At Akris, we love to celebrate women with purpose and the moms of the world are exactly that – strong, loving, smart, and one-of-a-kind. Hannah Strafford-Taylor is one such mom we are proud to highlight this month as a woman with purpose as many around the world celebrate International Mother’s Day.
Inspiring on and off-line, London based blogger, influencer and former model Hannah speaks openly about motherhood, struggles with IVF and her work with charity Spread a Smile. She is someone her many followers can look to for advice not just in fashion and travel, but everyday challenges faced as a working woman and a mom. Hannah shares below how she juggles motherhood with a successful career, as well as a few inspiring words about what being a woman with purpose means to her
1. What does being a woman of purpose mean to you?
My children and my family will always be my main purpose in life. From the second I gave birth to Soleil, I felt like I was put on this earth to be a mother. It was such a long journey to Motherhood for me after IVF and I just felt overwhelmingly elated and knew I was fulfilling the role I was meant to. Saying that, working has always been super important to me, I’m extremely grateful to have my dream job and I think it’s super that my children get to see me working and doing what I absolutely love.
2. Inspiring on and offline, you are affiliated with the charity Spread a Smile, can you share the work they do and how it inspired you to get involved?
Spread a Smile is a charity incredibly close to my heart. My daughter’s school friend Vanessa heartbreakingly passed away at age 8 after enduring 4 years of Neuroblastoma. Vanessa spent many months in hospital over those 4 years and Spread a Smile made her time there so much more special, they provide incredible entertainment to seriously ill children in hospital and bring them joy. Vanessa’s mother, my friend Anna, now works for the charity as it had such a positive impact. Vanessa was the most wonderful and happy little girl; there is not a day that goes by I don’t think of her, she inspires me every day to be strong and positive as she was.
3. As a working mother of two, how do you find a positive work-life balance?
To be totally honest, I find the work-life balance really difficult and sometimes I feel guilty. Over the last few years, my Instagram has really grown, and it has become a full-time job. There is so much more that goes into it than just the photos. Speaking to brands, shooting content, PR meetings, interviews, editing, meeting contractual requirements for campaigns, styling etc. takes a massive amount of time. I have a fabulous assistant now which has made my life so much easier. But I don’t have a nanny so it can be a real juggle as my girls will always be my main priority. Instead I often work late into the night and get up super early to work. It’s a real balance and at the moment with the situation we’re in, it’s obviously much harder. But somehow it always works out, it just takes lots of prioritizing, patience, and time management!
4. Many people around the world will soon be celebrating international Mother’s Day, can you share with us what Motherhood has taught you?
It sounds cliché, but for me motherhood really is life’s greatest gift. It has definitely taught me to be more patient and understanding. But mainly it has taught me to live in the moment, to try to enjoy every single second, to be grateful and always find the positive in everything. I’ve learnt, it really is the simple things that make you happy, now so more than ever. You realise the importance of those moments. The walks and feeling those little hands holding yours as you walk down the street.
5. As a role model for your children and your many followers, who / what do you draw inspiration from during these challenging times of Covid-19?
My Mother has always been a constant inspiration to me, she is always very positive and optimistic, and she instilled that in me from an early age. The situation that is going on in the world is so heart-breaking and tragic. So I think it’s important for us to appreciate what we do have and be super grateful that we are together at home as a family, safe and healthy. So many incredible people are putting their lives on the line for us every day during this pandemic and don’t have that luxury. I love how our country has united during this pandemic and I draw strength from this. I also have been meditating every morning without fail for the last few years, as I find it creates such a positive mindset and helps me starts the day off on a perfect note.