The second mama in the ‘Mama of the Month’ series is the gorgeous Helen Sandle aka @justsayingmum. I always love to hear from mothers who have more experience that I do with regards to parenting and youthful ageing. Helen has some very inspiring answers that I absolutely agree with!
Over to you Helen – This is a mama we ALL need to listen to.
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself – where you’re from, age, children, occupation etc
Hi, I’m Helen, and I live just outside of London. I married my childhood sweetheart, have three gorgeous teenagers and I’m 43! Now a few years ago I would have hated sharing my age but since hitting 40 I hit a kind of ‘who cares’ kind of attitude about it. My opinion is that if you’re doing in life what you want to be doing then age really shouldn’t matter! Well that’s my story and I’m kind of enjoying sticking to it! I’m a blogger, an adorer of Instagram and a piano teacher.
2. What have you learnt from being a mother?
I’ve learnt that there is a love like no other from having children. They complete me, totally, and I would take on the world for them. I do! Only the other day it struck me how much I would put them first before absolutely anything. They have made me the woman I am today and without them I would be a very different soul. I am grateful every day for them.
3. How has your fashion sense changed from 10/20 years ago? If any…
Ah fashion! Over the last 10/20 years it has changed drastically. I used to follow the trend. Not focusing on what suited me but what everyone was wearing. As I’ve got older, I’ve learnt that you should dress for you and for your shape. Let your personality shine through in what you choose to wear. Let it help define you. I’ve definitely taken inspiration from Garance Dore and turned to a more simplistic elegant element of a style. There are also some total favourite fashion bloggers out there that really help guide my style too.
4. How has your beauty regime changed in the last 10/20 years? If any…
Years ago I saw a very elegant older woman who I had known when she was younger. She had been a very beautiful woman in her younger years and still was but her skin had aged terribly. I vowed from that day on that I would wear factor 50 on my skin every single day. I stand by that today come rain or shine, winter or summer there is factor 50 on my face!
5. What advice would you give to new mothers?
This is your time. Only you can be you child’s mother. Own it and do what feels right for you and your child. People will judge. People will give advice but you will know in your heart what is right. I always remember thinking how would I have felt if people had been giving my mum advice and telling her how to bring me up. It felt absurd. She was my mum. She has to know what is right. I’ve carried that on with raising my three for sure. Believe in yourself for sure.
6. What have been the benefits about ageing gracefully?
Well I’m not sure whether I have aged gracefully but I try to follow the essence of trying to age gracefully and if I’m not quite sure whether I’ve got it right I’ll ask myself the question “would a Parisian woman of my age wear this?” and if the answer is no then it goes back on the hanger! I believe the best way to age is to wear a smile with an inner confidence. It takes years off of you. Failing that, then a splash of bright red lipstick and a spritz of your favourite perfume! Works wonders!
7. What do you think of the expression ‘anti-ageing’?
This is such an interesting question because as the consumer we are bombarded with this phrase all the time as if ageing is a bad thing. It’s not. And for those that follow my Instagram you will see I try to find the beauty in old buildings, doors, shutters, peeling paint. There’s beauty out there and why does it have to be just on the young. So, I guess my answer to this question is I’m not a big fan of the expression of anti-aging!
8. What have you learnt about yourself as you mature?
It’s funny as I feel like I’ve only just hit this stage, once I turned 40, of if I can’t do it now then when can I do it? Ageing or maturing has definitely given me more confidence along with the wrinkles. But I would take the wrinkles everyday to have this confidence that I can make my own decisions now without always reaching for reassurance from someone. There’s a sense of freedom that ageing has given me that I am loving!
9. What does ‘Mama Still Got It’ mean to you?
‘Mama Still Got It’ is such a fabulous expression. I feel like I’m part of a club that says it’s ok to be this way and not be young. It defines a way of being that loves women as women and not just youth.
10. Do you think you still have it?
OK, let’s be confident here. I feel like I’ve more right to the expression ‘mama still got it’ now than I’ve ever had before and I’m definitely happier than I’ve ever been so hell yeah to this mama still having it! Long may it last!
Louise, thank you so so much for asking me to be part of this. I’ve enjoyed answering these questions so much. It really gave me a chance to reflect on myself as a mother and as me as a person. So rarely do we do that but we all should from time to time!
Thank you so much to Helen for these wonderful answers – please take a look at her blog www.justsayingmum.com for some fantastic posts about life, motherhood and all sorts.
If you want to get involved with ‘Mama of the Month’ then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org. I would ova to hear from you.