Many moons ago I wrote a post about how there’s no parenting manual, and gathered together some wonderful pieces of advice from some of the best bloggers I know. And now I have something very exciting to share with you: my Katie Piper interview, discussing issues such as body image.
The fantastic and inspirational lady has recently released a new book specifically with first time mums of daughters in mind – and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy to review for BritMums. That will be available for you to read over on their site very soon (along with the other half of my interview, more focused on the book); but in the meantime I’m thrilled to bring you this Q and A, featuring all of my usual questions from The Mum My Mum Made Me series!
The Mum My Mum Made Me; The Katie Piper Interview
1. How has becoming a mum changed you?
I wouldn’t say it’s changed me as a person, but it has changed my perspective on life.
My family is so important to me and silly little things I used to worry about suddenly didn’t matter once I had Belle and Penelope. It’s also made me more organised and obsessed with my diary and timings – which actually is a good thing! It’s also made me realise how tough it is to be a mum – and for the first time realising what my mum went through and why she worried about me and my siblings – I get it now! Being a mum is so fulfilling and I’m grateful every day for the blessing.
2. What will you teach your daughter about body image?
I’m very aware of the way that social media can affect and influence people, especially young girls, so I will do everything I can to make sure both of my children have a healthy attitude towards what they see and read. It’s all about confidence and having a strong enough self-esteem to not let negative ideas take over.
3. Has becoming a mother changed your perception or feelings about/towards your own body?
Becoming a mum has just re-enforced what I already knew and made me even more determined to have both a healthy body and mindset so my girls grow up comfortable and confident in their own skin.
4. Can you describe your relationship with your mother today?
Both of my parents have been so unbelievably important to my journey. My mum has helped me through so much and I have a huge amount of admiration for her strength through the years. There’s a lot of love and respect between us and that makes our bond really unbreakable. I’m sure I sometimes annoy her, well I’m sure I do, like most mother and daughters!! – but overall she’s just the most incredible person and I’m very lucky she’s my mum.
5. How does this differ/is this similar to the relationship you had growing up?
My mum and I have always been close. I’ve always felt really supported by her and that has never changed.
I guess the dynamic is a little different now I have children of my own but if anything that’s made me understand how unique and special the bond between a mother and a daughter is.
6. In what ways has your relationship with your mother influenced your character and outlook on life?
Both of my parents were so encouraging and affectionate throughout my childhood, which gave me the courage to move to London when I was pretty young and strive for a career in TV and modelling. In everything we have been through together, my mum has always been my rock. I have so much admiration for her strength and that has had a huge impact on my ability to feel confident and become the woman I am today. She is one of the most positive people I know and that without a doubt has impacted the way I have led my life.
7. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your relationship with your mother?
I really value the importance of family and I am so grateful to have such a strong bond and connection with my mum.
She has taught me how to be a woman, how to be a mum and how to never take anything for granted.
8. In what ways has it affected your parenting style?
From my own experiences growing up in such a nurturing home, I want to give as much love and support to my children as possible. I’ve definitely learnt the importance of patience and both Richie and myself are very hands-on with our girls to make sure they feel as loved and supported as I did.
9. What’s the best/worst piece of advice your mother ever gave you?
Not to isolate yourself. There are always people around who can help, whether it’s a really big favour or just someone to have a chat with, you don’t have to struggle alone. I am very fortunate to have an amazing support system around me, and learning to ask for help when I really needed it wasn’t always easy for me, but a problem shared is a problem halved and sometimes this can simply mean just saying the problem aloud to someone you trust.
10. Based on your relationship with your mother, what has been your biggest surprise/revelation/epiphany when you became a mum yourself?
I remember really clearly when mum came to stay with me when Belle was about six weeks old, the first thing I said to her was ‘I’m sorry – I totally get it now!’ I’m sure any first time mother will tell you that nothing prepares you for how overwhelming it all is in the beginning. The love you have for your child is not something anyone could have described to me – not even my own mum!
11. How do you hope to influence your own children as they grow up and become adults, and does this reflect your relationship with your own mother?
When I was Belle’s age I wanted to be involved with everything. I was always trying to help with the cooking and playing dress up in my mum’s wardrobe, which is something Belle is definitely starting to do! My parents were pretty hands on with my brother, sister and I so I want to be the same with my girls. I’ve always loved how close we all are as a family and if I can recreate that with Richie and the girls – I’ll be one happy mum.
12. Can you share a memory about you and your mother which illustrates your relationship?
The day I moved to London when I was 19, my parents helped me to move all my stuff and took me to the local supermarket to fill up my fridge so I could get settled. I went round putting lots of stereotypical teenage food in the trolley, and the second I turned around, my mum had taken them out and replaced them with lots of nutritious fruit and vegetables! It took us forever to get out of that shop! She’s always looked out for my health and that’s something I’m so pleased has stuck with me.
With many thanks to Katie for being so candid! Don’t forget to check out my review of her new book, From Mother to Daughter: The Things I’d Tell My Child, over on the BritMums site imminently…
Credit: From Mother to Daughter: The Things I’d Tell My Child, published by Quercus, is available from all good bookshops and Amazon.
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