International women's day is a great reminder to recognise and uplift the work that women do, to talk about achievements and start conversations. I think it's really important that the messaging around IWD is continued throughout the whole year and is extended to all women. Until we are all treated equally with the same respect then there's still work to be done, this goes for women being equal with men, as well as women from all backgrounds. For myself and Mamawell, this means making my workouts and information free and accessible to as many women as possible, ensuring that wellness isn't just for a privileged few. This is why I run my instagram page with workouts, expert chats, Q&A and more.
#breakthebias is the IWD 2022 theme, and I think it's very relevant in how we view pregnant & postpartum women. There are so many preconceptions to do with exercise in this period, that women are somehow weaker, less needing to move - when actually it's so important for both physical and mental health - and getting in touch with what's happening in the body. New mums often put themselves last, with society in the self-imposed pressure of having to 'give everything' to their new baby. While no doubt this is an intense time, we need to remember that to do the very important job of looking after a little one, we need to look after ourselves. So I'd encourage #breakthebias that new mums don't need time out for themselves and for people to recognise that rest and self-care is really important.
My mum remains hugely inspiring to me. She is a really well educated smart woman who decided to pause her career to bring up her 4 kids. What amazes me is that when she returned to work the whole way of doing things had changed, she had to get on top of Excel and all the other computer stuff as well as navigate what I'm sure was a big adjustment getting back to office life. I look back and remember her picking us up from school then driving us to all our activities and not stopping until about 6.30 when we were all at home again. She made a big personal commitment to us all, and was never afraid of really hard work. She has instilled a work ethic in me and a confidence that you can have several stages to your career/family/life. She's retired now, but is actively volunteering in her town and looking after her grandkids where she can. We love hanging out and I love this new stage of our relationship, seeing her with my girls.
International Women’s Day means more to me this year than ever before as I now have a little girl. It reminds me that I must instill in her that she can do and achieve anything - in the field of science, sports, the arts, or whatever she puts her mind to! She will have the option to try out any hobby too - including those typically assigned to boys such as rugby and football. She may well be exposed to these via her older brother and it’s up to her and her alone if she wants to pursue them too.
My own mum has always inspired me to work hard and to keep going - even when times got tough. She has been my constant rock whilst growing up (particularly at university!) and taught me to shoot for the moon, as if you miss it, you will still land among the stars.
To me, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women that are strong and women who stand up and keep going even in the midst of troubles, challenges and difficulties. They are always standing, always moving and always positive. Women are an extraordinary set of people who keep going whilst holding up families and running businesses - they are truly inspiring.
My role model is my mum because she is such a strong woman. Growing up I used to watch her have her own business (she actually ran a salon and a shop at the same time) and do all sorts of things for us, like make our school uniforms by herself and pay for our school fees. It was her that kept us going as a family, with the support of my dad but he was always very busy with his own businesses, so it was down to my mum to be there every day for us all, as well as managing her own work and time. In my family there is 8 of us and my mum cared for us all, whilst having her career which I really admire. She is my role model and now that I am a mum too I really do understand what it feels like to be a role model to someone. She is very calm and quiet (not like me at all)! She is much more of an introvert and thinks things through and she has a strong mind - you don’t necessarily see the effect until you are very close to her. Now I think back, how did she do all these things for us with 8 children? It blows my mind! Every day I think this to myself, as I only have 4 and hope I can do as much as she did for us.
I have a few other role models through Instagram - these are people who are always supporting me and my platform and keeping me going. Most of these are actually women, and they have become real friends and family to me especially through my last pregnancy. Instagram is a different world for me, sometimes it’s like catching up with family. It’s special to have a community of women who have supported me throughout the years, always standing by me, making me feel better, yet challenging myself and overall inspiring me every day.
Celebrating the amazing women in my life who inspire and lift me everyday and a reminder to be the same for them 🤍
How could I not say my own mama? She ensured our childhood was enriched with so many precious memories. She gave up an editorial career when she had my little brother and I for shift work which allowed her more time with us, and filled our days with so much fun. I’ll always remember her empowering stories at bedtime about a little girl who could do anything she set her mind to, the smell of homemade play dough, long summer walks with picnics and tadpole watching at lakes.