Inspired By You: Leah Williams

Forever inspired by the incredible women who wear our pieces, we want them to feel unique, powerful and use their clothing as an outlet to express their truest selves.

We had the privilege to talk with Leah Williams, delving into her roles as a mother, businesswoman, and creative, and exploring the influence of her neurodivergent diagnosis on her journey.

Running a business while raising three children is undoubtedly demanding. How do you prioritise self-care and maintain your well-being amidst the business of daily life?

I think finding time for self care amongst those early years of motherhood can be really challenging. It’s tricky when you have little ones so highly dependent on you, lack of time and support. I try to remind myself that self care looks different for everyone, and for me, right now where I am, it’s usually something really small, like a hot coffee in the sunshine solo, or a walk listening to a podcast. As we’ve grown our family, I’ve become so much more aware of just how important those little moments of solitude are to me… and that they don’t need to be BIG things, because that’s not realistic to my life. I’m a much better mum when I sneak in those little moments throughout each week.

As a neurodivergent individual, you've been open about the challenges you've faced, including navigating your ADHD diagnosis and your son's diagnosis with Autism. How has this journey shaped your perspective on motherhood, and what advice do you have for other parents who are on a similar journey?

Oh gosh… it’s changed so much, everything really. About how I view myself, my children and just life in general. I think overall, it’s really made me a much kinder, more open-minded and compassionate person. Learning about and parenting an Autistic child has really meant I’ve had to shift so many of the ideas about how I thought parenting and motherhood would be. It’s like I’ve had to throw a whole heap of ideologies out the window, and start all over again. And as all-consuming and challenging as it is… I’d say too that it’s made me a better person and a better parent. I feel like I now know who my children really are, how their brains work, and how to truly connect with them and guide them through life. For other parents going through a similar journey I’d say to just lean in. Lean in to your child, to what they’re truly telling you. Ignore the noise, the unwanted advice and comments from those around you. Never be afraid to speak up, to advocate and be your child's voice. And mostly, to just trust within yourself, that you know your child better than anyone else - listen to your intuition.

As someone who has embraced both the joys and challenges of motherhood, what are some unexpected lessons you've learned along the way, particularly in relation to your own personal growth and development?

That those unbearably tough phases, where everything just seems hopeless and too much and like you’ll never make it through - will eventually pass. And that I'm always stronger than I think, every time. I think too, the biggest surprise and growth has come from my own ADHD diagnosis after my sons’ autism and ADHD diagnosis. It’s allowed me an opportunity to begin to understand myself, and how my brain works, not just from the perspective of myself now as a mother, but as a child and a teenager too. It’s funny that my son really gave me the biggest gift of all… the chance, in my late 30’s, to finally, truly, know who I really am. What a whirlwind!

Your creativity shines through in your work and in your approach to motherhood. Can you share some of your favourite creative outlets or projects that bring you joy and fulfilment?

One of my favourite things to do when I finally get the all the kids to bed and the house is quiet and still - is to edit photos I’ve captured with music playing and a hot cup of tea. This is my happy place. I love that throughout the years I’ve been able to capture and document so much of my kids lives through photography. My photos of them will always be my most treasured things. 

Having recently celebrated Mother's Day we know it can can evoke a range of emotions for different individuals. As someone who openly shares the highs and lows of motherhood, what advice do you have for other moms who may be struggling, especially on occasions like Mother's Day?

I think Mother’s Day can be so hard, for so many. Those without Mum’s or who’ve lost Mum’s. And those who are going through fertility struggles and are desperately longing and yet to be a Mum. I think just giving yourself permission to recognise the feelings coming up, own them, and tap out of it. It’s okay to block out the things that hurt for a little bit. Take the day off social media, acknowledge that it’s a hard day, and just do whatever you need to get through it.

Looking ahead, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future, both personally and professionally, and how do you envision continuing to inspire and empower others through your journey?

I honestly try not to look too far into the future… it’s very much just one day, one week at a time here. Having a little one with a disability and with high support needs, at times, makes looking ahead really hard. So we just take everything a step at a time. But mostly, I just want to raise happy, caring, open-minded kids who are proud of themselves and their unique, incredible minds. When you go through the challenges of a child with a disability, where the things that are so easy to most, are painstakingly hard for your little one, it really just brings you back down to earth and makes you realise that the most important thing is that they’re just safe and happy. I do hope that by sharing our crazy, lovely little life with the world helps other Mum’s feel supported and that they’re not alone in this journey.

Leah glows in our Neya Midi Dress in Tan.