Working as a midwife for the past three years, Jocelyn Ainslie knows a thing or two about babies. But after giving birth to a baby of her own 18 months ago, even she came across some hurdles. That’s why she reached out and created an online community through her blog Peach and Pom.
Jocelyn wanted women to know there are many different ways of being a good mum and through sharing her own experiences, both the good and the bad, helps create an outlet for mums to know they are not alone. We found out a little bit more about Jocelyn, who will be contributing to Tinitrader as a guest blogger in the future.
Tell us a bit about your background
I am 30 and I have been a midwife for about three years and a nurse for about five years. Prior to doing nursing and midwifery I was studying fine arts so I suppose that highlights the kind of person I am. I am really creative but I also do like helping people and really love helping new mums especially. I like doing my creative stuff on the side, with my midwifery as my main job. I am also a mum to Barney Oliver who is 18 months, and he is just really gorgeous. We live down on the Mornington Peninsula which sums up my lifestyle really. My husband loves surfing so we love going down to the beach. We moved down to the Mornington Peninsula from inner city Melbourne when we got pregnant and now we spend most of our time cooking and eating and going to the beach with Barney.
What led you to start Peach and Pom?
My girlfriend and I had an idea about a year ago that we wanted to go into starting a shop or something and we decided that before we did that we would try and see what mums on the peninsula were interested in. I started the blog as sort of a market research so that eventually my girlfriend and I may in the future start a shop. That’s something that may happen down the track though in a couple of years. I started the blog as I really like writing and I needed more of a creative outlet and also to create an online community with Mums in the Mornington Peninsula area. Also to journal and document what was happening with Barney, what I was finding easy and what I was finding hard and a way to journal my lifestyle and my journey as a mum. I’ve been getting a really good response to it too which is really fun.
What would you like women to take away from Peach and Pom?
I want them to be able to relate to what I am doing and I really want to be able to express that there are so many ways of being a parent and being a mum and being good at being a mum. What I see so much of, especially through my job, is people wanting to do things perfectly and people wanting to do things the right way and mums being really hard on themselves. I want to be as honest as possible about what people find hard and ensure them that there is no right way of doing everything for everyone, there are lots of different ways of doing the right thing when you’re a parent. What I found really surprising is, I found motherhood really lonely. I think something happening a lot more in recent times is that women are reaching out to each other online and creating these incredible communities around them, at 4 in the morning when they are breastfeeding on Instagram. I really wanted to create a space for women to come to and relate to what I was doing through Instagram and through the blog and that’s something that I really want to expand on as much as possible.
As a midwife, what is your number one piece of advice for new or expecting mums?
My number one piece of advice is we are born to be mothers and we have instincts that shouldn’t be ignored. I find that when someone becomes a mum for the first time you are given heaps and heaps of pieces of advice from your friends and family of the right way to do things because that’s what worked for them and I think what is much more beneficial to tell a new mum is to just trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone else, even the best pediatrician in the whole world and I tell all my new mums that are going home before leaving hospital that you are the only person that spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your baby so trust your gut instinct as to what’s right. If what feels right to you is to breastfeed your baby to sleep, then breastfeed your baby to sleep, and if something feels wrong then trust your instincts and don’t do that, even if it’s something someone else has said to do. As long as we are safe and using our common sense. I think that women often don’t trust their instincts over the advice of the books or what their best friend has told them to do. I think that is my main piece of advice, trust your instincts, they are there and we are biologically hardwired to become mums when we are pregnant
What does a typical day in your life look like?
If I am not dropping Barney off to go to work than a typical day would probably be having breakfast at home on the deck with Barney then heading to the beach. When we come home for his midday nap which can hopefully last anywhere between 2-3 hours that’s when I will hopefully try and get some creative stuff done, a blog post or do some screen printing which is something I am working on in terms of projects. Then when he wakes up we will probably start cooking dinner, spending some time together until his dad gets home then we will eat. In summer we will probably head to the beach when his dad gets home too. Ideally I try and incorporate hanging out with Barney and doing some outdoor play and getting some creative stuff in for myself. I also try and get some exercise in, so we might go for a walk around the area, we have so many beautiful walks. So a walk or a run in the pram and then cooking a nice meal and sharing a nice meal together.
What made you want to write for Tinitrader and in what way do you see yourself being able to help other mums?
I really wanted to reach out to more mums and also to work with other professional business women in this sort of area. I work with a lot of women obviously being a midwife but in terms of writing and being creative and incorporating those two roles I thought it was a really amazing opportunity to start working alongside some creative business women, so I am hoping to develop some of those relationships. Also expanding my online community, so reaching out to more mums. In terms of what I can bring to the blog, I feel maybe through real and honest opinions article from a midwife. I don’t want to be giving midwifery advice so to speak, although I am a midwife and I feel it gives my opinions a little bit of legitimacy. I can talk about my experience as both a mum and a midwife combined and I really want to be able to continue what I’ve sort of been doing in Peach and Pom, in where I write down what I like and what works for me as a midwife and a mum and what I see working for other midwifes and other mums through my work. Doing that in a really relaxed, organic, honest way. I really enjoy seeing things on Instagram from other mums that are really real, when your house is absolutely messy and you’re not doing everything perfectly and it’s not all really styled. I love hearing about that, I enjoy seeing things that aren’t styled to perfection when you’re finding things hard. It’s the beauty of those difficult moments and how you get through it that I find really inspiring. That’s what I’m hoping to incorporate into my writing.