17 June 2014


Anna, Molly & Neve

Motherhood. That ten letter word which defines the state or time of being a mother, it slips so easily off the tongue and hints at an all inclusive club, a sorority which pledge is that of a full belly, a babe in arms or a child you call your own. It can be joined in a moment and its membership never expires, even those whose arms lay empty after heartbreak will forever be a mother in their bones. I am grateful to be one of these women, no matter how wild the journey can be. I know what it is for me to be a mother as I breathe it every day, from the moment my senses wake and even in unconscious sleep, as my breath escapes me, I am a mother to a boy. I know this as he calls on me so and every decision I make considers his face, I see my strengths and weaknesses as I navigate this life with him, always holding onto me, my ever present shadow.

As part of the new series Oh Mother, I have reached out to other mamas, to catch a glimpse through their eyes as they explore the life around them. Five mothers raising babes in adopted cities that they now call home.

The first amazing woman I'd like to introduce is Anna Blightman, photographer/artist, mother of two gorgeous girls Molly (4yrs) and Neve (6mnths), a British mama living in Berlin. Here she shares some moments with us.

Click to read more. 

1. Describe what the word motherhood means to you? 
A vast word, with thousands of descriptions. Motherhood to me is unconditional love, making exhaustion manageable and tantrums forgivable. Helped by coffee and a quiet five.

2. Tell us a bit about the place you call home?
We live up high. On the fourth floor of a four floor building, this is high for Berlin. Our place is spacious, filled with quirks and creaky floorboards. We've been here since 2011 when Molly was not quite two and the place was unfloored and unfurnished She will be five in July, and our flat is now full, not only with possessions but with people.

3. What are the ups and downs of
    raising a family in Berlin?
Berlin is amazing to raise a young family, brimming with playgrounds, green spaces and kinder cafes. Not to mention very affordable child care. For almost every activity there is an English option, and ice creams are a standard €1 a scoop! On the downside we have no Grandparents nearby to share both the highs and lows (not to mention the babysitting !), and sometimes the misunderstanding of culture makes me feel like I'm floating here with just my family.
4. What is your favourite thing to do in Berlin with your kids? 
Before Neve, cycling around the city was my favourite thing to do with Molly. The summer has brought on the lust for being outdoors, in the parks, at the sommerbads (lido). In the winter, a waffle and a hot chocolate at one of the multitudes of cafes is a great way to warm up after sledging!

5. How has becoming a mama changed you? 
I'd like to say i'm infinitely more patient, more relaxed and less greedy. I think I am really too tired to care!

6. How does the cityscape influence your parenting style? 
I'm not sure how to describe my parenting style, or how living here influences it. There is lots of interesting exhibitions, pop up workshops, young fashion labels and more for children. It is always interesting to see what is happening. The creative city perhaps encourages one to be more creative in your everyday life.

7. How do you achieve a creative work-life balance? 
My creative - mother balance isn't really ever achieved. I look after the children when they need me, and create when I have time…I'd say one completely outstrips the other at the moment. But she is only six months old. My children become my creativity. I often use them in my photos, or, for example, I really enjoy cooking and baking for and with my children, so I've started to create some recipe cards. Everything just takes so much longer.

8. What's your favourite thing to do in the city when you're child free? Without children I like to walk quickly, take pictures, go swimming, oh and sleep. The occasional meal out, or cinema visit is always a treat.

9. How would you describe the childcare in Berlin? Childcare here is very affordable. Berlin is a very child friendly place, and the childcare reflects that. Not without complaints, but when you pay so little you don't feel that it has to be perfect. I am lucky too, to be able to be there for my children.

10. What the best parenting advice your mother ever gave you?  The best advice my mum gave me was to have my first child when I was doubting it all (and again with my second!).

Thanks Anna for sharing your thoughts with us. You can see more of Anna's Polaroid work at petitepost,  Anna's blog and here



  1. What a lovely read, thanks for sharing x

  2. I love hearing about other Mother's experiences. Love the pictures in this post too! x

  3. Thank you for sharing this , loved reading your post .x

  4. Having good childcare at reasonable costs is a massive plus point

  5. Beautiful photos! That chocolate Orange cake looks yummy!

  6. Lovely idea for a series! Last time we visited Berlin I saw it through my parent eyes and it always seemed as though it would be an amazing place to bring up kids! It makes me want to move, or at least visit Berlin again.

  7. This is such a brilliant idea, I love reading about other people's experiences of motherhood and the different city angle is fab. I've always wanted to go to Berlin! Will have to be with babies in tow now.

  8. This was a very interesting post - I love the photographs as well.

  9. So interesting to hear how other people manage their different roles. Looking forward to the next in this series!

  10. What a lovely read - always so amazing to hear how other people do things within their lives :) x

  11. i'd love to go to berlin! that polaroid with her two kids is super cute.

  12. Such an interesting read. Lovely to know what life holds for mothers beyond English shores.

  13. what a beautiful beautiful blog post x

  14. Beautiful photographs....really want to visit Berlin, my friend is out there too!

  15. What a lovely post. My daughter is going to Berlin on a school trip for History will show her this post , Thanks x



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