Introducing our Motherhood Muse for February Sandie Brunswick - mum of Theo (9 months). We chat to Sandie about managing her career, motherhood and taking time out for herself.
Tell us about Theodore and what becoming a mum has taught you
Theodore is the most fun loving little human I’ve ever met. I know as Mothers we can be biased but he has truly become my best friend… and he seems to think I’m quite alright too! He has a lovely nature, is very curious, loves to laugh but can also be quite serious if the time calls for it. He’s intrigued by everything and loves to tell stories. Becoming a Mum has taught me how precious every moment is and that nothing else truly matters and I shouldn’t sweat the little things!
What advice would you give yourself in the early days of motherhood?
REST, just rest. You don’t have to be superwoman, you’ve been through a lot. You matter and the age old saying “you can’t pour from an empty glass” is true. I can honestly say that I did not do this at the start and it caught up to me quickly. We are all about women and new mums looking after themselves and their needs too and I did not take this advice. I guess I was living on the adrenaline of having a new life to care for and although I had all of this support offered, I didn’t take it like I should have so… Rest and take support offered, you deserve it!
Biggest challenges vs biggest rewards of motherhood?
Biggest challenge would have to be accepting help and accepting that I don’t always know best. The biggest reward would have to be everything, honestly everything, even the 2am wake ups, the blow outs, the sore nips, and the huge bags under my eyes. In those moments I just look at Theodore and have to smile and laugh because although it’s definitely not always pretty or easy, it’s because of him and I feel so lucky to be his mum and although I haven’t slept longer than 3 hours in 365 days, totally worth it!
Motherhood is one epic role, but like everyone says, it takes a village; who are some people who are part of your village that have helped you be the awesome mum that you are?
My mum has been a huge support for me. We work together running Belly Bands and that in itself is huge but to be able to have a role model like her and I’m really lucky Theodore gets to call her Granny. My baby group friends, we all met at 6 weeks postpartum and instantly became friends, confidants, sisters-in-life, and our babies are each born a week apart so the journey has been incredibly special to share with the 5 of us and our bubs. I wish everyone had the chance to find a group of friends like this or at least find some support in an online community because sometimes Motherhood can feel lonely and you just want to talk about the fact that a tiny human pooped on you whilst walking through the grocery store!
Tell us about your career and how you manage both that and motherhood
I’m the General Manager of Belly Bands and boy we have had some growth and changes the last couple of years, mainly during my pregnancy and this past year Theodore has been earth-side! So it’s been a lot of juggling but I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to bring Theodore to work with me and he even joins in on Zoom meetings (much surprise to the other business on the call!). I have had to make clear rules for myself and my workload to ensure I am always putting Theodore first. I try my best not to work at home (when he’s awake!) and I make sure I take time to listen to his needs and if he’s unhappy and wants to leave then that’s what we’ve got to do. I am trying this approach so I can minimise the amount of mum guilt that we all feel everyday anyway otherwise I think I’d be quite regretful in the future if I prioritised work over him. We’ve put years of hard work into the business so now I just want to enjoy the fleeting moments of my tiny human before he continues to grow up super quickly.
What are your favourite things about Theodore?
His personality, his toothy grin, when he crawls up and gives me a cuddle and kiss, and his crazy hair when he wakes up from a nap! The change he’s made in my heart and life.
What do you do to take time out for yourself?
I love to catch up with our Mum & Baby group, that’s a huge relief. I enjoy taking breaks by going walking and the beach or on “mini adventures” with Theodore (and sometimes our puppy Arya). I love being outside and due to work I’m usually at Belly Bands HQ so when I’m not at work, Theodore and I make the most of getting some fresh air!