From running a popular parenting blog to planning her wedding with fiance Greg Rutherford and looking after her boys Milo and Rex, It's fair to say that Susie Verrill is very busy.
However, a polished, "I-have-it-all" Instagram is not Susie's style and stresses the importance of keeping it real in the motherhood sphere.
She told Mother&Baby: "It’s all very well seeing the highlights and it's good to champion when things are going right, but I think we need to have the freedom to talk about the realities and the pitfalls of parenthood as well because it unites us all.
It all just comes back to that we’re all trying our hardest."
"I think it’s important for us to check in every so often and go ‘look it’s hard for us too', and that opens up the conversation, people will feel more comfortable."
Susie talks mum guilt, wedding plans and how it's okay to admit you're having a bad day...
"I think we’d be lying if we said it was all fun"
"It’s wonderful, we love our children, but some of it is hard. This is why it is important to celebrate life’s little wins because sometimes all it takes when one day you’re having a tough time, you can think, well, this can perk me back up.
It’s very important for me to be honest and truthful and make people feel comfortable with me talking about being a mum."
"You constantly question yourself and you could do it all day long."
The UK modern mama blogger said the hardest thing about being a mum is you’re never really sure that what you’re doing is the right thing.
"I do try to cut myself some slack because we’re all learning on the job. It could be was I doing this too much, or am I doing too little? You're trying to learn about diversity and different cultures, but you question if you're opening up the horizons on this, on that. Am I giving them enough exercise?
There are not enough hours in the day to do all you’d like to do, and sometimes the job can get quite heavy. That’s what I struggle with the most, unsure of whether I’m hitting the nail on the head."
"I’m actually more patient than I thought I was. I actually really thought I’d struggle massively."
But I guess it shows the boundless love I have for them. I can be reasonably patient with them even when I’ve asked them to do something 15 times and they’re still not doing it!
There are definitely days when I’m a shouty mum but I’d like to say that maybe I’ve got a bit more inner strength and grit than I thought I had."
"I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of what I’m doing"
With so many of us talking more about the term ‘mum shame’ and facing the wrath for parenting decisions, Susie explains she has no time for other people’s opinions on what she's doing.
She said: "I have absolutely no time for mum-shaming, or other people having an opinion on my parenting style."
I’m happy to have my own guilt or question myself, but I can shut it down really easily when it comes to other people, I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks of what I’m doing. Nor do I care of what anyone else is doing either.
I have no time for other people’s opinions on what I’m doing. The only advice I can give is just they are your children, you’re doing your best."
"There is a perception that comes with becoming a parent that you have to love everything..."
Opening up the discussion on accepting that parenting is going to be hard, and it's ok to be overwhelmed or sad at times, Susie also spoke to us about how there is always going to be a time where you're having a bad day.
She explained: "With everything in life, I don’t think there are many things that you 100% love.
Even if you have your dream job, or you’ve got a relationship which is wonderful, or simply, you really love a specific pair of jeans."
She continued: "I think it’s hard, and yes some of it is magical and wonderful, and you could talk about it all day long how great it is, you’re not going to love everything about it.
So it’s ok to be upset, or miserable, or sad about some aspects of it. It’s like anything in life."
The blogger also commented on how "it’s ok if you give birth to a baby and don’t fall in love with it straight away."
She said: "When I mentioned that on social media, I had so many women confirming this, where they’ve just given birth or had a c section, and they were handed their baby and it’s like they’re a stranger.
It’s a little human where they had no idea who it is, or what to do. Because you don’t know it, it’s just there.
Don’t worry if the second you’re handed this little baby, that you don’t feel that rush of love."
"It is very much a case of spinning a lot of plates at the same time"
Susie and fiance Greg Rutherford are also in the middle of planning their wedding, on top of their busy work schedules and home life.
When she needs an extra pair of hands on the organising, Susie has a lot of help from her mum and if Greg is around, he's there too.
She said getting her boys involved in messy play is a great way for her to get on with her daily to-do list:
"People credit me for doing a lot of sensory play, and crafts, it’s good to see the boys doing something, but a lot of it is because it gives them an activity so I can nip to the other side of the room and answer some emails or take a phone call.
I juggle but it is very much a case of spinning a lot of plates at the same time."
We’re all in it together
Susie and Greg are working with Haliborange, the UK’s No 1 kids vitamin brand, on the ‘Every Parent’s a Winner’ campaign, which celebrates those everyday parenting wins.
Susie said they want to promote the fact that 'we’re all in it together':
"We’re all mums, dads, in given situations, whether in a same-sex couple, or a mum and a dad, or adopted parents, we’re all just doing our best, trying to get through the day, celebrating your parenting wins, and trying to do the best for our kids really.
We’re thrilled to be involved with the campaign because we think it’s got real heart behind it, and a real point to it, and the boys love the vitamins, it’s all just seamless really.
We just want parents to feel supported and we can also open up the discussion about the realities of parenthood, and that there’s a small win in every day."
The beauty side
Susie can do a lot of things, especially looking glamorous even when she's strapped for time.
"I like to use a lot of fake tan, as that gives me a bit of a glow. I try to keep my outfits really really simple because if it's too fussy, I’ll just want to take it off after ten minutes.
Leather or pleather is really good because they wipe clean. I try to slap on a bit of make up every morning, it’s not always a full routine but just a little something so that I feel a bit more confident and give myself a bit of a glow."
Susie Verrill and Greg Rutherford are working with Haliborange, the UK’s No 1 kids vitamin brand, on the ‘Every Parent’s a Winner’ campaign, which celebrates those everyday parenting wins. Recommended by 9 out of 10 parents, Haliborange is available from Boots, supermarkets and pharmacies. For more information, visit haliborange.com
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