Modelling and Motherhood Pt II: Jen Dawson & Louise Inchley Share Their Experiences…

So! Yesterday I was talking about how I’d rather get a rescue chinchilla than have a baby. But that I’m aware my priorities may change in the next few years, and the order might become 1) baby, 2) dog/cat 3) cat/dog (my preferences change according to what youtube video I just watched) 4) duck 5) chinchilla.

So I did what I always do when I’m unsure in life – I chatted to my friends and asked them inappropriately probing questions. And they all responded with heartfelt, thoughtful answers and I didn’t edit them at all cos I found what they had to say both moving and fascinating!

First up, Jen Dawson, who is a hugely successful model and you will have all seen her on TV screens, billboards and magazines.

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Google her. Her body – with it’s eye-boggling boobs, slender waist, amazonian height and white skin (sorry I sound like a perv. But LOOK!)

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has made her famous and a firm favourite with top photographers like Meisel and Lachapelle over the years.

I asked her about modelling and motherhood…

1) Hi Jen! You have a gorgeous daughter, Zuni. Had you always wanted kids?

Heyyyy! No I didn’t want children at all till I met my ex husband. I fell pretty hard for him and wanted to procreate like rabbits. I was about 29 when the urges began.

2) Did you feel as though you delayed kids for modelling, or was it all very organic?

I didn’t delay it once I met him for work reasons. He wasn’t ready and he was a musician. I was making all the money so it didn’t make sense for the sole money earner to stop work.

3) What were your main reservations about having a kid, as a model?

I didn’t really have any. I knew it would change things but I wanted to be a mum so I didn’t care about the consequences. The urges were too great to think about things like consequences

4) I saw your bod a year after having Zuni and my eyes were out on stalks. Did you worry about that side of things?

As you get older you have to work harder on your body to keep it in shape, regardless of having a baby or not. I was lucky to not get stretch marks but I kept myself well oiled. Your bod is gonna change embrace it. It’s waaaaaay harder to get your shape back. I have a personal trainer usually 3 times a week. And don’t eat as much as I want to and I know I’ll never get back to a size 10… And I wouldn’t want to. I look like such a luscious babe! My body shape did change and I popped it into a new shape the hard way. And I love it. I’m on fiyahhhh

5) How do you find balancing motherhood and modelling?

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There is no balance. Being a mum comes first. Especially for me being a single mum. If a job comes in, I want to do it to have a break from mum duties. I get to have amazing hair and makeup and prance about having fun. And it’s great to have money coming in and not having to rely on alimony

6) To anyone thinking about motherhood – what would your advice be?

Get everything out of the way that you want to do travel wise… Enjoy the little things like sitting in the toilet without an audience, and getting to drink an entire cup of tea. Enjoy not having to answer the question, “Why” every few seconds. Daydream. Sleep. Have sex. Get drunk and enjoy the hangover.

Now onto MTF favourite Louise Inchley (modelling name Adkins), who has contributed to many articles and interviews on the website. I know that Louise (like me) has many hang ups about her body (despite her body being incredible!) so I wanted to ask her about those.

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Louise has had a beautiful little daughter named Esmae (great name) who, following in her mama’s footsteps, is already very photogenic! Here’s what Louise had to say about motherhood…

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1) Hello! I’m sure you have no regrets now Esmae is in your life – but what were your main fears, as a model, before you had her?

My main fears in regards to having a baby and being a model would probably be that I would put on a huge amount of weight while pregnant and never lose it (which I didn’t). That I would be over the hill and get dropped by my agency (which I didn’t). They have been fully supportive and even drove all the way to Leicester to meet Esmae.

2) Let’s talk body first, because you have been on quite a journey of acceptance with yours, and we discussed your fears in our interview! How do you feel in your body now? Has it been hard to get in shape? Do you care more or less about it?

I have a very love/hate relationship with my body. I was amazed and in awe of my body after Esmae was born – I could not believe that my little miracle had been created inside of me, and I was able to sustain her life purely on my own for the first 6 months of her life. I continued to breastfeed till she was 10 months old and it was the best 10 months of my life. During that time I discovered I had diastasis recti or abdominal separation, which is where the stomach muscles don’t come back together correctly after birth. So I have spent a long time building my stomach strength and getting my abdominal muscles to work how they are supposed to.

I still have major hang-ups about my body, how it feels to me on the inside is completely different to how it felt before I had Esmae, but also how it looks on the outside is different too. I have a lot of stretchmarks, which are slowly fading but have changed the look and feel of my stomach and hips. I also spoke previously about my stomach pooch and crease line, which I still have but the pooch is now more ‘squishy’ and has small stretchmarks on. I do have a love for my stretch marks sometimes as without them I wouldn’t have Esmae, but sometimes I think they make me look horrible and flabby. It’s hard to explain, I am also not sure if some of it is not psychological, but I think the crease line enhances the pooch and flab.

Since I discovered I had the abdominal separation I have been slowly building up my body strength and I now try to work out at least 5 days a week for 30 mins- 1 hour, which can be tricky with Esmae climbing all over me! It has been a really long, slow process and I can say that I now feel a lot better in my skin. I am not where I want to be with my body but I am closer to it than I was.

I also feel more confident now, than I did. I still don’t feel comfortable in my underwear but fully clothed I feel much happier. I think a few more months of moderate exercise and I will be more happy. I think that I care more now than I did about how my body looks as it’s just harder to get to where I want now, but I am determined to get to a place where I feel comfortable again in my own skin.

Maybe I should just be pregnant for the rest of my life as this is when I felt the more confident, sexy, and happy with my body!!!!

LouiseAnewlookLouise modelling whilst preggers!

3) And how about lifestyle? I realise you’re with Phil, who works and can support you, but you’ve always worked yourself. Are you going to try and get back into it?

I do want to get back into work. I am currently doing admin 1 day a week, so Esmae goes to daycare, which she loves, I am also trying to get crafty again which is difficult at the minute with house renovations and an impending house move. I am hoping to get more into work when we are settled in the house and I have the space to be creative.

I am not going back to midwifery [prior to Esmae Louise had been at college, studying – R], I don’t think I could face going back to uni and missing out on the next two years of Esmae’s life. If I could go back in a few years when she was bigger and understood more then I might have considered it, but the course must be completed within 5 years of starting the it, and I am not willing to only see her maybe a few times a week for a few hours – she is growing too fast as it is! So I just don’t want to miss anything.

To get back to anything full time is going to be a challenge while Esmae is small, as childcare is so expensive and I would need to earn a large sum to make it financially viable, which is why I am considering things I can do at home.

4) Do you miss modelling?!

I love modelling and really miss it. I hope that when I feel more confident in my skin I can go back and do some more.

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5) Esmae is a gorgeous girl. How has she changed your life?

She has changed my life completely! She is my number 1 priority. It is amazing how you can be so alert at 3am when your baby is crying. Whenever I have to do something without her, like work or do something on the new house, she is always on my mind…‘Is she ok? Is she happy? How can I make her life better?’ It’s crazy how much you over worry

6) And if she wanted to model, what would you feel and say? I would be happy for her to model. However, I would not let her start before she was finished with school. I got into it just as I was starting uni and I think that is a good age to start. I don’t think I would be happy if she was any younger, but if it was what she really wanted I would like to say I would let her, but I would be going to every shoot and casting with her till I felt she was confident enough to know her own mind, and speak out if she ever felt uncomfortable with anything on a shoot or at a casting.

Thanks to my lovely model mates for their candid answers. Their daughters are as scrummy as their mums!

Look out every week for a modelling and motherhood post.

Rebecca x

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2 Comments

  1. Great read and covers the good, bad and constant pull of being a working mum. I totally appreciate the honesty about body shape and changes that go with motherhood especially when your body is up for scrutiny, plus this kind of industry mentality of being unsupportive but this displays it’s not always like that.
    Being freelance I have to say it’s all been a blessing as I find plenty of quality time with my son.
    Thanks for sharing.

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