20 Frolo Questions: Mel Johnson, Solo Mum by ChoiceBy Alice Duddy
Mel is a social infertility coach, campaigner and and solo mum by choice to Daisy, who is two.
- How long have you been a frolo?
I decided to try to have a baby on my own four years ago, when I was 37, and then, two years later, had my daughter in February 2018.
- Tell us a bit about your frolo family.
I have a two-year-old daughter who I conceived as a solo mum with a sperm donor and IVF. I decided that I may miss out on motherhood if I waited any longer to meet a partner, so at 37 I started my solo mum journey. At 39 I had my daughter Daisy and we live together very happily just the two of us. I have a big extended family made up of family and friends so it never feels like we are just a two!
- How do you manage a work-life balance as a single parent?
I work four days a week in a Global HR role, as well as having my own coaching business called The Stork and I.
I coach women considering solo motherhood as well as those looking to live their best life as a single parent. Finding the right balance can be tough. Daisy is in nursery three days a week, with her Granny one day a week, and I have one day off with her as well as the weekend. Most of my coaching is done in the evening after she is asleep. I am comfortable that she sees me working hard on subjects I am hugely passionate about.
When I am with her, I try to be 100% present so she gets my full attention. I also work from home, so that means I get to spend slightly more time with her. It is a constant juggle, but one I feel I have got into a good routine with.
- What do you like to do when you have time away from Daisy?
I love to practice yoga and go for runs. I also love to just sit in the sun and read. I do enjoy a night out with friends once in a while too!
- What do you like about the Frolo community?
I love meeting other people who are in similar situations and really ‘get it.’
And I just love meeting new people. This is such a good way to do that.
- Describe parenthood in three words.
Rewarding, exhausting, elation.
- What advice would you give your younger self?
Be comfortable in your own skin. Be the best you can be. Own it and rock it, whatever you’re doing.
- Best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on you and your child and figure out your own way. Don’t worry what everyone else is doing.
- Who or what is your greatest love?
- Where is your happy place?
My happy place is in my little back garden, sitting on my bench, watching Daisy play (quite possibly sipping a G&T as the sun goes down!).
- Is there a book you’d like to recommend to other frolos? A podcast?
I loved Catherine Gray’s The Unexpected Joy of Being Single.
I am about to launch The Stork and I Podcast, which is going to be exploring some of the themes about being single, dating and relationships.
- What is your motto for life?
Just because it could have been different, doesn’t mean it would have been better.
- What is your greatest achievement?
Having my daughter as a solo mum is by far my greatest achievement.
- Any regrets?
I regret that I worried so much what others would think about my choice to be a solo mum.
- Biggest life lesson?
You can’t rely on others to make you happy. If you aren’t happy with your life, you need to work on how to resolve that yourself. Relying on someone else for your happiness will not have a positive outcome.
- Last time you laughed hard?
My daughter makes me laugh hard every day. She is hilarious. The things she comes out with crack me up!
- Last time you cried?
I cried when I heard that we would be going into lockdown and that I wasn’t going to be able to have my normal single parent support network around me for an untold number of weeks.
- What song would you add to the Frolo playlist?
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder.
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their single parent journey?
Get your support network in place. Look to meet others in similar circumstances – the Frolo app is a great way to do this. Focus on the things within your influence, not the things that are out of your control. If you are overwhelmed right now, please know that it will get better and easier!
- What have you learned about yourself through being a single parent?
That I have bucket-loads of resilience when I need it.
Thanks for answering our 20 Frolo Questions, Mel!
You can follow Mel’s journey on Instagram @the_stork_and_i