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International Women’s Day and Motherhood (guest blog)

Keira is a 30 year old married mum of one from Leicester. Keira has a blog and is an active ‘insta mum’ – little Thea is two! (Links below)

Motherhood, Me and My Mum

As it was international women’s day. I decided to look at the main woman in my life and what Motherhood was like for her. Without her I wouldn’t be who I am today, I asked my lovely mum Jo about what it was like raising me and my brother, and what Motherhood means to her. I wanted to compare it to what motherhood is like for me and if there are any similarities.

Here is the list of questions I asked and both of our answers:

Did you see yourself being a mother when you were young? 

Jo: No, because I didn’t have the best upbringing and I thought this was the same for all children.

Keira: Yes, I always knew I wanted children. I grew up with lots of children and I was one of the oldest.

How old were you when you found out you were pregnant? 

Jo: With Alan I was 23 and with Keira 28.

Keira: I was 27.

Describe your parenting style? 

Jo: Kind, Calm and very patient. I didn’t have any patience before having children.

Keira: I would say I’m firm but fair, I think I’m a firmer than my mum was. We were never spoilt but I think we could get away with more.

Did your upbringing reflect on the way you were a parent? 

Jo: It made me a better parent; I was determined not to emulate the past.

Keira: definitely, I had an incredible childhood, if I can do half the things my parents did and still do for me, I know that I’m doing good.

Did you have any discussions about starting a family? 

Jo: Yes, we knew we wanted children after we were married but didn’t want to wait too long, so we started trying straight away.

Keira: Yes, I think we spoke about it quite early on. we both wanted to wait until we were married as that was our preference and it came up in conversation quite a lot.

How were your pregnancies? What was the best and worst thing about them? Any cravings? 

Jo: With Alan I was big, I had morning sickness and sciatica, I craved my husband’s homemade curry sauce. we didn’t find out his gender at the scan (I had 1 scan). With Keira I had a tiny bump, Extreme sickness and was sensitive to smells. no particular cravings. I also didn’t find out her gender at the scan (also 1 scan)

Keira: My pregnancy with Thea was actually very good at the beginning. I wasn’t really sick, I just had quite bad nausea. Everything went really smooth. I had quite a large bump with Thea and around the 7 month mark I was diagnosed with SPD. It was very painful and I struggled to do day to day tasks. It was so bad I was signed off work and basically spent the last few months in the bath. I didn’t really have any cravings. I absolutely loved feeling her kick, we also didn’t find out her gender and had around 5 scans.

What was your decision when it came to breastfeeding or bottle feeding and why did you choose this? 

Jo: I bottle fed both of mine, there wasn’t a lot of information when I was pregnant and bottle feeding was the done thing then. I didn’t feel the compulsion to breastfeed.

Keira: I always wanted to give breastfeeding a try, I had bought bottles and a steriliser just in case, but Thea latched straight away and have managed to breastfeed for 2 years.

Nap or Shower? 

Jo: Nap!

Keira: Definitely Nap

What advice would you give the next generation?

Jo: Put your phones down and spend time with your little ones as they are learning and growing. Remember every day with your child is a new day for both of you so enjoy every moment. Don’t forget to tell your children you love them.

Keira: Go outside and play! Get wet and muddy. Do what you think is right for you and your children. If you need help ask for it.

Favourite part of motherhood? 

Jo: Watching my daughter go through motherhood herself.

Keira: Every day Thea calling me mummy and giving me great big hugs and kisses.

So, there it is, it was actually really eye-opening sitting down and having a chat with my mum about being a mum. Before I was pregnant the word Motherhood was just another word that got thrown around, I didn’t really understand it. It wasn’t until I had Thea that I realised that Motherhood was so much more, for example: 

I didn’t realise that I would have a whole new identity, I would be called mummy from now on and I would be wiping up sick, snot, poop… you name it I have wiped it! 

My priorities changed. As soon as I found out I was pregnant my old priorities changed, in fact I can’t even remember what they were?

I have a whole new group of friends that I haven’t known for long, but I went through some tough times with, and are fully there to support me. I think this is generally true for most. You could also lose friends because you just don’t have time now that you have a tiny baby.

Also, you form opinions on parenting and all the different things that come with it like breastfeeding, bottle feeding, disposable nappies, washable nappies. The list goes on.

To me, Motherhood is unconditional love. It’s about putting someone else before myself. It’s about two mums looking at each other and not even having to speak, but just knowing what the other is going through. It’s about messy hair and sleepless nights, tea and coffee going cold and constant worry. 

Motherhood has been kind to me, I’m so blessed to have Thea, I have made some amazing friends through my journey and I would agree that it takes a village to raise a child.

Leicestershire Mama insta

Leicestershire Mama blog

Hand me the Gin

Farm Grown Gin

We were kindly invited by Warner’s Gin to spend the day on their farm celebrating inspirational women. Warner’s is based in Harrington in Northants; so a quick county hop for me and my wonderful plus one Raj. AD/gifted experience day from Warner’s Distillery

The day started sedately with a drive through the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire countryside and we were welcomed to the farm with coffee and breakfast pastries. We joined a wonderful bunch of inspirational ladies (it was blogger galore) and the wonderful Warner’s team.

We had a lush box of goodies; including joules scarves and hats and funky rainbow wellies from ever creatures. So we all donned our new gifts and we’re ready for the farm….

The Warner’s team are AMAZING; so knowledgable and full of passion for producing an epic product in epic surrounding. I love the fact that Tom says ‘fuck’ a lot, and this only strengthened his passion when talking about producing an epic gin- with no unnecessary (and nasty) colourings or flavourings. Warner’s were the first to create a rhubarb gin, and its colour and flavour come from beautiful, natural, British grown royal rhubarb!

Warner’s are truly on an Eco journey of trying to reduce their carbon footprint. Growing as much of their needed botanicals on the farm as they can, and importing as little as possible. They showed us their three stunning botanical gardens (they took part in Chelsea flower show) one down the Harrington valley giving us a chance for a brisk blowy walk!

We saw Angelica, juniper, lemon thyme, heathers, lavender, elderflower and more. A queen bee even landed for a surprise feature in our day; and Johnny (Warner’s botanical and bee keeper smarty pants) told us all about the importance of these creatures; and their shocking facts about bee copulation!!!

After that bracing walk we needed Gin- hoorah; so tasted some lemon balm gin in the glorious March sunshine. We then headed off to get our green fingered nails grubby; by ‘pricking out’ some Angelica seedlings, and potting some borage seeds to take home to grow. And then it was time for lunch!

And what a lunch it was; three courses of ‘Warner’s gin themed’ awesomeness in the epic local Gastronpub the Tollemarche arms. Tollemache Arms

Lemon balm infused salmon, a potato, Brie and mushroom Pithivier and yummy slow gin gravy; and the most awesome thing ever; rhubarb gin and Harrington honey trifle. I never knew a trifle could be so epic; and although we all had filling tummies we seemed to polish it off.

Obviously this was accompanied by some of Warner’s tasty gins; for me a rhubarb fizz to start and then a raspberry and soda. During the lengthy delicious lunch we were lead by the lovely Tina; to discuss our inspirational women.

The afternoon the full array of Warner’s gins; from the classic ‘Harrington dry Gin’ (yup sod off London, Harrington does it better), to the Joules collab Apple and Pear and the strawberry and rose (which I’d never heard of).

We then wax dipped and labelled our very own bottle; this day was truly epic, with so much attention to detail- making it such a special day for a wonderful group of ladies.

The day ended with imaginative Warner’s gin cocktails at their bar; my idea of heaven, and an epically stocked fridge. And then off we went into the Northamptonshire sunset.

I thought I’d finish with a few of my favourite Warner’s facts

  • There are 300 elderflower in each bottle of elderflower Gin
  • The distillers name is on each bottle
  • Toms mum Adele creates the idea of their Elderflower gin after picking some on the garden and adding to Gordon’s!
  • Warner’s does 350 distillations a year
  • 91% gin can actually taste amazing
  • Warner’s will be bringing out a spiced rum- using British grown botanicals!
  • Warner’s ask locals to pick Sloes to make their gin, and return the favour by giving gin.
  • Tom says ‘fuck’ A Lot

Obviously the idea of this day was to celebrate inspirational women; and March holds both inspirational women’s day and Mother’s Day- so this month I’m going to be posting about inspirational ladies, and hosting guest blogs from some wonderful ladies too.

Share your stories of the #inspowomen in your life on insta using this tag and @warnersgin too