I was never one of those people whose soul goal was to be a Mum. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I wanted children one day, in fact if I pictured my family I pictured two little girls which was more than likely down to growing up with a sister, but I never was one of those people who felt like they were made to be a Mum. In fact I can remember the first time someone asked us if we we wanted children. We were on holiday in Portugal and in a tiny complex of three villas. Mr E and I weren’t even engaged at that point, but there was a family there with young children and they had taken a bit of a shine to Mr E, so he was playing with them in the pool. Their mum who was sat near me on a sun lounger said ‘Oh he’s a complete natural, do you want children one day?’ It honestly was the first time I had even really thought about it.
But fast forward a few years, to Christmas Eve 2010 to be precise and our eldest daughter was born. It completely turned our lives upside down, like it does to most people I presume. It was the most emotional time of my life becoming a Mum, feeling that overwhelming love that actually almost hurts a little, that fierce need to protect your child, those sleepless nights that are like no exhaustion you have felt before and a little bit of a feeling of selfishness- how those constant on demand breastfeeds make you wonder whether you will ever feel like yourself again. But ultimately it changed me in so much more of a positive way, even in the hardest moments, I can definitely say that becoming a mother has made me a better person.
Now I can’t really even remember what I was like before I was a mum. Of course I can remember my career and the successes and stresses that went with it, I can remember those times rolling in at 5am after far too many shots, I can remember that my salary pretty much went on clothes and holidays. But I can’t really remember me as a person. Because my whole life is now dominated by our girls. I know it won’t be like this for ever, as they grow I know it will become less intense and I will properly find ‘me’ again, but having a 5 year old, 3 year old and a bump means that at the moment my life revolves around my children and I actually don’t mind that. I know I will look back in years to come and miss these intense but amazing days raising little people. I still have a life away from them, whether that’s a meal out with friends or my days when I work, but inevitably my life and pursuits at the moment revolve around them. Yes of course parenting and motherhood can be tough at times, but for the most part these girls of ours have helped shape me and define me. My life will always be the happiest with them in it.
Some people say becoming a mum can make you lose a little bit of yourself and I do agree with that to some extent in those very early days of life with your first born. But now I actually think my children have helped me find things that make me happy besides just them- I have learnt to have a huge passion for photography and documenting our memories through words, I have realised I actually have a creative brain and I have enjoyed more creative pursuits, and I have even forged a different career as a result of having them. Work wise, I am the happiest I have ever been and I adore working for myself- that is all down to them. I have learnt to treasure the ordinary moments even more and as a result I am more content than ever. Yes I have lost some parts of me, my body has seen better days and I have seriously lost my sense of style when it comes to clothes, but for the most part being a Mum has changed me for the better.
I always thought I would be a girl Mum, like I mentioned above when I thought of my family dynamic I always imagined two girls. But being a Mum has been the best thing that has ever happened to me, even more so than I thought, and so much so that we decided that if we were lucky enough we would love to add just one more member to our family. So now all being well, in a couple of short months I get to have the experience of being a Mummy to a little boy, something which I didn’t think would ever happen. I get to do the whole motherhood journey again, but this time it is going to be slightly different. It’s so exciting and I cannot wait for him to be here so we can complete our family.
I am very lucky that I have always had strong female role models in my life and my girls are lucky that they get to build these relationships too. My own Mum is my best friend and quite simply I adore her. She has made such sacrifices for us in her lifetime and always put our needs before her own. I can’t even really put into words how much she means to me and I don’t think I could even begin to tell her if I tried. She isn’t the perfect Mum, after all who is, it was my Dad who played with us non stop rather than her, but she more than made up for it in other ways. She gave the best cuddles, in fact she still does and I think myself and Mads definitely get our affectionate side from her- she will tell us she loves us and she is proud of us all the time, in fact almost every day. She made me feel safe, confident and secure, I remember going through a phase when I was probably old enough to know better of wanting to sleep in her bed all the time, because to me there was no one else in the world who I loved more and wanted to be near.
But not only is there my Mum, there is also my Grandma and my Sister too. And then also my Nana and the girls ‘Nana Jacqueline’ who is my Dads wife. There are all these lovely women in my family who they have the pleasure of knowing. I feel thankful for them every day, but when I actually stop and think about it for a second to write about my thoughts, I realise that it is all of them playing a part in the Mother I am today. Not only that but we have substitute family, people who aren’t related to us by blood but who are there for my girls and who love them so much. People like their godmother ‘Auntie Emma’ who does so much for them and who the girls adore, and also their ‘Auntie Paula’ who has also played a big part in their lives as well.
Back in the summer I worked on a really exciting campaign with Cath Kidston, which I was honoured to be a part of where we appeared in a gorgeous little video centred around starting school (it still makes me emotional to watch it!) so I was honoured when they got in touch asking to work with us again as they truly are one of my favourite brands.
They asked me to think about my motherhood achievements and to ‘celebrate her‘ and when they said this, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate my other most favourite ladies in my life as well. We won’t all be together on Mothers Day this year as my crazy Grandparents are off to Morocco again (they are in their 80’s and are always jetting off!) so I thought we would invite them all over for a tea party.
The girls were so excited about this so of course we had to make our own cakes. They certainly weren’t worthy of pinterest by the time Mads and LL had tipped almost a whole tube of edible glitter on them, but isn’t that the point? It’s about the memories and I remember many a time in my own childhood making cakes with my Grandma.
Cheeky, smiley cake makers.
Putting the cupcake cases in the tin.
Cracking the eggs.
Us bakers. I look so tired, I have got seriously low iron levels and I got it at around the same time when I was pregnant with LL- it just makes me go so pale!
That’s LL’s new face if you ask her to smile.
Doing a good job of decorating (and eating) our masterpieces.
So the next day we had our favourite ladies over for a little tea party.
My Mum. The girls couldn’t ask for a better Grandma and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Although she needs to stop giving them so many sweets! 😉
Like I said above, I think my big girl gets her affectionate side from my Mum. Cath Kidston kindly sent my Mum a scarf which made her day.
Three generations of ladies as my Grandma came for the tea party too. We haven’t had a posed photo like this in years but I think it is so important to do every now and again, although even after about 20 takes there was always one person not looking at the camera.
Our cakes tasted delicious!
Me and my Mummy. It’s rare we get photos together and I’ll treasure it.
And my sister too.
And then finally once they had gone home the girlies who made me a Mum had a cuddle on the bed together before it was time for LL’s nap. I will treasure these photos forever.
Thanks so much to Cath Kidston for allowing me to treat the people I love most this Mother’s Day, I am so grateful that I had the idea to get us all together for a couple of hours. Although we see each other all the time, it is rare we celebrate each other and rare that we take photos we will treasure forever. You can also watch a sweet little video that Cath Kidston have created as well…
Find out more about #CKCelebrateHer…
Thanks to Cath Kidston for working with us as part of their Mothers day campaign. They are such a iconic brand and always a real honour to work with.