You know when you find yourself in an Instagram wormhole? You’re not sure how you got there, perhaps via your sisters, friends, cousins, teachers, mate? Nonetheless, there you are. This was the case with Lucinda, I stumbled across her profile and gave her a little follow.
Bumping along at a similar rate we had our babies (my first, her second) a week apart and as my struggle with breastfeeding began to take its toll I reached out to her in desperation. With that, a friendship was born.
I later learned about Nurturing Mums, the business she runs alongside part-time ‘lawyering’ on top of mothering two children, under three! We caught up as I asked ‘how on earth do you juggle it all!?’
SB: Tell us a bit more about Nurturing Mums, where did it all begin?
LH: I started running Nurturing Mums when Teddy was 5 months old; even though he was a full-term baby he was born with premature lungs which came with some challenges. Previously I’d been a full-time lawyer and I just knew I couldn’t go back to that, so I quit, which seems like such a bold move now but it was the right thing to do at the time.
The idea behind Nurturing Mum’s came out of my own experiences as a new mum. I made friends on my antenatal course and I couldn’t quite believe that this educated group of woman (myself included) felt so lost in this new world of being a parent. I wanted to give mums a space to meet up and get practical, non-judgemental, advice and that’s where Nurturing Mums steps in; the 4-week course covers sleep training, weaning, and first aid. You get a free Monkey Music class and a goody bag full of extras, oh and a professional photograph of you and your baby! Currently, we’re in 9 London locations and recently started in Market Harborough. We plan to go-live in 3 further London locations later this year, and let’s see what happens further afield! When people take NM outside of London it really has to be something they’re passionate about. If anyone reading this is interested get in touch! (insert link to email)
Other than the course we have an online store (www.thenurturingmumsstore.com) with loads of (often mum-led) brands. I was frequently finding amazing small brands on Instagram and out-and-about and thought it would be great to have them all in one place.
SB: But you haven’t given up on lawyering completely?
LH: On Monday’s I lawyer in addition to picking up bits at nap time and when my kids have gone to bed. My boss is a mum and a very driven woman and appreciates I can work and be a mum at the same time as long as there is some childcare! Behind NM there is a small team (Danielle and Kirsty) who are there supporting me, they help run the courses and with a lot of the admin. Also, this time around, my husband is taking three months of shared parental leave which has given me the opportunity to go back to work part-time. It’s so amazing that he can do it and something I would really encourage others to look into.
SB: What are your thoughts on Social Media?
LH: I’m not really someone who has a love/hate relationship with social media. I generally find it a really positive space, probably because I honestly don’t care a huge amount what other people are doing, of course, I look, I follow, I think ‘oh that’s great or fantastic’ but it doesn’t make me feel inferior. You know, occasionally I see things and think oh that looks great why wasn’t I invited? but then I think you know what ‘you do you, and I’ll do me’. I now I have three social media accounts and I’ve made some wonderful wonderful friends through Instagram. So, for me, the benefits far outweigh the negatives and I think if you are trying to build a small business finding those people that you really get on with can be a fantastic support system. It can be lonely being at home parenting or running a business alongside it.
SB: What do you think of this latest phrase ‘self-care’?
LH: I think self-care is one of those phrases that people huff and puff over but actually I think it’s really important. It doesn’t have to be a spa day (although I am a fan of getting my nails done!) it can simply be having a shower on your own, shutting the door with no little people in there! Doing the food shop on your own, Just having a bit of headspace. I always joke to my husband that his commute is his self-care ‘you don’t have to speak to anyone, just put your headphones in’. So I do try to take a time bit of time out every day. It makes me feel a whole lot better.
SB: You’ve done it twice now, give us your essential new mum tips!
LH: Don’t take it all too seriously, don’t beat yourself up about it, just do what you can. I know we often think we might be one way before we have a child and then we find ourselves doing anything that works. Children are hugely resilient so give yourself a break, we are our own harshest critics.
SB: Tell us about your perfect night out?
LH: My ideal night out would be with my girlfriends. It will start early, there will be a lot of carbs and a lot of wine involved. I think we will start with pizza and then go to a bar with a dancefloor. I like a bit of a boogie, but I don’t want a big club and I want somewhere that closes at midnight so I can get home and get some sleep because let’s be honest hangover is never fun when you have a baby!
Being a mum is….hard! It is hard; exhausting, wonderful and everything in-between. I’ve probably never cried as much or smiled as much either. But I think it’s okay to call it hard. It’s wonderful but it’s exhausting, it’s fun, and you think what was my life like before? I wouldn’t change it but it would be nice to have a duvet day occasionally!