Life after Lockdown

Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Life after lockdown


  • Life after Lockdown

“It was a shock to the system when I had to put a bra on and do the school run!”

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to Janina Brocklesby about their feelings and possibly anxieties about life after lockdown and how lockdown has made them reflect on aspects of their life. 

You can find Janina’s work below:

Instagram: @janinabrocklesbyphotography


Website :

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[00:01:55] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. This week, I am joined by the lovely Janina and Janina is a mum of two, and we are going to be talking all about the ease of lockdown, the restrictions being slowly lifted. How do we feel? How have we felt during lockdown what’s changed in our lives during lockdown? Basically, we just cover all of that in this open, honest mum chat around motherhood. Hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:47] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Today, I am joined by the lovely Janina who will be sharing, we’ll be talking all about lockdown and life after lockdown. And do you know I’ve done one of these, before Janina what I thought we were coming out of lockdown and we weren’t and we went back in and now I’m even heavier.

[00:03:10] So how were you Janina? 

[00:03:12] Hi, Carla. 

[00:03:13] Janina: How are you? It’s early morning. I’m all right. I had my coffee now, so 

[00:03:17] Carla: I’m up.

[00:03:18] I know thats it. I’ve got my coffee in my hand and do you know this morning I’m actually realised how soon we’re going to be opening up and we’re going to be kind of seeing friends and stuff. So I’m on coffee with almond milk and I’ve just, you know, after being a pig for, for months in fact a year. And this isn’t tasting too good. So yeah. How’s how has your life been when lockdown started? I mean, you’re a photographer aren’t you Janina is so?

[00:03:47]Janina:  Yes, I’m a wedding photographer. So I’ve been hit quite hard, uh, from work perspective. Um, and sadly, I’m one of these who never qualified for any government help. So it’s been hard from that point, but when the lockdown hit, I obviously dealt with my clients first, but I really took a step back and kind of enjoyed the life. Sounds quite weird, but we had really good weather on beginning though. Didn’t we? So, um, first six months, I would say I probably spend in a garden with a food and wine in my hand.

[00:04:24] Carla: Same, same. It keeps, the thing is in the first six months though I started like, you know, drinking about four o’clock and a honestly week by week it got early, it was like, Oh, it’s. 12. Why not open it, we’re gonna open it anyway.

[00:04:38]Janina:  I think it was, it’s something obviously, which we never experienced before and yeah. It was really hard as it was. So, so I think any kind of pleasure we could have bring to it, it’s probably a good thing that we did always would end up seriously depressed and sad, which probably most of us did at some point anyway. 

[00:04:56] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I bet with your work. I mean, the thing is Janina, you are always kind of sharing your work you’re really passionate about your photography. You’re an amazing photographer. And, um, and I think. You know, sometimes taking that step back, it’s quite scary to what it’s going to reveal, because for me, when I had to do it, I was like, that’s when all my health anxiety started and everything like that came out. And I think for so long, I’ve been kind of hiding behind work. To stop any of that kind of feelings and thoughts and stuff that I didn’t actually realize. And then all of a sudden I kept getting these panic attacks and stuff. And it’s, it’s really strange taking that step back sometimes. 

[00:05:35] Janina: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, when, for the, probably for the first few weeks, obviously I had to deal with all my clients to make sure that side is covered. And I did quite smoothly in that. You know, I’ve got some absolutely amazing brides and grooms who understood, my situation. And I think I’ve lost one couple, but that’s purely because they actually own wedding venue as well. So we couldn’t match the dates for them not to be busy work-wise and not having their own wedding and booked weddings at their place. So they’ve actually not rebooked new date because they have no idea what they’re going to do now.

[00:06:09]Carla:  Oh, it’s so sad. It’s so hard. So, so at first, were you like, I mean, I suppose we were all kind of went into this a bit blind didn’t we, I mean, I thought, Oh, it’s a couple of weeks off, you know, and it was quite exciting.

[00:06:22]Janina:  Exactly and I think that’s what hit first. The, the kind of excitement that we are allowed to do nothing. For once in our life, I felt like I’m actually allowed to sit in the garden and enjoy myself without feeling guilty of, Oh, I need to do this. I need to do that because you’re not allowed. Um, Yeah. So I think the excitement hits in.

[00:06:43] Carla: Oh yeah. I know. 

[00:06:44] Janina: I can go lay in the garden. 

[00:06:46] Carla: Well I think at first, at the very beginning, it was like, I was just, you know, I’ve, I’ve put these before, but I was doing, um, Joe Wickes. I was baking. I was, you know barbecue.

[00:06:57] Janina: I think we should finish conversation now. I didn’t do that.

[00:07:04] Carla: Oh do you know Janina thats it, I had a timetable up, this only lasted like one week. I know. And that was it. Then I never did it exercise again and just ate my way through, um, lock down. But it, it was, yeah, at first, obviously it was scary because there’s so many people and you’re hearing all of these terrible stories about these people dying. It was actually. Really weird watching the, watching the TV and Boris Johnson on there being like, and then he caught it. Do you remember? 

[00:07:36] Janina: Oh yes he did didn’t he? Yeah. I mean, actually I’m thinking yeah first few, first week probably I was a little bit on it, like yourself, and then I just thought, well, you know, it’s going to finish soon. Let’s just embrace and enjoy this time with the kids and have some fun within the household. More than stick to, to routine. And I mean, we didn’t have the school. Um, so organised. The first lock down, than this one. Obviously the, the, the recent time the school has been very much on it. A bit too much I would say. Where for the first few weeks it was kind of left all to us. Wasn’t it? 

[00:08:12] Carla: Yeah, it was at first. And I think that was the easier part because once school started giving you a bit of work, then it’s like, you’ve got a job to do when you’ve got to deliver, uh, how many children do you have Janina?

[00:08:24] Janina: I have got two children, a six-year-old and a nine-year-old.

[00:08:27] Carla: Oh gosh.

[00:08:29] Janina: Both school age.

[00:08:30] Carla: Yeah. So did you start getting schoolwork through? Was it, I mean, after a couple of months or weeks?

[00:08:37]Janina:  Um, with the first one, I’ve managed to find quite a good few things online. Some friends send me some teachers, friends send me some good links to certain things. So Grace, my older daughter, she, she enjoyed doing it herself where I had to spend more time with my little boy. Um, but. He wasn’t interested when me trying to homeschool him at all. So actually through the, the recent lockdown, after conversation with head teacher, basically, she made decision to take him on as a vulnerable child. He’s autistic. So he needed that extra support in school. So he actually went to school for the last few. Well, Since January he was at school. 

[00:09:19] Carla: Yeah that’s good because it’s so hard, isn’t it? I mean like for kids, like the difference is this is the home. This is where they relax. And then.

[00:09:27]Janina:  Exactly. 

[00:09:28] Carla: And then, you know, they’re kicking off. I mean, at one point I was thinking, yeah, George is learning, but his teeth are rotting because every time he’s getting something, you know, he’s doing one thing. I’m like, there’s a sweet, there’s a sweet, there’s a sweet, just to stop the kind of. You know, the usual kickoff where he doesn’t really want to do anything.

[00:09:47] Janina: Well like you said for them. We not teachers, you know? So it was hard probably for them more than for us at times. 

[00:09:55] Carla: Yeah, it was, it was. So what did you find that you were doing mainly during lockdown then?

[00:10:01] Janina: Eating. Eating.I need, I need now I need restrictions for my fridge. That’s what I need. Two metre,  restrictions from my fridge freezer. 

[00:10:11] Carla: Oh I know, I know. Well, I was actually thinking it was a great time to invent a kind of lock for the fridge. One that only opens like every, you know, actual set meal times like breakfast, lunch, dinner, because that fridge, honestly, I’m surprised the handle hasn’t been worn away in my house.

[00:10:32] Janina: It could be really clever that you have to literally put your finger and check your sugar levels to actually see if your body needs food or if you are just greedy. That’s something.

[00:10:40]Carla:  I think we’ve come up with something there Janina.

[00:10:43] Janina: I think we did, didn’t we?

[00:10:45]Carla:  Yeah, that’s it, it’s so hard because honestly, I think as well, when you’re around children, And you’re trying to diet. And you know, when you have to kind of blow the food to make sure, well, I do with George, well, I probably just do it, do that anyways, just to smell it. 

[00:11:01] Janina: You just taste everything don’t you.

[00:11:02] Carla: I know, I just have to, I’m like, well, what if these, what if there’s something wrong with this food? I’m going to have to taste it, you know, then when he leaves it on the plate, it’s like, well, you don’t want to go to waste. There’s people starving out there. You know like my mum used to say, um, anyway. Yeah, it just, um, yeah, it’s. It was, I don’t know if you ended up doing much at B&Q, but I used to bump into loads of people at B&Q and The Range. 

[00:11:27] Janina: Yeah, no, actually, because my husband had to work from home throughout whole lockdown and it was from that point of view. Our house actually went a bit downhill because he, we had to convert one of the rooms, bedrooms to his office because he was pretty much all day on a zoom calls on phone. So I had to keep kids away from him and quiet really. So we had to change a few things in the house to literally accommodate that. Um, so sadly my home was not massively improved and I think he needs time of work now to actually change that back to normality.

[00:12:06] Carla: Yeah, that that’s hard. I mean, that, that was quite hard with Danny working from home and stuff. I don’t know about you, but I was a bit envious. I was like, you know, I wanted to be working a bit and I’m like, Oh God, you know, and there’s no where to go was there really? You could go out for a bit of a walk, but you know, there’s nothing really to do.

[00:12:28] Janina: No, no, it was so quiet. The roads were so quiet. It was a quite weird and so strange wasn’t it? Because the second lockdown. Not many people took it seriously. So it was still busy in everywhere. 

[00:12:39] Carla: I know it was actually, yeah. I found that I found that it was, yeah, the roads. I was thinking this isn’t right. You know.

[00:12:47] Janina: Well, funny story, um, in the recent lockdown where it was still like. Don’t go anywhere except work. I had commercial business, the business shoot in Leeds, and it was middle of the week lunch hour. So you would think empty on motorways. And we in a lockdown. Ended up in a mass of traffic. I was really busy and the journey which normally takes me two hours. It took me six.

[00:13:11] Carla: Oh my God. 

[00:13:13] Janina: Yes. I thought, wow, are we really in lockdown? 

[00:13:17] Carla: Oh my god. That’s crazy. So, Janina, how did you find like, you know, homeschooling in general then do you think you’ve got a better relationship with your children since having, um, that time off with them or, or was it really hard? What was your honest opinion of it?

[00:13:39] Janina: Homeschooling I found extremely difficult. I must say, um, English is not my first language and to try to teach, especially a six year old phonics and things like that. I’ve never learned. It was really difficult for me. That’s why we decided to send them to school, uh, or the head teacher. Um, but I didn’t enjoy it at all. I must say the homeschooling, I found it a bit, even too much pressure from the teachers, especially the second time down, because obviously at that point I’ve already. Uh, my work’s been quite busy when it comes to admin to new bookings, to rebooking again from this year to next. So I had to focus a lot on my work as well as homeschooling, as well as. Everything else. Um, certain things I couldn’t do at the time, in the morning at nine o’clock log in, you know, I had to take the computer away and make sure I do deal with my clients because that the money at that point is really important. Um, so I had few emails with the teachers saying, you know, kind of leave me to it because I can’t do everything, you know?

[00:14:42] Um, so yeah, I found that difficult, really difficult and frustrating, I must say. But my relationship with kids actually, you know, when it was nice weather, I thought, well, no, I’m not going to homeschool you today. We’ve got  lovely weather. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s go to the park. We allowed to do that. And in the summer, actually, when everything we thought was slowly going back to normal. We took a lovely little road trip, 6,000 miles in a car. 

[00:15:07] Carla: No.

[00:15:08] Janina: Yes. Up and down the country basically. We went all the way East coast down to East Anglia, Devon. Yeah. All over. So I had a fantastic time.

[00:15:19] Carla: That sounds so lovely. Oh that sounds great.

[00:15:22] Janina: And those two actually in a car really surprised me, especially trip to Devon. Obviously it’s quite a long trip and they didn’t sleep at all for five, five hours. Yeah. They were wide awake, singing happy. Um, yeah, I’ve enjoyed that, that I kind of glad because we would never have that back. They only kids once.

[00:15:45] Carla: Yeah, exactly. And it’s memories that will last forever. 

[00:15:49] Janina: Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:15:51] Carla: Yeah. I don’t know about you. I mean you, um, but around Christmas time, did you find that you had family round? Did you do that? Did you embrace that or did you kind of keep it. 

[00:16:03] Janina: Yes we had what we were allowed pretty much. Uh, my mum’s been in my bubble throughout the time. So, uh, well, except the first lock down, we weren’t allowed that point, bubbles, I didn’t see her then, but yeah, we did have a Christmas day, uh, with, with closest family, which was really nice. It was really lovely. And we had the first time in our house. Cause normally we go to my father-in-law. Um, but I don’t remember what was the reason. Um, but we ended up doing it here and it was really nice and relaxing was probably one of the best Christmas. 

[00:16:35] Carla: That’s I said as well. And do you know what I noticed is that I really appreciated it more.  It’s like little things like with my, um, friends, we sat in the garden the other night and it’s like, we’d not been together for ages, well obviously, for a long time. And do you know, I just had such a good night a night, that I’d normally just be like, yeah, yeah. It was good. It was almost like it’s, it’s just empowers even more. How much people mean to you? 

[00:17:03] Janina: Yes. I think that’s, what’s gonna really. Be so much more appreciated the moments with people, the people that actually the first few weeks we’re going to be all over the place. When we allowed to go to pub, allowed, to meet friends.

[00:17:18]Carla:  Literally all over the place.

[00:17:19] Janina: Literally all over the place yeah.

[00:17:24] Carla: Oh no, honestly, do you know what that’s where I’m at at the moment? I think to myself, I wish I had a blooming and started being healthy. Like, you know, at the beginning of the lockdown or at least after Christmas, because I just can’t believe how much I’ve eaten.  

[00:17:38] Janina: So I have put a lot of weight on during first lockdown, I will totally admit it I have put over stone on throughout the first lockdown. But then after Christmas, I kind of saw my calendar and how busy I’m going to get. I thought, do you know what I need to a fit to my wedding clothes. I can’t afford new wardrobe at the moment. Um, and I need to be able to work again for 14, 15 hours. Um, so I did start a little bit, uh, routine of a bit more walks, running and things like that. So I’m trying to be on it, trying, Easter was a bit of a disaster.

[00:18:13] Carla: Yeah. That was hard Easter. Do you know, that’s the day I decided, well, do you know what it was, is I saw a picture my brother put on of me and honestly I must take them from a different angle. You know, where it’s really high up and like you can’t see my multiple chins. Well, you know, my brother took this picture and I thought, that isn’t me. Is that me?. Anyway, he got a message. Take that down. And I thought, do you know what? I literally need to do something. So Easter Sunday is actually when I started  again. Well, for the 15th time this year. But it’s hard though. It’s so hard, but, um, yeah, I, I am looking forward to things getting back to normal, but I’ll be truthful. Part of me, is  a little worried as well, because I used to feel like I was so busy all the time, birthdays, you know, weddings and all that. I mean, weddings, I’m not a photographer, but you know. 

[00:19:07] Janina: Of course friends.

[00:19:09] Carla: Yeah, exactly. And then like now, you know, I almost feel a bit like, I don’t know if I’m ready for all that. I don’t know if I’m ready to get back to how it was before.  I’ve liked being able to kind of just go and then that’s it now I won’t see you for six months. You know, I just, I dunno, I dunno if I’m ready to go full whack back into normal life.

[00:19:33]Janina:  Do you know well, loads of people said that and I think actually they’re, the slow opening done by government. It probably it’s a good way because if it was sudden. Would it be too much? 

[00:19:45] Carla: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I think so.

[00:19:47]Janina:  I mean, I miss my hairdresser massively. What I’ve done, she’s going to kill me when she sees me.  That’s something I’m looking forward sorting. 

[00:19:58] Carla: Yeah. Oh no. Have you been dying your own hair then?

[00:20:01]Janina:  I did. Yeah. 

[00:20:02] Carla: Yeah. I don’t blame you. I’ve left the mine.

[00:20:05] Janina: I’m going to be told off.

[00:20:06]Carla:  Oh yeah, no, I know. Well, the thing is though, you just don’t want to, at least if you’re at home and stuff, you want to look in the mirror and feel okay. Don’t  you?

[00:20:15] Janina: Yes. For the first again for the first few months. I didn’t. But then when we went on a road trip and I wanted some nice pictures with kids and things like that, I just thought, you know, I just need to need to do it. Um, and I think again, just so much grey hair within the last six months is just terrible. I thought, no, I can’t, I can’t walk like that. 

[00:20:35] Carla: No. No.The thing is you want to feel good don’t you as well. 

[00:20:39] Janina: Absolutely. And if those little things make you feel better, why not? 

[00:20:43] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Well, you know, my part of my problem, which I had the other day is I actually tried on some jeans. Now I’ve not worn jeans for a very long time. And honestly, you know, like it took me probably a good. A good seven minutes to get them from my ankle to my body. And I’m lucky I managed to fasten it. Now the zip wont fasten. And I think I’ve bust the zip, but I’m like, do you know what I’ve been just buying and wearing trackies, like all the time. And like, literally it’s like, I just don’t care anymore and I need to pull myself out of it because I’ve just, I don’t know. 

[00:21:25] Janina: I absolutely agree. Literally, I think I’ve been living in the night pyjama and the daytime pyjama. And do you know what? I had a shock to the system. This is funny when I had to put a bra on.

[00:21:37] Carla: Oh yeah.

[00:21:38]Janina:  To go out  for school run. I was like, Oh, now is the time I need to lose some weight. 

[00:21:43] Carla: Oh I know, well that, it’s that back fat for me. That’s what 

[00:21:47] Janina: It’s exactly that, I though that I can feel. 

[00:21:50] Carla: Yeah. Oh, it’s an awful feeling that, isn’t it? Oh, when it’s digging right in as well, not no better feeling then taking your bra off at the end of the day it there?

[00:21:58]Janina:  Oh, absolutely. 

[00:22:00] Carla: But I totally know what you mean. It’s just, um, I think, I don’t know. I think for me like the lockdown, I think George. And, you know, we found some really fun things to do. Like we go zombie hunting now, which is just a walk on the park, but we pretend  everyone else is zombies, which is quite fun. But, um.

[00:22:20] Janina: Thats fun.

[00:22:20]Carla:  Yeah. Well, actually, it’s funny what you do when you improvise when there’s actually nothing, nothing around. But in terms of like getting back to normal. I don’t think things. For me personally, we’ll ever go back to the way they are, because I don’t think I’m as, I don’t think I’ll oblige to everything all the time now. You know, like if you get asked to do, go on birthdays and stuff, if it’s not convenient, I don’t think I’ll be going. You know, whereas I used to really like really try and go out my way to try and make people happy. I think it’s more about making your family happy. Isn’t it? And then anyone thereafter. 

[00:22:58] Janina: But what a great lesson that is really, that is amazing. You know, that what you said there is absolutely gold, I think. 

[00:23:04] Carla: Yeah, I know. Well, I think that’s, we’ve lived in a world where we were always trying to make everyone else happier. Aren’t we? Well, we have been. Yeah. And. 

[00:23:13] Janina: Absolutely. And it’s time to really focus on ourselves a little bit. 

[00:23:18] Carla: It really is. So, so what do you think you’ve learned from lockdown about yourself? 

[00:23:24] Janina: That I probably, that I can really enjoy my own company. I came to the point where I didn’t miss people as much as I thought I would. Obviously spoke to people a lot through zooms and stuff like that. But the, the people who were close to me became closer. For sure. And obviously there was many people who are kind of. Not moved away, but naturally separated. Um, and I know we all busy and I’m sure we were all going to catch up in some point. Um, but I definitely became closer to some of my friends and family members and moved away from some as well naturally, but I probably later learned that I enjoy my own company a lot.

[00:24:09] Carla: Hmm. Yeah, that’s really good that isn’t it? Because I think, you know, when you work so much, like you did before, you don’t actually know what you like on your own, because you never really on your own that often are you?

[00:24:21]Janina:   Yeah. 

[00:24:22] Carla: Always working all the time and stuff. So that’s really good. What do you do for yourself? Do you find time for self care and stuff like that? Or what, what do you enjoy on your own? 

[00:24:34] Janina: Uh, I’ve really enjoyed good long bath for sure. That’s, that’s my really nice treat, which is very rare with kids around, without one of them, at least trying to get to the bathroom and needing something, although there is another toilet in the house and, uh, 

[00:24:51] Carla: I know, yeah, that’s it. George, that’s like George’s calling when I have a bath to come in and do his business literally. And them I’m sat there in the bath like thinking this now I feel like I’m going to smell worse than before I got in.

[00:25:08] Janina: I like a good read. I like just lie down on the sofa and have a good read or go to the beach with, uh, some audio books. Um, Yeah. I love literally just a nice stroll on my own with audio books in my ear. That’s probably my favourite thing. 

[00:25:22] Carla: Yeah. I love a good audio book. I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone there.

[00:25:26] Janina: Exactly you’ve got a bit of me-time. You’ve got a bit of exercise and you are learning something. 

[00:25:31] Carla: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, no, I know exactly what you mean. I think for me, um, I don’t do very well on my own at all. Like with my own company, because my. I think my that’s when I get all these like negative thoughts, like, and you know, I’m trying to currently learn how to switch them off, but when I’m on my own, it’s almost like, Oh, you shouldn’t have said that, or you shouldn’t have done that. Or, you know, like all this oh George should be learning more. You’re not spending enough time with him. You’re not doing this. And if you’re not doing that, and it’s constantly like, beating myself up constantly. So I don’t really actually enjoy my own time. Now I’ve been trying, like I bought a colouring book from home bargains the other day, and I’ve been colouring in a bit there and sometimes when I make myself do it, I enjoy it, but I just feel like, I don’t know. I just don’t. Enjoy it. I did start couch to 5k, which was really good. 

[00:26:24] Janina: Oh, amazing. 

[00:26:25] Carla: Yeah. And I enjoy that because I’m doing something. Um, but what I’ve realised is I’ve got, I never thought I’d see the day of this. You know, I’ve got a bit obsessed with cleaning. Um, honestly, it’s great. Um but.

[00:26:38] Janina: You are welcome to come to my house anytime.  

[00:26:42] Carla: Do you know what it’s a shock to the system really? Because that’s what I think I’ve been doing to keep my mind busy. You know, so I’m not just sat relaxing. Um, but I really do struggle, um, just to sit and enjoy my own company. 

[00:27:01] Janina: I mean, I don’t sit still. That’s, that’s probably issue. I do have, uh, even when I, when we go on holidays, I’m not one of these to lay down by the pool and just lay still. I need to, I’m fidget fingers. Um, but that’s my probably time. That’s how I relax by doing something. 

[00:27:18] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:27:20] Janina: Except the bath time, that’s when I want to be left alone. 

[00:27:22] Carla: Oh, I know. Yeah. That time. Do you listen to an audio in the bath?

[00:27:26]Janina:  No. No.

[00:27:27]Carla:  Do you just have it, do you have anything in the bath?

[00:27:30]Janina:  Um, sometimes I’ll have music on, um, but I’m trying just to literally close my eyes and not fall asleep, but just chill. It’s very rare. Really. Um, obviously with the kids being at home, that kind of, me-time just became a little bit of luxury.

[00:27:46] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Cause we literally had no time did we? 

[00:27:50] Janina: No, no. So when I’ve managed to have me-time, I was like, do you know, I really enjoyed that. I really enjoy being on my own. I was laughing. I was telling the story before about going to Leeds for six hours. One of my good friends literally turned around to me and said, well, at least it’s six, hours of peace and quiet. And I thought, well, yeah, yeah, that’s true. 

[00:28:09] Carla: Yeah. That is true. God. Yeah. Yeah. That is true. Six hours. I bet. That was quite nice at the time. 

[00:28:16] Janina: It was music on, it was belting down as well. So it was quite cozy inside. Warm car heat heating on, on the bum you know?

[00:28:24] Carla: Yes. Oh yeah. Lovely, lovely yeah. I think. Um, a lot of, I mean, a lot of the parents on My Bump 2 Baby, I asked them what their thoughts are quite a lot of people, like I said before, are feeling a bit nervous about getting out there again. Are you nervous about doing weddings photography again? Are you scared you might have forgotten anything or are you excited?

[00:28:46] Janina: I’m super excited. I’ve got quite few pre-wedding shoots. Pre weddings and really within all this time, I did do a lot of online learning. I’ve spent numerous hours trying to improve my photography through learning online. There was loads of workshops. There are loads of things we could work on, and we’ve actually learned to do video as well throughout this time. So I am excited because the, the plans, the, the, my business plan massively changed probably wouldn’t have such a big plans for the future as if not for lock down. 

[00:29:19] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:29:20] Janina: So, yeah, I’m excited.

[00:29:21]Carla:  I think it’s been a really good time to kind of invest in things and time that you wouldn’t normally get. Um, and I think that that’s been, been really, really positive hasn’t it for a lot of people. 

[00:29:34] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. And we had this luxury with a nice weather that I could literally lie down in a garden with a laptop and do online workshop. While I’m tanning and watching kids playing. 

[00:29:43] Carla: Yeah, that’s great. I know it has been, it has been, it’s definitely been a weird time though. Um, have you struggled if you, I mean, you’re quite a positive person, aren’t you Janina, but have you struggled with your mental health during this time? Or did you, did you kind of just feel good throughout? 

[00:30:01] Janina: No, uh, I would love to say I didn’t struggle but I had quite, quiet, bad days many, many times, even yesterday, I had really bad days feeling literally guilty about my home. How disorganised still is, how I can’t get it back to normal, how it used to be. Um, yeah. I had some dark days for sure. And I think it was easy to hide it because we didn’t speak to people. So, you know,  it was like you said, because I come across as such a positive person and I am generally positive, um, but I had some very bad days. And that was, that was shock to me, to myself as well. Probably that’s the, I’ve got that dark sides to me, where I can get really low and crying and don’t even want to speak to anyone. 

[00:30:52] Carla: Mm. Yeah. Do you know, it’s sometimes those people that, um, we can forget about because like I, with my friends and stuff, I’m like, Oh I’m having a crap day. I’ve got a, quite an open person with things like that. So people, you know, you know, I’ll talk about it. Whereas one of my friends who is a really positive person. I’ve never really thought to say are you all right. She’s got a hairdressing salon and, um, and I feel awful for it. But when I met up with her for a walk, we said, um, we said, you know, she was like, I’m really, I’ve really been struggling. And I thought, how insensitive of me not to ask because she never really does struggle. So, and then I felt so guilty, like, cause I thought, Oh God, like you just, some people you just don’t think to ask if they’re okay. Um, and it certainly taught me a lesson really like how I needs to be there more for people.

[00:31:52] Janina: Yeah. I know what you mean because probably. I am that person who not been asked by many if I’m okay, because I’ve always been happy and positive and they probably thought, well, she’s for sure she’s fine. She’s enjoying time with her family and I did, but then the bad days still came now and again.

[00:32:09]Carla:  Yeah, I think the thing is we all get bad days as well.

[00:32:12] Janina: Absolutely.

[00:32:13]Carla:  I think that’s real life, you know, that, you know, it. Mental health or not, you know, everyone, life is, if you didn’t have bad days, you wouldn’t have good days, would you? So.

[00:32:23]Janina:  Absolutely.

[00:32:23]Carla:  And I think, you know, that that’s part of life. Um, but I think there’s, um, I think when you, with the panic attacks and things like that, that people are getting when they’re kind of, there was a lady I was talking to the other day, um, and she was saying about going back to normal life that she’s actually never used to have social anxiety before, but she’s panicking, like she’s worrying, panicking that like about going back to normal life. Like about being around people and stuff like that. And to be honest with you, I can completely get it. 

[00:32:55] Janina: I mean. So funny you mentioned social anxiety because I genuinely never liked crowds. Even though I work obviously in a massive crowd places, weddings are obviously always really busy. I’m hiding behind camera. It’s different. Like I hate shopping. Shopping is literally my biggest nightmare. And throughout the lockdown, uh, Joe was doing, my husband was doing all the shoppings, things like that. Um, But from that point of view, I probably will be a little bit similar. I’m going to hate busy-ness everywhere.

[00:33:31] Carla: Yeah. What is it you hate about it? Just, just, do you think you’ve had a bad experience in the past or do you not, not enjoy like it when it’s busy? 

[00:33:40] Janina: I just don’t enjoy when it’s busy. I could never live in a city. Um, it’s just too much too. I get anxious then it’s not, I’m not anxious about Corona, uh, about catching that at the moment, but it’s just too loud for me and too busy.

[00:33:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I know what you mean. See, I love cities. Like I like the busy-ness cause I think  I like people watching. But I love just watching people, but yeah, I know exactly what you mean there. Um, it it’s going to be, I mean, it’s going to be different, isn’t it? I don’t think people will ever take things for granted again. Like hugging. Are you a hugger? 

[00:34:20] Janina: I am hugger, yes, I can’t wait. Yes. I can’t wait to hug some people. 

[00:34:25] Carla: Oh, I know but even then, like how do you know when you can, do you know what I mean? Like once everyone’s got the vaccine, you’re still not allowed to hug people. I don’t know the last time I cuddled my mum and dad and I thing it makes you sad.

[00:34:40] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. I think us as a hugger, suddenly being forced not to hug, it’s quite hard thing to, to. To do. And it’s probably admit that we miss that as well. 

[00:34:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I do miss that. It’s just an, but that probably those people that aren’t huggers are like, thanks god.

[00:35:00] Janina: Oh they in heaven.

[00:35:04] Carla: You could always tell someone that’s not a hugger cause when you hug them, it’s like hugging a washing machine. Isn’t it? You know they just like don’t move. Just stood there. No I bet they enjoy they’re enjoying that at the moment. But with your children, do you think, um, anything has changed in, in terms of their education. Do you feel like you’re worried about where they’re up to with the education or are you not so worried about that? 

[00:35:30] Janina: I think they catching up quite well with, uh, from what I can see, um, my daughter, she, she loves her reading. So from that one, I know she actually read probably more than, uh, than she would if she went to school. Um, I’m sure they’re going to catch up and bounce back from it. You know? I feel sorry for teachers, really sorry for teachers, because obviously they have to deal with. Children who had very strong homeschooling and those who didn’t, uh, probably like my own really, um, but, um, you know, that they, they fast learners, and I think that the time their mental health was so important to look after. They didn’t see their friends, we are generally social creatures. And for me, their mental health was more important than education throughout the lockdown. And I thought if we can do some fun things, because they miss their friends so much. I’d rather do that, then sit them in front of a computer. Yeah. Trying to force to teach something, which is probably doesn’t even sink in.

[00:36:32] Carla: No, no, exactly. I mean, I, that’s one thing for me where like with George, because he’s an only child, uh, while I was working or replying to things, I just feel so guilty. Cause he literally had no one to play with him. He’s quite shy as he’s already. So if you say to him, hi George, like sometimes he’ll. Won’t shut up, and other times he won’t even like speak. So, so I was a bit worried about how we was going to be after that really. And I, I mean, he’s back at school, he seems to be absolutely fine. Um, but when they’re an only child, you just kind of worry that like they’ve got. They’re going to just not be very social or that he’s lonely inside and I’m not spending enough time with him. Cause I’m trying to do work around him and stuff like that. Um, that that was a challenge. 

[00:37:20] Janina: Oh, that’s that’s I can imagine that’s really hard for you because yeah. When the, when the, when the. When they’re on their own, it’s so important for them to, to be around other children. I think this is why schools, you know, when they opened, I was all, let’s get them to school because it’s really important for them to be around other children. I mean, my two start to fight a lot. They fight probably from the second they wake up and that’s a shame really that, that created within a lockdown because they’ve been so much to just two of them. Uh, but then they would, they love each other to bit as well. 

[00:37:54] Carla: That’s  part of the fun when you are a sibling, though, I remember me and my brother had some awful arguments.

[00:38:00] Janina: Do you know what? I’m laughing because Grace was, uh, I was always saying to Grace, don’t, you know, don’t be nasty to your brother. Cause one day he’ll give you back and the day has come. So now she’s like, Oh, he hit me. I’m like, well, I did tell you two years ago to be nice to him. 

[00:38:14] Carla: Yeah. Exactly. 

[00:38:15] Janina: I loved a couple of days ago. Uh, well, not days, weeks before, before Easter, I was walking past school and I saw children playing and it was such a beautiful view, you know, just to see them happy, laughing, running around for, we needed that, you know them to be back in schools.

[00:38:35] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that you said that because I think, um, you know, a year, two years ago, you’d have just walk past that and not even thought about it. 

[00:38:43] Janina: Yeah you wouldn’t even think twice. Yeah, absolutely. 

[00:38:46] Carla: Yeah it’s like at Christmas. I remember just looking at my Dad and my Mum and stuff. And I remember just thinking, God, you know how thankful. But its things that when things move so quickly in life and you’re working and then it’s weekend, and then its this, you just feel like you’re constantly on this kind of. You know, a conveyor belt almost, and you’re not really seeing what’s around you and the beauty of, of outdoors and children, like you said, laughing and playing and all of that. 

[00:39:15] Janina: Yeah. It’s like you said before, it’s just those little things we’re going to appreciate so much more. Oh gosh, locked down. It just seems so weird. Doesn’t it? Do you find yourself? Uh, looking at a calendar when you say something was a year ago or two years ago that you’ve lost it for 2020 for me year ago, it was 2019. 

[00:39:33] Carla: I know, I know I feel like I have lost a year yeah. It’s just trying to keep up with, with everything. But this has been, um, you know, obviously it’s been awful for people that have lost family members and, you know, everything that people have had to go through this last year, but it’s definitely been a learning curve of. Really trying to discover who you are as an individual, really hasn’t it? 

[00:39:57] Janina: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think the most important thing is not to be harsh on each other and be kind to each other, because not to, not to be nasty to, to, or have negative feelings to people who. Haven’t been in touch because like we said before, they might have their own struggles, even if they normally positive or happy people, um, you know, kind of, we need to make it a little bit less about ourselves in a way, when we come out of it to understand that maybe some people really didn’t want to see anyone because they, they enjoyed the family time or other reasons.

[00:40:33] Carla: Yeah. Yeah, I, yeah, I totally agree with that because you just don’t know how much people struggle and some people are talkers and some people just don’t want to really share that and they shouldn’t have to. Um, and I just, yeah, that’s it isn’t it really, it’s just, um, yeah. Being kind, definitely. 

[00:40:51] Janina: Yeah. When we do come out, not to think, you know, Oh, you’ve not spoken to me for a year. So I’m not going to speak to you. It’s it’s not that time. Uh, in the life where this is, you know, testing people really is it it’s its time where we really need to be under understanding to each other. 

[00:41:06] Carla: Definitely. And we don’t have to live in each other’s pockets and, you know, we’re our own person. And do you know what, that’s, what I love about my, my friends is, you know, it can be weeks before I speak to them, I don’t actually speak to them. I’m like, and then, but it’s never like, it’s, Oh, you haven’t spoke to me. Or we all kind of just get on with our own lives and it’s easy. But I have seen quite a few people like, uh, you know, sharing that they’ve not heard from people and stuff like that. I know, but then you just think people are getting on with their own lives. They’ve got their own, they don’t know if they can afford to pay, buy a loaf of bread this week, or, you know, like you just don’t know.

[00:41:45]Janina:  Exactly, exactly.

[00:41:46] Carla: It’s not something people want to share it is?  

[00:41:48]Janina:  Exactly like you were speaking before about you, your hairdresser friend. It’s, it’s just, was so hard for so many people and everyone, every single of us dealt with it differently. 

[00:42:02] Carla: Yeah, exactly, exactly. That’s it. And we’ve all had our own struggles and our own down days. And, you know, everyone has, has, well, I haven’t met anyone yet, not met by the way, just to put that out there. I meant online. I haven’t known anyone yet that hasn’t actually had those days. And sometimes it can be the person that you, you know, you don’t think, um, you know would feel down, does feel down sometimes. And it’s just about supporting each other, isn’t it. And just be like no you’re great. You know, and that’s it. 

[00:42:36] Janina: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That  just to be kind one to another, because this is not easy for anyone. 

[00:42:41] Carla: No, exactly. I mean, I certainly have learned that, you know, I, I think, you know, I love all my dear friends bless them and stuff like that, but I think it’s all about looking after yourself and pleasing yourself. And if, if you, you know, you don’t want to kind of do that, that week, don’t do it, you know, and a lot of the time people don’t mind, you know, but I think sometimes you can try so hard to make other people happy that you end up not making yourself happy. Um, and I think it’s about keeping, keeping that really keeping your family happy and your little unit, because thats your little home. And, um, it’s definitely made me realize, I want to spend a lot more time with George. Um, you know, like not, you know, being kind of out, on the weekend or, you know, out in the pubs’s and things. God, don’t get me wrong. I will be there. But it’s, it’s just kind of finding that perfect balance really. 

[00:43:35] Janina: Yeah. Um, uh, there is, I am a little bit worried where I can’t wait to do photograph weddings again, but I’ve got many weekends where I’m probably away for four days or something like that. And that I’m thinking, Oh, I’m going to miss my children. I’m going to miss my home. I’m going to miss my bed. Yes. I’m going to have great time with the couples and that, but I know that that will hit me. When it comes to it. 

[00:44:00] Carla: Yeah. That, that, that’s what another lady actually said. It’s similar to you. She said she was so worried. She has like, she’s worried that she’s going to really miss her children and there’s going to be a bit of separation anxiety around that, which I can completely understand as well. 

[00:44:17] Janina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I had a little shoot on Friday and I was literally all day away from home. Um, and it felt weird. Yeah, I thought oh how am I going to do this for longer than a day? Um, I had had a trip to Scotland for work in October, and that was very hard. I didn’t have much Wi-Fi there. So, um, I couldn’t speak to them as much. And probably that was a good thing because if I spoke to them all the time, it would make me quite upset. 

[00:44:45] Carla: Hm, definitely. No, I know what you mean. I think that’s when you feel bad don’t you? When you speak to them, when you just like miss their little voices and stuff, so, Oh, well, yeah. I think we’ve pretty much summarised, lock down, eating, mum guilt, 

[00:45:02] Janina: Leggings, pyjamas.

[00:45:04]Carla:  Leggings, pyjamas or just pyjamas, you know? Um, yeah. So yeah, I think it’s definitely been a challenge, but also in the long run, I imagine it’s gonna make us appreciate life so much more. 

[00:45:19] Janina: Yeah, definitely hats off to those who embrace the whole thing and become fitter and healthier, you know, hats off to those. I definitely haven’t become one of those, but at least I’m aware of it. 

[00:45:31] Carla: I saw some ones before and after pictures and the woman looked amazing. It almost looked like my before and after, but the other way round. I looked and I thought God, like if you did that the other way round, that is me and these people have just done amazing, they’ve used it as a great time to really focus to on them. 

[00:45:51] Janina: Well done to them. Absolutely. Well done to them. 

[00:45:53] Carla: Amazing.

[00:45:54] Janina: Business wise. I’m happy with what I’ve, what I’ve learned, but health wise. 

[00:46:00] Carla: Well, you can’t get it all right, can we?. That’s what I think. I think you have to just. You know, be kind to yourself, you know, if you’re working hard on your business, you deserve a few treats now and again, so, but thank you Janina for, uh, being our guests. And can you just remind people where they can find you and have a look at your amazing photography? 

[00:46:20] Janina: Oh, thank you. So you can find me on Instagram, just at Janina Brocklesby Photography, and the same on the online. 

[00:46:33] Carla: Brilliant. I’ll put those links in the show notes.

[00:46:35] Janina: Oh thank you.

[00:46:36] Carla: No problem at all. Thanks very much Janina. 

[00:46:39] Janina: It was lovely chatting to you. Thank you very much for having me.

[00:46:41] Carla: Thank you.

[00:46:44] Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:47:07] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:47:29] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email address is And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades of Motherhood.

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