As part of our Mother’s Day series, we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kate Pascoe Squires, who now runs her own consulting business and champions a movement of the Slow Down. This conversation left us with a smile and feeling inspired as Kate talks with honesty and humour about the joys and challenges of motherhood.
Who makes up your beautiful family?
It’s me, my husband Tony and our two kids, Harry (9) and Helena (7). I also have two amazing step daughters, Rosie (31) and Molly (27). Rosie has a daughter Zoey (1), who is the light of my life, so I am a step grandmother too. Best role ever. Our smooth fox terrier Skipper, an alley cat Lila and a partridge in a pear tree.
What does your perfect Mother’s Day look like?
I’ll happily accept an almond chai and some kind of fresh pastries in bed, with the papers and a few handmade gifts and cards. Some quiet time. Then up to a perfectly clean house. Ha! We’ll head out for a late lunch with our whole family, somewhere that’s kid appropriate but still serves up amazing food and wine… lots of rosé please. I won’t be driving home because it’s my day.
What do mums really want for Mother’s Day?
I love this question. Honestly, probably a kid free day. Oh I feel mean even saying that, but it’s true.
How do you find balance while juggling children, career, relationships, household and everyday life?
I’m not sure that I do find balance, but I certainly am dedicated to making the most of every day. That means that sometimes the kids get more of my attention, other days, it’s my work. I try not to get too caught up in the details and enjoy the undulating nature of it all.
Do you ever wonder how some mums make it look so easy? Have you talked to other women about how they manage the juggle?
I’ve personally done a lot of work on this, because when I became a mum, I felt as though most were doing it easier than I was. It’s taken years, but I know now that’s not the case. I love talking to other mothers about this and, the truth is, most of us are in the same boat, with the same challenges, the ups, the downs… It doesn’t matter what we see on social media, no one’s life is “easy”. Some mums only show the glossy parts and that’s ok – it’s up to each one of us to read between the lines. Also, just having a real one on one conversation with pretty much any mum will back up a hunch that life isn’t all love hearts and sunshine. It’s so damn great, but it does come with its challenges.
Motherhood is never predictable. What have been some of the more surprising or funny parts of motherhood for you?
So many surprises. So many laughs. I thought we were over the hump when Harry first slept through the night… little did I know, that was just the beginning.
I think the best part is realising that these little ones are actually their own people, with their own souls, personalities, values, thoughts, hopes… it’s pretty magical.
I’m surprised that my love for them just keeps growing as they do. I didn’t expect that. They are such good company now they’re a bit older. More demanding, yes… but most of the time, they’re pretty awesome to be around.
What influence has your own mother had on the way you parent?
Massive. My mum is the ultimate giver, she is so selfless. Mum would always sacrifice hard for me and my brother. If she had something that I wanted (a piece of cake, for example), she would get so much joy over giving it to me.
I’m not naturally like that - I like to take my cake into another room and eat it before the kids find me - but I do know that mothering takes sacrifice and I am 100% in for that. They just can’t have my cake!
My mum also loves big – and she’s passed on that gift to me. I am heart wide open and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Has your relationship with your mum changed since becoming one yourself?
It has, but again, this has been a process. I’ve learnt over the past few years to be more empathetic with my mum, less judgemental, less argumentative. I’ve realised that, as mums and humans, we are all really just doing our best. It might not be perfect, but for us, it always comes from a place of love – and that’s the best place to be.
Do you have any family rituals?
We love big family dinners with lots of food, too much wine, a whole lot of chat… we are super loud, always the biggest table in the restaurant and (except for my husband) offer no apologies for our rowdiness.
What advice would you give to new mums?
It’s so hard when you are in the trenches, but try to find some tiny moments in the day to just really appreciate what you have. It might be the 10 minutes your baby slept (never long enough), or their tiny hands, a little snuffle. When you are exhausted, it’s easy to miss all these things – and when your kids get older, you wished you’d just soaked in all of that baby deliciousness.
Also, try to connect with other people in real life as much as you can – get off the ‘gram and go and have a glass of wine with one of your mates in the middle of the day. Take the babies, offload, chat, gossip… whatever works for you. But make it happen. The housework, washing etc will all be there when you get home.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Educated by Tara Westover. Super powerful.