Photography by Jane Looker We met up with Becky and her two gorgeous little girls, Juniper and Etta, to have a chat about her brand ‘Mother like no other’. We go through the ins and outs of juggling life, and the secrets of balancing a business and a family. Becky shares her tips on braving long day trips with her girls. Tell us how you came about with the idea for Mother Like No Other and what your brand stands for? It came about as a response to some experiences I’d had. Following lots of “oooh are you sure you should be doing that?”, “you’re going to make a rod for your own back doing that..” type comments when I spoke to people about our parenting choices, I always came away me feeling so frustrated and full of doubt when I was I trying so hard and knew I’d done my research. I thought to myself, hold on, what do these people know about my baby, this is actually quite disheartening and I really don’t like the thought of other people having the same experience. So I thought long and hard about a way to politely say I’m ok, we’re ok, and I’m happy doing things my way! Off the back of that MLNO was born. A brand to empower, support and reassure all mothers that we are all unique, and however we do choose to do things, we should feel free enough and proud enough to do it our way! Tell us about a typical week in your life – how do you juggle business demands with your lovely girls? Juggle is definitely the right word to describe how I run the business. I try my best to fit it around looking after the girls as we have very limited childcare, their playtimes and nap times are like gold dust around here and the time I’m at my most productive. In fact Juni is sleeping now as I type this! It is lots of fun though, they gee me on, and I really do appreciate that I can work so flexibly. Photography by Jane Looker Have you seen any change in the way you approach family life since starting your business? I 100% appreciate every free second we all have together. I have learnt how to prioritise and learn when to take a step back better. There are times the girls need me, whether they are ill, teething, or just need a cuddle and I have to be available for that. For me their needs do have to come first, and after all they are the reason MLNO came about so I have to appreciate that too. If I try and tell them ‘mummy will just be a minute!’ they know that’s likely to mean longer and they will pull at my skirt and call out for me all the more. I also love that they can be involved with what I do and hopefully as a result of all the hard work will see that women/mothers/their mother can do it all if they want to! What’s your secret to having a successful day with the girls – where do you love spending time together? Hmmm…I’d say by keeping things simple. On days where I try and jam pack the day with all of the things, I can guarantee it’ll take a huge nose dive before we’ve even left the house. There’s too much pressure to make it amazing and I think the girls sense that from me. A day where we go with the flow, make loose plans to meet friends in the park or only have swimming scheduled seem to be the most stress free. And if there are ice creams in there somewhere, we’ve all won the fun day out lottery! You’re definitely a brave day tripper and mentioned that you regularly bring the girls into London, what tips do you have for other parents who might feel intimidated by going on longer journeys or visiting unfamiliar places with young children. Firstly, tacky kids magazines! Never did I imagine that I’d be spending money on those things but for the odd long journey in the car I have to say they really do save us! Bags of snacks and story CDs are also great. I think because the girls are now 4 and 2, it works OK for them both (I’m going to jinx myself now aren’t I?). Etta likes to engage with an activity and Juni tends to nap. Once we arrive somewhere, I’m all for being over prepared and I do jam pack the buggy with everything. June’s at that point where she now wants to climb out of the buggy and Etta isn’t great at walk for long periods of time so I always take both the buggy and a sling. And I’m also mindful to take lots of breaks, (hello there coffee and cake!) and scope out where the nearest parks are going to be. A short run around somewhere they can be free and unrestricted makes all the difference for us! Photography by Jane Looker What tips do you have for other parents who might be considering starting a business while still looking after young children? Just GO FOR IT! When you’re either on mat leave or on a break between jobs is the perfect time to try. Get it out there. test the waters, what’s the worst that could happen?! From my experience, the beauty of running a business through social media, to a certain extent, allows you to take on as much or as little as you like…so if there are days when you’re finding it too much, take a break! There is no other job (that I’m aware of) where you can do that. What essentials do you pack for day trips in the UK? After learning the hard way, I now always, ALWAYS, have a rainy day bag with a set of waterproofs and wellies in the back of the car. I may not be quite so organised when packing for myself but I always have something for the girls as splashing in puddles in those new white trainers just isn’t the one! Also, snacks, you really can’t ever have too many!