Holly Matthews is a savvy women who hasn’t stopped working towards her dreams despite having two young children. She’s a fantastic actress who has appeared in Byker Grove (loved this programme!) Casualty and Waterloo Road. This interview is what Mum to Millionaire is all about – inspiring mums, working hard and enjoying life with your children. YOU CAN DO IT!
Hi gorgeous! Firstly, wow you are a great inspiration to all young mums. At the tender age of 28 you’re married with two beautiful children, you work hard to sustain your acting career and are now building your home business. That is an amazing achievement! What do you believe is the key to a successful life?
Thank you so much. My mindset has changed so much on what it is to be successful in the last 10 years. I used to believe it was solely about your career, that this was your marker for success. I know there are many elements to being a successful person. It’s about managing every area. Keeping on top of your career, working hard on that, always trying to move forward, picking yourself up after difficult times and then being around family, bringing up happy children, being a good person and generous to those around you. These are my markers now.
Totally agree with you! Sum up your typical day, if there is such a thing as ‘typical’!
There is no such thing haha. I wouldn’t know where to start. Both me and my husband are self employed and our days are often decided when we get up. We are very lucky and make hay while the sun shines, which means are lives are generally our own. In the last 2 years we have massively made our lives work around our kids. My kids sleep amazingly overall and usually wake around 7am, so that’s usually my starter and bed time is 6.30-7pm. That’s about the only definite in my life. What happens in between is anyone’s guess!
Hehe exactly. I forget what challenges my son throws at me on a daily basis! I can remember watching you in Byker Grove – I wish they would bring that programme back!
Daily I get messages and letters from people who loved the show and want it back. I think there is still a place for it and I still think it could work in this modern world. I actually had tweets today from someone asking about an adult Byker Grove. That would be amazing!
After giving birth to your first daughter, Brooke, how did you adapt your acting career to fit in with family life?
People always said (and still do) ‘so you not acting now?’, ‘I guess you wont be able to act now’ and this to me is like a kick up the arse to work harder and prove them wrong. Acting is never easy, working as someone self employed isn’t easy, you are always working and you always have difficulty fitting things in around you, so to me after having Brooke it was just another element to the mix.
I don’t think about things being impossible, I think about how I can make them possible.
This mind set has meant I worked more since having kids than before.
I strongly believe this too – LOVE your mindset and I really hope more Mums start thinking like this.
As a Mum working in the media I‘ve found it very hard to sustain my radio career. My plan was to be on Radio 1 by now! Is there anything you find more challenging about your acting career now that you’re a Mum?
Of course. You have responsibilities. You can’t go to all the networking drinks and just up sticks at a moments notice. What I do have (as do you) is focus and there is no better focus than children. They sleep, you plan, they sleep, you email and this can mean you are more productive with children than without. Also your expectations change. I thought I’d be in Hollywood by now but when I thought that I didn’t understand the process as much as now (and I’m learning everyday by the way)
What I also remind myself is that many of our media contemporaries want and don’t yet have children. I’m done now and I have 2 amazing kids. I’m now ready to take on the world and don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything because of my career.
I have friends that will just miss the boat and sadly they will look back and regret not having children.
I don’t mean to sound smug, I just feel lucky that I’ve factored them in. I always imagined children in my life path and had I missed that, it would have been sad. There is NEVER a right time.
I always say ‘don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and get them.’ This is exactly what you have done! You’ve created business opportunities for yourself, tell us more….
Well obviously I’m an actress foremost, but I also do mummy and baby modelling.
I teach private acting classes to people in Coventry, from home. 1 hour sessions, tailored to what the person wants. They learn about the industry from someone in it, rather than someone who has learnt to teach. I do this when the kids go to bed.
I set up a joint business venture with my friend Kayleigh called The Headshot Doctor where we do actors headshots and model portfolios.
I’m constantly looking for ways to make money around my children and work hard when I have breaks.
That’s what I call creating your own opportunities! I love your ambition and drive. After becoming a Mum does life really have to change?
Yes. It really has to change. Everything changes. I battled with this to start with. However this is not a bad thing, this can be an amazing thing. Sometimes we get stuck in life and children can really shake you up and make you focus on what you want.
First you need to work out exactly what you want, then you have to work out how (in small chunks) you are going to get that.
I know I’m like a walking to talking self help book, but I read a lot of them and I find they work for me. I’m a hippy at heart, just with a bit of bite. I have started meditation in the last few years and find it helps me to refocus.
We all have hard times, it’s about not letting them spill out into months of hard times.
You might find that being a Mum can take you into a job or place that you wouldn’t have imagined before. Look at Mum to Millionaire, who would have thought you would be doing this and it’s already focusing you and creating something new and exciting.
Finally what are your top 3 tips on managing to juggle a hectic family life and career?
1) Plan, plan, plan. Lists and lists of what you need to do. Prep food, make bottle, get your bag ready for the next day, lay clothes out.
2) Pamper yourself.
When you are able to have a rest, do your make up, hair etc. You will feel more yourself and ready to take on the world.
When they sleep, focus like mad in order to utilise that time wisely. Slumping on the sofa might feel nice but you will regret it later.
Thank you so much for the interview, I love your blog.
Awww thank you Holly!
I love hearing from other Mums, lets support each other.
If we all help each other out, we are stronger.
I will be appearing on our TV screens again soon, details on my website soon 🙂
What a great interview, I know 100% Holly will go very far in life with this attitude. I really hope its inspired you and to add to what Holly said that’s all support each other.
Its better for all of us to succeed than struggle.
Thank you so much to Holly for that in-depth interview and her honesty. I feel like she is my sister now