Tuesday 17 June 2014

Meet A Mum - Sara-Jayne, Keeping Up With The Jones Family

One day later than normal but worth the wait I promise... may I introduce you to Sara-Jayne from Keeping Up With The Jones Family...

1. Hello, what's your name and where do you come from?

Hey!  I’m Sara-Jayne and although I come from the Midlands, I’ve lived in Hampshire for the past 13 years and raised our family here.

2. Tell us about your children.

I have two blond little boys who are 4 and 2; with each of them I’ve been in labour on Valentine’s day…my first was born on the 15th and second on the 14th February.  I’m also 38 weeks pregnant with our third little bundle of blue.  I say little, but he’s expected to be around 10lbs like my other two boys.  I grow grasshoppers with super long legs!  

3. When did you know you wanted to be a mum?

As soon as I met my husband.  The moment I met him I knew.  I’d never felt that way before about anyone.

4. What's you favourite moment as a mum so far?

There are so many…just when I think it can’t get any better, something else happens!  Giving birth were the best moments of my life though.  I made humans!  Last week, watching our four year old compete at his first JiuJitsu competition and come home with a gold medal literally made my heart explode with pride.  I’m incredibly lucky.

5. What do you wish people had told you before you became a mum?

To trust myself and buy some ear plugs.  I had no idea how many people would rudely force their opinions on parenting on me.  I think that the less time we spend giving others advice and gossiping about them to others, the better our own and our children's lives will be.  If people want advice, they ask for it.  I wish more people realised that…or at least were more tactful.

6. If we were to look in your changing bag, what would we find?

A few months ago, a lot of crumbs!  At the moment, nothing…both my boys are happily using the toilet and I’ve yet to pack my new one.  I’m having a Petunia Pickle Bottom bag shipped from the USA, I’m very excited!  We’re a cloth nappy family and whilst our little one is small he’ll be wearing Lollipop softies so it will be packed with those.  I also love Burt’s Bees products, their nappy cream  is so deliciously scented.

7. What were the top three things you had for your baby that you would recommend to other mums?

My Medela Swing breast pump, my BOBA baby sling and our Fisher Price Jumperoo.  Without my pump I would never have made it breastfeeding for so long.  My BOBA sling made it so easy to go places with both boys on my own without worrying about a pram, and with our jumperoo, as our boys both walked at 8 months it was a great source of excitement for them to be leaping around in front of the huskies. 

8. What three things could you have done without?

My beautiful mahogany cot, as we co-slept with both boys, the musical rainforest bouncy reclining chair as neither of them wanted to spend any time in it, and the super expensive food processor we bought, as we decided on baby led weaning after many home grown, home made, rejected purees from our first born (except for my cinnamon apple sauce, he liked that).  
9. What baby brands do you like and why?

I love Fisher Price, because they’re colourful, durable products with a great track record in our family. Ella’s Kitchen as Jensen helped out Ella’s dad at his cookbook launch and he was just lovely (and his products are scrummy). Silver Cross because I was a Silver Cross baby and I just adore their prams, and Janie and Jack clothing from the USA because their garments are beautifully made and last so well.    

10. Are you a working mum? If so, how do you find it?

I’m a part time working Mum; I work two half days at school as a Junior School teacher, teaching sports, French and grammar.  I love contributing to our family, but I hate being away from them whilst they are so small even though they go to their grandparents.  I’m very grateful to be a teacher as I changed careers before we were married from an insolvency lawyer at KPMG.  I can’t imagine how I would have been able to be as flexible in that role.

11. What do you enjoy most about being mum?

The love.  I never dreamed I’d have children due to medical problems and now I’m about to give birth to my third!  There isn’t a day when I’m not told how much I’m loved, or cuddled and kissed.  I look at my boys and I can’t imagine how my life would be without them.  I love raising them, growing up with them as they develop into little individuals.  

12. How do you make time for being 'you'?

I don’t.  I would be lying if I said I did.  My family live 140 miles away and so I don’t really have a way to find time to myself.  I can count the days of me time I’ve had in the past four years on one hand.  Sometimes I feel burned out but then I realise how fast and fleeting these years are and I remember that I had 32 years of being me before I had children.  My “me” time is usually squinting at the screen, trying to edit photographs at 3am…although I am going to Britmums as long as I’m not in labour.

13. Tell us about your blog / where we can find you online.

I blog over at www.keep-up-with-the-jones-family.com and you can find me behind the scenes on Instagram regularly.  I’m on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook too.  I’m everywhere!

14. What's the best thing about being a blogger?

I’ve met some really lovely people, but mostly I love that I’m constantly learning…there’s always something I don’t know about blogging which keeps my brain cells firing, and I’ve discovered my love of photography through my blog.  It challenges me to keep improving.    

15. Share a crazy fact about yourself.

I’m a Disney Bride; my husband and I were married in Walt Disney World in 2008, when I rode in Cinderella’s carriage pulled by white ponies and had Mickey and Donald as guests at my wedding!  It was the happiest day of my pre-mommy life.  

Other than that, I can speak and write Japanese, mush huskies, and I played rugby for years as a tight head prop (number three, at the front of the scrum, getting messy!). I’ve swam with sharks and I have a huge obsession with crocodiles after years spent in love with Steve Irwin.  

Wow, what an inspiring lady! Thank you Sara-Jayne - you're boys are gorgeous, your passion for your family is wonderful and I really hope I do get to see you at BritMums this weekend unless baby number three has any other ideas!

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