Family Friendly Holidays: School Holiday Getaway Inspo

Family Friendly Holidays: School Holiday Getaway Inspo

School Holiday Inspo<br />
Sani Resort Greece

Sani Resort, Greece

Sani Resort’s largest hotel looks out upon the azure waters of Cape Sani from its beachfront location, surrounded by 7km white-sand beaches. From watersports and mountain biking to being pampered in the spa, Sani Beach’s lavish environment ensures uncompromising experiences for all the family.

While away the hours on secluded beaches, Ammos beach and Sani Hill beach, ripe for exploration by children and adults alike. As too is the pine fringed Bousoulas beach, open for all. Or take a restful dip in the infinity pool — breathe in the Mediterranean spirit as you gaze out over azure waters.

From double rooms to family-friendly suites, sun-drenched balconies, private gardens and floor to ceiling windows, our wide variety of rooms means there’s something to suit everyone’s wants and wishes. A large-scale hotel experience, the thoughtful touches of each room, from the Bose SoundDock to Anne Semonin products, remain luxurious and ever personal.

Bella Italia, Lake Garda, Italy

Big hearted Bella Italia is alive with possibilities, brimming with facilities and dedicated to bring the fun
Bella Italia lies on the south eastern tip of Lake Garda, at the start of the ‘Olive Tree Riviera’, and offers a beautiful holiday location for active families.
You couldn’t pick a place more perfect for kids who love fun and anyone who loves sightseeing. There is direct access to the lakeside beach, although the fabulous pool complex with its four pools (including children’s pool, lagoon pools and waterslides) offers loads of fun for all ages. At weekends throughout June, July and August, the ‘animatore’ provides a variety of entertainment too! Off parc, the cycling path between Mantova and Peschiera (also within walking distance) runs past the entrance. Then, after a busy day, you can feed your hunger in the superb restaurant, which offers wonderful views of the lake.

Bella Italia, Lake Garda, Italy Review
Arion Athens Hotel, Athens, Greece

Arion Athens Hotel, Athens, Greece

You will experience a warm Greek hospitality in a truly convenient location in Athens’s city center. The lively area of Psiri – Monastiraki, is easily accessible with a direct connection from Athens International Airport (ATH) and Piraeus port. Within walking distance of Athens’ top attractions such as the Acropolis, Plaka and ancient archeological sites, the 3-star hotel is yet hidden away from the bustling center and welcomes its guests in a cozy atmosphere.
Travelers are fascinated by Athens, one of the most attractive and charming capitals of Europe with a long history and iconic monuments. Ancient and modern co-exist in perfect harmony with each other and the historic center is a truly open-air museum. The emblematic metropolis offers a unique experience, a journey in its thousand years of history, including the chance to see renowned monuments and experience the lively city all within walking distance from Arion Athens Hotel. You will get an inspiring feeling, which cannot be described, watching the Attic blue sky, surrounded by the coastline and mountainous landscapes, while enjoying the unique spirit of the Greek life and Greek “philoxenia”.

No more years of hurt!

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

The ultimate (and actually achievable) skincare routine

The ultimate (and actually achievable) skincare routine

If the thought of ‘another thing’ to do sends you into entrepreneurial/parental spasms – you’re not alone. Typically when I see the words ‘Ultimate Skincare Routine’ I think, ‘great, here’s something else to make me feel like I’m not on top of everything’ – am I right?
My advice is different. I promise.
And to put your mind at rest I’m a professionally qualified skin aesthetician who works with an award winning micro-biologist recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in the science of reversing ageing.

Against All Odds – Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls

Against All Odds – Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls

When TV presenter Danielle Nicholls married her childhood sweetheart and professional footballer Dean Holden, their life was as near to a fairytale as it gets. After a perfect wedding, Danielle became pregnant on their honeymoon, welcoming a beautiful boy Joey, with their second baby boy, Ellis, arriving only 18 months later. Then the loved up couple completed their family with the arrival of their eagerly awaited princess, Cici, just a few years later.

Inspiring and honest Interview with Karina Jadhav & Ben Wilkinson: “I’m still finding it really hard to juggle!”

Inspiring and honest Interview with Karina Jadhav & Ben Wilkinson: “I’m still finding it really hard to juggle!”

Inspirational entrepreneur and Mum of two, Karina Jadhav, has continually made waves in the business and hospitality world over the last decade; after first stepping into the hospitality industry in 2010, as a bartender and as a waitress. Then, after years of successfully building businesses, from a food truck to award winning restaurants, Karina has firmly cemented a name for herself within the notoriously challenging sector. In 2015, Karina embarked on her biggest career achievement to date when she launched Menagerie Restaurant and bar, making her the north west’s youngest independent female business owner.

BUSINESS, BALANCE & LIFE AS ABLENDED FAMILY – Aaron Willis and Vicky Willis

BUSINESS, BALANCE & LIFE AS ABLENDED FAMILY – Aaron Willis and Vicky Willis

Successful entrepreneur Aaron Willis is best known for his appearance on The Apprentice, Series 16, but many won’t realise how inspiring his story is and how the many challenges that he has faced throughout the years has given him the drive and determination to succeed in business, aswell as the passion to give back to charity – one of which he is now CEO of – STRIDE UK – which he juggles alongside his successful businesses

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

Sarah Jayne Dunn & Jon Smith: On Creating more time with your family outdoors

It can be hard to find balance in life when we are so busy with all the other things that we have to juggle. One thing that has stood out since starting BROOD, is just how many of us are constantly looking for more ways to try switch off and spend quality time as a family. It’s also clear that we all want to incorporate ways to exercise into our weekly routine and encourage our kids to be active and outdoors too, but it can be hard to fit it in when there is only so many hours in the day! So, with a new sport activity sweeping exciting across the UK – Padel – we just had to find out what all the hype was all about, and to see if it was an activity that would fit into family life.

Alberts BookShelf Event

Alberts BookShelf Event

lbert’s Shed Event: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Our friends over at Alberts Book Shelf, Danny Miller & Nige Clucas are hosting their Summer Albert’s Book Shelf Event this weekend!

Details:

☀️📚 ALBERTS BOOKSHELF SUMMER FESTIVAL AT OPEN AIR BOUNCE 📚☀️

We promised you even more entertainment to make Albert’s Bookshelf 1st Summer Festival the most amazing day! And, I think we’ve smashed it!!

Albert’s festival is coming to Open Air Bounce, a magnificent story themed festival on 6th and 7th July, including all Open Air Bounce facilities, live readings, non-stop stage performances/ entertainment, foam parties, staycation raffel, special guests, character mascots, meet & greets, dinosaur shows, face painting/glitter tattoos and even candy floss characters!! This is an event for the whole family

Make sure you check out, like & follow Albert’s bookshelf social media platforms & their podcast on Spotify!!!

This is an event not to be missed, what are you waiting for – secure your tickets NOW they are selling FAST via the Open Air Bounce:

Alberts Shed, Danny Miller and Nigel Clucas
BROOD Live
Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
Anti Ageing One Truth 818

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
BROOD Live

No more years of hurt!

No more years of hurt!

NO MORE YEARS OF HURT

By Teresa Parker, Head of Media, Brand & Relationships at Women’s Aid

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off. I know from my work at Women’s Aid that there are refuges for women and children, who have fled to a refuge for safety, that will not turn the television on during big football tournaments because of it brings back horrific memories. While football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, where abuse already exists, at the time of big football games it can become more frequent or severe. Increased use of alcohol or recreational drugs can become a trigger for this increase, although many abusers do not drink or take drugs – the abuse is frequently about taking control rather than losing control.

Taking the opportunity to raise awareness during big international tournaments is important to us at Women’sAid, as it helps raise awareness of the issue, helping those living in fear of a partner know how to recognise what is happening and access support. During the last World Cup we launched the ‘He’s Coming Home’ campaign, which was an enormous success, increasing visits to support page on our website and encouraging donations for our lifesaving work. 1 in 8 mentions of the World Cup and England were about the campaign on TikTok, reaching so many more people than before.

Hollyoaks Supports Womens Aid

“ I always dreaded the football season, for my ex it was another ‘excuse’ to get off his face on cocaine and drink too much. He would tell me its what the lads do. For him it was fun for me it was fear. Fear of what mood he would be in when he came home, walking on egg shells not knowing what abuse was coming next.”

Emma was terrified of her ex, but is now with a supportive new partner. The more we raise awareness, the more people can get safely away from abusive partners and rebuild their lives.

At Women’s Aid we are doing important work with football clubs and organisations including at Fulham (picture taken below at the International Women’s Day game, Fulham vs Brighton) to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the attitudes that mean it is tolerated. There is something everyone can do to help end domestic abuse, from learning what to say if someone told you they were experiencing it, to putting up a poster in your workplace.

Before the Euros we have been also raising awareness with Hollyoaks, who we are working on the Cleo and Abe storyline with, with the Home Office and the ENOUGH campaign to encourage bystanders to stand up against domestic abuse. Tyler Conti who plays Abe recently rode his bike from Liverpool, where the show is set, to Paris, to raise vital funds – there really is something everyone can do!

For help and support, or to take part in a challenge in support of Women’s Aid like Tyler, go to www.womensaid.org.uk 

Fundraiser by Women’s Aid and Alice Liveing : Women’s Aid Euro Fundraiser 2024 (gofundme.com)

Teresa Parker
no more years of hurt
Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
Anti Ageing One Truth 818

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
BROOD Live

Father’s Day GifT Guide

Father’s Day GifT Guide

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

IF YOU’RE READING BROOD THEN YOU’RE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A MILLION AND ONE THINGS ON YOUR TO-DO LIST, SO WE’VE PUT TOGETHER A FANTASTIC GIFT GUIDE TO GIVE YOU SOME INSPIRATION AND HOPEFULLY SAVE YOU SOME TIME WHEN DECIDING WHAT TO BUY FOR FATHER’S DAY; WHICH FALLS ON SUNDAY 16TH JUNE THIS YEAR – JUST IN CASE YOU NEED TO MAKE A NOTE OF IT IN YOUR DIARY!

WE’VE ROUNDED UP ALL OF THE BEST FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE SUPER DAD IN YOUR LIFE, WHETHER YOU’RE TREATING YOUR DAD, OR FATHER-IN-LAW, OR BUYING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOUR OTHER HALF.

 

(All the links can be found below)

Father's day gift guide<br />

PRODUCT LINKS

Lion Doodle T-shirt

£69 per set

www.mancub.co.uk/

BBQ ALL STARS SET

Regular price

£19.99

www.sauceshop.co

Roll Top Olive Backpack

£20

https://www.dunelm.com/

Barber Elvington Leather Cardholder

£35

https://www.farrar-tanner.co.uk

Stanley Slate Quencher H2.0 Flowstate 1.2L Tumbler

£45.00

https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/

Best Dad

Mini Hardback Photo Book

£26

https://www.papier.com

Groomsmen Gift Personalized Hanging Toiletry Bag, Vegan Leather Dopp Kit Shaving Kit Bag

£19.79 (sale)

https://www.etsy.com/

ProCook Stoneware Mug

Set of 4 – Black 420ml

Only £27.00

https://www.procook.co.uk/

MAN ACTIVE TRAINING DEPT BOXY HOODIE

£28.00

https://www.boohooman.com/

 

King C. Gillette Beard Trimmer & Beard Care Kit

£40.00

https://www.gillette.co.uk/

Samsung Pro  3 in 1 Wireless Charger

£61

https://gb.evolvedchargers.com/

Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
Anti Ageing One Truth 818

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
BROOD Live

The ultimate (and actually achievable) skincare routine

The ultimate (and actually achievable) skincare routine

THE ULTIMATE (AND ACTUALLY ACHIEVABLE) SKINCARE ROUTINE

By Rachel D’aguiar, Business Owner (@onetruth818nz)

__________________________________

If the thought of ‘another thing’ to do sends you into entrepreneurial/parental spasms – you’re not alone.  Typically when I see the words ‘Ultimate Skincare Routine’ I think, ‘great, here’s something else to make me feel like I’m not on top of everything’ – am I right?

My advice is different.  I promise.

And to put your mind at rest I’m a professionally qualified skin aesthetician who works with an award winning micro-biologist recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in the science of reversing ageing. 

Lisa Morton
One Truth 818 Anti Ageing Skincare

So let’s start with what you’re doing now.  For many of you – it’s too much – yes, that’s right, you can probably do less and achieve more (if younger, healthier functioning skin is what you are after).

If you currently do absolutely nothing then this will start you on the right track.

Unwittingly those of us who care for our appearance the most have fallen into a trap of accidentally ageing our skin faster.  Anything you do to your skin that causes damage or forces cell turnover is ageing your cells faster on a biological level.

Turns out spending thousands on a course of laser treatments or micro-needling for example, will give you a short-medium term glow but at their core your cells have aged (it doesn’t actually ‘reveal’ younger skin, it reveals older skin cells that are inflamed and therefore look plumper).

the ultimate skincare routine

It’s the same with products that promise to ‘increase cell turnover’, they forget to mention the part about the ‘new’ cells being older than the cells you just replaced and that old cells have diminished ability to produce collagen and elastin, the stuff that makes you look young. You are accidentally racing towards the appearance you were trying to avoid.

 

We’ve heard the wrong advice for so many decades that no-one questions where it came from, it is certainly not following the science of how cells age, because cell division = ageing.  It’s so important to educate yourself on how your skin ages biologically because the skin industry is getting ‘better and better’ at damaging skin to reveal ‘younger’ skin.  Machines will literally combust cells with laser-focused heat, send thousands of holes per second into your skin and remove the first few layers of your epidermis.  The generation before us had none of these ‘advanced’ treatments being thrust on them, sadly we are the guinea pig volunteers being led to believe that more is more.

 

I was contacted recently by an Australian actress who had seen one of my presentations and the penny had dropped for her.  She said ‘I’m 42 and my skin is crepey and unnaturally thin.  I’ve had over 30 laser treatments and now I understand it – my problem is absolutely that I’ve aged my skin faster’.  Marketing would have you think that after 30 laser treatments she would have the best skin of anyone, right?  Wrong.

Rachel D'Aguiar
Introducing Rachel D'Aguiar

Rachael D’Aguiar has been in the professional skin industry for over 20 years. She is an internationally qualified aesthetician who owned her own skincare clinic for over 10 years. She is the CEO and Founder of the One Truth 818 skincare range and a passionate advocate who educates on the science of ageing in order to stop outdated skin practices that damage the skin.

If you are going out of your way and out of pocket to do treatments that cause inflammation and damage to your skin – stop them.  Your future self, your bank balance and your stress levels will thank you for it.

Every time your cells divide your telomeres, found on the tips of your DNA to protect it, shorten a bit.  When they get too short the cell cannot divide and it dies.  These telomeres are quite literally the clock of ageing on our cells and they tick down with every cell division – approximately 50 divisions is all they get.  It’s really not something you want to speed up!  Cells can die (and nicely dispose of themselves) or transition into Senescent/Zombie cells, wreaking havoc and encouraging healthy cells to transition faster, it explains why people can look a little aged then all of a sudden very, very old.  Again, not something you want to encourage.

The moral of the story is to aim to keep telomeres long for as long as possible.

 

We’ve covered how to stop accidentally speeding up ageing (brilliant, you’ve already saved time, money and face!) now how about we get back to the Ultimate Skin Care Routine?  

 

Cleansing.

Cleansing will remove makeup and also remove toxins and debris that may have accumulated during the day, so a nighttime cleanse is vital, it also means that your evening skincare regime is reaching your skin and not sitting on dirt.  Opt for a cleanser that does not strip the skin.  Be aware if your cleanser has acids (AHA’s, BHA’s, glycolic, salicylic etc) they can be ok, but if your other leave-on products also contain acids and retinol you are probably over-exfoliating your skin on a daily basis. 

 

Hydrating.

Your skin may need oil, water or both.  The difference is that dry skin needs oil, a dehydrated skin needs water.  If your skin is flaky and rough to the touch it is probably dry – use an oil-based moisturiser (generally thicker feeling).  If your skin feels tight after cleansing (no – it’s not a good thing!) And has very fine lines stretched across it, it is likely dehydrated, its not retaining water.  Opt for a water-based moisturiser, a spritz/mist product will also be great for you.

Dry skin and dehydrated skin can both lead to sensitive skin where tiny cracks form in the skin’s barrier and the skin gets irritated easily, so choose your moisturiser wisely. 

Don’t know where your skin sits?  Go for a hydrating moisturiser first and see how you feel, if it’s not enough for your skin to feel plump and juicy grab a nice face oil and layer it over at night.  This can be something super affordable like a bottle of jojoba, grapeseed or rosehip oil from your local health shop as its job is to sit on the surface of your skin for protection and to soften the outer layers of your skin.

 

Protecting.

Leaving the shelter of your home exposes you to UV radiation.  Yes, we need vitamin D and the sun is a great source but we also need to be aware that UV rays can cause the skin to mutate leading to wrinkles and skin degradation at best, cancer is the worst case scenario.  If you are working to have your skin look younger and you don’t use SPF you will never achieve your goal.  Period.  Over exposure to UV rays will age you, many suggest a zero exposure tolerance but I question missing out on vitamin D altogether as it is vital.

 

Want to do more for your skin? Great!  (No it’s not an expensive product or treatment that is going to cause damage…)

 

Reduce Stress

Stress has been shown to shorten telomeres faster and therefore will play a role in your skin looking older than you are.  Do something for yourself each day where you get to slow your heart rate and relax.  I know that harassed feeling of not being able to find time for that, so heck it might even just be your cleansing and moisturising routine!  If that is all the time you feel you can make for yourself then turn your cleanse into a 2-minute deep breathing massage.  Every deep breath counts.

 

Stop Smoking

Not only is smoking the fastest way to cleave off chunks of your telomeres and the number one cause of accelerated ageing of your skin cells from the inside, but on the outside the toxins in the smoke that your skin is exposed to cause free radicals, another contributor of accelerated ageing.  If you are a smoker there is no way around it, you’re going to age yourself and your appearance faster.  Please stop.

 

Feed Your Skin

There are supplements and nutrients that can extend telomere life and others that can make skin look younger. In terms of your skin, the longer the telomere the younger your skin (and all your cells actually).  A young skin produces collagen and elastin, has even balanced pigmentation and is strong, not sensitive.

Omegas, whether from your diet or in supplement form, have been shown to be linked with longer telomeres as has a diet rich in antioxidants.

Other supplements, like collagen and hyaluronic acid, can help fatten out what I call ‘the mattress’, of your skin – the structure under the surface.  The stronger and plumper this is the less likely skin will ‘fall’ in and become a wrinkle.  It also holds capillaries securely so they don’t weaken towards the surface of your skin causing a ruddy appearance.

 

The Gold Standard Ultimate Skin Care Routine

Is one where a telomerase activating product is used on the skin, this will release the enzyme telomerase that re-lengthens the skin’s telomeres – literally undoing the biological ageing process and making the cells young again.  In fact it is the only way to make a cell biologically younger again.

 

Your life is already busy! 

Step one of your New Ultimate Skin Routine: Ditch the stuff that is costing you precious time and money and that you now know is actually ageing you faster. (See, I promised you this advice was different and that you’d like this new routine, didn’t I?)  I’m serious, even if you’re half-way through – cancel that course of facial laser treatments!

 

Cleanse, hydrate appropriately and protect.

 

Relax a little, but not with a cigarette.

 

Feed your skin from the inside and if you want to add one ‘sophisticated’ step to your new Ultimate Routine, make it a telomere lengthening product, one that activates the enzyme telomerase and can actually make your skin younger. 

 

The science makes sense, use it to both minimalise and increase the effectiveness of your skincare routine.

 

Short-term you may not see a problem with this, however the times between your treatments will become shorter and shorter as you see your skin deteriorate faster due to the damage caused.

Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
Anti Ageing One Truth 818

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
BROOD Live
A letter to myself: Lisa Morton, business owner and mum of 2

A letter to myself: Lisa Morton, business owner and mum of 2

When you run your own business alongside raising your brood, there can be many times where you feel guilty for ‘neglecting’ your children. We’ve all had to put another film on or give them extra time on their iPads to continue working. The anxiety and guilt from doing so can be quite overwhelming. When you’re working you feel like you should be with the kids, and when you’re with the kids, you feel like you should be working! It can be a never-ending cycle of feeling like you are failing in some way, every day. But what if your hard work and juggling everything was inspiring your children? What if instead of focusing on things we haven’t managed to do as parents, we focus on the things we have done? What if we are paving the way for showing our children that they can be or do whatever they want? That their dreams are achievable. This is exactly what happened with the entrepreneurial Mum of 2 Lisa Morton.

A letter to myself: Lisa Morton 

A retrospective letter to herself

By Lisa Morton, Business Owner & mum of 2

__________________________________

Lisa Morton

Lisa Morton  © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

Ryan T Williams

You are frightened about your ability to do all of this on your own – and you are worried that you will screw the kids up, because you know that they would rather be with you than with somebody else.

You grew up believing that women could have it all. And now you don’t want it all. You don’t want to have to have all the answers and do all the things. It’s the worst deal ever.

You are also guilty ALL of the time: when you’re not with them – and when you have to duck out of something at work, because being a mum comes first. And people give you “that” look.

But it’s going to be fine. They will be fine. You will be fine. It’s going to be great. I promise. You do know this in your heart.

 Nina will not hold it against you forever that it wasn’t you, but your mum, who took her for her six-week check. She will know that it wasn’t your fault that your most senior team member resigned whilst you were on the delivery table – and tried to tank your business the same day. And that you had to go back to work after five days. She also knows there’s a special place somewhere for a woman who would do that.

She will also come to terms with the fact that she was pushed to the clinic for her check-up that day in her pram, with a makeshift plastic sheeting cover with holes punched in it that the lads at Jack’s DIY sorted out, because it started throwing it down and mum had forgotten the pram hood.

Lisa Morton and her daughter Nina Morton

Lisa Morton  © Tom Pitfield Photography for BROOD Magazine

Lisa Morton

Alex will not be neglected as the first born being still under two, when his baby sister arrived. I know he was absolutely fuming, and you were terrified that he would hate you, bewildered about how huge he suddenly looked – and so sad and guilty that he was no longer your baby.

 He wasn’t the sacrificial lamb, he will stop looking at you like dirt, and you will have a wonderful relationship. He’s going to make you laugh your head off and grow up to be a loving, clever, kind, young man.

However, he will NOT ever forgive you for not allowing him to have a toy from FAO Schwartz in New York because he kicked his sister in the face the night before. EVER. You will never forgive yourself either.

You will look back and laugh (rather than want to hide in shame) when one of Nina’s first fully formed sentences – delivered to a group of full-time mums – is a loud “Where’s my bloody mobile?”

However, you will discover that as an amazing, beautiful, kind and ferociously loyal young woman, she’s still partial to a well-placed expletive. You say she gets that off her dad. He says it’s definitely off you.

You will look eventually look back and have compassionate self-talk – because you did everything you could to make those kids loved, secure, good human beings, whilst working to provide opportunities that having a business could bring. You also needed to work for you, because you have loved it. Most of the time.

And when you see their desire for personal success, their creativity, their work ethic, their continual search for new business ideas and opportunities – and that they are also both helping you in your businesses in different ways – you will feel a deep sense of pride, gratitude and love.  

You will have no doubt then, that you haven’t in fact, screwed up the kids’ lives because you had virtually no maternity leave, and have been a business owner as well as their mum.

You managed reading at school every Friday afternoon, you went to every nativity and musical, every football match (although Alex still says you don’t watch football – you look at it) and you did manage to make it as a proper school mum on a few school outings, even though you lost six fully costumed eight-year-old Centurions on a day trip to Chester.

 It was all fine. They are fine. You are fine. Everyone is absolutely great. You really knew this in your heart all along.

Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls
JMW Solicitors

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
Against All Odds – Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls

Against All Odds – Dean Holden and Danielle Nicholls

Against All Odds: Danielle Nicholls and Dean Holden

By Lolo Stubbs, Editor-in-chief

__________________________________

When TV presenter Danielle Nicholls married her childhood sweetheart and professional footballer Dean Holden, their life was as near to a fairytale as it gets. After a perfect wedding, Danielle became pregnant on their honeymoon, welcoming a beautiful boy Joey, with their second baby boy, Ellis, arriving only 18 months later. Then the loved up couple completed their family with the arrival of their eagerly awaited princess, Cici, just a few years later.

Life was crazy and chaotic,  just like so many families with three children under five, but it was full to the brim with love. After taking a few years away from the spotlight to concentrate on being a mum, Danielle was ready to return to our screens. Following a successful meeting with a TV Producer, everything was lined up for her comeback. Danielle couldn’t wait to reignite her career, and she was all set for the next stage following a family holiday to Lanzarote. That excitement was soon to become a distant memory though, as no-one could have imagined that what should have been a fun filled family holiday, would have turned into every parent’s worst nightmare. Only 24 hours after leaving Manchester Airport, the loving couple tragically lost their beloved baby girl Cici, who was only 18 months old, to Meningococcal Septicemia – a bacterial infection which causes blood poisoning, leading to sepsis.

Danielle Nicholls, Dean Holden and their family

Danielle Nicholls, Dean Holden and four of their children © BROOD Magazine

Danielle and Dean bravely opened up about how they managed to keep going through the unimaginable heartbreak; the emotional scars they were left with; how they stayed together despite the statistics being stacked against them; how they welcomed another two wonderful children, Mitzy and Chase, into their family, and how against all odds they continued to build an incredible life for themselves and their children – continually honouring the memory of their beautiful baby girl, Cici, along the way.

You’ll find it hard to find a more inspirational couple. Their outlook on life and how they strive to achieve their goals for themselves and their children would motivate anyone.

BROOD LIVE

Danielle Nicholls, Dean Holden and four of their children © BROOD Magazine

You both had successful careers when you first started a family, how did that look and how did you manage that?   

Dean – “Because of our careers things have always been a bit chaotic, and we’ve always had to commute lots. When we got married I was playing for Peterborough, so I was commuting there half the week from our home in Manchester, and Danielle was travelling throughout the week to London, Birmingham etc.”

Danielle – “I was progressing in my career at the time. I had moved away from Children’s TV and I was doing bits on This Morning and Tricia, and I was also presenting Night Fever on Channel 5. I was still working when I was heavily pregnant with our first child Joey. Then New Years Eve – the tree was still up – and I was ready to pop, Dean comes home from training at Peterborough and says we’re moving to Scotland!”

Dean – “Yes, she was 8 months pregnant, it was the night before a match, and my manager knocked on the door and said, the Scottish Premier League are coming for you, you’re free to talk to them.”

Danielle – “I’ve never been as angry in my life! [she laughs] You know what it’s like with your first baby you plan everything to a tee, then the next thing you know I was packing up the whole house with my sister and brother in law, and we were on our way to Scotland!”

Dean – “Then 18 months after Joey was born we had Ellis, and it wasn’t long after he was born that we moved back to Manchester.”

Danielle – “Yes, and I loved my boys, but I remember thinking I’m way too girly to have boys, I need a girl! [she laughs] So a couple of years later, we tried again, and we were so lucky to get our little princess, Cici. I said, ‘we’ve two boys and a girl. We’re done now!’ We were happy with that. Then when the boys were starting school and Cici was nearly 18 months old, I decided that I was ready to go back to work. Dean was playing for Shrewsbury, we had Media City on our doorstep and we were back in Manchester with our family. So it just felt like the right time.

So I had a meeting with a producer at the BBC, and we were in talks for me to do some work on BBC Bitesize, to get me back into things again. Which was great, but I said well I’m going on holiday next week and he said, ‘You go on your holidays, and I’ll see you when you get back.’ Of course that didn’t happen because Cici died on that holiday.”

I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating the loss of Cici was and how traumatic that was for you all as a family. 

Danielle – “It sounds silly, but I’ve always been quite a spiritual person and I used to get my palm read and they would always say I had a split lifeline. And remember one lady saying, ‘You’re going to really change; you’re going to be one person and then you’re going to be another person.’ And it always puzzled me, but now I know exactly what she means. Because, I don’t think either of us will ever be the same as we were before Cici died. We actually talk about the ‘old Danielle and Dean’, as if they’re different people. Don’t we? [Turns to Dean] Because of what they went through…”

Dean – “…Yeah, we feel sorry for them.”

Danielle – “When I look back, you know, we had our two beautiful boys, our little princess – we didn’t have loads of money, because I had been a stay at home mum for a while – but we didn’t need the flash car and all the trimmings, all we needed was what we had right there.”

Dean – “I think one of the weirdest things was that although I’d just been released by Rochdale, it was the happiest we’d ever been.

And when we go on holiday, it’s chaotic. It always was chaos, every time! The taxi would turn up and we’d be racing round the house, and we would always get to the airport late!”

Danielle – “We’re never organised! We’re always last minute.”

Dean – “Yeah, but that was the strange thing, we were early that time. We were sitting having a brew in the living room, waiting for the taxi. Everything was really calm.”

Danielle – “He kept saying it’s all too smooth this.”

Dean – “And obviously, by the next morning in Lanzarote, Cici passed away. Now when anything is calm and organised with us, it makes me panicky and I start to worry, it’s like a trigger.”

Danielle – “Yes, we obviously both had PTSD after what happened. You know. The trauma of the speed of it. The upset. Being in a foreign country, it was just, I can’t put it into words. She just had a cold, or so we thought, you know. I can still remember her playing in the soft play area in Terminal 1. Everyone was laughing and smiling, looking at her, because she was running up and down carrying one of the soft play blocks over her head.

They’ve moved it now, but for the longest time could never ever go over that side of the airport, because that was the day before she died. You just can’t get your head around that.

I would rather live in the a scene of a horror movie everyday of my life, being chased by someone with a chainsaw or a machete, than to ever have to live that day ever again! It felt like we were in a horror movie.

I remember following the ambulance in a taxi – they wouldn’t let us in the ambulance, because they were trying to save her life. We just knew it was bad, didn’t we? [Turns to Dean] I think we left our body, when you’re that frightened you do just leave your body, because I can remember everything so vividly, yet it doesn’t feel like it was me.”

Dean – “I think for a long time after we just survived. Obviously you have to look after yourself to some extent because of our kids. And then the realisation hit us, that we didn’t want the kids to grow up with parents who are always sad. You know, we didn’t want them to think, they were ok until Cici died, but then they became alcoholics or they split up, etc, because the stats are against you and if you look at the internet in terms of that – it’s a bit of a scary place. So, we went the other way  and we made a decision to make a go of our lives.

For a long time we couldn’t have spoken about it like this, but the physiological work we’ve done is the reason we can. We’ve done all sorts of things to get here – for example, I’m a big fan of Wim Hof. To learn about your brain and how it deals with trauma is really helpful and now we are in a position where hopefully people can look at us 12 years on, and it gives people hope. Yes, we’ve got a tragic story, but we are still together. Although we have had our issues and it has been difficult at times, but we’re still here – together. We’re doing well in our careers, our kids are happy and healthy, so hopefully it provides some inspiration for others that may have experienced losing a child too, or another trauma.”

Danielle –  “Yes, that’s definitely what we hope we can do, because there is no point saying it doesn’t affect you. I feel like I was a ghost for ten years of my life, and just to be able to talk about the day was a huge step for me. I couldn’t ever talk about it, it would make me feel ill for a week afterwards.I had to have hypnotherapy and that doesn’t fix it, it just means you don’t emotionally go back there every time.” 

The pain you were suffering at that time must have been excruciating, did having the boys to look after help you to keep going?

Danielle – “Yes. If we didn’t have the boys, we wouldn’t be here now. After Cici died, just a few days after, we sat on the edge of a cliff, and we just looked at each other. We both knew what we were thinking, without saying a word to each other. If it wasn’t for knowing that our boys were back at the villa, [both Danielle and Dean become emotional]  I swear that neither of us would be here today. The pain was physical. It’s unimaginable. Unbearable.”

Dean, do you remember that first football match after Cici died?

Dean – “I didn’t have a club at the time, I was 33 years old, I didn’t have an agent and so I spent my summer ringing round clubs. Dean Smith at Walsall was my saviour. He was like our angel, because most managers would have said, you’re 33, you’ve had loads of injuries etc, and Dean said, ‘I’m really worried about your family situation’ – it was only a few weeks after Cici had died – and he said he couldn’t make a decision on it straight away. So I started doing meditation twice a day, going to see a psychologist, etc and he gave me an opportunity as a player/coach and I wouldn’t be in the game without him. And from then on I was just programmed to make him proud. And pre-season is ridiculously hard, any footballer will tell you that, so I had to focus. We hadn’t made anywhere near enough money for me to retire, it’s not like people may think. We had no savings, we lived day to day, so I had no choice, and I wasn’t prepared to lose my career, or my marriage, or for our family to suffer anymore, on top of losing my daughter. There was just something inside me, and I had to keep thinking this isn’t going to break us.

That’s obviously how I got into coaching, and now I’m a manager. I have always loved football, for as long as I can remember. Every memory as a kid involves football and I never thought I would love anything as much as I love playing football, but the manager eclipses that, I absolutely love it. When your team wins a match it’s a great feeling. I also think when you go into management and you’ve had experiences personally that you would never ever choose in a million years, it helps you to empathise in a way that the coaching courses can’t teach you.”

Luxury Outdoor Furniture

Danielle, at what point did you know that you needed to start working on your career again and how important do you think it has been for you?

Danielle – “It was covid. Dean had got a great manager’s job at Bristol, and I’m not going to lie I was a bit jealous, because he was off living the dream and because of covid there were a lot of restrictions and so most of the time I was at home with the children. And I had started doing online gaming, as a way of switching off, but also as a way of spending time and having fun with my teenage boys. Then my brother said we should start streaming and suppose that gave me a little taster, although it wasn’t what I wanted to do and then when the lockdowns hit I genuinely had a bit of a midlife crisis. I had gotten to the point where I didn’t know who I was anymore. It sounds so cliche, but I was suddenly like ‘I’m Dean’s wife, I’m the kids’ mum, but who am i?’ and I can remember my mum saying it when I was younger, but it’s so true. It turns out I was also going through perimenopause and it really is a difficult period in a woman’s life. On top of that I lost access to the support groups that had kept me going and I couldn’t go to the gym, or see friends and my mental health really started to suffer. And I got to the stage where I looked at Dean and my kids – and I’ve only ever loved my kids – but I just felt like I wanted to walk away from it all. Thankfully, because I had done so much work over the years, I found myself observing myself and thinking – what is going on here? I love being a mum, I love being a wife. I love my husband, I love my kids, what is wrong with me? But then it was almost like a phoenix from the flames moment, because sometimes when everything falls to shit, you should grab that moment, because that is your moment to reinvent yourself and that’s what I did! So I sorted out my hormones. I realised I had lost myself and I needed to do something about it.”

Dean – “Danielle getting her career back saved our marriage.”

What challenges did you face, in terms of getting back into the world of TV?

Danielle – “I met with an agent and she said ‘You’re on the wrong side of 40 love, you’ve got no chance, you won’t work in TV again!’

And I asked her how old she was. She said 52, and I said to her so the last 10 years have been non existent to you? And she replied by saying, ‘yes well I’ve never stopped working though, you can’t do what you’ve done and then just come back!’ Like it was a luxury, or choice! And I said, ‘I don’t expect to just waltz back in. And I also intended to come back to this years ago!’ But, with TV presenting you’ve got to give a part of you and I couldn’t sit there, putting a front on, knowing that inside I was still a big mess. So, I had to take that time to figure stuff out. Dean was my hero, [Danielle holds back the tears] because he never stopped working, he never took that time to heal – he didn’t get the chance because he had to support us and those kids, and I don’t know how he did it.”

Dean – “I was going to an event, near the shard in London, and Danielle came with me and she bumped into an old colleague from CITV, who was now working at Talk TV as a producer and he asked her if she wanted to come on the show the next day as a guest. And we were actually due to go on holiday the next day, but the opportunity was just what she needed so I went on holiday with kids on my own.”

Danielle – “People are reluctant to take a chance on you when you’ve not done anything for a while, but you can’t do anything until someone gives you a chance and Chuck, was my angel.”

Dean – “And now she’s got her own Saturday night show!” 

You both have an amazing drive to keep going towards your goals and dreams despite the challenges you may face? How do you maintain that level of motivation?

Dean – “The thing is nothing is handed to you on a plate. We grew up in Swinton in Manchester and we worked hard to get to somewhere in our careers and we want to instil that message into our kids. But you do get knocks, setbacks  along the way, like when I was playing for Bolton, Everton put a bid in for me, but on that same day I broke my leg. I lost a 1cm and a half off my leg bone. I was 19 and was never the same player again. I’ve broken my leg three times – and never had a free kick for any of them by the way [he laughs] and so I lost about 5 or 6 years of my career in the end. But, I made the most of my career, I played till I was 35, despite it not being the career I dreamt I would have had in football. The key to all of it, which I truly believe in my heart is when we found true gratitude and that takes a long time, but when you can wake up in the morning and go to sleep every night and just be grateful to the universe for what you’ve got, it’s a magical thing because it takes away all the feeling sorry for yourself. Cici was a blessing and for a long time I would have done anything to erase my memories because it was just so painful, I would have lost all the love and everything just to lose the pain, but now I can look at it differently.”

Danielle – “It’s so hard to wake up with a positive attitude when you’ve spent 10 years waking up to remember that your child has died. Every Chrsitmas, every birthday, someone is missing, and you learn to live with the sadness and the pain, but it never goes away. You never wake up being ok with the fact she’s gone, but wake up knowing it’s ok to carry on, that’s what you learn.”

Dean – “I got sacked three days ago, and that’s hard to deal with, but no pain will ever compare to what we’ve been through, so It’s just wasted oxygen feeling angry about stuff. Obviously when it happened, the first night I was upset and angry, and we talked it through. But,then I was like, right, how can I move forward, who can I surround myself with to get back in the business. I know that phone will ring and i’ll be back in the game.”

Danielle – “I think people need to talk more about what they’re going through. We’ve got our trauma yes, but I think most people are walking around harbouring some kind of trauma and we need to feel able to be more open about it. That’s why I love doing Talk TV, because they allow the discussions and the debates. People don’t need the portrayal of this perfect picture anymore. They need realness. People need to be able to talk about how hard it is trying to balance their careers alongside bringing up the kids, and to balance living with trauma and going through the knocks of life on top of that, and I feel lucky to be in the position that I can vocalise that.” 

Both of your careers have meant that you have had to split your time between London and Manchester recently. With all 4 children in school in Manchester how have you managed to juggle it all?

“It’s absolutely chaotic at times. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely shattered sometimes. But, it’s been a juggle. I’ve been so exhausted, but so content, so it’s completely worth it. Thankfully we’ve got good family and friends, who we know we can count on for support. Luckily we’re at a nice stage where the oldest is able to look after our youngest – only for short periods of time but he’s perfectly capable. The older ones are so good with the younger ones. And when the kids have to pitch in I say to them, we’re a family, we’re a team, we work together and if we all help each other we’ll all benefit in the long run. We are both doing what we love doing and that’s so important.”

UPDATE MAY 2024:

Since this interview Dean was appointed as assistant manager for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq, alongside the teams Manager Steven Gerrard. Danielle shared a little insight as to how chaotic it’s been for the family since, in BROOD Edition 3’s BROOD Moments.

JMW Solicitors

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Related Articles

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more

LUCY MECKLENBURGH – Mum of two, tv star, entrepreneur, wellness expert and property developer

LUCY MECKLENBURGH – Mum of two, tv star, entrepreneur, wellness expert and property developer

“We try and live up to this expectation that we should be making sure that everything is picture perfect!”

Mum of two, TV-star, entrepreneur, wellness expert and property developer, Lucy Mecklenburgh, knows all too well the juggle of running a business alongside bringing up two young children, Roman 3 and Lilah, 18 months. Each week she is spinning a variety of different plates from boardroom meetings developing her renowned fitness app RWL – (which has been hailed as ‘the world’s most comprehensive online fitness and nutrition app’) to bringing together her loyal community by hosting retreats abroad. Alongside RWL, Lucy also works with many different brands such as developing her own clothing lines, creating content for social media plus she is also building an impressive portfolio as a property developer. As both Lucy and her fiancé (well-loved actor Ryan Thomas) are both self-employed, no two weeks are ever the same, and with that, comes the added pressure that so many of us face day-to-day. We sat down with Lucy to chat about how she manages everything from the strains of running a business, to mum guilt and how having children inspired her to change the focus of her whole app. Lucy is incredibly down to earth, and very humble and it’s an absolute pleasure to have Lucy as our Edition 2 cover star.

Lucy Mecklenburg BROOD Edition 2
LUCY MECLENBURGH COPYRIGHT FOR BROOD MAGAZINE ©

THE LATEST EDITION:

Anti Ageing One Truth 818
Lucy Mecklenburg

INTERVIEW WITH LUCY MECKLENBURGH

Tell me what your weekly work-juggle looks like?

“There’s always lots to do for my wellness app – which is 10 years old now, and I’ve also got the wellness treats that I work on, they’re new. Creating content for social media is a huge part of my job now. Whether that be for my app, or for brands that I work with. Doing photoshoots and attending events are as well. That’s kind of my juggle on a weekly basis workwise. Sounds quite a lot when you say it out loud! [She laughs]”

At what point in your career did you become a mum and how did you find that transition?

“Do you know what, I was at a really nice point in my career actually. I was late twenties – which was actually a lot younger than I thought I was going to be. I’d had my app for a long time, it was going really well, and I had got to the point where I was really happy with it and loved everyone I was working with. I had done a few TV shows and then me and Ryan met whilst we were doing the Bear Grylls show – which was probably one of biggest challenges to date, apart from having children! [We laugh] And I was very happy, moving behind the scenes into the business world a little bit more, then I fell pregnant. Having my kids changed my business in a huge way! We had a very small part of the app dedicated to pre and post-natal and now that is a massive part of RWL. I can remember looking at it as soon as I had a baby and just realising immediately that the existing structured-part of the app for post-natal, needed to go. I was like, ‘There shouldn’t be any pressure to work out three times a week and do this and follow this etc. I want there to be loads of information on there that offers information on sleep, mental health, breast feeding. I want there to be support and a community within the app so that people can talk to each other and share in their journeys.’ We have Midwifes, Doctors on there, and that came from me googling things at 2am and getting overwhelmed with information. I wanted a platform that I could trust – so I created it! And now it’s a huge part of the business that I’m really passionate about, and I’m really proud of that.”

What has been your career highlight to date?

“Oh gosh, that is so hard! I think actually getting my fitness app to 10 years was a huge moment for me, because it’s not easy – running a business is not easy and there has been so many highs and lows over the last 10 years within the business, so reaching that point was a huge milestone. I think especially as people would think, ‘Oh it’s just another celebrity fitness fad’ – particularly in the early days and actually I’ve seen a lot of brands come and go but we’ve stuck it out and we’ve got years’ experience now. We didn’t always make the right decisions over the years, but you learn from that and I’m really proud of it. It’s not been easy, it never is but if you stick at something and you work hard then you can make a success of it. Also, to branch out into to doing the retreats abroad and bringing that community together was really important too.”

Charlotte Hawkins
IMAGES COPYRIGHT OF BROOD MAGAZINE ©

What has been the biggest challenge that you have had to overcome since having a business?

“I think accepting that every decision that you make isn’t going to be the right one and being ok with that. Like at first when I made decisions that didn’t work out, I would find it really hard to accept that, but as I’ve moved forward I can reflect and go – ‘It didn’t work out for this reason and I learnt a lesson.’ And actually all the things that go wrong when you start a business are actually the best things to happen to you, because you’re better doing it then, rather than five years down the line because you learn so much. So yes, learning to accept the mistakes that you make and then turning them around into a positive, realising that everything that happened has happened for a reason.”

What have you found the hardest thing about being a parent?

“I really struggled with the early days. Maybe more so as Roman was my first and a lockdown baby. I think its because you’re going from what is a selfish life – we don’t realise it but we all do whatever it is that we want and you only have to think about yourself and then all of a sudden you’re have this amazing thing given to you and your totally responsible for and suddenly everything revolves around them. You suddenly think – ‘What was I doing with all my time before I had children!’ [We laugh in agreement] I just found it really tough. Also, Roman was quite poorly and so I would also say the worry of being a mum was something that I hadn’t prepared for, and I think that it probably the hardest thing about becoming a parent. You have that worry because you love them more than anything you’ve ever loved in your life before.” [Roman was diagnosed with an unsafe swallow.] I think that the fact people don’t talk enough about how hard it is – especially that first 6 months – is really tough. Even at 6 months I remember thinking with Roman, ‘God, this is still really hard and I’m not feeling completely fulfilled.’ And then you start thinking, ‘why am I not feeling fulfilled ‘just as a mum’. And actually, being a mum is the hardest job in the world and we crave adult conversations and work environments and I think that’s really normal and natural. I think you need good friends around you, like I remember ringing my friend one day and saying, ‘I’m really bored! I’m watching Peppa Pig on repeat, I’m washing and ironing.’ It just felt like Groundhog Day every day and actually I needed to make a decision to change that, to reach out for help; share more between me and Ryan; to arrange some childcare so that I had some time for me – whether that was in a work capacity or meeting friends for coffee, you need that. I don’t think that day in day out ‘just being a mum’ wouldn’t work for me.”

Mum guilt is something that most people encounter in one way or another, what has your experience of Mum guilt and how have you dealt with it?

“Hugely! I remember going to work, quite early on – because I had my own business you see so I didn’t get a maternity leave as such and also I really missed it, and I really wanted to get back in and see what was going on because I have to run a business, and I can remember going in for a day and feeling like an awful person because I wasn’t pining for my child. I felt guilty for not worrying and missing my child. I can remember thinking this is ridiculous. We’re so hard on ourselves, if my friend would have said that to me, I would have said, ‘Well that’s good, you’ve been to work, your brain has been focused on other things and then you’ll go back to your child thinking I can’t wait to see them!’ But I felt so guilty. I think just being busy – I’ll have a week where I’m really busy with work and I always feel like I need to let them stay up an extra hour before bed, because I feel guilty because I’ve not seen them as much as I would have wanted to. Unfortunately, I think – especially for us women – because I’m sure Dad guilt exists but you don’t really hear of that as much, but the phrase Mum guilt is used so much and I feel like whatever we do whether we’re a working mum, whether we stay at home, or whether we do a bit of both, whatever we do there’s always going to be that guilt and that pressure put on us. You can’t wait.”

Do you think that pressure comes from ourselves, or societal pressures, or a bit of both?  

“I think it’s society and us. I think society can be too quick to deem things either right or wrong when actually we all just need to support each other more. Even like childcare, everyone has an opinion on childcare, when actually a lot of the time the mums and the dads have to go back to work, they don’t have a choice they have to, so they need childcare. But even if its not down to needing to go back to work, its that they want to that’s ok. Having childcare in place is absolutely ok and actually my son absolutely loves nursery, and he does way-more in a day than I could ever think up for him!”

Becoming a parent changes your life so dramatically that its can be easy to feel like you have lost of identity, did you experience that feeling at any point?

“Oh 100% you do lose your identity. I can remember thinking one day, ‘When was the last time I put make up on, I’ve not got out of my joggers or pyjamas for weeks – and that was probably even worse than it would have been because of covid – but me and Ryan tried to make an effort so that I would feel like myself, so we would do date night every other Friday for example. We have this thing now that we call a mini reset, where we look at what is working and not working in our week, what can we do to make this situation better? For example, childcare – what’s working and what’s not working, and what can we do differently. It gives us an opportunity to say, well next week I need to make time for this – be that going for a walk on our own, or to get a coffee etc. We try and plan our weeks as much as possible because our lives are so crazy and we don’t have a 9-5 job, the mini resets really work for us, and it helps us to improve our lives. Everyday is a real juggle and when you are putting your children first, it can be hard to make sure you get what you need out of your week as well, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in!”

We usually ask what tips you would give to other parents, do you think that is your number tip?

“Yes, I would say the mini resets, but just communication too – with your partner and people around you. That could be your mum or your mother-in-law, and you could say to them ‘this is what would be helpful for me this week. I think communication is so important and when you have kids you have to have that, you really do.”

How easy have you found asking for help? We all put ourselves under so much pressure, sometimes reaching out for help can feel like admitting defeat – that we can’t do it all. How did you find that?

“I think society puts so much pressure on us and you look on Instagram and you see everyone’s houses that supposedly look perfect and clean, I can tell you now, that there will be a pile of clothes behind the camera, and that it’s been placed at a perfectly placed angle to hide it! [We laugh] I’m guilty of doing it as well, because we try and live up to this expectation that we should be making sure that everything is picture perfect. I love that there is a change in social media though now because its real life is being normalised. There are people doing funny reals that are showing the reality of everyday scenarios that we can all relate to, and you find yourself going, ‘Oh my god, I’m so glad she thinks that as well, or she has to deal with that as well.’ I love that people are normalising the mundane and stressful parts of parenthood too. I think sometimes you wait until you’re at rock bottom before you ask for help, and it doesn’t need to be that way. I remember calling my mum once and admitting that I was really struggling and that I needed help, and of course she was straight around! I think it is really hard to ask for help though, especially when you’re a new mum.”

Do you think the same applies in business too, that it can be hard to admit that you need help as we feel the need to portray success?

“Yes, I think so. I’m 10 years into my business, it’s not been plain sailing, I’ve made lots of mistakes and that’s ok. Anyone who’s in business knows that it’s really, hard work and there’s going to be loads of things that come along to challenge you. But you shouldn’t feel embarrassed by that because you can grow from that and make better decisions going forward because you’ve learnt a lesson. It’s a bit like life in general, you have to grow certain things to grow, and it’s those things that make your stronger in business and as a person. And I couldn’t do it at the beginning but now I could for help if I needed it. Learning to delegate is a skill, to trust someone else to take care of things in your business can be really hard, but you learn that you aren’t always the best person to deal with everything and actually someone else can do a much better job, so you learn to trust them and let them get on with it.”

Did you feel more pressure to ‘snap back’ after having a baby and being in the public eye, as well as having a fitness app, and how did you deal with that?

“I think everyone presumed that I would be really small, really quickly but actually as soon as I had Roman, I didn’t care – I did not care! And I thought I really would, and I had put on 4 stone whilst I was pregnant and he was a big baby, but he wasn’t 4 stone, that would have been a hard if he was! [She laughs] But I thought I would really care but I didn’t. I had such little sleep, and I just was really kind to myself. I decided to just wait and then start to move once I felt ready, and I thought I would have had that 6 week check and be straight back to training, when actually I didn’t start training again until Roman was 6 months old. And I would always say to say anyone, please don’t put yourself under any pressure you’ve just done a huge thing. I mean obviously I would say please look after yourself in terms of eating good to make sure your well in all aspects, but if you’re not ready to train and you’re exhausted then it doesn’t matter. I’m a lot kinder to my body since having children. A healthy body is a lot more important than achieving this so-called view of perfection in any way possible! My biggest concern used to be my appearance, now it’s about making sure I’m as healthy as possibly so that I can be around for as long as possible for the kids. And being a healthy role for the children is massively important, and that goes past trying to encourage them to eat healthy food, it’s about how you talk about food and how you talk about your body in front of them. I would never talk about my body in negative way in front of my children. I don’t ever want Lilah to her me say, ‘I’m not going to eat that because I’m on a diet’ and so many people do without fully realising they are even doing it or understand the damage that can do to a child in the future. I think the best way to promote good health is by encouraging them to be active in a way that they enjoy.” 

And to end our interview on positive, what do you love most about being a parent?

“I think just all those proud moments. Like today when someone has said to me, ‘You should be so proud of Roman, he’s got amazing manners, he’s such a funny character’ and I started welling up. I think that being proud of them and watching them grow – there’s no feeling like it. As much as there is all the worry and all the other stuff, it’s all completely worth it! [She pauses] But I don’t want anymore! [We all laugh]”

Lucy Mecklenburg
IMAGES COPYRIGHT OF BROOD MAGAZINE LIMITED ©
Simon Wood
Written by
Tom Pitfield and his daughter Iris

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM PITFIELD

MORE ARTICLES FROM BROOD:

No more years of hurt!

No more years of hurt!

This issue of BROOD comes during one of the most exciting international football tournaments, the Euros. For so many of us it’s a time to look forward to, a time of hope – the eternal hope that so many of us have – and a time to go out and enjoy ourselves. But for those living in refuges for survivors of domestic abuse, just the sound of the Euros might mean switching the TV off.

read more
Father’s Day GifT Guide

Father’s Day GifT Guide

IF YOU’RE READING BROOD THEN YOU’RE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A MILLION AND ONE THINGS ON YOUR TO-DO LIST, SO WE’VE PUT TOGETHER A FANTASTIC GIFT GUIDE TO GIVE YOU SOME INSPIRATION AND HOPEFULLY SAVE YOU SOME TIME WHEN DECIDING WHAT TO BUY FOR FATHER’S DAY; WHICH FALLS ON SUNDAY 16TH JUNE THIS YEAR – JUST IN CASE YOU NEED TO MAKE A NOTE OF IT IN YOUR DIARY!
WE’VE ROUNDED UP ALL OF THE BEST FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE SUPER DAD IN YOUR LIFE, WHETHER YOU’RE TREATING YOUR DAD, OR FATHER-IN-LAW, OR BUYING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOUR OTHER HALF.

read more

 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

* indicates required
Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.