Come Mothering Sunday, blogger Lauren Bryan Knight of Aspiring Kennedy will be celebrating Mother’s Day with her little duo. If like us you’re keen readers of her blog (and scrollers of her Instagram feed too) then you’ve followed the highs and lows, escapades and quiet time of an adventurous mother.
We sat down with Lauren to find out the things she’s learnt from her own mum, the things that motherhood has taught her so far, and some advice on how to take a pretty good photo of your children too.
What’s your idea of the perfect Mother’s Day?
A: Oh man, the perfect Mother’s Day. It would obviously include a pretty breakfast out because it’s my favourite kind of meal. And pretty flowers. And smiling, clean children. And a few hours where I didn’t have to feel like a Mother at some place totally gorgeous.
What’s been your most cherished Mother’s Day gift to date?
My first Mother’s Day came a few weeks after I had our twin girls. Unexpectedly in delivery, we ended up losing one of our daughters due to some really tragic complications. The weeks following were surreal. I had become a mom for the first time and yet was walking through the grief of losing a child simultaneously.
At the time, we lived just off Portobello Road and I had a particular stall that I loved for silver pieces. My husband bought me an antique silver candelabra for our dining table that has one large candle holder in the middle and two that come off it. When he gave it to me, he said it reminded him of me and our two girls. I actually hated it when he gave it to me because it all felt so sad, but over the past few years I’ve grown to love it and what it means.
Have you inherited anything from your mum that you treasure?
Well, I did get my thick hair from her and that is one of those gifts you can only win in the gene pool lottery.
Beyond that, I’d say the recipes that I have of hers that our family uses on a daily basis. There are so many meals that feel like home to me that I can now pass on to my children, most notably her biscuits and honey butter double act.
It’s sweet to me to think that the same food that feels comforting to me will remind them of home in that same way.
Do you have anything special that you plan to pass down to your little ones one day?
I’m hoping to give our kids the gift of UK citizenship, in addition to their US citizenship. As silly as that sounds, it’s a treasure that can’t be bought or taken away.
If that somehow doesn’t work out, they’ll at least have a ton of china to fight over. I can’t stop buying it.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve learned from your mum?
My mum has unbelievable bargain retail prowess and this advice is pretty priceless!
Beyond that, I’m trying to learn her ability to not let people bother her.
What was your house like growing up?
My childhood was pretty dreamy—a happy house full of people, long dinners around the table, and the gift of never being asked to grow up.
In fact, I still go home and am reminded how lovely it is to feel 14. My parents did a great job of making home a place I wanted to be, rather than a place that I couldn’t wait to leave.
If you had to describe the type of mum you are in three words, what would they be?
Sweet and sour.
How do you juggle Motherhood, work and blogging?
A: Poorly! It’s really hard and the addition of our son has, admittedly, kicked my butt. I try to do a balance of not letting the huge weight of it all crush me by just focusing on the day like a playlist. Only focus on what needs to be done right then and not think about all the other things waiting for my attention.
On the flip side, I’m constantly trying to remind myself of the long-term play in motherhood. This nappy-ridden era plagued by poor sleep and stomach bugs is really so short. I’m raising children that will someday be my peers.
Motherhood is much larger than just the weary (and yet, deliriously fun) days of little kids. I’ll get to be their mum their whole lives.
It’s clear from your blog and Instagram that you’ve been bitten by the travel bug! How do you find travelling with little ones? Any tips?
Yes! My job flings us around all over the place, and being an expat means we are constantly travelling home.
After a few years of traveling with kids, the only thing I know for sure is that kids add a lot more gear to the process, slow down the pace of what you can do in a day, and also give new life to the places you have been to so many times. It’s really sweet to share your favourite places and moments with your children. We love it.
Is there anything you swore you’d do as a mum that’s gone out of the window?
Not get chubby. I can’t stop eating custard creams when I’m at home all day with the kids.
Has your style changed since becoming a mum?
I’ve started spending a bit more on pieces that I know are going to look great without having to stare in a mirror and talk myself into how it could work.
I love dresses because it means I only have to choose one thing to wear rather than trousers, tops, blazers, etc. It makes it so much easier.
What’s your go-to outfit when you’re on the go?
Black skinny jeans, long tank, oversized knit and ballet flats.
What’s your go-to kids (and big kid) pleasing meal?
My mum’s recipe for chili and cornbread—these Texan roots run deep! I’ve never met someone who didn’t think it was the best chilli they had ever had.
Your Instagram account is awash with gorgeous and candid pictures of your children. Do you have any tips for getting the best snaps of little ones?
Take a ton of pictures! As long as your photos of your kids are in focus, with a little brightening and added contrast, you might be surprised how pretty regular moments can be. I think kids being kids- playing and not looking at the camera- is a quick reminder of the sweet life. And you know, having gorgeous London as the backdrop never hurts either.
Learn Lauren’s Honey Butter Biscuit heirloom recipe, right this way.