This month we are delighted to welcome, incredible super mum and business woman, Holly Scarsella to our Mama Series.
Founder of resort wear brand Pampelone Clothing, Holly has built her fashion empire whilst raising her one-year old daughter, Sienna, in London. Holly is not only an amazing mum but she was my mentor and inspiration when I was launching Mama + Max and has been a friend for many years. She is kind, caring, smart and stylish, and I am super excited she is the first mama in our new monthly feature, the Mama Series.
We spent the day with Holly and Sienna at their home to talk all things motherhood.
Hi Holly, wow, I can’t believe Sienna has just turned one, tell us what the first year of motherhood has been like for you?
A complete whirlwind. I can't quite believe she's been in our lives a full year - I still feel like I gave birth yesterday.
How did you find your pregnancy?
I had quite a rough pregnancy in terms of sickness, complications and pain (the dreaded SPD) but even then I loved every moment. It's just so special to think you're growing something so incredible inside of you. I miss being pregnant!
What would you tell your 9month pregnant self now, one year on?
Relax. Easier said than done but the more relaxed I approach a situation whether a poop explosion, tantruming baby, injections etc, the WAY better the outcome!
What were the first few months like, when do you think everything finally fell into place?
The first few months are full of 'firsts' which can be so overwhelming sometimes, especially on so little sleep. But week by week, routine starts to settle into place and I started to relax little by little. But lets face it, just as you think you're nailing it, they go through a developmental leap, start teething, have a sleep regression etc and it allll starts from scratch again.
What’s your typical routine with Sienna?
We wake up at around 7 and usually spend the loveliest half an hour in bed with her reading and having morning cuddles. Then we head downstairs for breakfast and a little play time. Then we walk every morning to put Sienna to sleep for her morning nap which allows me to answer emails and do some housework. Then more playtime, lunch and usually activities/ play dates in the afternoon pre dinner at 6pm, followed by a bath, stories and bed at 7:30pm.
It’s the age old question that every mum wants to know, how does Sienna sleep?
Terribly haha! For such an 'easy' baby, her one vice is sleep. She only naps in her pushchair on a walk or in the car and still wakes twice at night. Definitely time for a sleep trainer...
How do you cope with the lack of sleep?
It's such a cliche but you just get used to it because you have no choice. I do take every opportunity I can to get an early night.
How have you managed to grow a successful business whilst being a mum, what are your top tips for getting the ideal work/life balance?
The truth is that I really haven't. I'm lucky that I had 3 years before having Sienna to grow the business which meant that I had staff and resources in place to manage the business when she was born. I still haven't nailed the work life balance and am not sure I ever will, but my biggest advice is to really take advantage of the time you do have working or with bubba and not to try and blend the two - you'll never get anything achieved. I find it better to work solidly for 1 or 2 days a week so the rest is focused 100% on being a mum.
What does being a mum mean to you?
It really is what life's about. Nothing has ever made me feel more complete.
Since becoming a mum, what 5 things can’t you live without?
- Wipes. Never leave the house without wipes.
- Eye cream for all the sleepless nights
- A kit of distractions. If we leave the house, we always carry snacks, books and enough toys to keep Sienna occupied at lunches, meetings, and in the car!
- Elizabeth Scarlett Pouches - literally the perfect size for nappies, wipes etc. The chicest nappy bags!
- A sense of humour. Sometimes you just have to laugh...
Is there anything else you want to tell any new mums reading this? Anything that could’ve helped you or prepared you for motherhood?
I read a fantastic quote this morning which read 'All your kids want is you. Not the Fit mum, Not the Instagram mum, Not every other mum you think you should be. All they want is you to be the happiest mum you can be.' I thought that was fantastic. And really worth reading every time I worry about not being fit or fashionable enough.
You can follow Holly Scarsella on Instagram at @hollyannascarsella and @pampeloneclothing. All images courtesy of Cj Hadlow for Mama + Max.