A Judgement Free Website & Forum Supporting
Perfectly Imperfect Parenting
In February we teamed up with Jenny Raymond, founder of Mamazou to offer our lovely followers the chance to win some gorgeous Mama Merchandise!
As usual she was a joy to work with and we were a little overwhelmed at how much she's achieved!
We have all Googled parenting topics to find ourselves faced with either very scary, slightly aggressive responses or genuinely asked a seemingly innocent question only to feel berated and lost, because really who knows what they're doing all the time? Not us!
Mamazou is offering something different and at the heart of it is Jenny and her daughter H, who was the inspiration.
We caught up with Jenny to find out how she fits it all in and what Mamazou can offer us all as we navigate this parenting jungle!
- Like most Mums you are juggling a lot! What is an ideal start to your day?
An ideal start would involve me getting out of bed when my alarm goes off and not actually sleeping through it but that never seems to happen. Most mornings I wake up flustered because I’ve overslept! Ooops.
- Mamazou seems to be gaining real momentum, where did your idea come from for the site? Was it something you felt was lacking when you had your daughter?
Thank you so much. When I was pregnant with H, I often found myself Googling my pregnancy symptoms and became terrified by some of the answers presented to me. I was then elated to find some parenting groups on Facebook but as soon as I was about to post, I noticed my friends with kids were already on them and because I was still in my first trimester I didn’t want them to know. I then turned to a few parenting forums but found they were very bitchy and judgemental. It was at that point I wished that there was a place to go for parents to “meet” other parents for some friendly, non judgemental support. That’s when I had my light bulb moment.
- Do you have a good support network around you?
I’m fortunate enough to say that I do. I have an exceptionally loving and supportive family. I’d be lost without them. Also, my friends, they’re quite incredible too and I really do count my blessings.
- What type of support can Mamazou offer for parents who don’t have family close by?
The reassurance that there’s always someone there to talk to. Being a parent is far from easy, especially if you have family that aren’t close by but we ensure that anyone who reaches out to Mamazou has someone to talk to. We try to make sure that everyone feels connected to the Mamazou family. Whilst we’ve never organised a meet up because we’re all scattered over the world (maybe we should), there have been a few Mamazou members that have met and become close friends as a result which has been wonderful.
- Do you think the image of being ‘Super Mum’ is finally waning and we are realising being ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ is enough?
I really hope so. As mothers, we are under so much stress and pressure. We all strive to be this ‘perfect parent’ and we often forget that actually, we’re doing good. There’s always going to be playground politics and people competing with one another over their kids and it’s sad but it’s life. It probably won’t ever stop but I do think that as time goes on parents are focusing on the fact that there isn’t a ‘perfect parent’ which is a breath of fresh air.
- How do you balance working, with your site, social media, being a mum, Wife? And of course time for yourself!
Uh, it’s tricky. Really tricky. I actually don’t seem to have much of a balance at all. But I’m working on it and that’s the most important thing. Mamazou is ‘my baby’ and it needs nurturing to grow strong, so sometimes I have to put in long hours. This isn’t always translated on the website as most of the work is done on the back end but it can be exceptionally time consuming. As for the social media side, I find it exhausting but love it at the same time. It’s a great way of networking and also putting yourself out there. I’m learning not to get too caught up on the political side of social media which was a struggle at first.
Being a mum and wife are my main priority and will always come before Mamazou and my job. My family comes first and they know it. When I’m with H, I’m present. When we have family time, I’m present. That means, phone away from the table and spending quality time together as a family. Once she goes to bed, then things become very different and I tend to get straight back to work. Whilst we live in such a technology orientated world, it’s really important that H grows up knowing that she comes first and not my work or my phone. I want to give her the best start in life and focusing on her confidence and communication skills over introducing technology to her has been incredibly important to my husband and I.
- How far do you feel Mamazou has come in the past year?
I’m lucky enough to say leaps and bounds. Mamazou is going from strength to strength and I feel very privileged to have worked with some incredibly inspiring people. It’s continually growing and I’m very excited for the future. Additionally, I’m exceptionally grateful for all the wonderful people that I’ve met on my Mamazou journey and so lucky that I can call some of them my friends.
- Was there anything you didn’t accomplish that you’d still like to?
There are always things that I can say I haven’t accomplished but I tend not to focus on the haven’ts and make way for what I can do…
- What are the most important values for Mamazou to portray?
Support, love, judgement free, friendliness, compassion and the fact that we’re all perfectly imperfect.
- And finally when you’re not rushing around doing all of the above, what are your favourite things, those that bring real joy?
Being with my family. I could watch H and my other half for hours, they bring me so much happiness (obvs when it’s not mid tantrum negotiations). I also have a love for spinning, swimming, long walks and holidays. Oh and food, lots of good food!
If you would like to know more about Mamazou, click here to visit the Parenting website and Perfectly Imperfect shop where part of the profits go to KidsOut - a charity providing fun and happiness to disadvantaged children across the UK.