Welcome to the second interview in our series, Motherhood Minis featuring bite-size interviews with real mums. Short and sweet but packed full of tips and insight into the lives of our Matchstick Monkey parents and their little ones!
This week we’re catching up with entrepreneur and maths teacher Nikki on being a “proud mummy” to gorgeous babes 2-year-old Cassie and 9 months old Rio.
There’s a lot to like about Nikki. From her positive attitude to her creative flair, not to mention her super cute kids! Nikki lives in the North East with her partner and children. As well as being a secondary school maths teacher, Nikki also has a business Too Much Cute, selling her handmade accessories and clothes for children.
Hey Nikki! Can you tell us about your favourite aspects of being a parent?
Nikki: SO many things make me happy about being Mummy but my number one would probably be seeing them happy and hearing their infectious laughter.
Of all the baby stages so far, which have you found the most challenging?
Nikki: Coming out of a career to become full-time Mummy can be difficult - it took some time for me to adjust and to still feel successful being at home. And now I have two babies, I struggle with TIME! Splitting time between my two littles, time to get housework done and time to be a partner and friend! Sleep deprivation is a tough one too but thankfully we have 2 good sleepers now!
What are your top tips for dealing with the day after a less than restful night?
Nikki: We are very lucky to have a supportive network and we are able to go on date nights quite often! My favourite "me" time is getting my eyelashes done.
Your personal Instagram account has a huge following! Do you now see yourself as an influencer?
Nikki: I started our personal page @cassie.and.rio after I started my business page @toomuchcuteuk and quickly realised that there was a lot more interest in our personal page. I love taking photos of my littles and sharing products that we really love and have made our parenting lives a bit easier. I'm just a Mummy sharing beautiful squares and if my photos put a smile on your face too that makes me happy!
How has your growing Instagram following changed your day to day life?
Nikki: Taking photos of the babies growing up is a part of our daily life and it is something I really enjoy doing! It is obviously lovely to get the recognition from other Mummys as well as companies that we collaborate with.
Being on social media does have its downside too - Sometimes you can get caught up with the figures or question whether your photo is "Instagram-able" but all in all, it is just a bit of fun! I'm on maternity leave and due to return to work soon (secondary maths teacher) so we will try to remain as active as we can but sometimes life just takes over! We do love Instagram and I have met some of the most inspiring and amazing Mums on there who are always there to give me advice or a little bit of love when I need it most!
Why do you think your account has become so popular, is this something you planned from the start?
Nikki: Whilst we love to share pretty pictures on both our Instagram accounts, I think people like to know there is a real person behind these accounts too! I have been lucky enough to be able to build my small business whilst being on maternity leave which has allowed me to exhibit at amazing Baby Show events across the country. Meeting Mums and Mums-to-be that follow us on Instagram is just so lovely and one of my favourite aspects of being a small business owner!
Also...No-one is perfect - not even those that share the most perfectly posed pictures on social media! I love talking to other InstaMummys about the struggles of getting pictures and what REALLY goes on! (Sometimes we have Daddy, Nanny and Grandad behind Mummy and the camera trying to get both of babies to crack a smile!)
How old were your children when they started to teeth?
Nikki: Cassie started teething at 4 months and got her 1st tooth at 8 months! Rio started at 4 months too but we are still patiently waiting for them to arrive!
Did any of your children have symptoms of teething, or did they just come through without a fuss?
Nikki: Sadly yes! Sleepless nights and irritable babies!
We know you guys tried a Matchstick Monkey teether which is awesome, how was it and did you use any teething products? If so, what helped?
Cassie didn't use any teething toys - she only wanted to chomp on Mummy and Daddy's fingers. Rio loves his Matchstick Monkey teethers - they are perfectly sized for little hands and he loves rubbing them on his gums! I recommend them to all my fellow Mummy friends.
What was the best advice that you could give to an expectant mum/dad?
Nikki: There is no way you can be a perfect parent but a million ways you can be a great one!
Stay tuned for the next in our series of bitesize interviews with real mums on…..