Selfish Mother describes itself as an 'honest blogzine' written by parents, for parents. It isn’t a site about how to look after your kids, it’s a space where mothers (and fathers) can share what they're really thinking.
We caught up with founding editor, Molly Gunn, to find out more about her family, work and the amazing things she's doing to help women in war-torn countries around the world...
'We live in a beautiful spot in the countryside near Rye and my husband and I work from an office in our garden... I work Mon-Wed, and on those days I cycle Rafferty to pre-school down a country lane (it's amazing exercise but I am a fair-weather cyclist - if it rains I drive).'
'On these days we have a part-time nanny who whisks our youngest son, Fox, to a different group every morning and then looks after both boys in the afternoon. From 9.30-5pm, Tom and I work on our clothing business Millionhands and I also work on Selfish Mother.'
'If it's sunny, we sit out on the veranda for lunch in the garden. Then we clock off work at 5pm when we have a meal with the kids. This is lovely family time every day. I'm lucky that Tom is around most days to help with kids bath and bed routine. Then, I usually jump on my laptop to work more on the site.'
On Thursdays and Fridays Molly hangs out with the kids, often popping to a cafe for elevenses or heading to the beach or cinema. Selfish Mother was very much inspired by her two boys and Molly has built the blogzine alongside the demands of motherhood.
'I had the idea for Selfish Mother a few months after Rafferty was born in 2011. I was finding the whole motherhood thing pretty hard. I lived in Balham then and I felt the area was very baby-centric, I tried to get into the baby-group 'thing' but I was a freelance journalist and running Millionhands, so I still felt I should be working. I felt knackered and guilty and I didn't feel like I fitted into the motherhood box.'
'When I became pregnant with my second child Fox, the idea really took shape. I spent the summer grabbing any spare time I could to create the site. Many of the first posts were done with Fox in a papoose on my chest. Selfish Mother launched in September 2013, with contributions from 10 other writers. Soon more writers wanted to get involved and we now have over 150 contributors.'
Around a year ago, Molly heard about a school being bombed in Syria. The tragedy inspired her to launch the #MotherTee which has gone on to raise over £10,000 for charity.
'There were women and children sheltering in the school and I just started crying thinking how unfair it was. They were women - like me - who were just trying to look after their kids. They would have been trying to feed their children, amuse them, keep their spirits up... and then they were bombed.'
'As I mentioned, my husband and I run a clothing business. We sell t-shirts and sweatshirts in collaboration with record labels, so, I'm used to the idea of making tees. We did a BELONG T-shirt for Millionhands, and I kept thinking I wanted one with MOTHER on it.
'Once I realised I wanted to help in some way, I thought the #MotherTee could be for charity. We donated to Action Aid for the first run, and then I found Women for Women International, an amazing charity that helps women in war-torn countries rebuild their lives through year-long training programmes.'
'This helps them and their children for years to come. It gives them the ability to be independent and to earn money, and flourish. The trickle down affect is amazing because these women then teach other women!'
'What's great is that lots of mothers have got involved over here and are sharing their #MotherTee photos on social media. We've now raised over £10,000 and have been able to sponsor 35 women through the training course already.'
Molly definitely wears her own #MotherTee with pride. There's a lot she loves about being a mum and her charitable work has given her a brilliant sense of perspective for those days when things seem a little more challenging than usual.
'I love seeing my gorgeous boys grow. I love seeing their happy faces light up. I love that they both jump off the sofa and start dancing whenever the credits roll after a film.'
'I find the biggest challenges on days I have them all to myself, it can be lovely one minute and infuriating the next. It can be so mega-tiring! But that is small fry compared to what some other mothers go through around the world. We are very lucky, and when I think that I get over myself.'
If Molly could go back in time and give her pregnant self one piece of advice, she'd make sure she booked a doula.
'I wish I had listened to the lovely lady at my pregnancy yoga class who told me to get a doula. After I was induced my husband was sent home from the hospital to 'get some rest' (why did he need rest?) and then my labour came on so quickly, and he was so slow getting back, that he nearly missed the birth. I was so angry at him when he arrived mid-birth, and the midwives were so preoccupied with my extensive 100-page maternity notes, that I felt I needed a birthing ally. Either a doula or my mother will be present if I have another baby!'
You can purchase your own #MotherTee from the Selfish Mother shop.
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