I had the pleasure of interviewing the gorgeous woman behind “Kensington Mums” Founder & Editor Dina Maktabi.
“Kensington Mums was created in 2011 with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences and helping my yummy Kensington Mums learn from one another. Move forward to 2015 and Kensington Mums is now an award winning social media website connecting Mums in their journey through motherhood.”
Tell us something people don’t know about you?
I am not very patient and can click on the touch of a button. Not a good skill to have when you are Mum dealing with tantrums!
What are the 5 most important things to you?
My health – because without it I can not function
My kids – they are my pride and joy
My husband, mother and siblings – as they always have to put up with me
Travelling and discovering new countries and cultures- it enriches me in every way
Who or what inspired you to start the award winning support network Kensington Mums and now Mums in Beirut?
Everything I owe, I owe to my mother. I grew up without a father and my Mother was the pillar in my life, guiding me and supporting me along the way. She is the reason I am who I am today. Kensington Mums was created in 2011 in London, UK with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences and helping my yummy Kensington Mums learn from one another. After having my second baby, the idea of having a bigger network support came to mind and in a sense created a passion in me to help mums outside my group of friends. It occurred to me that mums really need a network support so that they won’t feel alone in a haze of milky delight during the first few months of being a Mum. I then moved to Beirut last year and set up Mums in Beirut with the same concept. Being a Mum is definitely the hardest job. Network support for mums – as the name suggests – supports mums in their journey through motherhood and off course parenting. Sharing tips, swapping advice and ideas are all important in a life of a mother who wants the best for her children.
With such a busy schedule, how do you manage to stay in shape?
I literally run after my kids, thats my daily workout. I always try and take walks near the sea front. I also do bike rides with the family on weekend which is also great fun and keeps everyone fit. I use to take dance classes B.C (before children) so I am currently looking to sign up to a local gym with classes to go with other like minded Mums so I stay motivated. (I need it!)
Any quick tips for getting ready on the go?
I always make sure my phone is fully charged and for those who don’t know me, I have a charger in my bag, whenever I am on the go. I am normally out the door very quickly, with no make up except my lip palm and concealer to hide away all the dark circles (these are hereditary in my family). I am always in flat and wearing clothes I feel comfortable in which is normally jeans and a funky tee. If I have a day of meetings and interviews then thats a different wardrobe altogether. I like to have my hair done as it gives me that extra boost.
For the school run, I always prepare the kids lunch boxes in advance and their clothes so they know what to wear in the morning and everyone is happy.
How do you maintain work life and time with your kids?
I normally work around my kids schedule which means I am normally working when they are at school or in bed. I dedicate my time with them in the morning for the school drop off and after school with sports activities followed by homework and bed time. This is the life of a Mumpreneur. Setting time with my husband is also as important. So we try and have date nights even if its at home watching a DVD this is ‘our time’.
What are the main challenges you come across?
I feel privileged that I am able to be there for my kids on a daily basis and to also meet so many inspiring mothers along the way. One of the challenges of being a full time blogger is dealing with my never ending inbox. Another constant challenge I face is always finding the perfect balance between work and family life. I am a Mum, but I am also a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend.
How do you go about fixing that?
I multi-task throughout the day.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
To always trust my own instincts, and that goes towards everything I do in life especially my kids. Each Mum has her own unique way of dealing with general upbringing of her kids. I would love to invite all Mums from all walks of life to share their motherhood journey with us. This is done online by using one word to complete the sentence ‘I am a Mum and..’ on a mini blackboard or paper. We did that back in 2013 in London, UK and it was very interesting to see what one word mums choose. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @mumsinbeirut #mumsinbeirut
What’s your advice to mothers who want to start their own blog?
Dedication and Passion is key for a successful business as it will show later if not.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love having a massage, so this is my treat whenever I can. Reading a book in bed after a long soak in the bath. Bliss.
And finally take me through a day in your life.
Wake up 6.15am
School drop off 7.25am
Work and run errands in the morning
Lunch with kids at home 3pm
After school activities 4-6pm
Bed and Bath 8pm
Repeat the next day!
Motherhood is the toughest job out there, but I always remind myself that my kids are only little for a short while so I treasure every moment with them.
Make sure you follow @KensingtonMums and @MumsinBeirut so you always stay in the loop with the local scoop