#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?
I’m a journalist, content creator and trainer and I’ve run my own business since my twins were one. I was the editor of the Families magazine that covered half of Berkshire for eight years, and I now write their national content for all 38 magazines across the UK. My new business is called Claire Winter – Making Words Come Alive. I write and create content for companies that don’t have time to do their own and I also train businesses to write and plan their own content. I also teach clients on how to get PR ready, write press releases, create press packs and how to contact the press.
Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?
I have never defined myself by motherhood; I expect people to value me for who I am not by whether I am a mother or not. However, I did decide to adapt and change my career to a home-based one so I could do the school run and be there for my three children, I have a fifteen-year-old daughter and eleven-year-old twin girls. I am passionate about flexible working so that parents can combine working and looking after their children.
How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?
I think when you have your first child it can be a shock to the system. I was 27 when I had my first daughter. Most of my friends were going out and enjoying the London life while I was at home breastfeeding! We moved from London to Maidenhead when my daughter was 18 months old, and I started worked in a local council press office when she was two. I like working but feel passionately that women should have a choice about whether they work or not. Being a mother and homemaker is hard work! I never want women to say, “I am just a mum”. It’s one of the most important jobs you can do.
Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?
I was fortunate that my parents helped me with my children when I was young so that I could combine working and parenting. I have a great home office or ‘shoffice,’ at the bottom of my garden where I work with clients on Skype or in person and I also write copy and features on my trusty MacBook.
What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?
It’s ok not be more than a mum right now if you are not ready. Enjoy being with your child right now; they grow up so quickly. When you are ready to return to work, don’t try and do it all. Get some help from family or extra childcare if you can afford it. It’s very easy to get burnt out trying to do it all! I make time for exercise and unstructured time with my kids (going for walks and hanging around in our PJs watching films).
Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?
Look after yourself as a number one priority; you can’t achieve the things you want to do without a healthy body or mind. Take time out to exercise; I’ve trained as a Nordic walking instructor and walk all the time. It’s a great way to combat a sedentary desk-based job! Last but not least, find your tribe. Seek out like-minded people online who can give you support and companionship. I run a free Facebook community called Cracking Content, where I provide tips and ideas for anyone who needs help with content creation.
Are you #MoreThanAMutha? Get in touch to share your story.