Motherhood by the founders of the Bshirt

1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.

Lisa and Philippa are co-founder and Directors of the Bshirt.

Lisa is a mum of two boys: Nico (7) and Xavi (4) and breastfed for a total of 4 years. Lisa was an NCT trained Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and counselled breastfeeding mothers voluntarily for 3 years. Professionally, Lisa has over 10 years’ experience in international marketing, public speaking, project management and budget management.

Philippa is a mum of two boys: Albie (7) and Brandon (4) and breastfed for a total of 4 years. Professionally, Philippa has 15 years’ experience in website production, with in-depth technical knowledge of digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO and social media.

2. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?

There is never enough time for everything. We’re learning the art of delegation at work and at home. Division of labour! We tend to work hours to fit in with the school day – so we work 9am to 3pm – so that we can do the school run. But we might work evenings a few nights in the week to catch up. The highlight for us is being with our kids over the summer holidays – spending the day at the beach then home for dinner where we hand over to Dad, who relished taking the kids to the park for a play while we have some evening time in at the office. It’s a balancing act but it can be done.

3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?

Working mums are simply the most amazing people on the planet. It’s not just about being organised and delegating tasks. Us mums can have a division of labour when it comes to household chores but the mental load (planning everything that comes with family life) still resides with us. So to stay sane you need to make sure you not only delegate tasks but also responsibilities. Things like chores are easy to divide up but who’s responsible for the after school arrangements, or the doctors appointments, or new clothes, or making sure the swimming kit is ready? It’s us. So look after yourself – plan ahead as much as you can – forgive yourself when things go wrong – because they will go wrong – and ask for help when you need it.

4. What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?

We both lived in London for over 10 years pre-children and really felt at home in what we felt was one of the best cities of the world. We love how London can be whatever you want it to be – a small village, busy nightlife, a great shopping trip, or a relaxing bike ride through the park. When we visit with our kids it’s hilarious – we always seek out city farms and parks! You can take the boys out of the country apparently, but even in a city like London they just want to climb trees. Our favourite place to stay in London with the kids at the moment is Blackheath and Greenwich Park.

5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?

We have waited so long for this! But both of our children are now at primary school (hip hip hurray!) and we are determined to keep one weekday free for ourselves. We go to yoga classes, or a run, or meet up for coffee with a friend during the daylight hours in the beautiful market town of Totnes where we live. We’re also quite fortunate to have a great dancing venue, pubs and bars and even a retro cinema on our high street. You literally can’t keep us in at the weekends! We’re fortunate to have really great friends who love to let their hair down and we mustn’t forget to make some time for the hubby too! Date nights and babysitters are a must.

6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?

One of the hardest things about motherhood is losing your sense of self. We go from being independent women totally in control of our lives to being totally selfless and having to put our children’s needs above our own, which of course we do willingly and with love, but as the years go on it can really take its toll. Asking yourself – what do I want – is a really hard thing as often mum’s needs are at the bottom of the totem pole. Simple things like the clothes you wear and your hairstyle can have a big impact on your personal identity. So it’s really important to check in mentally with yourself when you can. But then one of the best things about motherhood is simply watching your children grow up and the rewards of all that self-sacrifice are played out within their little worlds as they forge their own friendships, make choices, and blossom in the environment you so lovingly created for them.

7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.

You might be surprised to know that when we first started breastfeeding we weren’t all that confident. We both fed our first sons in public toilets because we were scared about being harassed in the cafe.

8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?

Well, our advice is please seek help and support if you decide to give breastfeeding a go. We both had moments when we felt like giving up in the early days – we would scream in the middle of the night ‘I hate breastfeeding!’ because it’s really hard and demanding and it can feel like the more difficult choice at times. Without support groups and telephone hotlines we might not have made it through. We’re so glad we got the support we needed, otherwise we never would have been able to feed until 2 years.

9. I’m a mum and……

Bossing it!

10. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?

We love Kensington Mums because it’s informative but in digestible browsable chunks. It has such a mix of content so has something for everyone, plus it is always nice to be in the loop on events going on in London. Having both lived in London, we visit often with our families, so it’s great to be able to keep our finger on the pulse with all the latest and greatest London events, pop ups and places to visit.