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The faces of modern motherhood

Meet the hip new breed of funky, feisty women joining forces to embrace motherhood in the most modern manner

Posted: 21 December 2012
by Catherine O'Dolan

Kimberley Golding-Tomter
 5 of 6 

Kimberley Golding-Tomter, 30, mother of Odin, two and 33 weeks pregnant

Kimberley Golding-Tomter, mother of Odin, 30 months 

Profession Children's clothes designer

Describe your pre-baby life? Work, Shoes, Alone (in a good way!)

And now? Love, laughing, learning

How do you manage the work-life balance? I take the approach that I fit my creativity around looking after my son. I include him in my work and let him see me working. As a small child, I believe he benefited more from being with me while I worked than being away from me. My husband is Scandinavian and takes his role seriously too, I couldn't do it without him.

What has been the biggest shock of motherhood? I didn't realise what a hands-on hippy Attachment Parenting-type I was until I had a child!

How has your relationship changed with your partner? We are more connected and realise we have some ideals in common that we never knew. We resolve our arguments quicker. We are now part of a gang, not just a couple.

What are the biggest challenges? To stay calm, centred and loving when I'm frustrated or tired. I try to talk openly to Odin and explain how I'm feeling rather than trying to mask my feelings. A smaller challenge has been to stay true to some of my principles and opinions in the face of criticism from others. It has helped to be confident, outspoken and have strong arguments whenever I have faced opposition.

What’s the best thing about being a mother? The special love you feel for your child and watching them develop into an individual person.

And the worst? Worrying about your child and family and not being able to switch off!

What has most surprised you? That I could manage to still work and go out with my friends; I got the impression that nothing would get done once I had a child.

If you could pass on one secret of motherhood, what would it be? I’m an advocate of babywearing. When you do that all the other important principles fall into place.

What lessons has motherhood taught you? To be grateful for our health, love and stability – the important things in life that we don't think about as singletons in our 20s.

What mothers most inspire you? Mothers who make sacrifices for their children, especially those in refugee or conflict situations. They are the strongest human beings in the world. I don't think I would have the strength to do anything brave and I hope I am never challenged to.

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Discuss this story

It's so refreshing to hear mothers speak honestly about their experiences, and the challenges of balancing both the 'motherhood' identity and the 'individual' identity that so often gets left behind.I don 't think that women should feel guilty about wanting to have both, and I think a dose of selfishness can be a healthy thing, to a point. A healthy happy mother makes a healthy happy child. We always want to give our children the best of everything; that should include ourselves. I want my children to be secure in the love I give them, but I also want them to look back and be proud of what I have accomplished in life (besides making them!)

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