Being Mama: Tamara Ecclestone Rutland
Growing up in the world of Formula One, it’s not surprising that Tamara remembers having a fun, adventurous and happy childhood. Her experiences taught her the importance of family, the need to keep exuberance for life flowing through her daughter, Sofia’s, veins and being able to define your values.
With a pretty typical pregnancy – morning sickness for the first three months, food/ smell aversions, a wardrobe full of leggings, sneakers and maternity bras, and a pretty intense craving for salt and vinegar chips – Tamara had a planned c-section that brought her beautiful daughter, Sofia, into the world safely. Her only regret in those first months – not sleeping when Sofia did!
Sofia, lovingly called, Fifi, inspired Tamara to create the all natural, non-toxic, clinically tested and socially responsible children’s skin and hair care product line, Fifi & Friends. Based in London, the brand is beloved around the world for their hypoallergenic products that are 100% safe for babies and toddlers.
Together, Tamara and Fifi live a structured life that starts with having breakfast together. After Tamara drops Fifi at school, she either has meetings for Fifi & Friends or goes to the gym for a workout or a Pilates class. After school – the day is all about Fifi. Whether she’s getting artsy at a pottery cafe, taking tennis lessons, or having a play date at a friend’s house, Fifi is out and about with her mama. Because Tamara’s work doesn’t have to be between the hours of 9am and 5pm, she is able to make her family come first.
More and more we are meeting women who seem to have it all – the house, the kids and the start-up. Tamara is no different. She works extremely hard to make sure her family and career get the attention they deserve. She also makes sure she has time for herself. When it comes to ‘me time’, Tamara admits she loves reality TV, especially the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She also likes to have massages at home when Fifi naps or is at school.
Growing up in the high profile world of Formula One, Tamara had a strong mother guiding her through a rather busy and public social life. A major piece of advice her mom gave to her was, “To be nice and to treat everyone the same.” Today, Tamara tries to instill the same wisdom in Fifi because it still resonates with her. She also wants Fifi to never worry about what people think and to be herself and to simply follow her heart.
When asked about how she keeps Fifi grounded, Tamara says, “I let her be a kid and do ‘kid’ things. Kids mostly want the same things – to be active! Fifi goes to classes like ballet, tennis, art, and dance. We also have plenty of play dates and family time. As she gets older, I also ask Fifi to go through her toys to give to charity for children who are less fortunate than her. Fifi always comes with me to choose presents for gifting to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. I feel like she truly understands what we are doing and likes to give.”
One of the many things we love about Tamara is how honest and funny she is. Normally when we ask about the most surprising thing about motherhood, people say the lack of sleep or abundance of laundry. Not Tamara – she said she didn’t expect to enjoy it so much! It’s hard to transition from only needing to worry about yourself to suddenly being responsible for another life. Luckily, Tamara has found the experience beyond rewarding and fun. She has become totally selfless and worries a lot less about things.
“I love to see Fifi develop and learn new things and to see her personality and character develop. She loves to perform, laugh, sing and dance. It’s also really important in our family to collect memories. I have several memory boxes and keep everything from Fifi’s school pictures and art to memories from holidays and days out. I also keep all greetings cards.”
Fifi is lucky to have Tamara as her mama. Tamara is raising her to be open-minded and respect that everyone is on a different journey and we shouldn’t judge or compare. She has also learned to not be so hard on herself or her choices as a mother.
“I admit – I am very attached and nurturing. I am not a strict parent and I believe in reasoning with Fifi and talking to her. I don’t believe in ‘time out’ even though my mother did. It’s probably a generational thing. I also tend to wear casual clothes around Fifi and go make-up free, especially when we’re scooting to the park to feed the ducks. I want her to feel comfortable to be herself in the world and not feel social pressures to have to look a certain way.”
It’s easy to add the hashtag #momgoals next to Tamara’s name. Her relaxed attitude and patience is enviable. Her love for Fifi, who she describes as smart, funny, and independent, is endless and beautiful.
This piece was originally published on The Tot.