Mum O’Clock chats with Fiona Burrage – Creative Director at Nor-Folk

My name is Fiona, I am 33 years old and live in a converted factory in Norwich with my husband, son and our two cats. We run two businesses, branding consultancy and lifestyle brand
We work hard AND play hard. We love to travel. Stanley’s not ready for long haul flights so we’re exploring Europe at lot at the moment.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am an only child and massive tom boy, originally from Essex. I studied graphic design in Norwich, got a job after graduation and have been here ever since. We are currently trying to find a coastal property for weekend breaks. Stanley is a real beach boy, he’s most happiest when he can run free.
I am full time creative director at Nor–Folk and my passion that ties it all together is photography.

If you were to choose one word to describe your daily life, what would it be?

Busy. There is rarely a dull moment in our hectic lives but it does mean we get squeeze out every moment from the day!

Describe the last time you did something that made your soul happy? How often do you do that thing?

The last time aside of the obvious joys of parenthood was when I went to Latitude in July. I’d spent the day with Stanley and Bobby. They then went home and I had the evening just my best friend and her daughter. We listened to Fatboy Slim and it was electric, I just thought take this all in, this is pretty special.

How do you feel when you are regularly carving out time for yourself compared to not?

I feel hugely guilty when I have any me-time. I know all mums must feel this way because all you can do is think, I should be doing this or that! Some evenings, I will read (rather than work) once Stanley is in bed. I switch the phone off and detaching for an hour or so feels good. I definitely feel less tense and irritable when I’ve had some me-time!


What is your definition of me-time now that you are a mum?

A shower, getting dressed and makeup in one go! Haha. I’m also grateful that I love my job, I almost feel guilty about that. Right now I’m working from home, rather than going into the studio and I’m listening to Radio 3. Stanley’s gone to the beach with his grandparents and the apartment is practically silent (aside from the washing machine). Having a job where I have to speak to adults definitely keeps me sane and means when I get my time with Stanley it’s all about him (in terms of my focus).

What are your 3 favourite ways to practice self-care?

I’ve just started Headspace (the app). I’ve been suffering from anxiety a bit this year and getting into the routine of listening to the app, making myself a filter coffee and going for a walk when I need some breathing space have been hugely helpful.

In your opinion, why is prioritising self-care in your day-to-day important?

Before we had children, we could do what we wanted, when we wanted (within reason). Suddenly you become a mum and that all changes, well for me it did. I breastfed Stanley until he was three and still haven’t had a night away from him. Sometimes it does get a bit too intense and the only way you can still retain a bit of your former self is by making a bit of time for yourself. When I do these me-things I really do focus on what I’m doing. Like really enjoying the coffee, appreciating it and taking it slow.

What are your top tips to cut yourself some slack and make time for you that could benefit another mother?

Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are doing a great job. Surround yourself with positive friends too. At times when you’re under pressure, they’ll pick you up. Try to make a night to see your friends at least once a month (without the children). You’ll return more relaxed and your children will feel it. It’s definitely all a cycle. I have by no means nailed it but I’m always trying to get the balance better. Life is really short, I found that out last year, so I’m doing everything I can to make sure our lives are the happiest they can be. If I’m happy then Stanley definitely is.


Fiona's interior


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