Here on Its Mostly Okay, something I like to talk about, other than myself (JOKES), is sport. Hockey is my first love but running is was what got my bottom into shape, quite literally, in my late twenties. Hockey now, is incredibly important to me, it keeps me going both mentally and physically. It gives me time away from the never-ending Olivia questions and gives me head space where I’m not thinking about ‘not being pregnant’. It’s my life-line at times. Because both my husband and I play, our Saturday match times often clash, but luckily for me there is a crèche at my club, so when I play a home game on a Saturday, I can have Olivia there with me. She’s often bought out to watch me and cheers wildly from the side-lines. If her dad is there with her, he gets her to shout embarrassing things at me like, ‘why aren’t you moving mummy!’ and other such helpful comments. It’s important to me as a mother of a daughter, that she see’s her mummy running about (and regularly falling over) on the pitch, sweating it out and being part of a team. Sport in our family is important. I digress, back to this post. As I said, I’m always keen to talk about sport and also how it can be combined with having a family, so when Moire O’Sullivan contacted me and asked me to share her story – ahead of her book launch – about combining being a mother and sportsperson, I was more than happy to help.
Who is Moire exactly and what is her story? Well, in brief, she’s an accomplished mountain runner and adventure racer. In 2009, she became the first person to complete the Wicklow Round, a 100km circuit of Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains, run within twenty-four hours. She is married to Pete and is the proud mother of their two young sons, Aran and Cahal. While busy adapting to and learning about motherhood, Moire won Ireland’s National Adventure Race Series three times in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Her (soon to be released) book Bump, Bike and Baby is about this personal journey. Moire charts her journey from ‘happy, carefree mountain runner to reluctant, stay-at-home mother of two. With her sights set on winning Ireland’s National Adventure Racing Series, she manages to maintain her post-natal sanity, and slowly learns to become a loving and occasionally functioning mum’. Here is my Q&A with her:
One thing I like to champion on this site is kids taking part in sport. I think it’s pretty vital for little peoples development and I’ve talked about both the importance of team sport for children, and my hockey club and their colts section on here. Both my husband and I are keen hockey players, and once Olivia is old enough she’ll be wielding a stick (watch out) I also quite fancy her picking up a rugby ball too, maybe doing ballet or learning a musical instrument, whatever takes her fancy because nowadays the opportunities for girls are limitless. I think any kind of activity, whatever it is, can only be beneficial for a child. There are so many different things to try or take part in, and there are endless benefits like learning new skills, keeping fit, burning up all that energy (!!) and learning to listen to, and follow instructions. Olivia’s not quite there yet, but a few of the mums I know have older children and seem to do a lot of juggling with various after school clubs, so how to manage all of this?
One local business owner I discovered on twitter, Aurelie Lepercq founder of TheKidsDo, is championing after school activities in and around my local area. Founded in 2016, TheKidsDo goes beyond helping parents search for after school activities. It uses intelligent technology to come up with perfectly co-ordinated options of children activities across a termly schedule, all in a single view. I caught up with Aurelie to find out her views on after school activities and how looking beyond STEM (Science, Technology, English & Maths) is the way to go.
I met a rather lovely lady called Sophie at a bloggers meet a few weeks ago, and as soon as she mentioned that she made jewellery I wanted to find out more. Obviously, like most women I have a magpie tendency and a love for all things shiny, but also it always interests me to hear how someone has started their own business. When someone goes it alone, stepping away from their normal day-to-day job I find that inspiring. And Sophie’s story about how she started her business whilst living in India with her family fascinated me. I took at look at her EsmeLoves site after we met and fell in love with everything! Sophie’s pieces are classic, timeless and elegant and there is a lovely theme of all generations of women being able to wear the jewellery. She’s here to tell me more about her business.
Now ladies, I’m not normally one to talk about our, *cough* lady parts on this blog (any male readers, this might not be a post for you, or it might be .. ) Anyway, I used to run screaming from any kind of ‘hoo-ha’ talk, as the mere mention of such words used to make me blush profusely, but now that a baby has exited from down there, well quite frankly I’m a bit less embarrassed about such things (although the word ‘s-e-x’ still makes me blush) The pelvic floor is something I’ve wanted to talk about on here for a while, and now a perfect opportunity has come up. If you are a pregnant lady or if you have ever had a baby, this is a post for you.
Remembering to do your pelvic floor exercises is something that is drummed into you if you are pregnant nowadays. It was mentioned in all of my NCT classes, the NHS classes I attended and any midwife appointment that I had. I had to remember to ‘clench’ and try not to pull ‘I am clenching’ face at traffic lights, bus stops, during TV ad breaks, whilst reaching into a cupboard etc, the list goes on, you get the idea. When I started doing Buggy Fit classes, at every class my awesome instructor Anna Coe would talk to us about our pelvic floor muscles. We’d stop the buggies and do some exercises based around that area and she’d always ask if anyone needed to talk to her about any issues or was experiencing problems. It’s something Anna is passionate about, ensuring that women understand the importance of strong pelvic floor muscles and making sure that we know what is normal and what is not. Whilst Anna is an amazing Buggy Fit instructor, I saw recently that she has become involved in something called Holistic Core Restore, and seeing that this was to do with the pelvic floor, this caught my interest. Since having my baby to date I haven’t experienced any post baby issues ‘down there’, however as time has gone by I’ve found that things feel a lot less, erm, strong, so it’s still something I am very aware of. I got in touch with Anna to find out more about Holistic Core Restore.
One big thing I want to promote here on Its Mostly Okay is sport and it’s positive effect on not just adults, but children too. I wrote a post recently about how my lack of sport, especially team sport when I was a young, lead me to be lazy and lax throughout my teen years and well into my twenties. Sport fell off my radar when I hit my late teens, not pushed to do it anymore I stopped it altogether. I’m certain that had I been more active and engaged when I was younger, then I would have had a different attitude towards many things as a young adult, especially diet and lifestyle. Liz Sully, a Fundraising Manager at Women in Sport got in touch with me recently to let me know about their ‘What If’ campaign. A positive and empowering campaign, aimed at changing the way young girls view sport. ‘What if, instead of growing up only seeing images of models and make-up on the pages of magazines, young girls saw sport portrayed in a way that made them want to be more physically active?’. This resonated with me having a daughter myself, I would like her to grow up not just seeing images of un-realistic girls in magazines or on television, with flouncy hair and ‘pretty’ makeup, but strong, sporty girls who show that anything can be achieved and who show that being active and sweaty is totally normal.
The #whatif campaign requires support and backing, Liz explained all to me.