The beautiful, Portia Prince, works as a model and actress in London. Her work can be seen across multiple media outlets in collaboration with Londons best talents such as Vicky Grout and Sam Pyatt. After Portia dropped into the pam pam store a few weeks ago, we wanted to chat with her about her journey with nearly 10-week old, baby Ngaire, on this special first Mother's Day. Portia shares with us new mum activities, from rollercoaster post-baby emotions to breastfeeding realness and opens up about her own mum in this exclusive interview. Thank you, Portia, for your story and Happy 1st Mother's Day!
Follow Portia on instagram via @portiaprince
What’s the most important things you’ve learnt about becoming a mother?
I've learnt to slow down, I've always been very energetic and I've definitely called myself a workaholic in the past but since bubba has come along, I've learn't to be more decisive with how I focus my energy. Motherhood forces you to do that. Im really grateful for it too.
Tell us about your own childhood and how your upbringing influenced you?
I grew up just over an hour outside of London, in Suffolk. It's the most beautiful, quiet part of the UK. I am always thankful for the childhood I had because its the polar opposite of the lifestyle I've lived here in London. Although we recently moved to south east London and it's so much quieter than where we were before.
What hidden truths have you encountered about being a new mum?
The post partum effects of pregnancy for sure. The emotional rollercoaster that comes after giving birth. Your hormones are all over the place, Whilst adjusting to the first few weeks, your body is recovering too and I thought id be out and about quickly. I had my mum come and stay with me for a week and it was so needed. I had so many people say to me when she was born that as soon as you crack one stage the next hits you and it couldn't be more true. She's a different child every week, you just have to go with it and not expect a routine straight away.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to deal with through experiencing motherhood?
I think breastfeeding was a big factor, it really didn't come as naturally as I thought it would. I went to a breastfeeding clinic on day 6 to get some tips and broke down in there because I thought I was getting it all wrong . You're both brand new to it and have to find something that works for you both. For example, I've tried to feed her laying down for the night feeds as lots of women say it works so well but Ngaire hates it. I have to sit in the chair because she wriggles a lot. Body image is another factor too, there's definitely an expectation of what you should look like after birth because there's no baby in there now, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that my body will never be quite the same again and that's fine because pregnancy is such a blessing. I'm strangely the most comfortable I've ever felt in my own skin.
How do you balance a good work and family lifestyle?
I'm freelance so luckily I'll be able to work when I feel the times right. I've dedicated 4 months to her and even when I do go back I won't travel like I used to. Not for a while anyway or at least until she can come with me. Hone, my partner has been the most supportive right hand I could ask for. I really wouldn't have been able to do it without him. We keep our house a very calm space and introduced a lot of our trusted friends to Ngaire early so we could have the odd date night and feel comfortable with who's looking after her.
Tell us about your values being in motherhood as the position of a teacher?
I feel we have to be very decisive in the lessons we pass on, beyond all the sensory learning, of course, I want to teach her to be completely unafraid to be whoever she wants and know that she will always have the support to try new things. I'm betting on the world is a different place to the one we experienced growing up but that will only happen if we put the work in now. We were warned against giving her a 'difficult name' but believe that in her future it will be unthinkable to be so narrow-minded to judge a person based on how inexperienced one might be with other cultures.
Three questions that you have asked your mum when experiencing motherhood?
Should she sleep this long? Where are those Jordans I was wearing in that photo from 1991? Can you bring some brown stew chicken down with you next time you visit (I am vegetarian but I can't turn it down)
What elements of your mother inspires you the most?
My mum had my twin brothers 15 months after I was born which meant she had three kids under 2 years of age. My little on is enough of a handful without twin boys in the mix, I'm not quite sure how she did it but we turned out ok! Although, she does joke that she didn't smile for the first five years. HA
What are you looking forward to this year?
We are so looking forward to taking her on her first trips, her dad is from New Zealand so there is a whole other family waiting to meet her. We plan to head there at the end of the year so in the meantime, we are doing a test run to Italy in the summer. Even then it's just little things like taking her for a swim in the ocean. I'm also really looking forward to doing jobs with her, I've had jobs with other kids before so it would be nice to do that together.