Interview with Jess from Social Mama & Mama Hive
This week I’ve tiptoed outside of Essex slightly but this lovely lady is more than worth it. Jess is the ultimate kick ass mama, not only is she an outstanding mum of gorgeous twins and founder of Social Mama who’s latest event ‘Mums on the Rum’ looks off the chart fun. In addition to this mammouth workload Jess is also about to launch The Mama Hive — a networking home with a difference and like everything Jess thinks up it’s designed with smart mamas in mind. All of Jess’s activities are amazing, creative, fun and most importantly inclusive — as she would say #youcansitwithus
To start with it would be great to know a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Jess, mum to 21 month old identical twin boys Gus & Jude. I started Social Mama — producing events designed by mums, for mums 8 months ago now, after finding when the twins were born that whilst there were lots of lovely baby classes locally there was nothing that was just for me. I wanted to create a community where local mums could meet other like-minded women, over a glass of wine, with no kids in tow and actually have a proper conversation. It’s still a work in progress as I have to fit in time to work around the boys, which basically leaves me with nap times and evenings, but to date over 800 women have come along to a Social Mama event — which makes all the late nights and tears totally worthwhile.
I’m married to Brett, a retired cage fighter who now works in property. We live in the lovely county town of Hertford, where I grew up and went to local all girls school Presdales. I’m very lucky as all my family have stayed local, and the grandparents are only 10 minutes away — which makes asking for babysitting favours much easier! (and harder for them to turn down, as I can always threaten to leave the boys on their doorstep. I haven’t had to resort to this yet though!!)
What do you find challenging about the summer holidays?
For me, it has to be the that all our local groups and classes shut down over the summer holidays. I really struggle with finding things to do locally to keep the kids amused, when I’m not sure what is on, and when. I struggle when our routine goes out the window, and it makes me realise how much I rely on and look forward to catching up with other local mamas at our regular classes.
Plus with the twins outnumbering me going to new places for a day out can be really stressful — I have to keep an eye on all possible exit routes and be ready to move QUICKLY, as they always run in different directions.
There seems to be so much pressure on mums to make sure we are giving our kids the best summer ever — which is especially hard when days out can be so expensive. And then if things don’t go to plan (which with kids, they inevitably don’t) we are left feeling guilty and disappointed.
Tell us how you spend a typical summer weekend or day with your family
Most of our weekends start with brunch. As we are always up at the crack of dawn it’s really nice to be able to walk into town and eat breakfast together as a family. Our favourite spot is Hertford House — their smashed avocado has saved my life on many a sleep deprived/hungover occasion.
We normally head to the park with the boys and let them run around like mad men in the hope that they will exhaust themselves ready for a really long nap! Brett will often take the twins over his his parents in Harlow for a few hours where they will have a sleep and I try and crack on with my to-do list, and inevitably get distracted by anything and everything but my to-do list.
We will generally spend the afternoon in the garden together, the boys try to empty the paddling pool and I spend most of the time trying to keep them from getting sunburnt and dehydrated. I always have high hopes of being able to sunbathe whilst watching the boys — it obviously never happens.
Brett is a BBQ obsessive, so once the boys are asleep we normally have friends over for dinner & a few glasses of rose, praying that the boys stay asleep and don’t wake up in the night!
What tips would you give other mums on making the summer less stressful?
Planning ahead — something I’m desperately trying to be better at! Try and book in play dates so you aren’t left at a loose end.
Rope in any help from friends and family that you can — I have friends and family who are teachers, so it’s really nice to be able to book days out with them over the school holidays and catch up during the week.
Make sure you plan some time out for you too! So important for you to make sure you book in some time for you, with no kids. It will help you keep sane over the holidays!
To finish, what three words sum up the summer holidays to you
Ice cream (Brett has been known to have this for breakfast on holiday!)
Aperol Spritz — my favourite summer drink
Sun tan lotion — I feel like i spend all day putting this on the kids!!
Thank you Jess for this amazing advice, you can find and follow Jess via Instagram or Facebook and also catch up on her amazing events on Jess’s website.
I hope you loved reading this interview, stay tuned for more amazing Essex Mama’s sharing their views on how to make summer awesome. Join us on this this journey for more interviews, tips and tricks to put a smile on everyones face by watching #ParentingTheSummer on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook☀️👧👶🌈🍦✌⚡️😘❤️