Monthly Parenting Magazine

Interview: Louise Boyce aka Mama Still Got It

Interview: Louise Boyce aka Mama Still Got It

Mama's Still Got It

Absolutely Mama meets model, influencer, campaigner, mama-of-three, and now author Louise Boyce aka Mama Still Got It

Huge congratulations on the launch of your new book ‘Mama Still Got It’. What’s it all about and what made you want to write it? 

Thank you, I can’t believe it myself to be honest. My book is about a year in the life of a mum throughout the school year, with a comedy spin on it of course. From watching our treasured child ruin the school photo, being late for pick-up, the dreaded class WhatsApp groups, Halloween, chocolate advent calendars, and the unmatched agony of parents’ races on Sports Day through to Christmas, Easter, world book day and the summer holidays – when the whole cycle begins again. I chart the euphoric highs and sh*t-soaked lows of parenting – and I haven’t held back. There are many stories in the book that I’ve never shared before… and I’ve given my husband Jesse a ‘right of reply’ (because I bash him a little bit) and my mum writes a chapter on how being a parent has changed over the decades too. I wanted to make parents feel ‘normal’ in their journey, highlighting moments when we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it isn’t just us feeling a certain way. I hope it’s a relatable tonic. Writing a book is something I’ve always wanted to do, so when Harper Collins asked if I wanted to write one I jumped at the chance.

We’re big fans of your cheeky toddler character, Bernie (from your Instagram account Mama Still Got It)! How did she come to life (so to speak!)?  

It all started when my friend Jenny came over to meet my third child. She handed me a congratulations card and a pair of plastic hands with a note saying ‘you’re gonna need an extra pair of hands’.  I thought it was slightly odd as a bottle of prosecco would have sufficed, so the hands were put in my ‘everything’ drawer never to be seen again. 18 months later and we were in the second home-schooling lockdown hell.  While I was trying to work and home school, my five-year-old kept saying to me ‘mummy, mummy watch’ on loop then performed something really not worth watching. I decided to recreate the video and asked my son to “say it again and I‘ll film you”. Naturally he refused, and I wondered how I could create a kid character… then I remembered the plastic hands! I filmed it and sent it to my best mate Jessie who said it was funny… so I posted it and thought, if it turns out badly I can always delete. The rest is history.  

Did you anticipate how much people would relate to Bernie? 

Not at all. There have been many Bernie videos I’ve posted thinking, am I alone in this particular phase and will people be able to relate? Luckily they do, which made me realise I am not alone – and that is the hidden message too – that we are all in this together. If your toddler has a meltdown about the way you peel a banana or the way you sing in the car – you are not alone. Your kid is right on track – and you are doing a great job. 

Mama's Still Got It

You’re also the founder of the ‘Push It Out’ campaign. What made you want to call for more honesty in maternal advertising? 

Growing up in the modelling industry I always knew that the majority of maternity brands didn’t use real pregnant models and instead use a foam bump on very slim models. Naively, I thought the general public also knew this. When I was pregnant with my third child (and the only pregnancy that featured on my social media account) I posted about going on maternity leave at 17 weeks pregnant, because I was showing too much to shoot with my usual clients and and I knew that I wouldn’t get much maternity modelling, especially as a UK size 16. I would be replaced by non-pregnant models with foam bumps. The response from the post was overwhelming.  I received messages from hundreds of pregnant women all over the world – some relieved, some angry, some dieting, some depressed from online shopping. Knowing that women were dieting and feeling depressed from comparing themselves with models they see online (who weren’t even pregnant) made me realise I had to try and make a change. I had so many women behind me asking me to speak up about this so I did! I started a campaign called ‘Push It Out’ asking brands for more honesty in maternity advertising. I was asking brands for a disclaimer on websites to state if the ‘pregnant’ model was wearing a foam bump or not and of course asking brands to use more REAL pregnant models. Luckily brands listened and now more and more websites have a disclaimer when the model was wearing a foam bump, and more real pregnant models have been working more.   

As a champion of body positivity, what would you say to other mums who might be struggling with their body image? 

In my own experience, learning to love my body has taken time. Going from an eating disorder at a size UK 8 to a mother of three at a size UK 14/16 and feeling content doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process and something you have to work on yourself – it’s self-care. Firstly, it’s really important and powerful to change the way you speak to yourself. Be aware of when you speak negatively about your body and ask yourself –  would you say these negative things to a friend? Probably not, so then why say them to yourself? I like to remind myself of all the miraculous things my body has done – my body has kept me going for almost 43 years and battled flu, covid, colds, cuts and scrapes, heartbreak, miscarriage, eating disorders, pregnancy, hangovers, food poisoning and much more. My body has made three perfect people, birthed them and fed them. Life is too short to worry about how your body looks on the beach… and to be honest – no one else really cares.  

And finally, what are the things you love most (and least!) about being a mum?   

I love being a mum – it’s messy and challenging but my gosh it’s rewarding (most of the time). Motherhood is a special bond of unconditional love, sacrifice, and constant learning, adapting, and patience. I love watching them grow and develop into their own unique people with some of mine and my husband’s idiosyncrasies thrown into the mix. It’s an incredible journey filled with pride and joy… The mental load is the thing I find most challenging about motherhood. I read somewhere ‘It’s silent on the outside but sirens on the inside’.  It’s exhausting to think for everyone all the time which of course can turn into anxiety and resentment at times. Comparison is also something I think we all least enjoy. We’re the first generation of mothers to be on social media, so comparison is at an all-time high, however we have to remember we are all unique individuals with different strengths, weaknesses, and life experiences… and it’s so important to remind ourselves that a lot of the time social media is a completely fabricated reality.


Mama Still Got It Finished Cover

‘Mama Still Got It’ by Louise Boyce is out now, published by Harper Collins

Thank you to Louise Boyce (Mama Still Got It) @mamastillgotit

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