'Mum guilt is a huge challenge for mums' Falkirk influencer fronts Mother’s Day campaign

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A local mum and influencer is taking part in a ‘more than a mum’ campaign, encouraging people to think about what mums really want and need this Mother’s Day, supporting local businesses at the same time.

Alex Blair, 24, set up her TikTok account @relatablemumalex in 2022 and has now amassed over 1 million likes, as part of a supportive community of mums.

“Growing up and seeing people posting on YouTube, it all seemed really inaccessible but it was something I always wanted to do. I started posting on TikTok about life with my son Ethan, who is now 14 months, and I’ve found it to be a really supportive community where I can go to ask for help, and support other mums in return," she said.

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“Becoming a mum is a huge shock to the system. I remember after having Ethan, my husband had gone back to work, and it felt overwhelming at times. The anxiety mothers can feel after childbirth is both irrational and uncontrollable. It can also be difficult for others to understand, even partners.

Alex Blair is part of a new Mother's Day campaign.Alex Blair is part of a new Mother's Day campaign.
Alex Blair is part of a new Mother's Day campaign.

“Over time, though, I was able to get my confidence back and feel like myself once more. My husband and mum both have Ethan one day a week and I was able to do some social media work with Falkirk Delivers which I’m loving.”

Alex’s work includes promoting small businesses through the Falkirk District Towns Gift Card, which can be spent with over 160 restaurants, attractions and more in the area, part of the Town & City Gift Card initiative.

A Town & City Gift Cards survey with over 370 mums in the UK and Ireland has shown that 77 per cent of mums say they feel guilty spending money on themselves. Clothes, shoes and bags are the items that 76 per cent of mums feel guilty spending money on, followed by beauty treatments, nights out/days out and holidays, meals out and the gym/health/fitness activities. 84 per cent have felt guilt about spending time away from their children.

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Some 92 per cent of mums have wished for more time for themselves and 78 per cent have wished for more time with their friends. A massive 69 per cent of mums are working into the evenings and weekends. Almost a third of mums are spending more than 90 minutes each day on household tasks, with a quarter of mums saying they get just 15 minutes each day purely to themselves.

Ninety-five per cent of mums said they worry more since having children, with children being what tends to worry mums most, followed by finances, partner/love life and work.

A huge 96 per cent of mums surveyed said they’d like to receive a local gift card for Mother’s Day, with beauty treatments and a meal out being the top items mums would spend their gift card on.

Alex, who is also a breastfeeding peer supporter through the Breastfeeding Network, volunteers at support groups in Falkirk, says that ‘mum guilt’ can be a huge challenge for mums: “I’m pleased to be a part of the ‘more than a mum’ campaign because it’s about realising the many different hats that mums wear and the challenges they face.

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"I think ’mum guilt’ is a huge challenge for mums and it can be so conflicting sometimes. On one hand, mums feel guilty about spending time away from their children and on the other hand, they want and need time for themselves.

“There’s also that ‘mum guilt’ about spending money on themselves which I think stems from wanting the best for our children and putting them first. Worry is a big challenge too, from whether we’re doing the right things as a mum, to financial pressures. When we’re happy though, and when we do take that time for ourselves, we’re arguably better mums because we’re in a better place and feel more positive.

“The District Towns Gift Card is a fantastic idea for Mother’s Day because it gives mums the gift of local choice and they can spend it on what they want to spend it on, maybe even trying a business they’ve never tried before. If you give cash it will often go on things for the house or kids but a gift card is something that’s just for mum to spend.

“It’s so important to support our local businesses because if we don’t use them, we’ll lose them. It’s so easy to shop on Amazon but by choosing local, we get a more personal experience and we’re supporting people’s livelihoods at the same time.”

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Stefanie Paterson is assistant BID manager at Falkirk Delivers and said support for local this Mother’s Day and beyond is vital “The reality is that many of us think twice before spending money on ourselves, especially in the current cost of living crisis. And that’s what makes a District Towns Gift Card an ideal Mother’s Day gift as mums can treat themselves to the things they might usually think twice about, from a pampering treat to a meal out with friends, new clothes to anything else they fancy, all supporting our fantastic local businesses.”

Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex, he stated: “Our ‘more than a mum’ campaign shines a light on what it means to be a mum in 2024, some of the challenges that mums face, and what mums really want and need this Mother’s Day.

"By choosing the District Towns Gift Card this Mother’s Day, you can give your mum choice and freedom to spend the card as they choose, helping local businesses at the same time.”

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