top of page



Motherhood is a profound journey, one that begins long before the first cries of a newborn echo through the delivery room. For some, it's a journey of endurance, marked by the trials and tribulations of fertility treatments and the emotional roller coaster of hoping, waiting, and praying for a child to come into their lives.

But motherhood is not just about the birth of a child; it's about the years that follow, the countless moments of joy, frustration, laughter, and tears that shape us as mothers and as individuals. Above all, motherhood is about love – a love so deep, so profound, that it transcends words and defies explanation. It's a love that fills every corner of our hearts, that sustains us through the toughest of times, and that reminds us, again and again, why we embarked on this journey in the first place.

So here's to all the mothers out there – to the ones who have endured the trials of fertility treatments, to the ones whose lives were forever changed the moment their child was born, and to the ones who navigate the ups and downs of parenthood with grace and resilience. Your journey is unique, your challenges are real, but your love knows no bounds. And for that, you are truly extraordinary. Here is to some amazing mothers I (Bianca Nicole) have had the chance to speak to about their journey...

Bianca Nicole: What has been the hardest period of motherhood for you and how did you deal with it? 

Katie Moore: The most difficult period was most definitely the newborn stage. It was just so consuming. Naturally, adjusting to such a life altering addition whilst physically and emotionally healing from the after effects of birth felt relentless at times. Confiding in a close friend who’d had a similar postpartum experience was so valuable for me. She was my saviour at times. I also learnt quickly that the best way forward for me was to surrender to my new role and let go of expectations.

BN: Can you talk about your expectations vs. reality? 

KM: To be honest I admit I went into this whole thing very naïve. It feels a bit ridiculous to say but I had no idea what a huge transformation becoming a mother would be. I anticipated some of it: sleepless nights, loss of freedoms, overwhelming love. But I wasn’t prepared for the days where I wouldn’t have a chance to eat, shower or brush my teeth! This is why I feel so strongly about speaking honestly about the realities of motherhood. So many of the struggles we face could be relieved if we all had safe spaces to share and gain a real understanding. 

BN:What was your initial feeling upon holding your baby for the first time? 

KM: It’s a bit of a blur but I remember the midwife handing her to me because I left her in the water and didn’t pick her up! (This is totally safe by the way as long as the baby hasn’t taken their first breath they can stay underwater - another miraculous fact I learnt!). I felt relieved, overwhelmed, amazed, empowered. Birth was so intense but simultaneously the most incredible experience.

BN: How did you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days? 

KM: It’s been almost three years and we’re still very much dealing with this. I try not to compare our reality to others who use different parenting methods or have children with completely different temperaments. There’s a lot of pressure on babies and toddlers to sleep through the night and while that might be the goal it’s not the biological norm. I remind myself of this all the time and try to cherish our nighttime feeds and connection, despite my exhaustion! I also have an extremely supportive partner who gets up early with our daughter most mornings to allow me some precious unbroken sleep. 

BN: What is your parenting philosophy? 

KM: We nurture connection, attachment and mutual respect in our relationship with our daughter. I’ve always followed my instincts when parenting her and these principles are so in tune with my values. I’ve come to realise that these gentle, conscious methods are widely misunderstood and even stigmatised at times, but I’m so proud to be raising an emotionally healthy and secure little girl. 

BN: What impact has motherhood had on your career? 

KM: I’m self-employed so there have been some definite pros and cons. I had my daughter in the height of the pandemic so my career took a hit times two. As a makeup artist it was illegal for me to work for an extensive period of time, so mixed in with maternity leave it became pretty detrimental to my job. But alongside all of that, I’ve had so much more freedom and flexibility than others and I truly recognise my privilege there. I’m still very selective with what I take on and I’m so grateful my work situation allows this. Motherhood pushes so many women out of the workforce and I completely see how because it’s almost impossible to find a balance sometimes. 

BN:What is the influence of social media on motherhood?

KM: I find this so subjective as it’s totally dependent on the content you consume. Personally, I follow really helpful accounts and fully utilise the educational side of social media. I’ve learned so much from children’s behavioural experts, paediatric nutritionists and parent therapists and love how accessible all of this information now is. I also love connecting with other mothers and sharing advice and truths. On the other hand, inevitably, I’ve come across some toxicity online and also wildly unrealistic parenting standards that make me want to delete Instagram! Overall, I’ve found it a positive platform as long as I’m intentional with my browsing. 

Bianca Nicole : If you had to choose one parenting mantra for yourself what would it be?

Tallulah Syron: My baby and I are learning as we go. I think that’s a good reminder to not be too hard on myself and to not set expectations, everything is brand new for both of us. Also that I am my daughters safe place with endless unconditional love.

BN: Please define motherhood in your own words.

TS: Beautiful, messy, exhausting and more love than I could ever find words for.

BN: What was the best advice on motherhood you ever received?

TS: My friend Sophie has a daughter who is 6 months older than my daughter and on a number of occasions she has reminded me to trust my gut and do what feels right for me and Indigo. I remember when I was pregnant lots of people spoke about “mother’s intuition” and I had no idea then what that really meant but once my daughter was born it did just kick in. All babies are different and a mother always knows her baby best, so I definitely think that’s the best advice.

BN: What was your initial feeling upon holding your baby for the first time?

TS: I had been in labour for a very, very long time so I was exhausted but I felt relieved, extremely overwhelmed, a bit shocked and unbelievably in love. I felt beyond grateful for my daughter and husband and for the amazing midwives who had been absolute angels.

BN: How did you cope with sleep deprivation in the early stages?

TS: Sleep deprivation is still very much a thing in our house, Indigo is nearly 7 months old now and still wake’s multiple times a night. When it gets tough I just remember it’s not forever and right now she needs me through the night and that’s okay. Also, I have a few mum friends with babies who wake frequently, or who co-sleep or breastfeed during the night, I find it comforting talking to them and knowing we’re all in it together. Trying to look after yourself also really does help too; Lots of water, taking all my vitamins and getting outside everyday.

BN: What is your parenting philosophy?

TS: I actually only just found out that this has a name but it’s what has felt natural to me and how I want to continue parenting Indigo and all future children that I am blessed with. It’s called ‘attachment parenting’ and most (not all) of the philosophies of attachment parenting I believe in. AP promotes being attuned to your babies cries remembering that every cry, tantrum and expression has a legitimate purpose. It also promotes baby wearing, breastfeeding, contact naps and letting your baby tell you what they need in terms of sleep and feeds. I guess it leans in again to trusting your instincts. l just really want to always lead with love and compassion when it comes to being a mother. My biggest hope is that my daughter feels safe, heard and loved and trusts me and her Dad to always be there for her no matter what she might need.

Bianca Nicole: What has been the hardest period of motherhood for you and how did you deal with it? 

Deborah Schoutema: Navigating the medical system in pregnancy and labour. I was pregnant with Nova during lockdown, and the care was very thinly spread and compromised. Stress levels were very high. Negligence and errors were inevitable in such times. I had to redo various tests, because I couldn’t agree with what came back from the blood tests. Additionally, bubba was in breech in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and the scan suggested he was going to be “bigger” than the labour wing would feel comfortable with in terms of assisting a natural birth. I dealt with it by talking to my husband a lot, venting a lot, journaling a lot, and then just sticking with my gut, choosing the holistic path, and praying for a confident midwife to be present at my baby’s birth. It’s not a great place to be in, having to advocate for yourself during child birth. It’s why I have become so passionate to help others approach birth holistically within the walls of a medical setting - albeit a labour wing, or birth centre. I think that is part of how I dealt with it, by helping others to navigate it. 

BN: Can you talk about your expectations vs. reality?

DS: As soon as I felt safe and secure with my second pregnancy, I told Nova about his tiny sibling in my tummy. He intuitively comprehended the process and started to tell me about how she would slide out of my belly. I did not even have to explain the concept of birth to him! He just got it. So what I am going to say next will sound silly - but it came as a surprise to me that once Zaya was born, it took Nova a couple of months to personify her. None of the things I worried about, such as weaning regression or stroller envy happened. But it was the curiosity and an impulse that I have come to call ‘tough love’ that made me feel on edge from dawn to dusk. Drawing the line between allowing them to bond authentically while protecting the both of them from wild interaction - toying around - is a lot more time (and nerve) consuming than I had imagined!

BN: If you had to choose one parenting mantra for yourself, what would it be?

DS: Oh, this is going to sound cliche, but: Invest in self-care because you can’t serve from an empty cup.

BN: What are you most proud of in your motherhood journey?

DS:  Last week on a very rainy day, I walked home after a school run with Zaya in de carrier and Nova on his scooter. He wanted me to push me, and he was making up stories. A random passerby asked me: why do you look so happy on a gloomy day? I then realised I was smiling from ear to ear. Whether it be Nova’s story telling or Zaya’s bursting out in laughter, nothing matches the sweet fulfilment I feel when their own personality shines through. When you know they feel safe enough to be themselves.

BN: How did you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days?

DS:  With Nova, I was not aware of the side effects as I navigated through it. It all felt a little like an after party. But looking back, my cortisol levels postpartum were a lot higher versus now with baby Zaya. She likes her sleep, so I get more snooze in, too. But back then, to feel calm, I used to depend a lot on my herbal tinctures with ingredients like rose and passionflower for the night; and Brahmi for the day.

BN: What is your parenting philosophy?

DS:  I am still learning! So I guess at the moment the philosophy is that we’re learning together. Trying to be non judgmental is one of our biggest values as a family. I am Dutch, and I feel that, generally, Dutch parents place a lot of trust in their children and favour freedom. So those elements are definitely present in my intuitive approach to parenting. My husband is Nigerian and leans more into discipline. Children respond really well to routine, so his discipline has been very helpful in setting Nova up for success on a day-to-day basis. And although I am still not a natural in this, my plans are to repeat this approach with Zaya.

BN: How do you manage your own health and well-being as a mother?

DS: Blocking time on my calendar for self-care. During this time, I know that my children are in loving hands and that I can spend some time alone, doing what I know will energise me. Self-massage is a powerful Ayurvedic self-care tool, and I do it 3-4 times a week, alongside a herbal beverage with my favourite nervines to help reset my nervous system.

BN: What impact has motherhood had on your career?

DS: It closed some doors. As a model I used to travel quite a lot. I wanted to be a stable factor in my child’s life, so I decided to narrow down to the UK market only. Lots of time was freed up in doing so, which has given me the opportunity to expand on my career as Ayurvedic Vaidya and Doula, and even develop a line of products!

BN: How do you maintain your individual identity while being a mum?

DS: Two things. I’ve come to realise that my individual identity is fluid. My essence doesn’t hide in the women I’ve been before today. After I had Nova, Jerico Mandybur, an author who’s work I love, shared some profound practices with me to continue to ‘feel alive’ - in myself. Alone time plays a key role here, along with keep doing the things that literally make you feel alive. For me that is working with herbs. But it can mean something different for different people.

BN: How do you approach mental health conversations with your child?

DS: Zaya is only a few months, so with her, a lot comes down to body language. With Nova, who’s in preschool, we currently talk about where he feels his feelings in his body. This helps him process those very strong feelings and find an outlet for them. We also offer him recaps and role play. The latter was especially helpful about one year ago, in the wild waves of toddlerhood.


Bianca Nicole: What has been the hardest period of motherhood for you and how did you deal with it?

Holly Daniels: Supporting Sofia to learn how to eat food was really hard because I became paralysed by fear of her choking and social media made me feel like I was doing it all wrong! I took a course in baby first aid and safety which made me feel more confident that I'd know what to do if something happened and I also found eating out in cafes helpful because I didn't feel alone when feeding her things. I think exposure to seeing other baby's munching on things like crumpets helped me too so I was lucky to have a great group of friends around me who could show me how their little ones coped with bigger food. I also just decided to give myself a break and go at the pace which worked for Sofia and I, rather than what social media was telling me - I think I unfollowed quite a lot of Instagram accounts!  

BN: What are you most proud of in your motherhood journey?

HD: This may sound weird but I'm proud of the way I've embraced and enjoyed it, even the dark moments. I'm proud of the way I'm showing up for her each day, even on the days when I feel rubbish and that I'm overcoming fears I never knew I could because I know it will ultimately help her. 

BN: What was your initial feeling upon holding your baby for the first time?

HD: Things got a bit scary towards the end of Sofia's birth and a team of medical professionals needed to rush in to help get her into the world. As a result, I felt a real mix of emotions - I was on one hand absolutely exhausted and had just experienced something quite traumatic but I was also so happy to see her face and hearing her cry was the best noise I've ever heard. So it was a combination of pure joy and love but also utter exhaustion.

BN: How did you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days?

HD: I found the whole "nap when she naps" advice deeply frustrating - as it felt like that was the only time I would have a chance to do anything for myself but the reality was that I needed to do this. I think once I accepted this and that it would only be for a (relatively) short period of my life, I caught up on sleep and it made a world of difference. I was breastfeeding my daughter which meant feeding every 4 hours as well which didn't help but it was something I wanted to do. My husband and I took turns to look after her, so when she wasn't feeding he would take her so I could sleep and then we'd swap so that helped us both catch up. Getting out for some fresh air and walks helped with this too. 

BN: How do you manage your own health and well-being as a mother?

HD: Exercise is really important for my mental health so once I was given the OK to run again, I was out doing this. The fresh air really helped and the boost of doing something just for me meant I felt refreshed for returning home and looking after my daughter. The other thing I'm trying which is making a difference it to try to be present with whatever I'm doing and not constantly looking at my phone - so if I'm with my daughter, my attention is on her and if I'm on my own with friends, or my husband then its with them - I've found doing this means I give proper attention to all these things, have a better experience in the moment and I don't feel like I'm spreading myself too thinly. 

BN: How do you find balancing work and family life?

HD: This one is hard. I've always been someone who gives a lot of time and energy to work (possibly too much) so it's been an adjustment. However, I think I've just got much better at prioritisation as a result - I'm prioritising at work the things that have the most impact and in my home life, I'm perhaps not sweating the small stuff. My husband is amazing and supports a lot as does my sister and family which also make juggling everything easier. I'm still working full time but compress my hours so I have Fridays off with my daughter - this really helps me to have one day a week dedicated to just us but the other days are long and can be tiring. Overall, I find it OK to keep on top of everything as long as I'm doing the things that keep me mentally and physically healthy - and perhaps let my cleaning standards slip a bit!


bottom of page