This week we chat to MOLLY WHITEHEAD-JONES the Mama behind Manchester Mothers Group – MAMAS COLLECTIVE
When my little boy was about eight weeks old, I went along to a Mothers Meeting – they were doing a one-off event up in Manchester. I was very much in the ‘new mum bubble’ at that point, feeling very lost and overwhelmed and found it so, so refreshing and freeing to be surrounded by women who were prepared to talk honestly about the challenges of motherhood. It allowed me to feel like my old self again for a couple of hours, which felt fantastic. So I decided to start my own group in the same spirit.
Mamas Collective covers Manchester, but Mums have travelled from Liverpool, Sheffield and Leeds to come to our events before.
Most of our events are built around a Q&A with a guest speaker/s of some kind – Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka), Zoe de Pass (Dress Like A Mum) and Sarah Turner (The Unmumsy Mum) have all joined us for previous meet-ups. But we do like to mix it up occasionally! We recently ran a ‘micro retreat’ for new mums in collaboration with &Breathe Postnatal, we’ve organised a couple of lunches and even hosted a comedy gig. Babies/kids are welcome at all of our daytime events to make it easier for mums to come along and we always keep things dead relaxed.
My favourite thing about running Mamas Collective is getting messages from mums who’ve been to the events saying how much they enjoyed it, whether that be because they made a new friend, were inspired by the speaker to do something they’ve not been brave enough to do before, or just loved getting the chance to focus on themselves for a couple of hours.
6. What has been your biggest challenge since being a mum?
Fighting the brain fug! Pre-baby, I was mega, mega organised. But lack of sleep and an endless ‘to do’ list means I feel like I’m constantly playing catch up nowadays.
7. How many children do you have?
One – Elliot, who’s just over 20 months now.
8. Are you working full or part time, or are you a full time mum?
I work part time (three days a week) in the same job I did before I became a mum.
9. What is your top tip for juggling work/family?
Be as present as you can. There’s so much to think about when you’re a mum, and I often find my mind wandering to what needs doing next rather than concentrating on and enjoying the moment I’m in. And do LOTS of batch cooking.
10. Where is the best place to visit in your area?
Depends on the weather, really, but we’re partial to a trip to Altrincham. We’d start out with a visit to Rocket & Orange – which is a brilliant family café – for a coffee, then have a trundle round Stamford Park, before heading into the town centre for a browse and then lunch at Altrincham Market House.
11. Tell us about future events or plans for the group?
Our next event ‘An Evening with Clemmie Hooper’, takes place at Waterstones Manchester on Thursday 27th April.