MOTHERHOOD INTERVIEW: PARENTFOLK EDITOR- LAURA GARNER
After almost a decade in the media industry and success both at home and abroad, our editor Laura Garner takes the hot seat in our series of Motherhood Interview’s. Here she tell us about life pre and post baby and being everything and a ‘mum’.
If you would have asked me three years ago if I would have been married with a baby, I would have laughed at you. It was quite literally the furthest thought from my head.
I had come out of a dramatically bad relationship and had packed up my life for a season writing for Essential Ibiza and being an artist liaison for the likes of Calvin Harris at Cream Ibiza. I wasn’t exactly wife/mother material and quite adamantly didn’t want to be either.
My life has always been filled to the brim with challenges, new experiences and my move to Ibiza came after travelling around the world whilst pursuing a career in journalism and PR. I had a great group of friends, an active social life and much like many of my best friends my career came first.
Shortly before my departure I met Sammy and that’s when the shift change began. My mindset gradually became less hedonistic and more akin to making things happen for the two of us. On my return my roots became firmly set in the North West and emotionally I knew that I was beginning to do the dreaded ‘settling down’.
The challenge for me is that I’ve never been fixated on money; I never wanted to own a flash car, buy a big house or walk around in designer gear. I’d have rather have splurged my money on a great bottle of wine or a weekend trip away, festival tickets or a great meal out. I wasn’t irresponsible. I just lived in the now. I didn’t think about rainy days!
So on having a baby, I always thought, ‘How could I, me, irresponsible me do that?’. I never do a ‘big shop’, I hate the thought of planning what I’m going to do for dinner every night and I let the washing pile grow until it can grow no more. But at work, well, let’s just say every deadline was met, every project was completed, every target hit and exceeded…you get the picture.
It’s important to have context about my past before I tell you about how I feel about being a mother. It’s good to know that beneath all of the unwashed hair and sick stained tops, that I, we still are people…we have an identity that is not just ‘mum’.
Although shock waves hit when I did discover I was pregnant, I decided to take it on as a project of my own. I studied like I was doing a Masters Degree in pregnancy and child birth – reading every book, blog and article I could to gain every single piece of knowledge about this beautiful human growing inside of me.
After 42 weeks, my daughter was born by emergency c-section in August 2015, so all the planning for the perfect child birth complete with chill out music, ambient light and my chakras aligned didn’t exactly go to plan. And things have carried on that way. But nevertheless, I’m adaptable and I’m OK with imperfection because my research has helped me to since bring up a content, funny and clever little girl. I’m delighted with the results.
And me? Well I’m more organised than I’ve ever been. I now do a big shop (albeit once a month), I have savings and when I once spent money on a pay day haul from Whistles, I’m now enjoying discovering a whole new world of children’s collections that I relish spending my wages on instead. Little things are just so much cuter! Don’t you think?
That being said, my washing pile still reaches Everest status, I’m currently researching the best cleaners in my area and juggling a very busy working schedule has it’s tricky days. But with the help of family, my friends, a fantastic nursery and my uber supportive (now) husband, I think I’m cracking this Motherhood thing after all.
It’s a whole new world, but we still do all of the amazingly fun and enjoyable things we’ve always done, like going to festivals, gigs and eating at the hottest new restaurants in town. But this time around we have a new friend to take with us and her name is Florence. She’s about a metre high with blonde hair and a cheeky grin usually toddling along waving at people saying ‘hiya’ and raising smiles wherever she goes.
She’s bright and smart and through the process of her growing into a toddler, I feel like I’ve finally flourished into a mum too. It was pretty scary at first, as it must have been for Florence in this new environment, but over time and from learning from my mistakes, I think we are on our way to becoming a good little team. Ready for a cuddle when you’ve had a bad day, a tickle because we love laughing and a calming bed time story every evening because, well, that’s our thing. I love her in a way I’ve never loved anything before. She’s ace.
Sometimes I think back to my heady days in Ibiza with a rye smile and watch all my friends who are still out there having fun via their Facebook posts. But for me, I’ve started a different chapter, a new project, with new objectives and a whole new list of tactics to help me achieve the best results possible and that is a happy, fun-filled life for me and my family.
What would you like your daughter to learn most from you as a business woman?
Do what you love. If you do that you will never work a day in your life.
..and as a mother?
Be open-minded to new experiences, to people and to the world. You’re only here once.
If you could go back to the day left school, what advice would you give to your 16 old self now that you didn’t know back then?
Don’t worry about those silly girls. Believe in the process. You’ll come good kid.
Finally, tell us when the working week is done and the weekend comes around where’s your happy place?
Delamere Forest or Sefton Park taking a stroll with my husband, with a large skinny cortado in one hand and my daughters hand in another.
Quick fire Q’s..
Your go to kids brand?
High Street or luxury?
I’m a sucker for a high end handbag to go with my high street apparel
Your guilty pleasure?
Coats – I’m also a sucker for a leather biker or a puffer jacket
Your place for ‘me time’?
Laying in bed when everyone is out with an ESPA candle on and complete silence
Sunday Times Style. I’ve been reading it since I was a teenager and I hardly miss a week. It’s my bible!
Elif, Lark Lane. Every. Single. Time.