Kathy McGuiness Mum-of-four and Campaigner is the founder of Local Mums Online and Child’s Eye Line UK. Kathy talks Identity, Beauty and what it really means to be a mum.
Enjoy, Yvonne xxx
What was the idea behind your website Local Mums Online? I wanted to create media that was relevant to my life and give mothers a voice in the public sphere, where they were under-represented. I was fed up of a Media that didn’t reflect the world as I was experiencing it. I knew all these support networks existed for mothers but they were invisible networks. How would a new mother know about them if she moved to a local area? I imagined myself without my friends and support and wanted to create something that would help new parents find support and information.
What do you love about it? The way the age-old, traditional networks of mothers supporting mothers can be replicated online. Technology may change but people stay the same; we still need information, advice and support from people we trust. I love the way mothers who may have been isolated have found friendship and support and this has empowered them. It’s amazing the way our collective voice has been so powerful politically, for example, by helping to save our local hospital and changing the way supermarkets market their products through the Child’s Eye Line campaign.
What does being a mum mean to you? It is a great privilege and a great responsibility, both to my children and to Society as I give mothers a voice in public life.
Name three things that are most special to you? Family, friendship and faith.
Who inspires you and why? Anyone who stands up for others and, specifically,
My great aunt, Dr Elsie Inglis. She was a leader of the suffragette movement in Scotland who campaigned for women to be allowed to study medicine at University; she helped poor women and children receive maternity care by founding hospitals for them and she lead hospital units as a surgeon on the frontline in World War 1. She taught me that through sheer determination and hard work you can move mountains.
What was the last book you read? The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Name three things about being a mum you love. Shared memories, shared jokes and a shared common identity with all the other mothers down through history.
What is the best advice you were ever given? ‘You only regret what you don’t do’; ‘Be the change you want to see’ and ‘If you can’t find the book you want to read, write it.’
What advice would you give your teenage self? Enjoy your freedom; one day you will have to work!
How has your identity changed since becoming a mum? I am more civic-minded; I care about the welfare of all children.
Freewill or destiny? A combination of both.
Apart from your kids, what else gives you pleasure? Books, travel, music and art.
What does me time entail? Reading.
As a mum, do you ever feel judged? ‘It is between me and God, it was never about them anyway.’ - Mother Theresa
What keeps you up at night? A good book.
Beauty is… in the eye of the beholder.
Love is… everything.
Weekend means…. No school runs!
How has social media helped you as a mum? It has helped me stay connected.
What is your parenting philosophy? Be kind.