Now halfway through her second pregnancy, we catch up with blogger and journalist Susie Verrill to talk motherhood essentials, knowing when the right time is to have kids and being in the public eye (she’s in a relationship with Olympian champion Greg Rutherford)…
Susie Verrill writes the blog My Milo & Me alongside her work as a freelance journalist and social media editor. She’s 29 and lives in Woburn, near Milton Keynes.
You’re mum to Milo and expecting a second baby (congrats!). Is pregnancy different, second time round?
Entirely different! Last time I felt rough, this time I suffered badly with hyperemesis and spent three months on bed rest/in and out of hospital for drips etc. It’s also very, very different going through pregnancy when you’ve already got a child to look after (no nice naps or relaxing on the sofa) but it’s nice in the way that it progresses quicker; I can’t believe I’ve only got two months left! I also feel much more comfortable identity-wise this time; I had no idea how to dress/find maternity wear while pregnant with Milo whereas it feels a lot less alien this time around.
How did you know the time was right to have your first baby?
Greg and I spoke about how we were in no rush to get engaged/married but really wanted to start a family. We only tried the once and it happened so we saw it as a positive sign!
And your second?
We discussed when we might like to start trying again and agreed we’d wait a year… only to find out a few days later we were already five weeks expecting! It’s great though; now it’s actually happening we’ve agreed it’s perfect timing (if there is such a thing). Milo’s cracking on with potty training, about to begin nursery, my parents have just moved close to us and most of Greg’s competitions are UK/Europe based for a while.
What have you found most challenging about motherhood, so far?
Feeling as though I’m always rushing. Showers, getting dressed, eating dinner… you never get to take your time.
And what makes it all worthwhile?
Pretty much everything else. I love that you can feel fuzzy at the end of the day and really satisfied, just because you’ve had a nice time with those you love.
Alongside being a full time mum to Milo, you’re a blogger and journalist. How did you get into this line of work?
I first started sports writing (for free), interned at Nuts and then secured a job within IPC Media (back at Nuts) a little while later. After realising I really enjoyed social media I tapped in to that more with pretty decent success and was moved across to LOOK to help them develop their online presence. It was basically a lot of hard work, little money and many, many hours commuting.
How is it, juggling looking after Milo and freelancing; how do you divide your time?
I’m terrible at locking out time to do work; I basically do it around when he’s distracted with food/toys/in bed. If I know I’ve got something important to get done then I’ll ask Greg or my mum to help out so I know Milo’s not just sat there bored, but essentially it’s all about doing bits here and there.
You’re in a relationship Olympic champion Greg Rutherford. Were you ever concerned about having children with someone in the public eye?
Not really. You very quickly forget they’re a ‘known’ person once you start dating.
How has Greg’s fame impacted on you as a family?
It’s difficult in the sense you often can’t go out without having your day interrupted and I have to (politely) ask people not to get Milo in ‘sneaky’ photos they try to take. Plus, there was the whole debacle of Milo being on Strictly Come Dancing footage and lots of negativity surrounding us dressing him ‘like a girl’, but in all honesty we’re just an ordinary family and being in the public eye means Milo’s very lucky to experience the perks of that. Thanks to my blogging and Greg’s position we’re very regularly offered products, days out etc so we really can’t complain.
What are your views on kids/internet/privacy – what will you, and what won’t you, share?
I’ll always make sure Milo’s in clothes or that the photo is edited so, say if Milo was naked, that you couldn’t see anything. I’m also careful not to include the exterior of our house or regular hangouts too much (people have turned up in the past).
What three things does every mother need to ease her into motherhood?
Nipple cream, flask and a support network.
How are you preparing Milo for his new sibling’s arrival?
We talk about him a LOT and take him along to all the scans. We also try to make it about Milo himself, so… rather than ‘are you excited to meet your brother?’, we’ll say ‘your brother’s so excited to meet you, he’s heard you’re so much fun!’
Will you take some maternity leave from the freelance work?
I’ll probably give the work a rest for a few weeks; when Milo was born we went to an event after nine days, had a photoshoot after 10 and attended an all-day wedding after 14. I’d had a rough time with forceps and recovery was so incredibly slow, now I look back I wonder what on earth I was doing. We want to stay in a little bubble for a week or so, take it nice and easy and ease ourselves in to being a family of four, so there’ll be no huge rush to get back in to work. I’ll try teeing up as much as possible in the lead up!
What are your career dreams/goals?
To be able to earn enough so that Greg can be a house-husband!
And for your personal life, what does the perfect life look like?
We’ve discussed splitting our time between the US and SW England as our family grows, with the possibility of moving to the States full time. The plan is to have more children, be that naturally or through adoption/fostering (something we’re very interested in finding out about more) and we just know we want travel to feature heavily. It’s important for us that we don’t just get stuck in the 9-5 thing and we’d really love to make sure our future’s full of adventures and fun. Greg will be retiring in the next few years but we’ve got lots in the pipeline and new ventures to kick off. Neither of us like to have too much routine so we’re excited for a bit of spontaneity and uncertainty.
Follow Susie Verrill on Instagram: @susiejverrill