You are a stay at home Mother of 5, so to start with we’d just like to take our hats off to you! A 17 year old boy, twin 14 year old girls, and two younger girls who are 6 and 4. How does being a mother feel (be all the way real)?
Like a roller coaster with a rainbow as the tracks… Always colourful, but with ups and downs… Sometimes even upside downs.
How have your ethnicity/cultural background influenced your parenting?
Very much, I believe the morals I was taught are reflected in the way I teach my children. Some of the ‘old skool’ parenting ways (you know, the one’s I always said I would never do when I have children, but do nearly every day) have made me the woman/mum I am today… And for that I have to thank my mum!!
What is your view on promoting your children’s ethnicity/cultural background and why?
I think it is very important, so they can grow up to be as proud of it as I am. If I don’t do it then who will? My girls cannot relate to Barbie… They have nothing in common.
I was on the school run once and my 6 year old (then maybe 2) was pushing her black baby in her buggy. One of the mums I see most days said to me ‘ahh isn’t that politically correct, so sweet’. I replied ‘no, if her baby was white it would be. She is a little black girl why would she not have a little black baby?’ She now just smiles when she sees me… No more ‘Morning!’ or ‘Hiya’.
Has there or will there be a point where you feel the need to give them the ‘As a Black person you have to work ten times as hard’ talk? Why?
Yes and no. I have always told them that they have to work hard at what they do regardless… However, with my son I have told him that as a black boy/man it’s even harder so he has to put in double what his sisters have to. I feel like once black boys get to 14/15, they get a bit of height, their voices break and they are seen as threatening. Unfair but true.
What are your thoughts on the representation of Black mothers online?
There isn’t much and what little there is only focuses on the ones in the public eye. Nothing for the everyday, normal black mum. This is why I love what ‘Motherhood Reconstructed’ are doing for us everyday mums… THANK YOU!!
How do you and your partner manage day to day life with such a variety of ages? How do you juggle all their different needs?
I couldn’t tell you most of the time… Lol. We just do because we have too, but seriously – organisation. I have everything; meetings, appointments, plays etc… stored in my phone, on appointment cards, on a calendar in my room, on a notice board in the hallway and in my mental note dairy too! We have to remember that not everything has to be done as a family, with everyone there. School meetings and plays we both always attend together. Sometimes the older siblings have to step in and look after the younger ones for things like that. They know how to cook (proper dinners!), clean, iron and do laundry. Everyone has to pull their weight at home. Even the two younger ones know how to polish and use a dustpan and broom when they make mess… it’s fun for them at the moment and a chore for the older ones! But hey ho, they’re life skills. One of the benefits of a big family of different ages!!
When you feel overwhelmed how do you overcome that?
I take 5, or a hour, or half a day, lol. Sometimes I call who I can and have a good rant to let off steam. Then go back and deal with the situation. But when your household is as busy and sometimes as stressful/overwhelming as mine, there actually isn’t always time for that. I must say that a nice glass of cold Moscato always helps in the evening after bedtime!
What if anything would you do differently as a parent?
I don’t think I would do anything differently, everything happens and goes the way it does for a reason. Even if you can’t always see it at the time. I believe I have and I am doing my best, and some. There will always be obstacles to overcome but you never know what they are until they’re in front of you. So I deal with them the best I can.
“My main priority is for my children to feel loved, safe and happy. Everything will fall into place after that.”
Did you make a conscious decision to be a stay at home Mum? Why? What do you feel are the benefits for you and your family? What if any do you feel are the disadvantages/drawbacks to you and your family?
Initially I did. I wanted to be able to drop off and pick up my children from school myself, so they could tell me all about their day while they still remembered. Lol. And not while I was rushing to cook dinner, bath them and put them to bed after a long day at work. They wouldn’t have my full attention that way. I wanted to be able to attend their class assemblies, plays and sports days… Nothing worse than when you see all the children waving at their parents and then the faces of those that are scanning the hall for theirs, no disrespect to the mums who do work because that’s just as hard a job as mine. My son (the eldest) has ADHD and is on the Autistic Spectrum and it became apparent by the time he started secondary school, that going back to work or to study would not be an option. When I say he had me on call, I mean it literally.
For me personally there are no disadvantages, except maybe the fact that my older girls seem to think I’m also on call for them when they forget their P.E kit or homework diary. In Primary school it wasn’t so bad, now they are in secondary they need to take more responsibility.
Do you think you would ever return to the work place? If so what would you do? If not, why?
Yes I will. I am currently staring my own business from home, providing gift boxes for new parents, gift hampers, nappy cakes and clothing bouquets for baby. I also hope to go back to college and train to become a midwife.
Do you ever feel judged? If so by who?
Sometimes, by people who don’t know me or anything about me and my family life. It’s like when they hear I’m a stay at home mum of 5 they immediately assume I’m a mum that has children with nothing going for her (I’d love them to try a day in the life of me!), but to be honest I couldn’t care less. What they assume about me without knowing anything about me says more about them.
Have you ever regretted your decision to stay home?
No never. I feel if I regret staying at home then I regret having my children. I CHOSE to stay at home for them. Even for my eldest, I could have gone and done what I wanted to and not been there for him. But THAT I would have regretted. I believe that for my family’s circumstances it has been in their best interest.
If you hadn’t stayed home, what would you have done?
Exactly what I am doing now, except maybe I would have became a midwife first and then tried to start my own business second. Why? I don’t know, just maybe!! But either way round that’s what my passions have always been.
*Quick fire questions*
Eat out or Takeaway? Eat out
Jerk Chicken or Curry Mutton? Curry Mutton
Trainers or Shoes? Uggs
90’s or 00’s? 90’s
Brandy or Monica? Monica
Netflix & Chill or Cinema? Netflix & Chill
Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola? Charlie and Lola
Dessert or Wine? Wine
Boys or Girls? Boys
Sum up Motherhood in four words: Rewarding, Challenging, Uplifting, Tiring
Favourite Motherhood Quote?
‘You might hate me now but you’ll love me for it later’3