Mum’s The Word


Birth ninja, disco-tune lover and terrible food-sharer, Hollie de Cruz (name envy right there) is the founder of The Calm Birth School – the world’s first online hypnobirthing programme. If there’s one lady who can help you ‘keep your shit together’ on D-Day, it is she.

Number of kids?
One, Oscar. He’s four and a half.

Tell us about The Calm Birth School
Hypnobirthing can sometimes be misunderstood and conjure up images of Paul McKenna and Enya albums, so we’ve cut the hippy shizzle and focus on helping women create positive birth experiences rather than pushing the idea of a “perfect” birth.
In essence, The Calm Birth School is a complete antenatal course and the world’s first online hypnobirthing program. Classes are delivered in video modules that arrive in your inbox once a week for four weeks, along with MP3s and a digital handbook. Members also get access to an online support group (it’s like a virtual sisterhood!), so think of it as distance-learning with hand-holding.
My business partner Suzy Ashworth and I founded The Calm Birth School to make this kind of birth preparation more accessible to women all over the world, especially those who don’t have the time, money or inclination to go to a traditional antenatal class.
There’s no vagina-whispering, kumbaya-singing, goddess-channeling nonsense, just simple but specific deep relaxation techniques that will enable you to have a calm, empowering birth

Worst mothering moment?
Not packing spare clothes in hand luggage on our last flight. Oscar obviously needed a wee as soon as we hit turbulence and the seat belt sign came on. I whipped out an empty bottle to manage the operation, but the turbulence foiled that and he ended up hosing down the surrounding seats/people with his water-pistol willy. I then had to strip him off and we walked through passport control with him wearing just a t-shirt. No pants, nothing.

Best mothering moment?
Each time I’m in the moment as a mother. It’s not easy to be patient all the time, but when I slow down and stop rushing we have these beautiful moments. That sometimes means being an hour late because we’ve stopped to look at every twig and bit of dog poo, but that journey and those discoveries really mean something to little humans.

The other day Oscar wanted to do his own shirt buttons up. My inclination was to do it for him so we could be quicker, but I stopped myself and let him do it. It took him the best part of half an hour but he was so happy with himself and I could tell that he was chuffed that I’d watched him doing it without interfering. He gave me a big hug afterwards and I just thought YES!

Dinner party or play date?
You know what, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of your kids playing happily with your mate’s kids whilst you indulge in a G&T, so a boozy play date all the way.

Home or away?
Away. Give me a holiday any day.

Can’t live without…
Belly laughs, love, rad kick-ass women, cold white wine on a sunny day, disco tunes, pistachio ice cream, Instagram. And my boys of course.

Can’t live with…
Tapas. I don’t share food.

What’s the last thing you bought?
A denim pinafore.

Last call?
My grandma. She had a question about her Kindle.

Most pukka thing you own?
My YMC cheetah boots.

Most annoying thing other mother’s say?
I kind of hate it when mums speak like children’s entertainers. In that weird high-pitched voice with cardiac-arrest eyes.

Mommalightyear is…
A wife, momma, and birth ninja who’s slightly obsessed with Instagram. Really though, I’m here to change the way women birth and my goal is to create something that enables all women to enter motherhood feeling confident, empowered and well supported. Becoming a mother has given me the courage and drive to make a difference in the world my boy will be growing up in, and to teach him kindness and compassion for others. That’s what Mommalightyear is about.

Mothering is…
A fierce and love-fuelled learning curve.

Follow Hollie on her beloved Instagram at @mommalightyear

Anna Whitehouse

Founder of Mother Pukka, Anna Whitehouse likes super hero cape-making classes and dislikes the naming of celebrity couples (TomKat, Brange etc.) She tries (and often fails) to parent the shit out of life.



Turns out I’m not an afternoon person either.


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