Mama Talk: Claire Alexander-Johnston
Native Brit and self-confessed Spice Girls groupie, Claire Alexander-Johnston, is equal parts wit, charm and brutal honesty and she’ll have you in fits of laughter in mere moments. We talked all things babies, Byron and beauty products with her.
As well as running a travel company, Tripadeal, with her husband and generally ‘jetsetting’ all over the place, she also started her infamous Instagram account @jetsetmama as a personal digital diary, a place where she can express herself freely and frankly! We’ve been fortunate enough to spend a few ‘play dates’ with Claire now and we always end up finding our way to astrology, moons rising, placentas, sex, travel and what ‘really living’ means to each of us. We always learn from her and loved every minute we spent with Claire on shoot day, when she was our pregnant muse.
Country Of Origin: England • Star Sign: Scorpio • Lives: Byron Bay, Australia • Nickname: Charlie • Significant others: Rich, my husband & my children, Atlas, Sochi & Zephyr
I’m the youngest of four
Now I’m a mum of 3… it’s a lot of children! 3 is the hardest number , apparently. (They say) mums of 4 are the happiest…When you have 3 you’re still trying to do what you did when you only had 2… When you have 4, if you get them dressed and fed, I think you feel like you’ve nailed it. You’re perception of what’s acceptable… it’s lowered… it’s like rock bottom.
It’s nice for Zephyr being third as a girl, but now I already have that ‘give her a sister’ whisper.
It came about because we have a travel company… no wait… go back. I travelled a lot, I left home at 16 and worked as an international nanny, working and travelling with big families. I moved to Australia when I was 18 and I met my husband and then we moved to Bali…we had a hotel and then started a travel company… so I was constantly pregnant on planes, then having babies and travelling around…
They’re incredibly adaptable, but children crave rhythm & routine
It helps them, it makes them feel secure. Wherever we are in the world travelling, we’ve had to make sure the routine stays exactly the same. Even if we’re on a plane, at bedtime we’ll sing the same songs to them, put their pyjamas on the same way… keep the routine the same and because of that they have always slept well.
There’s still pressure any way you look at it
Because of the feminist wave, our generation as women, were the generation that can do anything… but still within confines. There still is a message of “Be anything you want. But this is what you’re supposed to do.” We’re expected to get a job, to get a mortgage, to follow that trajectory. Even as women… there is still that pressure of how it’s ‘supposed’ to be. People look at you like you’re a fucking unicorn if you haven’t fit the mould.
Byron Vs Bali
Raising our kids here in Byron Bay is similar in many ways to Bali. There are a lot of mothers, a lot of entrepreneurs… I wanted to be around a community of mothers. If we moved to a city, a lot of the mums would be working full time. The main difference though, was that I just wanted it cleaner. Bali is becoming very overdeveloped and even access to clean water was becoming a problem.
Children in Bali are treated as little deities. If you go to a cafe in Bali, you’ll be surrounded by the staff, all wanting to pick them up and cuddle them.
Mornings are mental
The boys are up at 5.45. They share a bed and wake each other up. Then they run around the house – screaming and playing something like ‘wolf pack’. Everyone is in the kitchen by 6:15 trying to get to toast, coffee… We recently got a TV and we’re trying to get them interested… but they just don’t care.
When it’s all getting really intense (for the boys) we get them to pull the zipper up. They take a big breath in and ‘zip’ themselves up from their tummies to their chin. It’s our way of getting them to stop for a minute. I also find it really grounding for them to add magnesium to their bath each night.
From the inside out
I haven’t used anything synthetic for years. I haven’t put anything on my skin, for at least 10 years, that isn’t natural. Even when it wasn’t that cool. I can remember people saying that it’s more important that it’s ‘Dermatologically Tested’ than natural and I thought, ‘well you can put any old crap in that’… I’d rather it was all natural.
See more of mama Claire Alexander-Johnston on the ‘gram’ @jetsetmama x