Mama Meets...&Breath Postnatal
I was so excited to read about &Breath Postnatal, a family wellbeing company that runs postnatal family retreats and events in France and the UK. I'd given birth a few months earlier and was desperate to find a way to step out of my Mama duties and take a moment to, well, just breath. We forget about the importance of looking after and loving ourselves when we have little ones. We know we should, but the idea of even taking a shower can seem like something you need to plan and schedule for! So, I needed to know more and was thrilled when the founder, Clio Wood, agreed to me interviewed for Mama Meets...
Tells us about &Breath Postnatal and why you started it.
When I had my daugher, Delphi (now 2), in 2014, I was completely railroaded by the enormity and difficulty of being a parent! I really struggled to come to terms with my new identity, ignorance, lack of sleep and lack of time for myself! I really wanted a place to go where I could get some time for myself, have a nice holiday and retreat, but where I could bring my baby and spend time with my husband too. It didn't exist and so &Breathe was born! Our retreats help new parents get fit, eat well and feel good with baby in tow (childcare included). We want new mamas and papas to come up for air, adjust to their new identity in a calming environment, bond as a family, and help them feel fit and healthy mentally and physically, which is hard with a new baby!
How do you de-stress, relax and look after yourself?
Time away from my baby, much as I love her, is crucial. For me it's essential to remember that I'm a person outside of motherhood too and I find compartmentalising my various roles is key to really making the most of downtime. Childcare is essential. Whether that's your husband taking the baby for a few hours or dropping off with grandparents for the weekend, or a babysitter for an evening, it's really important.
What motivates you?
Being my best me for myself and my family. I'm fairly fit and healthy, but I know that when I don't have time for exercise or eat lots of unhealthy food, I really start to feel sluggish and grumpy and that's not good for my parenting!
What are your top three Mama 'can't live withouts'?
Water (life is exhausting and dehydating), moisturiser (my post-baby skin is SO dry! And I like to thank my tummy for surviving pregnancy), my phone (recording precious moments, access to Peppa Pig, running &Breathe, calling for parenting back-up).
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
"If you're worrying about whether you're a good parent, you're probably a good parent."
You also have a furniture and interiors label. How do you juggle motherhood and your businesses?
The furniture/interiors has really taken a backseat with &Breathe and running our Manoir, but the two of them keep me VERY busy. I have to admit to finding it stressful sometimes, and learning to give myself a break (mentally as well as literally) is key. I can't do without the childcare set up we have and a husband who is great at doing his share too. I really need to try to be more mindful, in parenting and life, too and have started to think more about headspace for myself, shutting down properly at night and slowing down from time to time.
What advice would you give to a Mama wanting to start her own business?
Ask yourself if you really believe in your concept/product. If you do, then take The Leap! It will be hard at times, but knowing your product and own mind is really key to business success. Another thing I've learnt is to know when a route is not the right one. Richard Branson had several failed businesses behind him before he hit the big time, so maybe if you're pushing too hard at the door, it might not be the right one. Ask yourself why it's not working and what alternative route there might be for the concept, or for you as a mumboss.
What's next for &Breath Postnatal?
Lots of things! We've had such lovely feedback and have impacted people's lives so positively, we want to do more. We're expanding into different regions in the UK and looking for new partners to work with to reach out to even more new mamas. There are also new Toddler Plus retreats in France, which are in high demand for not-so-new mums with a toddler sibling or slightly older little ones too. We're very excited about 2017! Also we love collaborating with people, so if you fancy working together, drop me a line :-)
Why is it important?
There's a lot of pressure to perform as a parent, and it can be hard as it usually comes off the back of being a strong, independent woman with a career. Our families aren't really around so much any more (living further away, and with smaller families) so we want to be part of your new village. The transition to parenthood can be bloody awful for most people, and we want to make that a bit easier! Looking after you is the best first step.
&Breath Postnatal are now taking bookings for their January 24 hour Retreats. Check out the details on the website and get yourself rejuvenated for 2017!
Follow &Breath Postnatal for details of their events and make sure you check out the social channels too via the following links: