Anna Kubel on motherhood, Instagram and Swedish Christmas traditions
We interview Anna Kubel, photographer and content creator. Anna lives in Sweden and is mama to two daughters. We caught up with her to find out what it’s like raising a family in Scandinavia, and how she will be celebrating Christmas with her family.
How did you get into photography and styling and what do you love most about it?
I love to capture the small moments and everyday magic and I have always loved to take pictures. I started very early and then I studied photography, but I never planned to work with it. Today it is my full time work and I love it. I meet so many inspiring people and get the chance to see the most lovely places every day.
How important is Instagram to your work and what do you like and dislike most about the platform?
Instagram is a big part of my work today so I guess it is very important to me. Instagram gives me so much and all the sweet people out there, I could not be more thankful for all the love I get every day. Some people say that Instagram makes them stressed, but I think you have to find a balance between the ‘Insta-life’ and the real-life. A smart woman once told me “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” and that is so true and we all have to remind ourselves that.
What’s it like raising a family in Sweden?
I guess Sweden is a great country for having a family, UNICEF ranked Sweden as one of the world’s best places to raise children. It is very good to have help from the system like parental leave, daycare and more. I guess when you are living here you sometimes forget how lucky we are to have all of this, for free! The fact that you get paid parental leave for at least one year, isn’t that just amazing? Also, we are very equal and many families share the time and care of the kids.
How will you be spending the festive season this year?
We are going to celebrate Christmas Eve in our house with my parents, grandparents and brothers. We always start with a lunch and then the children go out to search for Santa, they are so excited. Afterwards we are having a dinner with a lot of food and then Santa (our neighbour) is coming with Christmas gifts. I am a big fan of Christmas and I love to start the festive preparations early in December – baking gingerbread cookies, decorating the Christmas tree and all of that – it is a lovely time of the year!
What are your family’s favourite Swedish Christmas traditions?
I think that Christmas time is magic. I remember Christmas when I was a child – it was the best day ever. In the morning we always woke up very early and got a small Christmas gift. I think the mornings are so cosy and I want to give my kids the same great Christmas memories as I had as a child. Christmas should be no stress and just cosiness and love and we are very good at that in my family!
And finally, best and worst bits about motherhood?
There are SO many good things about being a mother! Small kisses, the first “I love you”, the first little smile, all the laughter and proud moments when you see your kids doing great things and the moments when you pick them up from day-care and they run to you and give you the sweetest hug. So much love!
Being a mum is also so very hard sometimes. Sleepless nights, tears that don’t stop and the feeling that you sometimes lose yourself. Staying home with kids all day is so much work and the hardest adjustment for me when I first became a parent was accepting the fact that there is never a break, you have to be on your game 24/7. There are also other not-so-fun body changes that are common in the first few weeks, swelling, breastfeeding troubles or stitches after a vaginal tear or c-section. The first weeks with a newborn you feel so sore and that was so hard for me when I had my first daughter Hollie 6 years ago, I felt so sad and sore for weeks. I think it is so important to talk about.