1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
Hi I’m Charlie, mum to 3 little wonders – Flora (6), Fred (2) and Isla (10 months). I’m the founder and creator behind Fearless Flamingo, a range of prints and products designed to encourage children to explore their emotions and stimulate positive expressions for the way we feel and behave.
2. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
I launched Fearless Flamingo just before the arrival of no.3 so I’ve spent this maternity leave building up the business which has been exciting and challenging in equal measure! I’m shortly about to return to my advertising job too so we need to start figuring out the logistics of how this will work. It’ll no doubt be hectic but I’ve found if you’re doing something you’re passionate about then working until midnight doesn’t seem so bad (most of the time!)
3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?
In practical terms it’s all about lists for me, and then having a priority structure within them. If I don’t get things onto them I find myself constantly distracted, or worse, waking at 4am worrying about what I’ve forgotten! Lists aside though I think maintaining balance and perspective is vital. It’s so easy to get stuck in groundhog day with the work/after school routine. This happened to me and I felt like I lost my identity along the way. It was one of the reasons I started my business, to try and find an outlet for my creativity and reclaim something for myself. It’s a constant learning curve, and I’ve in no way got it nailed, but having a better balance and remembering why I’m doing it all has made such a difference to my happiness and sanity.
4. What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?
We live very close to Brixton and I love the vibrancy and diversity of living in this part of London. We’re lucky enough to have huge varieties of food, shops, parks and more, right on our doorstep, which is great for the kids to experience too. But my favourite place has to be our garden. We catch the sun most of the day, so to be outside with them, yet close enough to all the paraphernalia we still need, is a winner.
5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
It’s usually an early morning run or a walk with the dog – I love the peace and quiet at that time and it’s the perfect headspace (since kids I seem incapable of sleeping past 7 so I may as well be doing something!). I can also totally lose myself for hours drawing.
6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite thing is watching them see or understand something for the first time – that wide-eyed wonder is just amazing. Also seeing their love and affection for each other (in-between the scraps!) is beautiful, oh and some of the classic lines they come out with are gold.
I think the monotony of routine can be tough sometimes so it’s important to switch things up. Sometimes a slight change to how we do things can totally shift the focus and change the mood.
7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I ran the London Marathon when I was 17 weeks pregnant. Looking back I can’t quite believe I did it, but I’d trained so hard and was so determined not to let pregnancy define me, I wanted to see it through. So I sought advice, listened to my body and finished in 3 hours 35 minutes. I was over the moon!
8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Everything is a phase – good things and bad things. Enjoy the good and ride out the tough times knowing better things are round the corner (I need to do more of both). Also keep a little book on you at all times to write down some of the funny things they say. You always think you’ll remember them but you don’t – it’s one of our most treasured things to look back through.
9. I’m a mum and……
Proud. Proud that somehow we’ve managed to create 3 wonderful little people but also that I’m pushing myself to do things that even a year or two ago I never would have had the confidence to do.
10. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?
I love the interview sections – particularly the dads. It’s a great reminder that there is no one way to do anything. Every child and parenting experience is different and there’s so much we can learn from each other.