Hey everyone and welcome to our August edition of Motherhood Minis, featuring bitesize interviews with real mums. A quick unfiltered glimpse into the lives of our Matchstick Monkey parents and their little ones! 

At Matchstick Monkey, we’re meeting up with mums around the UK to talk about motherhood struggles (yes, we all know it can be a struggle from time to time), but most especially how rewarding motherhood can be.

This week, we chat with the lovely Candice. Candice is a proud mama to Elizabeth and baby Henry and lives here in the UK. Her Instagram @mum_of_leos is dedicated to showcasing her life as both a mum and student, showing us that us women can definitely juggle everything (after all, we are superheroes!).

1. How many children do you have? 

I have 2 children - Elizabeth, who is five years old and Henry who is nine months old. 

2. Do you have any pets? 

We have two pets - Maxcat and Poppycat. Elizabeth also loves all bugs and minibeasts so we usually have a pet snail, spider or woodlouse too. She is allowed to bring them into the house in her bug container but we always let them go back out into her bug hotel. 

3. What region of the country do you live in? 

We live in Hampshire, UK… home to the famous writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.

4. What are your favourite aspects about being a parent? 

My favourite part of being a parent is also my hardest part... It’s watching them grow. It is absolutely bittersweet. Nothing prepares you for the overwhelming joy the feel when you see your baby conquering their next step and then in that same heartbeat the inkling of knowing that that next step is also their next step to needing you less. 

5. Of all the baby stages, which have you found the most challenging? 

I am currently studying a law degree and use that opportunity as my ‘me’ time. I tend to only completely switch off from ‘mum’ if my brain is fully engaged in something challenging.  

6. What are your top tips for dealing with the day after a less than restful night?

The best advice that you have been given about being a parent is trust your instincts! You will always know in your gut if something is wrong and trust yourself to know best for your child. Throw those manuals out... 

7. What was the best advice that you could give to an expectant mum/dad? 

My best advice would be be prepared and always think positive - you’ve got this! 

8.  Do you see yourself as an influencer? 

I would say I partly see myself as an influencer, I have been on social media since Elizabeth was born so it is just a part of our lives now.  I found that there can be such an uplifting community online. 

9. Why do you think your account has become so popular, is this something you planned from the start? 

When I opened up and used social media as a platform to be honest with struggles with postnatal depression, I had some wonderful support from some of the other mums on Instagram. I have bumped into people out and about who know us from Instagram and I can be a bit awkward as I never know what to say... But I do love it when people come up and say hi. I have been quite humbled when a few people have told me how my honesty with postnatal depression has helped them.  

10. How old were your children when they started to teeth? 

It feels like both my children were constantly teething from 4 months. Elizabeth’s first tooth came through at eleven months. Henry, at nine months, still does not have any teeth.

11. Did any of your children have symptoms of teething, or did they just come through without a fuss? 

Henry is constantly dribbling and if he doesn’t have a bib on, it is an outfit change as he is soaking. He has recently had very red cheeks and is a bit grumpy and wants lots of cuddles. 

12. Did you use any teething products? If so, what helped?

With both children they would grab anything to chew on. When Elizabeth was little, we didn’t have Matchstick Monkey and would use whatever we could find, but Henry has two different Matchstick Monkey teethers and he loves them. If he is struggling, we use a bit of Bonjela on the bumps on the teethers and that definitely helps.