Bonita Turner and Joseph Callaghan have been married for nearly 4 years, but have been together for nearly 20 years after meeting in their hometown in Wiltshire. The couple currently live in Surrey with their daughter Marnie, who is 23mths old. Joseph is a Quality Engineer and Bonita is a freelance fashion editor and founder of mamasvib.
After having Marnie I decided to go freelance after 15 years on magazines such as NOW and Woman and started my mum/baby style and shopping blog whilst on maternity leave. This has allowed me to spend a lot of time with Marnie. We have no family near by so Marnie goes to a lovely local nursery a few days a week so I can do freelance work. I do the morning drop off and Joe does the pick up as he drives to work in Surrey so is home in time. We have a great routine where Joe does dinner and bath time and if I am working in town my train gets me home just in time to read Room on the Broom, Goodnight Moon or Olivia before putting her to bed around 7.30-8pm. After the usual dinner, shower, washing, tidying etc, I usually try and do a blog post or at least prepare a future one each evening for an hour or so.
We love to take Marnie out as a family on Saturdays – we may hit the park (she loves the swings), Godstone Farm – which also has a fantastic indoor play barn, sand pit and park or pop to Woodcote Green – our local garden centre and nurseries which has a newly built childrens’ play area and more importantly great homemade cakes. Marnie loves books so we head to the library every few weeks to get a pile of new books. We try to have breakfast and dinner all together on the weekends as we don’t during the week – and her favourite new word is ‘play’ – where she insists we all sit on the front room floor and play with her Fisher Price Little People house, shape sorters and her fave Leapfrog rainbow tea set!
Although I worked as a fashion stylist for years I have never been a slave to fashion – I prefer classic items that last. So, I have adopted the same approach to Marnie’s wardrobe. I love seeing her in colourful clothes mixed with lots of stripes, patterns and denim. I avoid motifs or any characters on clothing and bubble gum/princess pink at all costs. I often choose her staple items like jeans, plain t-shirts and even some knitwear from the boys department – there’s no fussy details, embellishments and the shapes are often more classic. I have stopped saving some of her items for ‘best’ – I have done this with my own clothes and end up not wearing them at all. And, with kids they grow out of them so fast you can end up only putting them in these items a few times. So, now she wears everything and anything at all times – I love dressing her – it’s so much fun. I love the Little Bird collection at Mothercare as the retro designs remind me of pieces I wore as a child. Marnie also has a lot from Gap Kids, Zara and Mini Boden. If I could choose anywhere to shop for her it would be Stella McCartney Kids, Caramel Baby and I love Gorgeous.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Everyone is quick to offer advice but the only thing that matters is what you and your partner think/want to do. Go with your gut. And, on that note don’t judge other mums – they are doing what they think is right too.
You can never spoil your child with time. Give them your full attention when you’re with them – but equally encourage them to find their own entertainment and play by themselves too (it did me no harm as a child!). When you do have time to yourself or as a couple, enjoy that – a happy mummy and daddy makes for a happy child.
With thanks to Bonita Turner of mamasvib X