Why did you decide to start Dublin City Mum?
I had my first baby in London and did an antenatal class in my area, luckily with a great bunch of local mums-to-be, which meant that when my daughter was born I had a ready-made group of mum friends and a million activities on my doorstep. My second baby was born in Dublin, and it was a completely different experience. I really struggled to find things to do with my baby and toddler online, and only found out about classes and groups by chance. Eventually I became the info hub for friends and decided to put all my experience and knowledge into one place…hence Dublin City Mum was born!
Ultimately I wanted to create a better work life balance. Yes I know it’s such an elusive phrase and something utterly unattainable for most, but for me it had a deeper personal meaning. My journey to motherhood was not easy! I arrived at a place where I questioned why I had tried so desperately to have my girls and yet I was gone from them for 10 hours a day. I needed an idea! I wanted to develop something which would allow me to be at home but also to carve out some kind of a professional outlet.
Breaking away from the corporate world and doing something for myself was the such an empowering experience. If you’re really passionate about something, believe it will work, and have that fire in your belly then do take that leap and risk. The fear of staying is often greater than the fear of leaving.
I strongly believe that being a mother should not stop you reaching your career goals and potential – although realistically as we all know too well trying to maintain the two simultaneously has many challenges!
What has been your journey to Motherhood?
Thankfully I am resilient enough to look back and think ‘ah it wasn’t that bad’! I’ve always been a very positive and optimistic person but actually it was heartbreakingly tough. I’ve spent the last decade of my life either trying for a baby or grieving. I’ve ached to my bones with the pain of loss and after years of infertility, IVF and miscarriages my precious two little girls where born. I am incredibly grateful and feel so lucky to have them in my world. My daughters are a gift, they made me a mama and I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for them.
Advice for women who are trying to get pregnant?
It’s really tough, I would say that if you’ve been trying for more than a year without any success then there’s no harm visiting your GP to take some blood tests. They will advise if you need further investigations and you can take it from there. Acupuncture was a brilliant alternative support for me, particularly when going through IVF. It’s important to not let it take over your universe (which is easier said than done!) as your fertility can become all consuming. Infertility and pregnancy loss can leave you feeling powerless, it’s something completely beyond your control. Doing an alternative therapy can have such a positive effect on the mind and body as it makes you feel like you are doing something! I recently came across Tapping for Mums by the brilliant Sara Tobin and wished I had been aware of this technique when I was going through it all as it seems to be really beneficial.
What I would recommend most of all is to be kind to yourself. Blatantly ignore anyone who asks you ‘are you not thinking of having a baby soon?’ and lastly to not compare yourself to any other woman out there who appears be more fertile than Aphrodite! Your time will come, remember that.
How's Mum Life?
I love it and all the complete madness that comes with it! It’s mostly chaotic, fun and exhausting. I have to remind myself to stop and appreciate those rare joyful moments of motherhood, when I’m not shouting at my kids to put on their shoes before school for the 9 millionth time, where we are happy and messing around…or going to Supervalu (they have little kids trolleys which my girls love) and honestly despite all the places I take them and things we do together, I think this is the highlight of their week! It’s the little things.
What's your go to style?
Jeans, t-shirt and a jumper. As I’m home now my staple wardrobe has been narrowed down to these three items! I have a very comfy old pair of Levi’s that I live in. Zara’s boyfriend jeans are also my favourite. I'm currently loving my Pod Collection Tee, its super soft and comfy. Now that I’m not dressing up for the office I’m trying to be slightly more stylish!
What are you looking forward to for the 2nd half of 2019?
To my kids being slightly older and the possibility that they may put on their own shoes in time when we leave the house in the morning. And to see wherever Dublincitymum.ie takes me! When I started the website I had no formal plan or strategy other than I knew I wanted to create a resource for Dublin families and visitors. I’ve been completely winging it and although I have a vision for where I want to take it, I’m doing something that I love and will continue to wing it as that approach seems to be working so far!
Avril is wearing The Perfect Tee & Classic White Shirt, available at www.thepodcollection.com