Tuesday 18 September 2018

I focus on how lucky I am to have a job I love and have happy, healthy kids

Fashion designer Zoë Jordan has three daughters with her husband, Steve Aspinall; Eden (5), Dylan (4) and Inez (1). She shares what being a parent has taught her

Zoë Jordan
Zoë Jordan

I try not to overthink things too much and just go with my instinct

I have listened to a couple of parenting podcasts recently which were quite interesting, but sometimes I find the more you listen to things, you think 'Oh, I'm not doing that right' and there's not a one-size-fits-all. I think it's like social media where it's easy to get into a downward spiral and you can start second-guessing and I prefer to be a little bit more instinctual and free with it and hopefully not judge or be judged.

I'm a little less selfish now that I'm a mother

I've slowed down the pace a little and I just try and be a bit more patient, which is probably not one of my virtues. I guess I just take things less seriously and you open your eyes a bit to the fun that can be had. We try to make it as much as possible about us as a family so it's not just about the kids or just about the adults. I think one of the reasons we moved to Spain [the family live near Palma, Mallorca] is because it's family orientated - the kids sit at the table for dinner, they're able to go for walks. I guess we don't have to do so much kiddie stuff or so much adult stuff and it's more well-rounded. It's a lot more about nature and sports here. The girls are able to have a lot of fun and seek out adventure.

I try not give myself too much of a hard time about balancing work and motherhood

I focus instead on how lucky I am to have a job I love and have happy, healthy kids and enjoy life with them. It's very easy to run into times when you're trying to do both and frustration can kick it. There are sacrifices to be made on both sides but it's better to look at the benefits of active living and having a career that I love and, creatively, that's important to me, as well as putting my brains to something that's business and entrepreneurial. At the same time, teaching the girls about the world and giving them a new language in Spain equally gives me joy.

For me it's all about getting dressed in the morning and not having to change

It's about being able to take on the four or five different roles I might have that day. My clothes collection always has a bit of a sporty element to it and even more so now as I'm running around, doing different jobs here and there and I want the collection to be mobile and to give you as much freedom of movement as possible while still keeping slick and stylish. I try everything on, I want to know how it feels because I know myself I don't need things in my wardrobe that don't feel good on. That's why I never reach for heels anymore and everything has to be able to be worn with flats. The collection is about active life, from going on a plane to hiking in the mountains to putting a cosy knit on after the beach to having a video conference or going to a meeting.

It's quite amusing, watching myself reincarnate a lot of my childhood

We were really lucky as kids and I was the eldest so I was on the road a lot with my mum and dad [motor racing industry boss Eddie Jordan] and they pretty much took me everywhere, while Dad was racing. It was caravan living and we were very mobile. We saw a lot of the world through my dad and travel is something I've been fortunate enough to grow up with and I'm keen to show my kids. We've done some great trips and we've always been in a quite a rush to get their passports. Eden was born in Hong Kong and I brought her back from there when she was 10 days old to do a show in London Fashion Week. Next month we're going on safari to Kenya and then we're taking the girls to Dingle. They love Ireland and because we see a bit more sun now in Spain, I'd rather take them where there's music and a bit of culture and they can understand more about their roots. Some of our best times are when it's not luxurious and that's when I feel is the time we come together most. Taking them on camper vans is always fun.

On the whole I'm relaxed but I'm quite quick to get them in line as well

And you do have to. Sometimes you can't be fun if you have to get everyone out the door at a certain time in the morning and that doesn't get easier. I have to adjust my expectations sometimes and I do have to check myself but I am a bit more 'see you at the door, we're leaving in five' than doing up all their buttons for them - they can do it themselves or they can learn. It's a bit of both I guess. I'd like to be a bit more relaxed and fun all the time but it's not achievable I'd say.

Five years after the debut of the first piece with KNITLAB, Zoë is celebrating with a relaunch of its four signature styles in four shades, available at Brown Thomas and zoe-jordan.com

Irish Independent

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Editors Choice

Also in Life