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Article: Jade Fox. Mother, wife, writer and founder of Dear Dilate.

Jade Fox. Mother, wife, writer and founder of Dear Dilate.

Jade Fox. Mother, wife, writer and founder of Dear Dilate.

Meet Jade Fox. Mother, wife, writer and founder of Dear Dilate.
Jess' son Freddie wears the Sunday Cotton Set - Peppermint

We’re such big fans of Dear Dilate and love the raw honesty. It’s beautiful having an unfiltered virtual place to visit in motherhood. Could you please tell our readers what Dear Dilate is and why you started?

Dear Dilate is a regular newsletter and judgement-free space that explores the complexities of motherhood through essays and in-depth interviews as well as offering unsolicited recommendations – things to read, explore, wear and try. I cover topics mothers truly care about and give light on the things we experience that aren’t often talked about. Things like the identity shift, crying over spilt coffee, (un)equal partnerships, loss, the juggle of paid work, the fallacy that is self-care and the ridiculous pressure to ‘bounce back’. There’s also a great community with who I chat back and forth and go to for opinions, insights and perspectives that act as the basis for my work. 

How did you find the courage to start Dear Dilate?

DD started as an Instagram, and it felt like a necessity during the pandemic when I was completely in the thick of it. I was a lonely, sleep-deprived first-time mum with a baby banshee. I was navigating reflux and feeling very unheard, wondering if this should feel so hard, wondering why it was not like those dreamy Dôen campaign images or how others described it. It felt and still feels cathartic to share with no agenda except to remove any stigma around the sliding scale of enjoying motherhood and how much you love your child – something that I believe should go without saying. It was something for me, for my mental health and a creative outlet that has since grown into so much more. 
Source: Dear Dilate

Run us through your average day. Do you have any daily hacks that make your days a little lighter?

I never understood how others get up before their kids, probably because I’m a night owl and my son is an early riser, so I wake when I hear Freddie racing into my room at around 5:30am. He gives me a quick cuddle before he declares how hungry he is. By this time, my husband, Danny, is already at the gym (this is a non-negotiable for him and his mental health). I usually make Freddie some breakfast, make myself a coffee and put on Paw Patrol while I shower and pack his bag for daycare. My husband will get home, and I might go for a walk or go to work early, and he’ll do the drop-off, and I do the pick-up. I usually make dinner for all of us, and I’ll eat early with Freddie and Danny if he’s home in time. Danny will take over and do the bath and bedtime, and I’ll read a book in the bath or work, or we try to alternate. Danny will usually have more work to do, and I’ll do some writing until we’ve both had enough, and if it’s not too late, we watch an episode of Succession before bed. 
I’ve learnt that there is only so much time in the day, and even though sacrifices have to be made, we can choose what that sacrifice is. For me, I can do without a daily trip to the gym and other luxuries, but if I don’t get to write, I get cranky, so focusing on doing one thing a day that I want to do not that I feel obligated to do keeps me from bubbling over most of the time – and that one thing doesn’t have to be significant or performative or productive or lead to anything other than allowing me just to be. For example, that one thing could be lying on the lounge watching reality tv and eating a magnum, as one of my followers pointed out. 

Do you have any advice for stay-at-home mums that want to pursue a new career or passion?

I want to preface this by saying if you are the stay-at-home parent (voluntarily or involuntarily) and you are happy doing so, don’t feel as though you have to start a business or a TikTok or do anything other than taking care of yourself and your children. Capitalism culture is still very much alive and well and can often make us feel as though we always need to be doing more, but the reality is motherhood is the toughest job in the world with the least amount of support. Becoming a mother is huge and more than enough, but if have the desire to pursue a passion, don’t put pressure on yourself; do it during your spare time, do something that you enjoy and don’t think about whether it’s cool or generates an income; just do something for the sheer joy of it. Figuring out what you like again can sometimes be the trickiest part. 
If it’s a career change that requires study or a business start-up, and if you have the luxury of time and financial stability, then honour the season you’re in, especially during those early days because 12 months goes by so fast, and I know things seem urgent but most really just aren’t. It does get easier in terms of childcare options, sleep patterns become more predictable, and attention spans get long enough to watch a movie. If you’re bursting at the seams to start, spend your spare moments researching, saving everything in a doc or your notes app. Be honest with your partner or whoever your support network is, and make sure they are on board with your aspirations. Ask for help and create not only a business plan but a plan that includes a childcare roster, domestic duties and what, if anything, you can outsource, like cleaning, meal deliveries etc., even if it’s just extra help from grandparents or friends. 
Source: Dear Dilate

Describe your motherhood journey in 5 words.

Intense. Beautiful. Expansive. Unravelling. Full. 
Or simply, there’s nothing quite like it. 

Describe your child in 5 words.

Kind. Clever. Deep-thinker. Empathetic. Perfect… oh, and neurotic at times, ha!
Jades son Freddie wears the Sunday Cotton Set - Peppermint

How do you juggle being a mum and working?

I wish I had an insightful answer for this, but the truth is, there is no secret to the juggle. The only way to work and be a mum is by having the support of family or friends or paid childcare, or like most of us, it’s all of the above – and even then, it’s still challenging. My husband owns a business which I work 3 days a week, and I freelance write on top of that. Fortunately, he can be flexible, but we also rely on my parents and daycare – Freddie goes three days a week while I’m at work.
Some weeks are busier, both personally and professionally. During these weeks, I lean on my parents more if they are available, and whatever I can’t do during daycare hours then runs into the evening after Freddie’s bedtime. The work doesn’t disappear; the timeline and workable hours just have to shift. 
I do most of my freelance work and writing for Dear Dilate at night, which I prefer to do so. The night is when my house is quiet; the busyness of the day is done, and my mind is at ease.

Finally, what’s on your next birthday present list?

Ooo good question. I have an ongoing wishlist, and I tend only to buy things when I need it and wear/use them to death. At the moment, this list includes Friends With Frank Scoop Neck Cleo Dress in chocolate, Venroy Trench, Marle Leon Top from The Undone, Saint Laurent Le Lether Loafers, ANNIKA INEZ Voluptuous Heart 14kt gold-filled earrings, SOLAQUA Silk Shirt and Pants, Mango Denim Skirt, Toteme T-lock Leather Shoulder BagAlex and Trahanas Ceramic Striped Wine Cooler, and the Alba Atelier Urn…you know, if the limit did not exist. 

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