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Claire Icel – Freelance Digital Marketing Expert

Claire Icel – Freelance Digital Marketing Expert

#MoreThanAMutha is all about celebrating the things that women are, as well as being amazing mothers.  In a world where many women feel like they lose their identity when they become a mum, it is important to celebrate and shout that we might be mums, but we are not only that and we are still a force to be reckoned with.

What makes you more than a mother? 

In the 2 years since I found out I was pregnant I feel like I have gone through multiple seismic identity shifts. As I’m sure happens to everyone, my life changed the second I saw those blue lines. I always loved a night out and many of my friendships had been built in a bar / the aftermath of said bar. I found much of pregnancy lonely probably because of that. Fast forward a year and the most recent of these shifts has been getting back into work mode. I’m now working in a freelance capacity, compared to working in corporate offices as I did before having my daughter. I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave so took some time to figure out my next step. I have always loved helping small businesses with advice and wanted to work for myself, so freelancing seemed like a natural next step for me. I’m learning how to dedicate time to more than mothering and it feels mighty good to reclaim this part of myself.

Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?

This might be controversial, but in my experience people expect you to be more than a mother. It seems like everyone has or wants a hustle (us ladies rock!) and when I was unsure what my next step would be, people were surprised that I was ok to take the time being a mum while I figured it out. 

What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mutha? (childcare, judgements of others, time etc) 

For me at the moment, it is time more than anything else. I’m in the early stages of my journey and my childcare options are limited. I get things done in nap time (thank god my daughter still needs a nap!), evenings and days the grandparents can help me out. I’m really lucky to have that option. I’m currently trying to be more productive with my phone and instead of aimlessly scrolling through Instagram when I get a moment, using it to do something for work. I hate using it when I’m with my daughter, but it’s like a nervous tick!!

How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?

I’m not sure that I ever fully forgot that I am me as well, but I definitely feel like a large part of my identity has changed. Even with a newborn, it was always very important to me to get out and see friends, retaining a tendril to my previous life and the real me. Being able to do that has only got easier as my daughter has got older.

Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?

I love making time to wind down by reading before I go to sleep, I may only manage a chapter or two before zonking out, but it’s a must for me as I love a good book (and it’s a welcome break from Each Peach Pear Plum). I scroll mindlessly through Instagram (see above, * facepalm *). Seriously though, I find that switching to my work brain usually removes any mum-stress I have, or the fail-safe stress-buster: exercise. There is little getting out for a run, walk or spot of yoga can’t cure even if you don’t want to go beforehand. I’m still getting back into exercise (I have always found it super important for my mental health, as well as waistline), but the more I do, the more it reminds me of the benefits.

What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?

Get out, go for a walk, see a friend who will remind you of yourself (i.e. someone from your previous life, not your NCT mates). You are you, being a mum is part of you now, but that moulds around your ‘more than a mutha’ personality, not vice versa.

Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?

Confidence is key. I went to a great Mums The Word event recently about having more confidence and the biggest thing I took away was to take your ‘more than a mutha’ side seriously and be confident in it. Tell people. Say it out loud. Since I have started doing that things are on the move.

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Claire Icel –  Freelance Digital Marketing Expert

Are you #MoreThanAMutha?  Get in touch to share your story.

 

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