There’s never a dull moment when it comes to outfit inspo from The Fashion Bug Blog’s Laura Wills...
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loyal, strong-willed, loving.
What has motherhood taught you so far?
To go with the flow. I am all about routine but whenever you travel or your child is sick, routine goes out the window and you have to learn to adapt and just go with it. Becoming a mother has also taught me to relax. I suffered from really bad anxiety a few years ago with crippling panic attacks – something shifted in me when I became pregnant with Mila and I have never had them since. I put so much energy and thought into looking after her and making sure she is happy that it doesn’t allow me to focus on things that perhaps before were making me feel anxious.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To stop worrying about the small stuff that really doesn’t matter.
Tell us about your career pre-motherhood?
I worked in fashion for many years but never really felt satisfied with the jobs I had. I am awful at working for other people and knew that ultimately I wanted to be doing something for myself. I launched my blog at the end of 2014 just as we were planning our wedding and although I feel like I am always short of time (what mother doesn’t!), I love that I now have something for myself that I can work on from home.
What do you love most about the world of blogging and what are some of the more challenging parts of blogging?
I started my blog as a creative outlet and because I am obsessed with clothes and quite honestly, in the beginning, I didn’t have any expectations or plans for where it would take me. I have been very lucky my followers are extremely loyal and supportive. I have had the odd negative comment here and there and it’s hard initially to not take them to heart, but you just have to accept that its part of the job. You are not made to be liked by everyone and there will always be people who don’t agree with your taste or with what you say.
What does it take to stand out in the world of fashion blogging?
I think the most important thing is always staying true to your own style and never compromising. Ever. It can feel like it takes forever to gain a following – I remember the day I reached 1,000 followers, it was a HUGE milestone for me. But I think if you stay true to yourself then your followers will see that and stay on that journey with you. My personal style really depends on my mood and the season – in the summer I go for more boho floaty styles (I wear dresses 90% of the time!) whereas in the winter I prefer more put together looks. I wear a lot of midi skirts with statement tops, especially during pregnancy because they are very flattering on the bump! And I LOVE accessories – especially shoes and statement earrings.
Have you always loved fashion?
Yes! I’ve been playing dress up for as long as I can remember and I was always borrowing my mother’s handbags.
What are some vivid memories of your childhood?
I grew up just outside of London and had an incredibly happy childhood. My parents are originally from Finland so we spoke Finnish at home (which I now speak exclusively to Mila) and we spent a lot of time in Finland. We have a summer house which was very idyllic with a sauna, lake, forests and fields. I spent all of my childhood summers in Finland playing outside in nature and those are my happiest memories. My mother has always loved cooking and baking and it seemed like she was always making something delicious for us. I have a brother who is two years older who I am extremely close to and who was always there for me growing up. He married one of my best friends from school and they live in our neighbourhood and have two daughters so we spend a lot of time together. I truly hope my daughters have a close bond like we did.
Talk us through your journey to motherhood – can you share any highs and lows?
I had a pretty straightforward first pregnancy, labour and Mila has literally been the easiest child so I think that had a big impact on our decision to have another so soon. My second pregnancy has been much more challenging. I had a massive scare at 20 weeks as I had a few bleeds and having never experienced anything like that with Mila, I thought I might lose the baby. I have had pretty much all day sickness from week six until now and of course looking after a toddler whilst going through all of this is hard. You want to be the best possible mother to your toddler, but then you have to try and slow down and take care of yourself for the sake of your unborn baby. But when you do rest you feel guilty. Of course, there have been lots of little challenges in the past 16 months such as sleep regressions and it sometimes felt like those moments would never end and I would be sleep deprived forever. But something that I have learned that always helps me is knowing that everything is just a phase. Motherhood has taught me to just get on with things. It has toughened me up. And my husband and I always feel that it’s the toughest moments that are the most bonding for us.
So far, what has been the most challenging part of motherhood and how have you overcome any challenges?
Seeing your child sick is for me the hardest. Mila was never sick until she had her one-year vaccinations when she became really unwell. Recently she caught hand, foot and mouth from nursery and watching her go through something like that and feeling so helpless is tough.
Do you enjoy pregnancy – what do you love most about it and what are some of the more challenging parts for you?
I really do. Even the tough parts. There is something so incredibly magical about growing a human inside you and feeling those movements. And it is just as amazing the second time around. Feeling sick has definitely been a challenge but I would do it a thousand times over because what you get from it is worth every second of sickness. I am so proud of my pregnant body – it’s incredible what we are capable of.
What are your go-to fashion items when pregnant?
I love midi skirts – I find them so flattering with a bump and they work well both in the summer and winter. Floaty dresses are gorgeous in the summer. And earrings! They can dress up even the most simple outfit.
How did you handle the sleep deprivation?
I have no idea – it feels like a distant memory right now! I think when you are in it you just get on with it. I tend to look at things in life with rose tinted glasses anyways but looking back I never felt like it was that bad. Mila had a four-month sleep regression for a couple of weeks and that was definitely tough but otherwise, it became normal. It might be a shock to the system when I have to start getting up again in the night in a few weeks time, but coffee will definitely lend me a helping hand.
What’s your approach to health and wellbeing?
I used to be very focused on this and I was very active throughout my first pregnancy working out right up until a week before my due date. I was quite active in between pregnancies but had much less time of course! And this pregnancy has been very different – I still have morning sickness (all day sickness!) in my third trimester so I haven’t worked out at all and to be honest I just don’t have the time at the moment. But I am planning on making it a priority after I have had my second baby as I think even an hour or two a week can have such a balancing effect on your mind and makes you feel great.
Describe a typical day in your life...
Mila wakes up between 6:30am and 7am and we always spend at least half an hour as a family in bed cuddling and playing. We have breakfast together after which I usually get ready for the day. It then depends a little on what day it is – Mila attends nursery three afternoons a week so for the days she is in nursery, I spend the mornings with her but if she is at home then I plan any meetings/work for the morning and spend the afternoons with her. We love to get out of the house (go to the park, a museum, a playdate, etc.) My husband and I try to have one date night per week or every two weeks, because I think with work and kids, it’s so easy to not make time for each other and I am adamant that we always do. The weekends are all about family time, which we cherish so much.
How do you juggle blogging and babies?
I am still learning! A juggling act is exactly what it is. I try to split up my day – the mornings I spend working on my blog and in the afternoons I focus purely on Mila or vice versa. What I have learned over the past 16 months is that it is impossible to try to do both at the same time. You don’t give either your full attention so its best to fully focus on one or the other. When I am with Mila I want to be a mother who is present and give her my undivided attention so I put all work things out of my mind.
What makes you laugh?
How would you describe your approach to parenting?
Pretty relaxed. I want Mila to have fun and to enjoy being a child so I always try to be playful with. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her happy. But there are a few things that I am strict about such as a “no iPads” rule. I grew up without one and spent most of my time playing outside and had such a happy childhood – I just don’t want her stuck in front of a screen watching cartoons, I would rather she is out learning and exploring but I also realise that things might change when I have two children! We also don’t allow any sugar – I just don’t see the need. But what I have learned about parenting is that it should be everyone’s own choice and I certainly don’t judge others who do things differently! Each to their own. When it comes to tantrums I try to stay relaxed about it – usually whatever the tantrum is about has been forgotten after a few minutes and getting uptight about it certainly isn’t going to help. I try to approach everything with a little bit of humour.
Where are your top three places to go in London with your daughter?
What about travelling – where do you love to travel to and why?
We got married in Ibiza so it will always be a really special place for us and we try to go a few times a year. It’s great with kids. And we love LA. But we try to visit a few new places each year and we are always up for an adventure (we had planned a road trip with Mila from San Francisco to LA going through all the National Parks with a spot of camping thrown in this Autumn but as this pregnancy has been a bit more difficult for me we changed our plans and went to Italy). Travelling has changed a little since having Mila, but we still want to go as much as we can – I want her to see as much of the world as possible.