Mille Mackintosh says she is tired, but from her fresh-faced, radiant appearance you would never know. The former Made in Chelsea star and recent mother-of-two is an accomplished multi-tasker. Having recently moved house, had another baby and partnered with innovative smart baby tech company Owlet, Millie is a mum on the move who has doesn't shy away from revealing the arduous side of parenting.
READ: Exclusive: Millie Mackintosh says second pregnancy was 'huge surprise'
Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, Millie details the realities of motherhood, her relationship with her post-partum body and why she and husband Hugo Taylor decided to move house with daughters Sienna and Aurelia.
WATCH: Millie Mackintosh shows off stunning baby shower
Millie Mackintosh on why she moved house
"I'm not going to lie, I'm quite exhausted," Millie laughs. It's hardly surprising considering the 32-year-old has just moved house, redecorated, documented the process on social media while juggling two young children and maintained a flourishing Instagram presence. "But we're in and it feels really good."
Millie moved house earlier this month
The star cites her second pregnancy for the reason behind the move, which has culminated in a beautifully designed space that Millie has put her personal touch on. She says: "It's been really fun doing the girls' rooms. We basically needed a bit more space with the new baby and I wanted them to have their own rooms. Maybe they will share a room when they're a bit older but in terms of everyone getting a good night's sleep with a newborn and toddler, it's better for them to have their own rooms."
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Millie recently revealed videos of daughters Sienna and Aurelia's new bedrooms via social media and says they have been the most exciting part of the house to decorate, alongside a luxurious cinema room.
Opting for a sweet pink palette room for Sienna, aged two, and a subdued neutral-toned nursery for Aurelia who is three months old, Millie revealed the process behind each room's design: "I've gone for very different themes for Sienna and Aurelia's rooms. Sienna has her first little girl's bedroom. They are very different. I love them both separately. I've been planning them for months, so it's been really nice seeing everything come together since we moved in."
Millie Mackintosh on her second pregnancy with Aurelia
Knowing what to expect with her second pregnancy helped the star approach the move in a levelheaded manner. A self-professed planner, Millie was more mentally prepared when it came to giving birth to Aurelia. "I'd say for me the second time I felt more relaxed because I knew what to expect with all the appointments and I knew I was going to have another C-section," she reveals.
She didn't sideline the difficulties of her second pregnancy, however. "It was more challenging in other ways because I had a toddler, so there was less time to chill on the sofa eating crisps and watching TV. It definitely flew by the second time."
Millie enjoys snuggles with newborn Aurelia
Millie Mackintosh on the struggles of motherhood
Instagram often solely depicts the ideals of motherhood. This is something Millie wants to change. Her decidedness in retaining her integrity on social media has helped the former TV star resonate with other young mothers across the nation - something she believes is vital for new parents struggling to keep momentum.
"Motherhood is super tough. It's the most full-on, challenging job I've ever had. It's 24/7 - there are no days off. But it's also the most rewarding as well and I think it's very important to talk about the challenges it presents. I decided when I was pregnant with Sienna that I wanted to share some of the things I was feeling and coming up against. I just decided to be honest about it rather than post a smiley picture of me and my bump or me and my new baby on the good days. I thought it was really important to talk about the challenging times - tears, anxiety, all the ups and downs. I think it's much healthier for other parents to have a realistic expectation."
Millie with her eldest daughter Sienna
She continues: "Each pregnancy is different, each recovery is different and different babies have different issues. Some sleep through the night really easily and some don't. Something all parents go through is a real lack of sleep and that is super challenging."
Millie Mackintosh on post-partum body image
Struggles with post-partum body image is a subject Millie isn't afraid of addressing in front of her 1.4 million Instagram followers. She regularly posts about how her body changed throughout pregnancy and how for women this is a difficult process to cope with.
DISCOVER: Exclusive: Millie Mackintosh shows off baby bump in bikini for sweet family photos in Crete
"Things definitely don't look like they did three years ago," Millie smiles. "Don't feel bad if you feel you don't love your post-partum body. It's normal and it's a really big change. I look at my baby and remind myself that my body has literally grown her. Now I've had two children I definitely feel like I've been so critical of my body in the past and I'm really trying to work on the self-love. When I look at my babies it really is so worth it. So, I think being open and honest about it. I found the recovery the second time a little bit different but things have changed, there have been lots of growing and stretching." She concludes: "I'd just say you've got to be kind to yourself."
Millie regularly posts about post-partum body image on social media
Millie Mackintosh on her relationship with husband Hugo Taylor
Millie offers an insight as to how Hugo has supported her throughout the process of having children, particularly during a lockdown. "Hugo has been an amazing support and he is a great Dad. First thing in the morning and when he gets home from work he'll do bath time and he gets to see them. They always have a bath together in the evening which is always one of my bits of the day," she says.
And yet how do the couple make time for one another? "It's definitely different with two children, but date nights are important now that the baby is a bit bigger. We're finding it easier to get someone to want to come in and babysit so we can actually leave the house and go for a date night together. Phones away. On the weekends we really make an effort to do things together as a family. I also like to cook one meal on the weekend just as a couple."
Millie and Hugo got married in 2018
The star's experience during pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood has incited her to reflect upon womanhood in general. "I have to say since becoming a mum, I just find all mums inspirational. I've realised how hard it is and I look at mums with lots of kids or working mums who are balancing it all and managing to look kickass while working and being a wife or mum. Those mums are my heroes."
Whether sharing 'Instagram vs Reality' clips on her social media channels, posting pasta and pyjama-clad pregnancy days on the sofa or openly answering fan questions about parenting, Millie is paving the way for more honest conversations surrounding the highs and lows of motherhood to take place.
SEE: Millie Mackintosh's exquisite baby shower cake is too beautiful to eat – see photos
Millie has been working with Owlet - their innovative Smart Sock Plus works from birth up to the age of five; it tracks oxygen level, heart rate and sleep trends for ultimate peace of mind.
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