Mother and Baby

What Candice Brathwaite has learned since becoming a mum

Candice Brathwaite is a presenter, writer, co-founder of Make Motherhood Diverse and one of our favourite mum influencers to follow on social media. 

Candice, who's mum to Esmé-Oliva and RJ, even came second in M&B's The Mum List 2019 for her thought-provoking and inspirational reads.

Candice tells Mother&Baby the seven things she's learned since becoming a mum...


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1) Slob out and get to know your newborn

I wanted plenty of time to recover from RJ’s birth, so I gave myself a solid five weeks before I even thought about anything else. Emails, phone calls or washing can all wait when you’ve just given birth. I didn’t even have a shower until the fifth day! Nothing is as important as spending time with your baby.
There is far too much pressure on women to be all ‘Let’s pop down to the café for a cuppa’ three days after birth. You’ve just done the hardest thing any human can do, so pull up the drawbridge and slob out!
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2) Don't worry what everyone thinks

RJ had an utter breakdown in M&S the other day, and I just let it play out. Everyone was staring but I just thought to myself, ‘He’s a baby and he’s going to do what he needs to do.’ When Esmé was small, I’d have probably rushed out of the store and burst into tears. But I’m much more chilled out second time around. I now know these things will pass so I just made RJ as comfortable as I could and carried on.
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3) Priorities change

I’m a Pisces, so I was always trying to make other people happy, even at a detriment to myself, before the kids came along. But not anymore. When I need to make a decision, I ask myself: is this feeding my family or making me happy? And if it’s not, I’m not interested!
Any time spent away from my family has to amount to something, whether it’s the ability to pay a bill, to better my skillset or to make life easier for my children.
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4) Kids notice everything

Esme is the only child of colour at her nursery. We had a moment where she was colouring in, and I suggested she make the princess look like her and colour her skin brown. She was really annoyed and said, ‘Mummy, princesses can’t be brown – don’t you know that? Haven’t you seen The Disney Channel?’ It’s such a difficult conversation to have with a four-year-old, but it needs to happen.
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5) It's not a competition

When Esmé was small, I noticed other babies her age starting to walk and panicked that she wasn’t doing it too. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what have I done wrong. Come on, walk!’ She eventually took her first steps just fine at 13 months.
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6) It's an opportunity to redefine myself

I’m not feeling too great about my body post-pregnancy – I look in the mirror and wish my boobs weren’t so droopy. And I’m not quite sure about wearing my pre-children clothes anymore, because my body shape has changed so much.
But the other day, I tried on a trouser suit which was so not me and loved it! So I’m treating my new body shape as a chance to reshape my style, and find clothes that make me feel great. I’m not going to let these body changes deter me from living my best life.
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7) We need diversity in motherhood

My dad, always used to say to me, ‘Candice, I’m not here for the complaining – you’ve told me what’s wrong, how are you going to fix it?’
So, tired of always being fed a singular story about motherhood despite the enormous spectrum of realities, I co-founded the campaign Make Motherhood Diverse. Diversity is about so much more than skin colour. For us it means everyone’s story being told and treated with respect. We believe that every mother should be on equal footing because we’re all just trying to do well by our children.

More from Mother&

Follow Candice on Instagram and visit her website, here

  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 


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