So, September. The summer has literally flown by and now I find myself down three kids and with a day of no plans stretching out in front of me. Of course that is a lie, I’ve actually two months worth of house to sort! Yea, mum life and all that jazz. But back to the blog and if you’ve been here before (welcome back!), you’ll know Monday’s are for mums, real mamas.
Today’s mama is Judith Shevlin mum to little Rory, mental health professional, interiors lover and blogger at French Grey Lifestyle. Judith’s style is impeccable, her Insta grid is delightful but what I love most is that she is a creative mama juggling just like the rest of us!
I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into Judith’s life, and *hopefully* that’s me back to regular posting – typing it will make it happen, won’t it…?!
Can you introduce yourself…
I’m Judith but known as Judy or Jude 🙂
My insta handle is @french_grey_lifestyle
Love it or loath it?
There is no real deep and meaningful reason for this other than back in 2014 when we built our home, a lot of our interiors choices were ‘French Grey’ which I still love by the way, also I kinda like hiding behind this guise, I am not one to put myself out there normally! I kinda cringe when people say ‘Oh! So you’re French Grey…!”
What is your family set up?
At home I have my husband Simon and my little boy, Rory. Simon and I have been together for 13 years and married 5.
Where do you live?
I live in Co. Antrim and lucky to live in the beautiful lush green countryside. We built a house next door to my Mum and Dad in 2013. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else it’s such a happy place for me.
What do you do for work?
I work full time as a Mental Health professional. Mental Health is a passion of mine, even though it can be a challenging field to work in for many reasons I get so much job satisfaction and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
My dream job, not in the mental health field would be to own an interiors shop which would be in a gorgeous period building…it costs nothing to dream!
Three words that describe your household?
Happy, chilled, contented.
Do you think you have a good work/life balance?
This is a toughie! I certainly have guilt that I don’t see Rory enough but I think we make the most of our time at the weekends. I would love to work a bit more flexibly but it’s something I need to give a bit more thought to. My husband travels with his job so we have to squeeze a lot into the weekends.
Any hard rules you stick to both in work & family life?
As I have gotten older and have matured into my job role the only advice I give myself is to go with the flow. It helps you cope with change so much better. I think this mentality comes with experience and I wish I knew how to do this a lot earlier in my career.
How do you relax?
I find relaxing very hard. In the evenings my mind can have quite a few tabs open between thinking about work and the mental load of motherhood amongst other things. The best self care I have added into my life is joining the gym. I go to yoga and a rowing class. They both make me feel like I’m walking on air after, the endorphins are brilliant even though I threaten to cancel my class an hour before almost every time!
Best book you’ve read recently?
“This is Going to Hurt’ really made me laugh and also gave me more empathy for my medical colleagues. I don’t get to read as much as I would like…but I know most of the Peppa Pig series off by heart.
It has always been Indie and Rock for me. I listen to Radio X in the background when at home which is a rock radio station however I am not adverse to a bit of Smooth radio (haha!) My husband calls me the ‘Judebox’ as I can remember the lyrics to almost every song I hear, if only other information stuck as well!
I have always loved ‘Happy Mum Happy Baby’ by Giovanna Fletcher and I tend to listen to TED Talks too if there’s something that catches my eye or I want to challenge my thinking on a certain topic.
How do you and your husband stay connected?
We are finding our flow again after a year of no sleep and very little quality time together. We always take time in the evening to have a good chat with each other about our retrospective days be it face to face or over text. Moving forward (now our little one sleeps at night!) we hope to plan some date nights, nothing fancy, just a coffee and a bit of time out. Prior to baby we didn’t live very wild lives, however we loved to travel in as much style as we could afford, it was our only splurge really.
Style – do you feel you have a signature style?
My style has stayed pretty much the same through my 20’s. I can never imagine my wardrobe without a Breton or makeup without a cat flick on the eye. It has always been my signature look. I suppose as I’ve matured I’m less into fast fashion, although we all fall victim to a trend now and then. I really am trying to buy less and wear what I have and live more sustainably.
Shops you love?
Lets just say I single-handily have kept Topshop in business the last 14 years.
Did your style change since becoming a mum?
I haven’t changed my style too much I just adapted what I had when I was breastfeeding. But a good pair of trainers are now my friend.
Beauty products you love?
My makeup bag is pretty much one of everything from the Charlotte Tilbury counter, as I just think she’s amazing. One beauty item I’ve used religiously since I was a teen is Boots Natural Collection Liquid Eyeliner.
What one piece of advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
I wish I could go back and tell myself to believe in myself. It might sound like a bit of a cliche but I have always been quiet in nature and self deprecating probably to my disadvantage throughout the years. I wish I could take myself back and say ‘yes’ to certain things and probably no to others. However my choices have led me to where I am today and I have more than I could imagine and I am content.