"I don't think I fully understood how hard it was to be a mother" - Danni, Founder - Mama Tribe Uk.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Danni on all things Motherhood below, you can join the Mama Tribe by clicking Danni's photo!
Lets start with what Motherhood means to you?
Motherhood to me is about growing and nurturing a young life, preparing them for when they can go off on their own, but always maintaining that connection with eternal support and love.
How have your notions as a woman changed since motherhood?
I don’t think I fully understood how hard it is to be a Mother. I didn’t realise how hard it is to be a stay at home Mum and the conflict of emotions if you want or need to return to work. Until you are a Mother, you have no understanding of how many ways in which you can feel emotionally pulled.
What do you want or wish for most for your children?
Happiness is the most valuable thing. I just want them to do what makes them happy and gives them fulfilment.
I know a lot of women who struggled with their own identity after becoming a mum, is this something you have experienced and if so how did/do you deal with it?
I think for a lot of Women, they lose confidence after having a baby. A mixture of hormones, a natural sense of fear that comes from having to care for a newborn can mean you lose confidence in other areas of your life, as you question yourself and your ability. I went from a managerial role in London to a Mum in the countryside. It was a huge shift in lifestyle and position and I found I was no longer relatable to my old London friends, but didn’t fit in with the country Mum’s I met. It took me quite a long time to find other Mums that I felt I could really connect with. Those that had enjoyed a city life and career and didn’t want to lose that part of their identity even though that was no longer part of their day to day.
How important has the support of other women/mums been for you?
I was the first of my friend group to have a baby and I moved out of London first, so I found most of my support online, as I made friends with other Mums virtually. Through Facebook groups, Instagram and other themed groups, like an IVF forum I used to belong to. Through these kinds of platforms, I was able to find people I had things in common with, I was comfortable to be myself and find the support I needed. In time my old friends have had babies and it’s been lovely to feel like we are now in the same place and able to support each other.
I would really love to get your thoughts on the external pressures for mums, whether it be body pressure, the pressure to be wonderwoman every day, to be able to cope with everything, how do you deal with this?
I think Women put a lot of pressure on themselves to be doing it all and be a good Mum. The school run, involvement in school, after school activities, kids parties, home cooked meals, fun packed weekends. Then there’s your own social life, events with family & friends, managing the household and that’s before you’ve even attempted to continue your own career! Being a Mother is a full time job, our lives are very busy! Honestly, I’m happy if I can just turn my brain off and sit and do nothing for an hour at the end of each day. Pick up an easy read fiction book or tune into a favorite boxset, anything that lets me zone out. I think accepting what you can do, ignoring what others are doing and knowing your limits it’s the healthiest attitude to have.
What is your ‘you time’ moment?
When I can, I go to a dance class. It’s the one thing I do for me. I struggle to get there every week and if I miss a few back to back, then I’ll end up missing the whole term. I have to be quite strict with myself and force myself to leave everything as it is, and just go. It’s so hard to find the energy and easier to not go and just carry on doing whatever I was doing at home. But, when I make the effort, I love it and I’m always so happy after I’ve been.
What has been your proudest mum moment so far?
I love it when people tell me how happy, friendly, confident and polite my boys are. My eldest is nearly 9, has a great sense of humor, I love chatting to him and he is very caring and empathetic of others. My youngest is 4, he loves to sing and dance and make people laugh. I’m so proud when someone tells me what lovely boys they are, it means I’m doing something right.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
It’s not really advice I was given, but a quote. “Find JOY in the journey.” About 6 years ago, my business had burnt down and I was about to start IVF, when I came across this quote. Life was most definatly not going to plan! I was depressed about losing my business and scared about the treatment I was about to go through. I realised that although I can’t control how my life will play out, I can control how I choose to see and react to the things. My middle name is also Joy, so I took it that I had to find my own happiness from within, and find the joy in my journey. I have JOY tattooed on my wrist, as a reminder that I can get through anything and make it what I want it to be.
Anything you would like to share with mums out there or women considering children?
I really believe in the power of a Tribe. You can’t do it all on your own and you don’t need to. So find your tribe, whether its friends, family, school mums, baby class parents or virtual friends that can be there to support you. Motherhood is a journey that you can’t ever be fully prepared for and as they say, ‘it takes a village’, so find your tribe to help you in any
way you need it.