The cult of celebrity is a funny thing. I think, as a society, we’ve become a bit obsessed with it over recent years, fuelled by the explosion of social media. We have this idea in our minds that ‘celebrities’ are not quite real people, that they live these lives that are slightly removed from reality, and that they don’t face exactly the same issues and anxieties as we do every single day.
Of course this is nonsense. People are people. Whatever you do for a living, or however much money you earn, you still get tired when you’ve been working hard, you still find it difficult to make time for yourself, you still deal every day with parenting guilt. That’s just life.
It’s something that was brought home to me recently when I met up for lunch with a handful of other bloggers and the lovely Alesha Dixon. Alesha is the ambassador for a brand called Swisse, who are the number one multivitamin in Australia, but new to the UK market. They are available online or from Boots.
We had all been using supplements from the Swisse range over the last month, and had come together to chat about how we were getting on, and, more generally, how we all manage the pressures of juggling work and family life. As you can see from my picture, I’ve been taking the Women’s Ultivite – a blend of vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts, all brought together to help you function at your best. I’ve definitely noticed having more energy, and my nails have lost that worrying bendy quality. (My wee has turned a slightly fluorescent colour but we are assured this is normal, so don’t panic if this happens to you!)
Beforehand, I have to admit I was quite nervous. I’m not normally at all starstruck, but Alesha Dixon is so damn glamorous. I knew I’d never be able to compete, so instead I’d gone the other way, and opted for a ‘I’m sooo cool I really don’t have to try, check me out in my dungarees’ look. At home it had seemed like a good idea, but in London, just before arriving at the venue, I was mildly panicked.
I needn’t have worried of course, as Alesha is as lovely and down to earth as she appears on the TV. The whole lunch was a lot of fun, very relaxed, full of laughter and, of course, plenty of photos.
Alesa Dixon’s daughter Azura will be three this year, and as all parents will appreciate, it’s a very interesting age. On the one hand, it’s the age that your child’s personality and sense of humour really start to come through. They are full of excitement and wonder and just adorable. On the other hand, this new found sense of spirit comes with the tendency to want to throw yourself, screaming, onto the supermarket floor, if you’re not allowed to hold the bleach.
Chatting to Alesha about the challenges at this age, it was clear that we shared a certain admiration for feisty girls. Whenever my daughters have been naughty, or stood up to me in some way, there is always a part of me that thinks ‘you go girl! Don’t just accept it – challenge me!’ Obviously I don’t say that out loud, as you want to try to maintain a modicum of authority, but Alesha said that she felt the same – whenever Azura has a strop, she kind of loves it! It was reassuring to know that that’s not just me being weird. Dealing with children at that age though can be exhausting, not to mention all the bugs you get exposed to through various toddler groups and nurseries, so Alesha said that it was reassuring to know that the B, C and D vitamins, plus the zinc in the Women’s Ultivite were giving her energy levels and immune system a boost.
We also talked about that all too familiar symptom of motherhood – guilt. Hands up if you’re a mum who had never experienced parenting guilt? No, I didn’t think so.
For Alesha, the parenting guilt seems to take much the same form as mine. Work is fine – we understand as mothers that we have to work, and that we are setting a good example to our children in the process, and so that’s okay. Time away from our kids for non-work purposes though seems to leave us wracked with insecurity.
Alesha described the guilt of wanting to spend time alone with her partner, but not being sure if that was ‘allowed’. Why is it that we beat ourselves up over this? How come we justify time away for work but don’t consider ourselves, and often our relationships, important enough to look after in the same way? It’s a small thing maybe, and sounds cheesy, but taking a multivitamin feels like a little step towards recognising that even though we are mothers, wives, and working women, we still need to take that time to take care of ourselves.
Swisse do a whole range of supplements, each with specific functions, such as a tablets targeting hair and nails, but I’m sticking with the Women’s Ultivite as I love the idea of having one tablet that ticks all the boxes. I keep one tub on my desk at work, and one near the fridge at home, and that way I never forget to take them.
How do you make time for yourself?
Sponsored By Swisse. All views my own.