Today on the People Tree blog, we have a very special Mother’s Day themed interview with the lovely Julie MacDonald. As a Scottish International News Anchor and Documentary Maker, Julie regularly reports on many of the world’s biggest stories. Julie is also a mum of two and founder of The Daily Juggle. Julie talks to People Tree about why she started a magazine for working parents.

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Julie wears: Nora Embroidered Shirt

What is The Daily Juggle?

The Daily Juggle is a magazine for working parents. We hope to grow it into a self-help hub for parents under pressure.  I launched the site because I wanted to create a community for working mums and dads that’s non-judgemental and that’s focused on the wellbeing of parents and rather than kids.

In my work as a life-coach I was meeting all of these unbelievably talented women who were giving themselves such a hard time for not being a good enough mum or wife whilst juggling work . I believe it’s wrong that working mums are under so much pressure to have it all, so I’m dedicating myself to ending the glorification of the perfect mum. And trying to change the way the media stereotypes mums – we’re not angels, just humans!

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Tell us about your day to day work, how do you balance being a mother?

My day to day work life is quite schizophrenic as I also work as a News Anchor in the studio in London and I make documentaries on the road. I have a great support network of grannies and an au-pair who is a life saver so they help me to keep the balls in the air. They say it takes a village to raise a child and we live by that.

My kids are amazing and flexible as they’ve never known anything other than having two working parents and we’re figuring out as we go how to give them the time they need. That’s the biggest challenge for any working Mum – how to make sure everyone including them gets their needs met. In our family we have moments of brilliance but more often it’s organised chaos…We’re constantly learning!

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How do you find time for you – especially to spoil yourself?

I love to work; coaching, being creative and telling stories are my passions so I find it hard to switch off. I’m always jotting down ideas in my notebook – even at 3am! But I do love going to the movies in the afternoon, having a facial at Sarah Chapman and sitting in the hot tub in our garden. My husband and I sit out there with a glass of something nice and some tunes and we feel like we’re teenagers again. I also love clothes: anything vintage or handmade I crave! My ideal day would be strolling around Marche aux Puces, a flea market in Paris, picking up little bits and bobs of loveliness.

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Julie wears: Love Heart Sweatshirt

Why did you decide that your Spring Summer wardrobe needed a sustainable update?

My wardrobe suffered a bit of an identity crisis after my girls were born. Dressing in a way that made me feel glamorous and powerful dropped way down my to do list – like way below buying a nit comb, falling somewhere between getting a wax and cleaning out the fridge! My wardrobe became a place for my daughters to play hide and seek and for clothes to pile up like a jumble sale. I couldn’t find the will to sort them out and colour code them on velvet monogrammed hangers. Or whatever it is glamorous stylish super mums do. I’d hang my super hero cape in there – but I might risk never finding it again.

So I knew that a Spring clean was in order. I started simplifying my wardrobe, buying a few well chosen ethical pieces instead of lots of high street.

What made it really clear to me that my clothing values were changing was when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh. I was on air at the time. To see all those women die supporting their families and by making cheap clothes for us made me more determined to buy sustainable clothes whenever I can.

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Finally, what are your tips to power dressing mothers?

  • Be practical but not so much that you’d go around in an oil-cloth onesie if you could.
  • How you dress affects how you act –if you don’t enjoy what you wear around your kids – that’s a lot of time you’re spending not being YOU.
  • Invest in the best that you can afford – I’ve had my trench for years, and it still looks and feels great.
  • Buy ethical fashion when you can – there’s no more powerful way to dress than knowing your purchase is truly changing someone’s life.

Clothing People Tree, Photographs Jean Goldsmith and Make-up Fiona Rogers – See more at: The Daily Juggle

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