1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
I’m Charlotte McMillan, the founder of Storychest, the private digital memory box for families, a place to keep and enjoy life’s moments and to share them with family, close friends and future generations. It’s available as an iPhone app on the App Store. We have three boys, twins aged 13 and a 10-year-old. One loves art and opera, one is a computer coder and the other is sports mad, so they pull us in all directions!
2. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
As all of our children are at school, I don’t need full time childcare anymore. We have an afterschool nanny for 3 afternoons a week, to pick up our youngest and help with afternoon activities and homework. Because I run my own business with my business partner, and often work from home, I have some flexibility to work around all those things that are important not to miss – school plays, sports’ days, even the off the cuff chats – the in between times when you really get to know what’s going on.
3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?
Work out a system that works for you. If you need some help to make it all work, do what you need to do. Children’s requirements are constantly changing. I found that when our boys were babies, I was able to work full time, after taking maternity leave, because we had a very capable full-time nanny. I missed the boys every day, but I knew that they were being well cared for and loved. For me, it was more important to be around more as they got older, so I went down to 4 days a week when I went back to work after having our third boy, so that I could do the school pick up one day a week, and have a day during the holidays to do something fun with them. But everyone is different, the important thing is to find your own balance.
4. What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?
I love so many things about London, the list is endless. Tate Modern is up there as a favourite. The exhibitions are always great and being around the South Bank makes for a fun day – walking through Borough, the markets, past the Golden Hinde and then across the Millennium bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral. We play a family game whenever we’re getting the bus through the City – counting dragons.
5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
That’s a hard one. Having a haircut, treating myself to a pedicure, going out with my girlfriends, date night with my husband, reading a good book. I rarely get to do anything truly for myself, but life’s busy and I enjoy that.
6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite thing about parenthood is seeing little individuals grow, and nurturing that along the way. It’s so lovely to see the boys succeed at something that they love doing. I’m a firm believer in letting the child choose their own path – we are here to support that as best we can. My least favourite thing about parenting is keeping on top of the dirty clothes! Our youngest loves every sport, so has numerous costume changes through the week. The laundry basket is never empty.
7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I love thunderstorms. I grew up in south east Queensland, and they remind me of home. I’ve passed that on to the boys too – whenever it’s raining heavily at night time, we call it lullaby rain.
8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
Trust yourself. When it comes to your baby, you are the expert. Listen to the advice that you’re given and then use your common sense to work out what’s right in your circumstances.
9. I’m a mum and……I am trying to make the most of each day, because before we know it, the children will be adults and off doing their own things.
10. Finally, please let us know what you love most about Kensington Mums?
We don’t live in Kensington but our boys are at school in the borough, so I find Kensington Mums really useful to find out what’s going on in the area.