. I insisted we go as it was only up the road, I wasn’t even convinced it was the start of things, but if it was it would be the last chance we’d have to go out for dinner just the two of us for a long time! During the meal I had a few more tightening’s which ended up getting stronger and closer together, so we realised were actually early surges! Funnily enough we were having a curry (spice that baby out & all that jazz) but headed home the second we ate our last mouthful (no dessert, unheard of!) 
 
By 9pm the surges got a lot stronger, and continued to do so over the next couple of hours, so Neil rang triage around 11pm. They said as we were only in the very early stages of labour and it was late, we should try and get some rest. I was now kicking myself for having such an intensive day in the sun, I was already tired and knew it could be hours or god forbid, days. I think it was this thought that made me have my first ‘I can’t do this’ meltdown. Neil sorted me out and helped me get back in the zone, counting for me to do the 4 7 breathing. (He said afterwards he was a bit worried at that point because he really didn’t expect me to panic so early on). As expected, lying down was the worst positon for a surge, so resting was pretty impossible. The times when the surges were further apart and I managed to fall asleep, I woke with unmanageable pain; I think the fact I couldn’t feel the surge coming and couldn’t prepare with my breathing made it worse too. So I decided to stay awake, but told Neil he should sleep so he could be more useful to me later on.
 
After an hour or so I had to wake him because the surges were getting closer together and I really needed his support. We went through the night doing 4 7 breathing and changing positions on and around the bed while watching Russell Brand’s Ponderland (hilarious) with the fan on as it was exceptionally hot. My cat had come and lay on my pillow next to my head; he never does things like that so clearly sensed something was happening. I was sick a couple of times and went to the toilet, both of which I knew were good signs. The surges were getting stronger, but went through stages of being close together, then further apart.
 
Neil rang triage again at 7am and they said the same as they had previously, surges needed to be consistently 3 minutes apart for at least an hour in order for me to be in established labour, and suggested having a bath to relax. The bath worked wonders! I was completely relaxed as Neil washed my hair and poured warm water over me, our little baby kicking away. It was at this point I realised how magical the situation was, just the two of us together for the last time, waiting for our baby to join us. I went from being really tired and slightly struggling, to feeling so positive and like I could enjoy what we were doing together to bring our baby into the world.
 
We went downstairs for a change of scenery and watched The Mighty Boosh, which was hilarious and reminded us of when we first got together. We laughed and chatted in between surges, and Neil was brilliant at making me eat and drink, even though I ended up being sick again mid-afternoon. The surges were really strong but still very erratic, sometimes really close together for quite a while, and sometimes quite far apart. At around 3pm things had really cranked up a notch; every time a surge came it was followed by a shooting pain up my back and the feeling of needing the toilet (I waddled to the toilet after every surge, just in case!).
It was shortly after this I had my second ‘I can’t do this’ meltdown. I felt like I was struggling to get through the surges, no position and not even my ball were helping, and I panicked not knowing how much more intense it was all going to get. Neil reassured me that I was doing amazing, and brought down my favourite positive affirmation cards and laid them out on the floor where I was kneeling on cushions, which really did help as I repeated them to myself. He rang triage again and explained the feelings I had but they said that was all normal, and my surges were still too erratic for me to be in established labour. They said I could go in if I wanted but recommend staying at home as long as possible so I didn’t get sent home, which obviously would’ve been my worst nightmare.
 
Neil dug out the tens machine but I really didn’t like it. After an hour I tried it again as the surges had got even more intense, and I do think it helped slightly, but the breathing and Neil counting definitely helped more. Despite the surges being long and intense, and me making a lot of noise to get through them (which Neil afterwards described as a ghost!) the breathing made them feel shorter than they actually were. I couldn’t comprehend we’d be going as long as we had, which is weird as you’d expect time to go slow when you’re in a challenging situation like that for as long as we had been. At 5.30pm we made the decision to go into hospital, as I was really struggling and Neil could see that things had gone up yet another notch. The thought of travelling to the hospital in rush hour and having surges in the car filled me with dread, I was demanding Neil get a midwife come to us instead (obviously way too late to be thinking about a home birth!) Luckily we live very close to Southend Hospital so I just had to get on with it.
 
Upon arriving at the Midwife Led Unit I was examined. I remember the midwife, Alicia, saying ‘oh hunny’ and I was waiting for the dreaded ‘you’re “only” 2cm’ so I was overjoyed when she said I was 10cm and I’d done amazing getting to this stage at home. In hindsight, I should’ve trusted myself and my body and known that I had indeed been in established labour for some time, but being a first time mum you genuinely don’t know how much more intense it’s going to get, so I naively trusted someone on the end of the phone who based their assessment on the regularity of my surges. Doh!
Unfortunately, the rooms with pools were full, but I went into a lovely air-conditioned room with a huge bean bag (aka cloud) that I kneeled over; the gas and air a god send! I still didn’t feel an overwhelming urge to push, and the midwife told me to just go with my body and if I didn’t feel the urge then I shouldn’t. I remember the cool room suddenly getting very hot and a bit feeling out of it, the conversation between Neil and the midwife in the background as if it was half a mile away. It turned out my temperature went exceptionally high, so the midwife asked if we could go to another room for me and baby to be monitored. I explained I really didn’t want to be stuck on a bed; she said not a problem I could kneel on it & move around once our heartrates were checked, so I agreed. However mine and baby’s heart rates were much higher than they should be, so a doctor arrived and I was given some hydration fluid by IV drip. They checked to see if my waters were there but they weren’t, which made them suspect they had indeed broken the morning before like I thought, which was now 35 hours previous. The doctor explained they wanted to give me antibiotics due to the risk of infection to me and baby, as this could be what was making our heartrates and my temperature so high. The antibiotics were also given by IV drip.
 
The next hour was a bit of a blur, as more and more people arrived into the room. They wanted me to deliver asap, as the baby’s heartrate was not going down. At one point I heard someone say ‘resus’ then wheel a machine in. The worst started to run through my mind, so I closed my eyes and started again with the 4 7 breathing. The doctor explained that he wanted to give me an episiotomy and use ventouse to help baby out, which I agreed to without question. I was actively pushing on my back; the opposite of everything I’d learnt and prepared for through hypnobirthing. But I was exhausted and didn’t even think about wanting to move. I was so worried about the baby but managed to stay calm through breathing and zoning out. After some time, the doctor talked to me about a potential c-section as baby wasn’t coming, which panicked me as I really didn’t want to go down that route after we’d worked so hard together at home to get to this stage. When the anaesthetist arrived and told me she approved me for a c section, it gave me the extra motivation I needed to get the baby out. So at 7.53pm on Tuesday 20th June (my due date & 25 hours after it all started) our little girl Indy Alexa was born, weighing a tiny 5lb 11 with a head full of hair and lovely loud lungs; a sheer joy to hear after the last hour of chaos.
I remember the doctor saying you did it well done, you did it. I was thanking him but he kept thanking me and Neil and shaking our hands. I felt incredible seeing the perfect little baby on my chest and knowing what Neil and I had been through together to get her there. I felt rock!
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Reflecting on the experience, the main thing I question is whether things would’ve went the way they did had I of gone into hospital sooner. They may well have though, and I know I made the decisions I felt were right for me and the baby. I feel immensely proud of myself and Neil for bringing Indy into the world safely, and so grateful for the help and care we received. Despite the last couple of hours taking a dramatic turn and not going at all to plan, the time at home together was exactly what we wanted. Extremely challenging but calm and magical at the same time. Hypnobirthing and a positive mind-set not only changed my birth experience, it changed my life. As has the arrival of our wonderful little girl.
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If you’d like to know more about hot to step into this way of thinking about birth (i.e. that you are an absolute badass Goddess who is DOING IT, not some damsel in distress it is happening to) then check out our courses here.
If you just wanna wear the strong vibes, you can grab some of our merch here.