Monday 17 June 2019

I wasn’t expecting this huge spectrum of emotions

Sonia Deasy is the co-founder of Irish skincare brand Pestle & Mortar. She has five children — Sophia (13), Matthew (11), Lucy (10), Ross (9) and Naomi (7) — with her husband, international photographer Padraic Deasy. Here, she shares what parenting has taught her

Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Irish skincare brand Pestle & Mortar
Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Irish skincare brand Pestle & Mortar

Motherhood was always part of the plan for me

Absolutely. I always wanted children and I always wanted a large family. Maybe it’s because I came from a large family and we had brilliant fun growing up together.

I had a fair idea of the work involved in parenting from watching my mother when I was growing up

I didn’t realise how vulnerable it makes you — once you have children, you can never be absolutely alone in your thoughts again. I wasn’t expecting the huge spectrum of emotions that motherhood opens you up to. But I’m used to it now.

Physically, I’m faster since becoming a mother

I’m practically a multi-tasking multi-thinking machine! Mentally and emotionally, I’m softer and more likely to well-up than before I had children. Becoming a parent has also given me a whole lot of perspective — I don’t sweat the small stuff.

I want my children to have a sense of inner peace and contentment

And also, the steadfast belief that they will always be loved. I think every mother ultimately wants the same for her children. Despite the fact that we might push them to achieve, we just want them to be happy.

I can balance my work with motherhood because I have a great husband

Without a solid, supporting partner, I don’t think that I would be able to balance a career like mine with motherhood. Padraic is involved with the children and we share the workload.

Motherhood inspires me creatively

Children are so free-thinking and creative. If you spend time with them, these qualities are infectious.

The advice my mother gave me was ‘this too shall pass’

She would say this when my sister and I were ensconced in some drama or other. And she was right, it always did pass. For new mothers, it can sometimes feel like you will never sleep or feel normal again. But it passes, and when it does, you miss it.

‘Me’ time exists for me

‘Me time’ could be a lot of talking with my sister on the phone, walking with my husband and snatching coffee with friends. My work is also important — I can be someone other than mum when I’m working.

There are similarities and differences between how I was raised and how I raise my family

The main differences stem from the fact that it’s a different time now as compared with when I grew up, especially technologically. But all in all, I’m raising them with many of the same basic principles.

The thing I worry about most is that I am about to embark upon a decade of living with teenagers

My eldest child has just turned 13, so I am new to teens.

My sister has experience and a lot of it doesn’t sound too pleasant!

There are many new developments on the horizon for Pestle & Mortar

I am currently formulating lots of new products and researching new ranges. We are expanding into new export markets and increasing distribution so it’s all very exciting.

Mothers need to know that there is support there if they want to work or have a career

Initiatives like childcare facilities at work, after-school clubs in primary schools and subsidised summer camps would help mums who want or need to work.

There is a certain amount of pressure on women ‘to have it all’

But I think that really, the pressure comes from oneself. Mums need to be kind to themselves and realise that there is no such thing as perfect. The reality is more or less the same for everyone.

My favourite thing about motherhood... being on the receiving end of the pure love that only a child can give. My least favourite is knowing that no matter what you feed them, they’ll be hungry again in a matter of hours.

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