EASTER BEAST | An interview with a real parent faced with the school holidays

The Tonic. Alongside the kitchen essentials.

Do you look forward to the school holidays with as much excitement as your kids or does the notion fill you with dread?  I asked some of our tribe how they felt about the impending chocolate festival, I mean Easter period. None seemed as excited as me. I wondered why. Having never had children of my own (a dog, cat and all my friends and family are quite enough responsibility for me) I realised that was the common denominator.

I decided to talk to a parent about it and see if her experience could reassure other parents that suffer the Easter Beast.

Louise Hill lives in Deptford, London. She is a full time maker of things (pompoms, children), mother of 3, ‘wife’ (no certificate to prove it) to Carlos Antonini, dog handler and expert explorer of Deptford Market. Louise aka @junkshopvenus is worth following on instagram for a slice of family reality, shits and giggles.

(Photos and captions by Louise Hill)

Random kitchen scene with bread on top of the (empty) bread bin. There are also dirty clothes on the floor in the bathroom, next to the laundry basket. And sometimes empty crisp packets on the kitchen counter, two whole steps away from the bin

Describe yourself in 5 words

An introverted extrovert. Creative. Anxious. Procrastinator.

 

So who makes up the AntHill family?

Me – the mothership

Carlos – the father figure

Rafa – hugely talented cartoonist who at 13 has hands and feet too big for his teenage body and is currently tripping over everything

Ofelia – 11 going on 17 who’s birthday it was this week so made her own birthday cake. She’s cooler than we’ll ever be

Florencia – kooky, quirky, entertaining and currently perfecting teenage tantrums. Aged 8

Ofelia made her own birthday cake this week…she’ll probably have it for breakfast We’ve had to hide the pot of sprinkles from Flo – she once ate almost a whole pot as if they were sweeties, as you can imagine she became like someone on amphetamines. Then at bedtime she sat crying on the stairs saying “I really want to go to sleep but I can’t”

 

How would you describe your perfect day?

A sunny day, at home in the garden, in my creative shed, making things, alone, no chores to do.

 

What frustrates you most?
Myself. I frustrate myself by having great ideas, procrastinating on those ideas until the day comes and then I internally berate myself for not actually creating that great idea.
What makes you laugh snot bubbles?
Anything dark and irreverent. After Life. Derek. Flea Bag.

What turned you to the tonic?

I wanted to try a natural remedy to supplement my pharmaceutical solutions to ease my anxieties. My father bought some CBD from America to help soften my mother’s journey through the last months of her life as she battled cancer.

 

What’s your tonic of choice and why?

8% CBD Oil in the morning (clears my head, boosts my mood and it doesn’t make your wee yellow like Berocca!) and the 4% at bedtime to ease me into sleep. The main reason for me taking The Tonic is to ease my anxiety and lift my depression. The whole family’s on it to be honest. Even the dog.

 

Why should anyone else try CBD?
I recommend it to everyone. Here’s a list of when I’ve found it useful;
Going to bed – I mix some 8% into coconut oil and rub it into my temples and back of neck
Coldsores – whenever I feel one coming or get an outbreak, on goes the CBD oil
Arthritis – Carlos has started to feel the symptoms of arthritis in his fingers and rubs it directly into the joints which helps
Massage – I’ve just bought the 0.5% Muscle Recovery massage oil. I’ve realised our bodies age faster than our brains so I’m using this for pulled muscles, stiff necks from sleeping in a single bed with restless children
Menopause – the 8% taken orally and the 0.5% massaged in helps with night sweats, aches, crampy legs, hormone imbalances
Kids and stress – Ofelia’s had the 4% a few times for stress related shizz
Even the dog is on it – we put the 4% in his food and it’s made him more calm and relaxed, less jumpy, less bothered about over-dramatically reacting to every single random thing (…rescue dog…)

Book recommendation! Pompoms. Penguin mask. Gaffatape. Dirty clothes. Under all that is our bed…I think

Easter holidays are upon us…as a mother of 3 does that notion fill you with joy or dread?

Dread! I’m the only parent who would admit that I’m sure.

 

Will CBD help or hinder the challenges of a busy school break?

Help! CBD helps. Prosecco helps. Everything helps. CBD certainly makes the stress dissipate (as long as I remember to take it)

 

Best family holiday?

Ibiza. 3 years ago. We went with another family who are great friends of ours. The villa was perfect, Instagram heaven, there was nothing you could have wished for that wasn’t there, including a pool, which made everything so easy and stress free.

As a kid myself it was always camping in Devon. They were great holidays. But the amount of organising involved with a family of 5 fills me with anxiety just thinking about it. We’ll stick to Ibiza.

 

If your life were an Easter Egg, which one would it be and why? 

I’d be a giant one delivered to Tom Hardy’s door and I’d jump out of it. Or I’d be the little Chocolate Buttons one. Affordable, bite size, the nations favourite.

Me: Have you cleared the table for dinner kids? Kind of.

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