The Mumbelievables #8: Mush Mums
It’s an absolute privilege to feature this week’s Mumbelievables guest. I’m a huge fan of the work she and her brilliant partner, Sarah Hesz are doing to tackle the epidemic of loneliness among mums, and this interview is packed with utter gems and inspiration. These girls are a force!
Katie Massie-Taylor, 33, is founder of Mush, the free app to connect mums with other local mums with kids the same age and similar interests. Previously a derivatives broker in the City, Katie met another mum in the playground during a particularly long, dreary and lonely day with two little babies, and this changed the course of her life…
Who are you? What makes you, you?
I am a mum (aren’t we all!) and a woman who along with my friend Sarah, recognised a huge gap in the market for a way to meet other mums locally, with kids the same age and similar interests. I am defined by my sense of achievement. Whether that’s successfully bathing and dressing toddlers without meltdowns, or creating an app that helps other mums, I am constantly asking if I have done enough.
If someone else was to sum you up in five words, what do you think those words would be?
I am tenacious, headstrong, honest, enthusiastic have a point to prove, I think that’s what friends who know me would say about me. My parents would say demanding and childish, my children would say cuddly and a good painter.
Who are the three most important people in your life, and why?
My most important people. Only three? Ok. My husband, who I met age 13 as my brother’s best friend and started the longest campaign to become ‘his girlfriend’ (I told you I was tenacious) who has been an anchor when I was in danger of trying to follow thousands of different paths all at once. My daughters Tilly & Lyla; they are a whirlwind of laughter, arguments, unpredictability and keep me on my toes. There is nothing that gives you such a good sense of perspective as small children.
What are the three most important things in your life and why?
My house. I didn’t have one until last year and now have a tiny house which I am so immensely proud of, and constantly trying to upgrade with cheap and cheerful colourful tidbits.
My trainers. It’s a massive treat these days to get out on the streets and run to the latest playlists at full volume. I feel liberated, endorphins flowing, and it’s totally free to do! And then I walk back into a house of chaos…
Amazon Prime. As a mum with a business, often things are last minute. From presents to arts and crafts, to bike locks to shelves, not much is bought elsewhere these days, given I can often get (whatever it is!) delivered by 9pm the same day!
What does confidence mean to you?
For me, confidence means you can describe loudly and proudly how you spend your day. I had a self identity crisis after becoming a mum. Presumably the huge transition it was and the hormones free-flowing was the cause; but I thought my day wasn’t interesting enough at the time. In fact, it was incredibly interesting, I just wasn’t focusing on the good bits. Being confident means drawing out small parts of your existence and feeling grateful for them, whatever they may be.
How do you feel about yourself now compared to before you became a mum?
I have a perspective that I never had before about what matters. Before, it was about holidays or career or belongings, now I naturally put my kids and family first. What do they care about? Warmth, love, attention, biscuits. I mean, that’s the stuff that counts., The rest is like water off a duck’s back.
What advice would you give to someone who doubts herself?
Self doubt; what a mean part of human nature. I would tell her to focus on her strengths and what she loves. It could be small things, just draw out the small things that make her feel good and then make more time for them in her day, and see where it leads. If nothing else, she will be happy doing stuff she loves! Let self doubt be a fleeting emotion, not something that defines you.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life so far?
That you can have a second (and third and fourth!) chance at your life’s mission. I thought my path was set in stone, in a job I disliked but got paid well for. Then I had kids, my perspective and priorities changed and I realised I could start again from scratch. The only thing stopping me was the confidence and self belief to do it.
And finally, where is your happy place?
Ah, on the water. On a ferry in the South West of the UK, going somewhere in the blustery fresh air. With kids, and my husband.
You can download the mush app for free or visit www.letsmush.com for more info. Follow Mush on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!