Beauty, babies, and finding balance is a weekly series that will give you a glimpse into the lives of fellow working moms – whether they’re employed fulltime and work in an office from 9am to 5am, or if – like me – they work for themselves and from home.
I’ve reached out to several women who inspire me and I’ll be sharing their stories with you every week in the hopes that you’ll find someone that you relate to, or that you stumble upon a nugget of wisdom that helps you in your daily life. Today, I’m super-excited to be sharing Keri’s story. Those of you who know me well will know that Keri is one of my closest friends, and if you happen to follow her blog or her social media accounts, you’ll know that she’s one inspiring woman! Read on to find out more about where she’s at and how she manages to find a bit of balance during the season of life she currently finds herself in. Grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Name: Keri Bainborough
Occupation: Freelance writer, creative, and author of A Guide for Wildflowers (you need this recipe book and lifestyle guide in your life – trust me!)
How would you best describe your work life? I work full-time from home.
How many children do you have, and what are their ages? I have one daughter – Imogen (16 months old).
What does your average workday look like?
What is average? Haha. I only work on days that I have childcare, or after Imogen goes to bed otherwise I don’t get much done! Immy is still at the age when she needs to be entertained pretty much all the time – bring on the movie days, I say!
Where do you work during the day?
At home in the spare bedroom mostly – sometimes if I’m feeling flush, I’ll head out to a coffee shop, but usually I find that I just ended up spending money and not really concentrating!
How do you handle childcare?
We have childcare three days a week which is when I get most of my work done. My partner is at home most days now too which is so awesome! So if we have a lot of work to do, we will take it in turns to share the child care over the course of the day to enable the other person time to do what they can.
What do you like most about your current work-life set up?
That I get to see Imogen whenever I want.
What do you find most difficult when it comes to your current set up? What would you most like to change?
I would love to be able to afford one more day of child care a week – I just feel like I need those extra few hours to get on with all the things I want to do.
How do you fit time for your friends or social life into this equation?
It’s hard! I take Immy to play group once a week which helps me connect with other moms, which is always wonderful. Seeing friends who live a little further away or who work during the week has got tough since becoming a mom – logisitics like nap times and whether a venue is kiddie-friendly (not to mention running after the little things!) can make plans difficult at the moment. But I just have to remind myself that this is only a phase, and soon Immy will be happy to stay at home with a babysitter while we head out for dinner or drinks with friends – or, you know, she’ll be able to come with us and entertain herself without heading over to every sharp edge in sight!
How do you make time for your marriage/ relationship?
Honestly? We really battle with this. At the moment, I’m using every spare moment to launch projects I’m currently working on, which means Andy is often looking after Immy or going out with friends by himself. We really do try to eat dinner together every night though and check in with one another.
What about ‘me-time’? Do you manage to carve out some time for yourself?
I make sure I go for a walk every morning. Without fail. If I don’t, I crack and things start unraveling very fast. It’s my exercise and meditation all in one and I usually use that hour to reply to voice notes and listen to podcasts too.
What does your daily beauty routine look like? Is this something that’s important to you?
No, not at the moment, I’m afraid. If I manage to shower, wash my hair and do my face, that’s a win. My legs are hairy, my skin resembles scales and my toenails could rival a sloth’s! I am quite pedantic about hydration though and make sure I drink water throughout the day. I eat a plant-based diet too, which is very important for me both physically and spiritually.
What one beauty/ baby product do you always have in your bag?
Hand cream. I’m not fussy about the brand, as long as it’s cruelty-free.
What one thing (whether it’s a product, a hobby, a motto or life mantra, a book, or even a person) keeps you sane as you navigate this season?
I honestly have never felt so inspired in my life, so I’m actually enjoying this season – I almost wish it would go slower, as being a new mom has made me appreciate my time and talents so much. Becoming a mother has inspired me and broken me and has made me push past the bullshit for what I want to achieve and accomplish in my life.
What one piece of advice would you offer to moms who find themselves in a similar space?
If you’re battling emotionally, reach out for help – especially if your partner does not seem to – or want to – understand what you’re going through. Do not suffer alone. Talk to your mom, a friend, join a mom’s support group, hell – message me, even! Just talk, talk, talk it through. Also, remember that no one is perfect. Stop worrying about your house being dirty, your jeans being too tight, or whether life will ever go back to what it was before. It’s ok to mourn who you were before being a mom, but also learn to embrace your renewed self and all the amazing qualities motherhood helps you develop – strength, patience, kindness, and, most of all, bottomless love! None of this all will even cross your mind when you’re standing in the driveway waving your child off to live her own life.
I absolutely loved reading through Keri’s answers, particularly that last bit. It’s so important to remember that no one has it all together – despite what you may see on Instagram – and that it’s ok to have a sink full of dirty dishes or food in your hair during this season. We’re all just doing our best, after all! Thanks so much for opening up and for these beautiful reminders, Keri!
If you’d like to stay updated on what Keri’s up to (or if you’d like to find out more about her latest projects – her La Luna | La Femme moon journals are so stunning), be sure to head on over to her website (here), or follow her on Instagram or Facebook. Do yourself a favour and follow La Luna | La Femme on Instagram, too – the posts are so insightful and inspiring!
I’ll be sharing another mama’s story next week, so be sure to come back next Monday for more! And if you’d like to share your story with my readers, please pop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll be in touch!