1. Please introduce yourself: Name, what do you do & how many children you have.
My name is Jen Solomon, my brand and business is SW1Mum. I’m a mummy blogger, local organiser in the Westminster community and I write a newsletter for local parents about what is going on in the area to do with your family. It’s useful for residents and also visitors to London. I am a mum to a 6 year old and I’m currently pregnant with my second child.
2. How do you manage to juggle work and life balance as a mother?
Hmmmm I’m not sure if I do!! I feel like I’m always trying catch up on life admin, or my writing, or my emails! It’s really tough to to fit it all in to school hours, it feels like work, catching up with friends and all my appointments have to fit in somehow between 9am-3pm.
3. What top tips would you give to any working mum?
Work for yourself, if possible! It makes it so much easier to be available for you children if you can. If you’re on maternity leave, start thinking now how you might be able to do that.
4. What do you love most about London? Do you have a favourite spot with your children?
I couldn’t possible say only one thing that I love most about London. The diversity! The access to incredible galleries and museums, the celebration of all things different, London is life to me! I can take my son for dim sum in China Town, check out Monet’s ‘Waterlillies’ at The Tate Britain and still play for the rest of the day in one of our many beautifully kept parks! My favourite spot has to be Ranelagh Gardens. it is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away in the extensive grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital, most people walk past it and don’t realise that it is open to the public.
5. How do you define quality ‘me-time’?
Well for me, my me-time is having spa treats. I couldn’t live without regular manicures. I also go for monthly facials and I try to fit in the odd beauty treatment whenever I have time. My current indulgence is pregnancy massages.
6. What is your favourite & least favourite thing about parenthood?
My favourite thing about parenthood is watching my son experience things for the first time. I remember buying a whole load of classic Disney DVDs when he was about 2. Watching his fascination and joy at experiencing ‘Snow White’, ‘Bambi’ & ‘Dumbo’ for the first time was purely magical. The worst part of motherhood is whenever your child in unwell. You truly understand the feeling of wishing you could take the suffering away from them and take it for yourself, but it’s just the beginning of learning as a parent to cope with your child’s suffering and not always being able to take it away.
7. Tell us something people don’t know about you.
I’m a qualified Personal Trainer (I’m actually a Master Trainer, and in 2010 I won an award as the best personal trainer in London)! I loved my job, and am still passionate about fitness, but the long hours were not compatible with motherhood for me!
8. Given we are all about embracing Motherhood, what advice would you give a first time Mum?
My advice to any first time mum, is to love yourself, and be kind to yourself. Many of us are guilty of putting huge pressure on ourselves to be perfect. If you can’t breastfeed, it’s not big deal to bottle feed. Let the house be a mess. Let people help you with the baby. You don’t have to do it all yourself, and you don’t have to execute it all perfectly like a Stepford wife!
9. I’m a mum and……
I’m a mother and so much more… We are mothers, and so many other things as well. I think society in general tries to define as this one thing, but we’re so much more complex than that!
10. Finally, what do you love most about Kensington Mums?
I love the community that Kensington Mums provides. I’ve met many wonderful people at your events, they really bring mothers together, and with such diverse themes, there’s an event for everyone!