You are a Mother of 3, a 20 year old boy, who’s heading to University in September and the cutest 2 and 4 year old little girls. How does being a mother feel (warts and all)?
Being a mother is the most precious gift I have been given. It is challenging, fun, emotional and sometimes my children really test my last nerve
but I am truly blessed to have 3 amazing children that are going to grow up and rock the world!
You went to University, wrote your Dissertation and got a First Class Degree while your Son was in Secondary School and whilst taking care of your new born baby. What made you go back into Education? And how did you juggle studying with the needs of a teenager and a new baby?
I decided to go back into Education as it was something I always wanted to do, but kept putting it off. Always an excuse or reason not to – too expensive, not enough time, too busy etc… I finally decided to just go for it and I’m so glad I did. My son was taking GCSE’s at the time and we were sharing a netbook to do revision and write assignments. I would type up my dissertation whilst breastfeeding and bring my baby into Uni for tutorials. I had great support from family and the Tutors at Uni. As hard as it was, I just kept reminding myself that many Women across the world are denied access to education and many Women are unable to have children… Here I was lucky enough to have both.
How has being a Black female impacted your career? For example have you felt responsible for representing your female Blackness in a particular way? Do you think that you have been limited or propelled because of your identity?
Being a black female has definitely impacted on my career. I have always felt the need to represent and challenge stereotypes of black women. I don’t think I’ve been limited but I have had to fight a little harder to be accepted in the workforce without changing or conforming to more European standards of womanhood.
How has your race and ethnic / cultural background influenced your parenting?
I think my race and culture have impacted greatly on my parenting style. Cultural identity is important when raising children. It’s part of what makes us who we are. Much of what I have learnt about being a parent is from my parents and elders and I pass that down to my children.
Do you feel that you have an added responsibility raising black children in the UK? If so how?
Yes, I do. I want my children to be proud of their race and culture. I want them to know their history and understand how it impacts them today. I have to make sure they have positive role models that represent their race and culture. I want my son to know that not all black boys are in gangs and I don’t want my daughters to judge themselves by the European standards of beauty.
We have thick lips and thighs and afro hair and that is beautiful!
What are your thoughts on the representation of Black mothers online?
Hmm… To be honest I don’t see that much representation of black mothers online. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. I see lots of mother/mum groups and networks but not any that address black mothers specifically. That is until now with Motherhood Reconstructed.
How do you manage your career as a KS1 Supply Teacher and Early Childhood/Parenting Workshop Facilitator with being a mother?
Being a mum comes first so I needed a career that allowed me the flexibility to be there for my children. It’s hard juggling both but I think it’s important to show my children that you can do both. It’s also important for me as I have something separate from my children.
Being a mother is part of who I am but not all.
It definitely isn’t all… We’ve had a look at your Instagram – @madebylowie and despite having 3 children and a Teaching career you also run a Cake business and have an Etsy shop selling Pegpals, that you paint. Honestly, where do you find the time?
I really don’t know! Lol. I work when the children have gone to sleep, so mainly late at night. I also try not to take on too much all the time. When I first started my businesses I felt the need to take on every order or request. Now I have learnt to say ‘no’. No, I can’t do it at such short notice and sometimes, no I can’t do it at all. I’m still learning to get the balance right, it’s all a juggling act.
When you feel overwhelmed, as well do at some point, how do you overcome that?
I take a step back and just let things be. Whether that’s the laundry, the dishes, work, playing with my children. Sometimes I just stop and do nothing for a minute, hour or a whole day. However long it takes. The world will not end and my children will be ok if Mummy takes a break.
What, if anything would you do differently as a parent?
I would take more time to enjoy the little things. I don’t aways need to have an activity or outing planned.
Sometimes we can do nothing and enjoy just being.
*Quick fire questions*
Wine Bar or Restaurant? Restaurant
Almond milk or Cashew milk? Almond
Mary J Blige or Lauryn Hill? Both
Museum or Park? Park
Jerk Chicken or Curry Mutton? Curry Mutton
Art Attack or Mr Tumble? Art attack
Cake or Cocktails? CAKE
80’s or 90’s? 80’s
Sum up Motherhood in four words:
Love. Funny. Noisy. Unpredictable.
What’s your favourite Motherhood Quote?
“Because of you I know what love is”