CHEMMY ALCOTT

CHEMMY ALCOTT

CHEMMY ALCOTT © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

“I vowed never to lose myself when I became a parent.”

Inspirational Mum of two, and BBC Ski Sunday Presenter, Chemmy Alcott, went down in history as being the first British Ski racer to win a world cup run, and she is widely regarded as one of Britain’s greatest ever skiers. Chemmy is no stranger to adversity having broken 49 bones in her life, and still returning to the slopes against all odds, so it’s no wonder that when she was offered her dream job as BBC Ski Sunday feature presenter at the same time that she was due to give birth to her first child that she chose to take on the challenge of both roles; returning to work only two weeks after giving birth!

Alongside her successful career as a BBC sports presenter, Chemmy is an inspirational speaker and also runs her own business – CDC Performance – with her husband, 25 Time British Champion Dougie Crawford, providing world class ski coaching and experiences. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Chemmy at her lovely family home that she shares with Dougie and their two boys, Locki 5 and Cooper 3, to discuss how she does it all, and why maintaining her own identity is so important to her.  

CHEMMY ALCOTT IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
CHEMMY ALCOTT IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
CHEMMY ALCOTT IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
CHEMMY ALCOTT IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

You returned to work very quickly after having both your boys, did you always plan to return to work so quickly and was it important to you that you kept your own identity outside of being a mum?

“I think I was quite lucky as a lot of my friends had kids before me, so I saw them really change through parenthood and lose themselves, and so I vowed to never let that happen to me when I became a parent. But I then went completely the other way, as both my babies were born in the January, and I went back to work skiing only two weeks after, with both babies. In fact, our first labour was really complicated, and they were said ‘Look this isn’t going great…’ with my reply being, ‘Don’t even think about a c-section, because I’ve got to ski in two weeks – I’ve got to work!’ Maybe I felt more pressure being female, but I was about to start my dream job at the BBC doing Ski Sunday, and I remember thinking, ‘I can’t give up this role. I don’t want them to give this job to anyone else, this Is my job! I’m going to make it happen!’ So, when they initially offered me the job my naive plan was, I’m going have the baby, I’m going to go straight back to work, Dougie’s amazing at supporting me so we can do this! Although it was crazy, it was just epic, because people just lose themselves so much and it can be so hard to find yourself again, but I never got chance to stop being me. Actually, in skiing they say that if you’ve skied your whole life and then you become a parent, but then you don’t ski for 5 years then you’ll never ski again! It’s because the fear of being responsible for someone else and the danger of the sport just crushes you so much that you never allow yourself to have that play time again. I hoped that wouldn’t happen to me though, although looking back I think it’s pretty mad that I was skiing only a few weeks after having a baby, but I was really fortunate in how my body held up.

It was also quite empowering returning to work so quickly. I remember when Cooper was born and two weeks later, we were at the World Championships, and I was working, interviewing the guy who had just won the World Champs downhill. It was a great interview, and when we finished the interview, the producer said ‘Woah, that was epic! You’re on a buzz!’ And I replied ‘Yeah, I am, and do you know what?’ and he was like ‘What?’, and I put my hand in my bra and I had one of those silent Elvie pumps on and I had made almost half a litre of milk whilst I was doing this interview! Throughout the whole interview I knew I was doing that, I knew I was smashing new motherhood and it just made me feel amazing, I was firing on all cylinders, and no one knew! You’re throwing yourself in at the deep end, and it’s hard but you just feel this overwhelming sense of achievement. But I remember going back to work that first time and I was so sleep deprived, and as an athlete I had this massive superstition that I needed 9 hours sleep a night but then suddenly you become a parent and that is just completely unrealistic! Then obviously two weeks after having Locki I was given this script, I’d barely slept, and I remember questioning myself ‘I can’t even remember my own name! How am I going to remember this script!’  But somehow, I did it, and I think you’ve got to keep challenging yourself and that’s what helps you to keep being your very best self. I think that’s how we’ve been able to maintain this mental crazy lifestyle because we never stepped away from it.”

You spoke briefly about feeling the pressure about being a female and not wanting to lose your dream job role, but was that the only reason that you felt so determined to maintain, being you? 

“I mean there was definitely the element of proving people wrong, because a lot of people said I couldn’t do it. And all my career when I had multiple injuries – when I broke my leg and neck – people said she won’t be able to come back, and it was always a motivating factor to me. It shouldn’t be but you’ve got to look at it one way or another and it either pushes you down and the pressure is too much, or you go ‘Hey, I’ll show you!’ and it was kind of the same with parenthood.

I just feel like if you can do those first few years of being a parent and not lose your own identity, then you will come out of parenthood incredibly strong and incredibly grateful for your kids. At times you can miss the old life that you used to have prior to having kids, you might have single friends and you see them going out and at times you can resent that, but if you stick to still being you and defining who you are away from being a parent, then in the long run it’s just magnificent!”

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“This is my dream job and I’m going to make it happen!”

Did you experience any parent guilt with returning to work so soon and maintaining your own identity?

“Oh yes, the other side of it is certainly that, I suffer horrendously from parent guilt, I’ve suffered from that since becoming a mum, and I used to not want to admit to having a nanny because even though I was back at work after two weeks I didn’t want to admit to having help. But my mum is no longer around, and my dad is unable to help, and Dougie’s parents live in Scotland, so there was no other option really, but for some reason I wanted people to think that we were doing it alone. I think it had always been drilled into you that you were ridiculously well off if you had a nanny, and you were judged for it. It took me a couple of years of people saying, ‘God it’s amazing what you’re doing’, before I could say, ‘well yes, it is amazing, but I have got help too and that’s why I can do it!’ And I realised I needed to be open about it.”

You’ve obviously been a topflight athlete and you’ve been a mum for over 5 years now, which role would you say is harder? 

“Definitely parenthood! Being a parent can be unbelievably hard! Being an athlete is very easy, it’s very simple, your goal is yourself – it’s me, me, me, me. Whereas being a parent is ever evolving, it’s ever challenging, your child is constantly changing and trying to define who they are, and you have to change with them. I fight the urge to read a lot of books about parenting and how to talk to your kids, because I think ultimately you learn through your mistakes. I feel like I’ve already made mistakes that I felt were a good idea at the time and then as they get older you realise that it maybe wasn’t the best approach. For 8 years during my career as a ski racer, when I had the opportunity to win and I was healthy, I chose to underperform, because I had this horrendous fear of failure and I couldn’t manage everyone else’s expectations of me being this very talented athlete, so I chose to perform at 80% and I kept 20% in my back pocket to self-validate why I wasn’t winning. So, I never took risks, and I was never the best that I could be, and it was good on the world stage, but it was never my best and it was a very unsatisfactory way to live; so, when I became a parent, I was like, ‘Right, I’m going to let them charge! And be 100% and make mistakes.’ So now I’ve created two absolute nutters who don’t have any fear of failure and who don’t have a fear of making mistakes.”

When your second came along, yourself and Dougie were obviously running your business and you were presenting how did you find the shift from one to two children?

“Well, you think one’s hard but then you have two and it’s just another level of hard! I always wanted three but no, we are done at two!” She laughs “Because we’re just about managing! We’re like the swans on the lake they look like they’ve got everything together, but their feet are going like crazy to get upstream! I do think I’m a much better parent second time around though.”

You spoke about having to deal with horrendous Mum guilt, what tips would you give for working through that?

“Yes, mum guilt is really hard, when you’re at work you feel like you should be with your kids, and when you’re with you’re kids you feel like you should be a work! So, what I did, as I’m really good a goal setting, so for the 5 hours I was at work I would set my goals as to what I want to achieve whilst I’m at work and I’m at work properly the, focused and head down. Then when I’m at home that phone goes to the side, and I am present. I find that is the best way, because I see a lot of people trying to do it all at the same time, but if you’re only giving 50% of yourself then everything is going to start suffering. So, you know, you into your work guns blazing – be there, be present make an impact. Then go home and enjoy quality time with your family. Because the kids notice it when you are distracted, because when I fall foul of my own rules, they’ll say ‘Mummy, you’re not here!’”

 

CHEMMY ALCOTT IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
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Auntie Cath’s Energy boosting flapjacks

Auntie Cath’s Energy boosting flapjacks

This month’s recipe is one of my absolute favourites – Auntie Cath’s energy-boosting flapjacks. They’re super healthy and kids are going to love making them. They’re fab for lunch boxes, and you can freeze them!

Catherine Tyldesley (or Auntie Cath as she’s often known!) is one of the UKs favourite actresses. Making in her mark in the likes of BBC Ones ‘Lilies’ , sitcom ‘Scarborough’, ITVs ‘View Point’ and Ofcourse- the nations favourite‘Coronation Street’.

Catherine has recently finished filming another drama for ITV and was crowned Winner of All Star Musicals 2021. Cath’s other huge passion in life is Food! After study nutrition on maternity leave with her first child- Caths enthusiasm for food grew. Especially nutritious, budget friendly, tasty family meals. We’re thrilled to bits to have Cath join us and share her knowledge and passion! You’re in for a treat with Auntie Caths recipes!

AUNTIE CATH’S EASY ENERGY BOOSTING FLAPJACKS

Ingredients
3 large bananas
175 g dates chopped
180 g oats
75 g butter melted
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 pinch salt

 

Instructions
Preheat oven to 180c/Gas 4
Mash bananas in a bowl (get your hands in there, it’s strangely satisfying)
Stir in everything else, mix it up and let it stand for 15 minutes
In the meantime, grease an 8″ square baking tray
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top
Take out of the oven, let cool and then enjoy a little piece of damn healthy heaven!

 ____________________________________

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Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

Overwhelm – anxiety, stress & worry

Feeling overwhelmed? Our resident Psychotherapist, Sarie Taylor gives us some tips to reduce our stress and anxiety when juggling work and family life…

Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

“I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

“I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

“I feel selfish but I just need a break”

We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.

The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

“I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

“I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

*Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

*Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

*Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

*We are enough!

*Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

*Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

– will it all get too much to handle? (Not sure how you want to start it or how you plan to do the title)

Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

“I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

“I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

“I feel selfish but I just need a break”

We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.  

The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

“I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

“I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

*Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

*Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

*Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

*We are enough!

*Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

*Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

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Our co-founder lolo stubbs explains the delay in the launch and the essence of brood 🤪

Our co-founder lolo stubbs explains the delay in the launch and the essence of brood 🤪

BROOD MOMENTS

“Don’t compare yourself to others, be inspired by others but don’t compare.”

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 power couple – Oliver Dunn – better known as ‘Oli the Choc’ and his wife Kim Minchin Dunn, of Kim Minchin Lifestyle. Both Oli and Kim grew up watching their parents chase their dreams. Their memories of their childhood around their parents growing their business are fond ones, and it gives food for thought that maybe we need to stop being so hard on ourselves.
Oli and Kim have been climbing the ladder success for some years now, both building well respected businesses and personal brands. Oli is a real-life Willy Wonka, inspired by his own chocolatier father – Simon Dunn. Oli is a regular on Steph’s Packed Lunch and has also appeared on Blue Peter donning his incredible chocolate skills – fulfilling a lifelong dream to appear on the show. Kim started off her entrepreneurial journey through launching her own successful jewellery range – worn by many celebrities. Kim has also entered the world of interiors in the last few years, a natural progression as those following Kim will know that she has incredible style. The couple welcomed their first child Romy-Star last year and we sat down with them to see how different business life is now that they are juggling a baby too. And do they hope to inspire Romy just as their parents inspired them…

Kim, Oli Dunn and their daughter Romy Star © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY
Oli The Choc, Kim Minchin & their daughter Romi. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

How different is it running a business as parents, compared to before Romy’s arrival?
Kim – “Very different!”
Oli – “It takes a lot more planning obviously, but in a way, it helps you to stop procrastinating. 
Kim – “When you don’t have her, you can literally get so much done! It makes you think what you did with your time before! So it’s just about utilising the time you do get productively. Also it helps that my store is next to Oli’s and Oli’s parents’ shop.”
Oli – “Yes, we’re altogether so we’ve got a little bit of help.”
Kim – “She’s got her highchair and duplicates of her things at the store so that works well. But there’s no formula.”
Oli – “No we’re just winging it and hoping for the best! We take each day at a time. We’ll work in the evenings if we have to and just do whatever we need to do to get things done!”
Kim – “I think overall we’re more efficient. Like, before having Romy, I would sit at home, have a cup of coffee and probably scroll through Instagram for an hour whereas now when she has nap I’m like, ‘Right, quick, what can I get done!’.”

What has been the hardest or funniest moment that you’ve experienced as Parentpreneurs?
Oli – “Well a big part of my business is creating content and videos and this one day, I went out on my one wheel which is like an electric skateboard kind of thing, and I was making videos down my by the canal and Kim was at the shop with Romy. And I had kind of got lost in this creative flow and when I stopped, I had all these messages off Kim saying can you get back quick, I’ve got a shop full of customers and Romy will not stop screaming!”
Kim – “Awww, yes, I was so embarrassed and stressed. Although everyone was great with her and saying ‘Ah we’ve seen her on Instagram so it’s great to meet her.’ But I just felt like I wasn’t giving them the shopping experience that they were probably after. But they have been back so it obviously can’t have been that bad.”

Both of your parents are entrepreneurs too. How much has watching them inspired you both within your business ventures?
Oli – “I saw how my dad created something out of nothing, purely out of something that interested him – and that was making chocolate. He had worked in sweet factory and making sweets can take weeks sometimes, whereas chocolate you can make quite quickly. And he went on this course in Germany to learn how to make chocolate and he just fell in love with it. So I saw that passion in him and I wanted to create something myself out of nothing so I took the slightly different direction of entertaining people with chocolate – showing them how to create chocolate themselves.
Kim – “You always talk about being a child, being with your sister whilst your mum and dad were making chocolate at home. I think that inspired you to carry on that magic, of having a business yourself. So, you can be at home, and you can bring your children into the world of your business.

“Yes, we used to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night, into my mum and dads ‘chocolate factory”

Oli – “Yes, we used to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night, into my mum and dads ‘chocolate factory’ and take a handful of chocolate buttons up to our bedrooms! That’s some of my best memories as a child being surrounded by chocolate, so I think it was inevitable that I would explore that. I think I resisted it at first as it seemed to obvious that I would go into the family business and then I think I realised that I could be missing out on something that could potentially be fun. That’s what I’m really for as my dad has given me this tool to be creative and have fun within your work. I have got a lot of motivation from my parents. If Romy can find something that is her passion too then I’ll be happy. We used to sit watching movies at Christmas so that they could get on with the orders. They made the office next door really cosy, and they could watch us through a clear glass window. They would actually even give us a few Christmas presents early so that they could get work done, but as much as they probably felt stressed at the time, they are really good memories for me and my sister.”
Kim – “It has helped with mindset of knowing that you can have a child and still do what you want to do. So, it wasn’t a scary daunting prospect for us. My parents had their own business too, so they had a massive influence on me as a businesswoman. My Dad had 136 branches of his business, he was and still is an amazing businessman and he has always guided me and my brother, any doubt’s I ever have always reached out to him. Parents have always shown me that you can follow you dreams and that you get out you put in. So, for me growing up I always wanted to have my own business, I didn’t want to work for anyone else. And my mum has the most amazing taste so that has definitely helped me from an artistic point of view when I’m designing my jewellery and picking homeware etc.”

You both have strong identities -individually and as a couple; How do you feel your identity’s have changed since becoming parents?
Kim – “Well, I kind of felt like I lost my identity a little bit when I had Romy. I feel like I’m a gradually getting it back, but I do feel like that is a really tough thing for mums. You get so absorbed and consumed with the baby, as your whole life is about them. But, when you’re tired and you’re trying to juggle everything and keep everyone alive, but I think there is an internal thing for mums that the dads may or may not understand. But I remember she was only a few weeks old and I said to Ol, ‘Can you just have her for an hour? I wanna go to home sense – on my own.”
Oli – “Yeah, and you had like the best hour!”
Kim – “Yeah, I didn’t need anything, but that was my regular routine.”
Oli – “Yes, you needed that, to feel that freedom and step into your creativity. So I guess that’s what we need to be mindful of, making sure you get that time to keep your identity. I think that has been your driving force in opening the store.”
Kim – “Yes, the opportunity came along, and I thought, ‘Yes, it’s the right time’ As we said earlier Oli’s place is there and his parent’s shop is there, and I can pick and choose the days that I want to do there. And having the shop has made me fall in love with fashion again, as I’m getting dressed for work and doing little videos whilst I’m there. So instead of constantly wearing my activewear and not having any make up on. Now I’m thinking about buying clothes again and that was something I had stopped doing after Romy was born. So, yeah, I do think that is something that people need to talk about more. And with the fashion side of things, I try and buy things that a practical but then other times I think – I want that Jacket etc, because I know I’m a mum, but I still want to be me.”
Oli – “For me Romy has changed my identity in that now I’ve become a father and a husband. She’s made us a family. People say, ‘Welcome to the best club in the world.’ And you really do feel a part of that and a way that strengthens your identity a bit, as everything you do has more meaning and in way that makes you feel more confident really.”
Kim – “I think we’re such a good team though and we have a strong network of people around us so that is something that can help you when you’re having those low moments, Oli was always there so I think that helps remind you of who you are and your strengths.”
And finally what advice would you give fellow Parentpreneurs?
Oli – “I would say embrace the challenges that it brings, because it helps you to grow as an individual, you don’t always realise that how much it can you to evolve. And rewards far outweigh the challenges. You will more than likely surprise yourself, nature is a wonderful thing and a lot of it is more intuitive than you think.”
Kim – “I think mine is to just enjoy the journey and keep telling yourself that you are amazing at what you are doing. I’ve learnt to be a bit more relaxed and stop comparing yourself and then you can think clearer.”
Oli – “Yes, that’s a big thing for anyone, be inspired by others but don’t compare yourself. Just be good at being you.”

Written by
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM PITFIELD

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Sarie Taylor – Coach and mum of two

Sarie Taylor – Coach and mum of two

SUCCESSFUL MUMPRENEUR Sarie TAYLOR, is a parent to a 15 year old with another on the way…

 

Sarie Taylor is a trained psychotherapist and a coach who works with people across the world with a wide range of issues. Having suffered with severe anxiety for many years herself, Sarie also has personal experience and an understanding of what it feels like to struggle. Sarie will be a regular contributor for BROOD magazine, answering questions, sharing ideas and helping our readers understand more about the principles that eventually helped her transform her anxieties, relationships and business – enabling her to fall in love with life again!

43 year old Sarie is a parent to a 15 year old, Maia, with a another on the way! 

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With Maia being a teenager now, what made you decide to go again?

It may sound silly but we have been ‘thinking’ about it for the last 15 years, I am not sure where the time went! On reflection, I know that I always wanted loads of children – being the eldest of five siblings, I had always desired a big family of my own. The reality was that I had one child 15 years ago, and then didn’t have any more until now aged 43. This is a whole other story in itself, but its due to me not trusting myself or feeling capable since suffering with anxiety and depression for many years in my early 20s right through to my 30s, and so I stopped myself from progressing with what my heart desired, as I was scared. Looking back I now know that I didn’t need to be, but I cant  change the past, only look forward and that brought me to being 43 and thinking ‘sod it why not!’

How did Maia react to becoming a big sister?

Maia has been amazing (I know we are biased) but she is always so understanding and full of compassion. There have been some doubts for her creep in naturally, as she has only ever known being an only child and having our full undivided attention, so she probably struggles to imagine at times what it will be like with a new member of the family after all these years! Although I wanted to wait till I was 12 weeks to tell her in case of anything happening, being a teen and not missing a trick it was about 6 hours before she asked me if was I pregnant! I have to be conscious of not putting any pressure on her when the baby arrives, but I am also sure she will be a great help (voluntarily) and I cant wait to see the bond she develops with her baby sister. We have bought her a t-shirt saying big sister which she may have to wear when out on her own with the baby so she doesn’t get mistaken for a mum! (This is not what she wants just yet – no judgment on anyone that does!)

Have you noticed a big different this time around being pregnant over 40?

This pregnancy has been different as I have suffered with HG sickness (again a whole other story) and its been really tough, weight loss, lack of energy and appetite, as well as it being a huge shift in my ability to just perform daily tasks. However, mentally I am so much more chilled and able to take what comes in this pregnancy in my stride. I am not feeling the urge to be in control (which obviously I can’t anyway!). I have only just started to buy things for the baby at 6 months (we have no nursery as yet) I haven’t googled much or read a single book, and as for the birth, what will be will be. This is  a very different outlook for me to how I was 15 years ago with Maia; full of anxiety and the need to be in control. (I believe this was a huge factor on how I was post natal too). I have joked that I am in denial, but in all honesty, I am just pretty relaxed about the whole thing overall. This doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments though! In fact when I found out I was pregnant I was in a state of panic and shock for a few days!

Do you think there’s stigma attached to ladies falling pregnant over 40?

I was torn with this question and so my answer is yes and no – let me explain. I am consistently told (and was from the beginning) that I am classed as high risk  – as I am an older mum. What I am more at risk of is nobody’s business. I am not one to worry too much about what might or might not happen, I am focused mainly on now. Overall I am pretty fit and well. (I have gotten very used to sickness and the weird food issues I have, like no longer being able to eat any meat). This hasn’t always come easily to me though, it’s through years of training and now working as a psychotherapist and coach that has dramatically changed my relationship with anxiety, and therefore my every day experience of life, including pregnancy. Although I don’t dismiss an experts point of view, I let it go in one ear and out of the other; until maybe there comes a time when I do need to pay attention, but I trust my body will make me listen up! I am much more trusting of my body and the wonder of nature in getting me through whatever comes my way. Even with the weight loss and sickness, baby is growing just as she is supposed to because our bodies do what they need to do without us having to interfere. Outside of professionals telling me I am ‘older’ I have had a few comments of ‘you must be mad’ but the majority of people and my friends especially think it’s wonderful and exciting, and they don’t seem to give my age a second thought! Another advantage of being a bit later in life is that I now surround myself with amazing supportive friends, who don’t tend to judge my life choices and support me no matter what. Having said that people do make interesting assumptions, the main one being that myself and my husbands relationship is fairly new, that we’re on our second marriage, when in fact we have been together 23 years! This just makes us laugh and we usually make a comment like we haven’t been lucky enough to find anyone else yet! I honestly believe we have a choice as to whether we are stigmatised or not, hence my and yes and no. There is the potential to feel that there is stigma or that things can be against us, but I am choosing not to take that on and it’s working out well for me so far!

Are you worried about maintaining your successful business now that you are becoming a mum again? 

Not really no. I feel so grateful that I am now in a position where I run my own business and have so much flexibility that it makes my life so much easier. I am not going to lie though, I have worked hard for the last 15 years to get to this place, and it wasn’t always easy (another advantage of being an older mum) but we now find ourselves in a good position. My business will run as usual with the support I already have, and the fact it doesn’t feel like work for me also helps, as I plan to be working after two weeks. I will get the best of both worlds – and again I am very grateful for that. This means that my business will not disappear whilst I navigate becoming a new mum again, but I have so much support and structure to my business now that I can do this for the most part with ease. Again, I am not under any illusions that this will be tough at times, but by showing myself tonnes of compassion and asking for help when I need it, I know I will get through whatever I face.

Any tips for ladies wanting to do it all? Run a business, loving family and tackle personal goals?

We can do it all BUT not with perfection! Once we let go of the idea of perfection and how things should and shouldn’t be, and we are more in flow with what feels right and good for us, things fall into place. The main three things I would consider here are:

Compassion, compassion compassion…

We can not expect to get it all right the first time, we will need to make adjustments and changes as we go, depending on what life throws at us. Changing direction and focus isn’t failure, its growth and progression. During the times when things become challenging and we start with the negative self talk i.e ‘I cant do it’ are the times we need to cut ourselves some slack and show ourselves love and compassion, we need to remember that we are doing our best!

Small steps…

The amount of times I have felt like giving up because getting what I want, the balance in life, has felt impossible – they are the times to keep going! Consistency is key for developing and building a life/business you love. We don’t need to have it all figured out straight away. In fact you might be disappointed if you believe you do, as things rarely turn out how we imagined – often they can be even better! We are not looking to move mountains, we are just looking to start and keep going. Small steps in the right direction can lead to huge changes in your experience of life.

Ask for help and support before you feel completely overwhelmed.

Most people initially come to me when they are in some kind of crisis, which is OK, but we know well before that when we need support from others, although we may resist as we ‘should’ be able to manage. We are not built to be on this planet alone, reach out and ask for help as soon as you recognise you may need it. There is no shame in getting support. I could not have the balance and contentment I have in life at the moment without others; family, business mentors, friends, professional mentors, colleagues and the list goes on. I wouldn’t be without any of them! See support as the water that the seeds need to grow, there is no shame in support, its a necessity!

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