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Danielle Vanier

It’s traditionally known as Mother’s Day but what about the people with Others? This year we’re celebrating Mothers AND Others day to leave no one out of this special day. To help us celebrate, our friends Chanel (@chanelambrose) and Nikki (@nikki_whelan_) are sharing their stories with us, from the lessons they’ve learnt from their mums, to the mother roles they’ve taken on. Grab a cuppa, curl up and get to know our ladies…
Chanel Ambrose

What’s the best thing about being a mum?

I think it’s the responsibility of raising these boys and making sure they have a great life. I have always aimed and strived for that. It’s really cool to be called ‘mummy’ it’s such a nice feeling.


What’s it been like raising two boys?

Boys are a lot! They’re boisterous. They’re always playing and fighting so sometimes it's a bit nerve wracking. Other than that, they’re actually delightful. They’re very attached to me in their own ways particularly the eldest one. The little one is closer to his dad I think but he’s also very close to me. Either way they’re a treat.


Are there any struggles you face as a mother?

Yes, sometimes there are. Of course, motherhood isn’t perfect, and we can only try our hardest. My initial struggle was with my first one because he has special needs. I did have a few challenges with him and overall controlling him. I got the hang of it though and I have a lot of help and support. Another struggle is when you don’t know when your child is upset or what they want. You just want to strive to give them the best and sometimes it’s not easy.

Who’s the mother figure in your life?

Well, I have a mother! So I guess she’s the mother figure in my life. She has been there for me through a lot so definitely my mum. There are other people as well like my business partner who is really encouraging and supportive. I have a close friend as well. A lot of my friends are older than me, like, ten years minimum and they are like mother figures to me and I really appreciate them. Also, my older sister as well because she is a great mother. She has shown me so much and I've learnt so much from her in terms of how to deal with the children.


What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from your mother figure?

I’m going to use my mum for this one. I’ve learnt to not take anything for granted and to always fight to get the best. She is the type of person who starts something and makes sure it is completed to perfection. That is what I strive to do especially when it comes to raising the boys. I mean nothing can always be perfect but I can try my hardest and there is nothing wrong with that.


What bit of advice would you give your sons?

I would give my sons advice to stay true to themselves because when they get older and they have peer pressures and people try to get them to do things that they aren't accustomed to, it can cause problems. I want my sons to be themselves. I want them to be great men one day. 

Nikki Whelan

You have admirably taken over as the mother role for your younger sisters. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Nikki: This is something that gets sent to me quite often through my Instagram DMs and stuff like that. That my siblings are lucky to have me in their lives but at the end of the day I’m just as lucky to have them. Yes, I am the eldest and you automatically step into a role but I would never call it a mother role however I can be a bit bossy. I get that from my mum. I’ve always told them I will always be here for them in that way if they ever need it but it would be impossible for me to replace someone who was irreplaceable really. 


What’s the best thing about your big sister and what does she mean to you?

Croia: The best thing about Nikki is of course she gives me nieces and nephews so that's a plus. She’ll always do anything to help me reach my dreams and she brings me on holidays all the time. 

Nikki: That’s it?! That's all I mean to you?

Croia: She means the world!


What is the most important thing you’ve learnt from your mum?

Croia: For me, I learnt to live in the moment and to constantly be positive whatever the world throws at you because at the end of the day you never know what will come next. So just be positive about everything. 

Nikki: I’ll second that. Our mum was a true believer of just staying positive, always seeing the bright side and to just keep focusing. I think she really showed us that through her illness and the really tough days that you just need to see the brighter side and even though you might feel like you’re the only one struggling at that moment there is always somebody worse off than you. 

If you could give your children and sisters one piece of advice what would it be?

Nikki: To always be happy. Do what makes you happy. Follow your dreams forever. Lean on the ones that are closest to you. Walk away from the people that give you bad energy. And always just self-care. That was something my mum wasn’t very good at. She always put everybody else first. I have to say that I’m not great at it either but it is something I am learning to do. So it is something I would encourage my sisters and my brother to do.


What will you be getting your sister this Mother’s Day?

Croia: I’ve always got Nikki something for Mother’s day anyway because she is my God Mother as well as my sister so I always got her a little present but I think this Mother’s Day it’s a surprise so if I said it, it wouldn’t be a surprise. 

Nikki: It’s going to be a big surprise by the sound of things!

Croia: Yeah, duh!

Nikki: It’s okay I don’t need presents.

Croia: She just needs our love

Nikki: And a takeaway.


What’s your favourite memory with your mum?

Croia: One of the funniest memories I have with my mum is when we’d be sitting at home, minding our own business watching the tele and we’d just look at each other and say ‘let’s go shopping!’ So we’d just get up and go down to the shopping centre and stay there until it closed. There were a few times when they’d turn off the lights and we’d have to be escorted out! There were a few times she would hide from the security guard.

Nikki: My favourite memory is... I’m trying to just pick one. It’s really hard. One would be when we’d be in a supermarket and she’d start dancing and making a face. You’d find her down the toilet roll aisle dancing and I was mortified at the time but that was very funny. Another memory would be when me and my mum took a Sunday and literally snuck off. Told everybody in the house that we had a business meeting and snuck off to find out if Pippa was a boy or a girl. When we found out it was a girl it was the best day we ever had and the best secret we ever kept.

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