- How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother two?
Me and my business partner both have two children each, both 3 & 1 year olds, so we are in the thick of the physical toil that is small children! We have brilliant nannies, for starters. When we first started working on mush we were having to do ad hoc childcare, working in nap times, working on the notes section of our phones when confined to the nursery shush patting a baby to sleep etc. We are so relieved we now have more structured 9-5, but there are still emails popping up in our ‘mum time’. It’s an art to give your all to your kids in this day and age; everything is such a distraction with phone alerts going off all the time. So how do we manage to juggle? I’m not sure we do! But we try!
- What was your inspiration behind your app: Lets Mush?
Sarah & I both had our second babies and found ourselves mateless. Not literally- I mean we had full and busy social lives at weekends and lots of friends- but what counted was the mums around the corner with babies and toddlers the same age who were free monday to friday. Those we were lacking (Sarah had a silly small gap between no 1 & 2, I had just moved back from New York) so we found each other in a playground and awkwardly exchanged numbers in a hazy state of sleep deprivation and disjointed sentences. After spending the winter keeping each other sane and hanging out together, we realised it shouldn’t be a chance encounter that led to these amazing relationships. So we developed mush to make sure ‘no mum does it alone’, so that all mums could find mums nearby who had kids the same age, shared interests and mutual friends. It took a while but the app has been available for the last 6 months now.
- What top tips would you give to any mum on starting her own business?
If you are starting your own business, write lists. Lots and lots of to-do lists. Approach it in bite-size chunks and set achievable goals. e.g. today I will look at what competitors there is to the business I am creating, tomorrow I will work out what the branding will look like, the next day I will scour LinkedIn… Be tenacious, shoot for the stars, but give yourself a break to be with your kids!
- What is always inside your bag when going out with kids in London?
My bag has nappies, wipes, snacks (raisins, biscuits, bananas) wallet, phone, hairbrush, lippie, spare pants (for my child, but hey, two kids in, I wouldn’t put myself past it).
- What is your favourite hang out in London with your children?
We love Richmond Park, if that still counts as London! We take a picnic and walk up from one of the many car parks to secluded spots where you can convince my three year old we are in an enchanted wood and build camps. It feels like a huge breath of fresh air from the week commuting within central London. And it’s free. Try it!
- How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
‘Me-time’ has changed in a major way since having kids. There’s so much less of it obviously. I still manage to carve out my absolute must-have which is at least a couple of runs a week. I go around a 4 mile loop with Spotify at full volume (my poor ears) and feel like the world is my oyster and there is nothing I can’t do. Then I walk in to cheerios flying through the air, a full sibling war and remind myself not to be so smug.
- I am a Mum and…
I am a mum and ‘a mum friend’.
- What do you love most about London?
The diversity of London is phenomenal. The streets and buildings are steeped with history…it;s the best city in the world. We take it for granted, but we shouldn’t!
- What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Launching an app with a baby under 1, when we had no idea how to launch an app 12 months previously! And it going straight to the App Store promoted page! This is not at all humble of course, but as a mum you have to savour the wins. But my kids being healthy, happy, inquisitive, loving and loved, despite the hours of my life spent behind a laptop, is something I feel very proud of.
- Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
My advice to a first-time mum is that it’s okay to feel lonely and like you don’t know what you’re doing! It’s also okay to like you are riding a wave of elation in one moment and depths of despair the next. I assure you, something you are in tears about is often something you can reflect back on in hysterical laughter a few hours later. Such is the emotional time of new motherhood. Just make sure you have enough people nearby experiencing the same phases, and the job’s a goodun.