To mark International Women’s Day, we’ve pulled out ten of our favourite quotes about mornings from female contributors – including an epileptic new mother, a florist up before dawn, and a Telegraph journalist with OCD…
1. In an honest, open piece about suffering with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon shares her thoughts on how crucial mornings can be for someone with mental health issues:
“In terms of depression; OCD, a day hinges on: do I get out of bed or not, do I sit up somehow and put one foot in front of the other, somehow get to bathroom, somehow get into the shower. But I always feel better if I manage those things than if I stay in bed.”
2. Carrie Anne Roberts, founder of Mère Soeur – creator of the Strong Mother cups and tees you may have seen on Instagram – lives in Wales with her one-year-old son River. Her partner, River’s father, lives in Hackney, London. We asked what she tends to do upon first waking.
“Breastfeed River. Every day. This can go on for some time, he likes to starfish on top of me, so I’ll have a scroll through my fave IG accounts, check emails, reply to messages, check orders, start to wonder how on earth I’m going to get out of bed etc.”
Mornings for a florist
3. Ellie Jauncey is co-founder of the brilliant Flower Appreciation Society. Her middle name is fleur, her granny was a really keen gardener, her great granny had a florists – and her mum is one too. So you could say it’s in the blood. Ellie gets up at the crack of dawn to drive to market, and we asked her how she feels when the alarm goes off.
“It really depends; in summer when it’s light I find it so much easier, often I’ve woken up before my alarm – I’m weirdly neurotic about oversleeping. But it’s difficult in winter when it’s dark outside. Once I’m awake, I’m ok but after my alarm goes off, I give myself eight minutes to get out the door so I’m still half asleep when I get in the van.”
4. Lucy Davies was diagnosed with epilepsy aged 15, after a childhood of seizures. Now mother to a six-week-old girl, she told us all about pregnancy, motherhood – and how they are affected by her condition. We asked how she copes with early mornings.
“Due to epilepsy I have to be careful about early mornings, my husband looks after the babe till 6am when I have a cuddle with her in bed and wake up slowly and take my medication with a strong cup of tea!”
5. The founder of artisan granola startup Spoon Cereals, Annie Morris, knows about the importance of a good breakfast – after all, this is what her business is based on. Emma Barlow asked her what she likes to do first thing.
“Running a start-up business, no morning is ever the same. I like to vary my routine from week to week, some days I’ll be up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a morning run or yoga class. I believe in listening to your body and mine is not the kind to sustain this early rise each morning, so on other days I’ll enjoy the lie in! After showering and dressing, breakfast is my main priority, which I’ll often enjoy whilst listening to a podcast or the BBC news. Mornings at my boyfriend’s house will be spent enjoying breakfast together.”
6. Becky Graham went from presenting the Kiss FM Breakfast Show in Bristol, to working on Magic FM in London, getting up at 4.30am. She soon felt off balance so re-trained in nutrition and founded The Healthy Hedonist. She told us about her transitional journey, and early mornings.
“The early mornings and generally unsociable hours should have impacted my life more to be honest, as I continued partying and burning the candle at both ends, living on very little sleep and surviving on sugar and caffeine. After a year of working on Magic Breakfast and getting up at 4am to basically write travel news and make everyone else’s porridge, I was absolutely knackered and incredibly frustrated – there’s only so many times you can write about the Hammersmith flyover without losing the plot.”
7. What started as a hobby blog soon became a hit with parents who warmed to Sarah Turner’s candid, often humorous tales of motherhood. She now has over 300k Facebook fans and a book out next month. Annie Ridout interviewed The Unmumsy Mum and she told us how her day begins.
“On days when I am writing (and my husband, James, is at work) we are all up at the crack of dawn trying to get one child to preschool and the other to the childminder. It’s chaos. On days when I look after the boys I have just one rule and that is to get out of the house and go ANYWHERE. I’ve realised that whole days spent indoors, just me and them, are usually the days when I end up wanting to claw my eyes out. We usually have a fantastic time if we brave a change of scene. I’m a big fan of fresh air (and a hater of indoor crafts and baking) so it makes sense for us to get out. Generally, in the evenings, our house is messy, noisy and filled with laughter. I am often in bed by 9pm. I’d be more rock and roll if only I wasn’t so bloody knackered.”
8. The founder of Style After Nine: Yvadney Davis, stylist and blogger, told us about her politically engaged, creative upbringing with her single mum, to life as a stylist and raising two little ones. Also, postnatal dressing, living abroad and glamming up for nights out. But here, she discusses the dreaded morning sickness.
“It wasn’t easy being pregnant and styling. I suffered with terrible lower back pain from early on and spent many a shoot on the floor to ease the pain. I wore sickness bands to control my morning sickness for the TV job and had to sit on a crate in the middle of a farm at six months pregnant while we filmed the music video, not easy in a bitter Canadian winter.”
Monday mornings are often the worst…
9. We did a mini Monday morning interview with Mother Pukka, and she shared her mantra with us (‘I feel I should clean the house. I’ll take a nap until that feeling passes’).
What do you tend to be doing first thing on a Monday?
Dropping Mae off at daycare and hitting the Tube to work. Then coffee and a banana and sometimes another coffee.
How do you feel?
A deep sense of dread. It’s a dark time.
What one thing would improve your Monday-Friday?
A better London Transport system and less people living in London. And someone to feed me marshmallows on the Tube.
What gets you through the week?
Picking Mae up from daycare and seeing her beaming chops as she gallops over shouting ‘Mama, mama!’ Yeah, that’s pretty frickin’ great.
If you could wake up anywhere next Monday, where would it be?
My house. Just without the work bit looming.
10. Lastly, the editor, Annie Ridout, describes mornings with her terribly tantrumming daughter.
“For those who aren’t yet parents, who have angels for children or who’ve forgotten what it can be like, I’ll describe an average morning during a ‘bad’ phase…
Joni is standing up in her cot and frowning when I go in to her room. I pull up the blind, enquire after her cuddly toys (‘doggun’ – a dog, ‘bear’ – a bear) and make a series of jokes in an attempt to loosen that frown.
I fail and instead, it seems, wind her up something rotten. “Would you like to get out?” I ask, tentatively. “Nor.” She says loudly then bellyflops onto the mattress, arms outstretched, and lies still, just gazing at the wall. I lean down to lift her out and she screams in protest. So I stand back. She screams again because i’ve left her…”
And you can read the rest of the tantrum story here.
Happy International Women’s Day to you all – women, men and children.