Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you’re an expectant mum, or you’re on your 4th, you’ll likely agree on what a special role being a mother is. Of course, every mama should be celebrated all year round but it’s great to use this day to really celebrate women and reflect on your own personal journey to parenthood. We chat with five inspirational women about the joys and sometimes difficulty of parenthood.

Natasha Corrett, author & founder of Honestly Healthy 

image: Tinyposers.com (Kristina Mack)

How do your expectations of becoming a mother pre-baby now compare to the reality of being a parent? Are you the mother you thought you would be? Is parenthood what you thought it would be?
The only expectations I had was that the love would be unconditional and I would be tired! I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the love that hits you and develops daily. Honestly no I am not the mother I thought I would be I still can’t leave him and he is 9 months old I thought I would be running for ‘time out’ and getting back to work but I am loving spending my time with him and feel so blessed and grateful that I am in a position that I can be with him 24 /7 as so many mothers have to get back to work. I know that in a year he will be going to nursery and I will have lots of time on my hands. So I am just going with the flow. Something I am learning to do daily as most of the time things don’t go to plan!

How has your relationship changed with your mother? Is there a greater appreciation/understanding of the joys and sometimes difficulty of being a parent?
Yes very much so. I have a respect for her now that I didn’t have before. She is a remarkable woman. I now understand the love she has for me. I also feel guilty for the hell I put her through when I was younger!  It must be heart destroying seeing your child take a wrong direction in life or get in trouble and the way she supported me through my life to make decisions was amazing and I hope I can do the same for Rudy. I also hope that I am as good a friend to Rudy as my mother is to me.

What are your favourite things about being a mother?
The giggles and cuddles are the best. When he learns something new and you can see he is proud of himself it fills my heart. I also love watching him with my husband. Their bond is growing stronger every day and he just loves to play with him. It’s so sweet to watch.

 

Julie Montagu, yoga teacher & author

How has your relationship changed with your mother? Is there a greater appreciation/understanding of the joys and sometimes difficulty of being a parent?
My mother had 5 of us!  So, I pale in comparison to my mom having had only 4 kids.  I have such huge respect for my mom now – I really don’t know how she did it all! But I definitely credit my mothering skills to my mom.  When my first child, Emma, was born, my mother told me never ever read a parenting book – just listen to your gut and your instincts.  And that’s what I’ve done with all 4 of my kids.  I have never ever read one single parenting book and I think, for me, I’m a better mother for it.

What are your favourite things about being a mother?
I love the fact that all 4 of my kids are so different despite raising them all pretty much the same! I love their individual unique personalities and their different interests and hobbies. Sometimes I wonder how on earth can they all be so different – I raised them the same! But I love it.

How do you realistically find time for yourself? Do you ever feel mum guilt or do you actually really see the benefits of taking some time out?
I think when they were younger, I had a lot of mum guilt – I felt I had to give every ounce of my energy to them. I’m happy and proud to say that I feel totally different now!  I think I exhausted myself so much that I knew something had to change and change with me and that started with 2 words: self-care. I’m here to say, taking time out for you is worth it.  I’m definitely a better mother and wife for it.

 

Sadie Reid, founder of Hip & Healthy

How has your relationship changed with your mother? Is there a greater appreciation/understanding of the joys and sometimes difficulty of being a parent?
My mum is amazing. We’ve always had a very strong bond and since having Max she’s been there for me more than ever. I used to think she would always worry for no reason when I was a teenager and it use to annoy me how she’d always demand I text her every time I drove somewhere to let her know I had arrived safely – but now I totally get it! I am dreading the day Max passes his driving test!

What piece of advice would you like to tell your pre-motherhood self?
Travel and be adventurous – when kids come along that really does get put on hold.

How do you realistically find time for yourself? Do you ever feel mum guilt or do you actually really see the benefits of taking some time out?
I use to get huge mum guilt, to the point where I wouldn’t take time for myself at all, but I have really learned that I need time for myself to be a better mummy. To not get as cross, to have more patience, to have better understanding, less anxiety and just be an all-round better parent. Plus, I have also learned that Max needs to learn from other people, and he needs to work out how the world works and he’s not going to work that out from just being with me the whole time.  So now, when I make time for a run or a bath or even just a coffee on my own with a magazine – I truly indulge in the moment and no longer feel any guilt.

 

Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga

How do your expectations of becoming a mother pre-baby now compare to the reality of being a parent? Are you the mother you thought you would be? Is parenthood what you thought it would be?
I tried not to have expectations I just knew becoming a mother was something I felt pulled to be for a while. Now that it’s a reality, some things are as I imagined, like the joy of her and the experiences of seeing her discover the world. Some things are like I’ve seen in movies but seem too wild to be reality, like the full-on-schedule of it all, mushy banana everywhere, and working on getting control over my leaning to protect her from every little thing. Now that she is starting to walk and wobble I’m usually found hunched behind her holding her fingers so she can balance. Most surprising is how much things change with her so often. Once I feel like I’ve got one thing down, she is onto the next. So many lessons.

What piece of advice would you like to tell your pre-motherhood self?
Gather the village. There isn’t a gold medal for doing everything yourself.

How do you realistically find time for yourself? Do you ever feel mom guilt or do you actually really see the benefits of taking some time out?
Now that she is out of the baby stage, the clouds have parted a bit. It’s easier for me to pass her off to Dad, Grandma and Grandpa or our babysitter for a bit. I know she is happy to have the variety of people to play with (and she has lots of friends her age she adores) It’s good for everyone. I’m lucky with my schedule being full on but also flexible and I’m with her a lot.  

 

Nicky Clinch, transformational life coach & macrobiotic chef

How has your relationship changed with your mother? Is there a greater appreciation/understanding of the joys and sometimes difficulty of being a parent?
My relationship with my mother has gone through such deep healing since I became a mamma. Whilst Teia was a newborn I realised for the first time how hard it must have been for my mother to go through what she went through when I was born. My dad had left her and she was alone bringing up me (a newborn) and my brother & sister. I suddenly saw she really did the best she could at a seriously tough time. It was like all the years of hurt and anger I’d felt just melted away. I have the deepest respect for her now and love her with all my heart. And watching her with my daughter is really beautiful, they have a very deep bond. I’m so grateful to feel such peace and love with her now. It has changed me as a woman.

What piece of advice would you like to tell your pre-motherhood self?
Trust yourself!!! You have a deeply wise inbuilt well of mother wisdom within you. Listen to what feels right for you and your baby and trust yourself. Nobody knows your baby as well as you and your instincts do. Trust this.

Oh and don’t read too many books on motherhood, it’ll mess up your mind!! And don’t listen to too many other people’s opinions. Mother your child the way that feels right for you.

What are your favourite things about being a mother?
Oh man so much!! I am literally besotted with my daughter! I love it when she crawls into my bed at 3am and wraps herself around me and goes back to sleep. I love having baths with her and making funny soapy wet hairdos. I love watching her grow in courage, confidence & wisdom. I love our chats – we can talk about the funniest things. I love our walk to school where she tells me about her dreams. Honestly, this list could go on forever.

OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LOVE…

SHARE THIS STORY