Wear It’s At: Episode 1 “We Should Do Drinks Soon”


‘We Should Do Drinks Soon’ is an episode all about friends, frenemies and foes –covering off how friendship circles shift as life progresses and the art of making (and flaking) on plans. Alesha will be joined by member of pop group, S Club 7, fashionista and foodie, Rachel Stevens alongside the UK’s top parenting vlogger and best selling author, Louise Pentland.

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Meet The Guests

Rachel Stevens

@msrachelstevens

Rachel Stevens began her career as 1/7th of the BRIT Award winning pop group, S Club 7. Together, they sold over 14 million records and their BBC TV series was shown in over 114 countries to over 90 million viewers and inspired a new generation of teenage TV musicals. Once the band split in 2003, Rachel embarked on her own critically acclaimed solo career with The Guardian putting her album in their 1,000 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. She is currently married with two daughters, Amelie & Minnie.

Louise Pentland

@louisepentland

Louise is the number one and award-winning parenting vlogger in the UK, with 8 million followers. She is a UN Global Ambassador for Gender Equality, won Mother and Baby Magazine number 1 Mumfluencer of the year and recently won InStyle ‘Best High-Street Fashion YouTuber’. Louise has filmed with the Pope at the Vatican to discuss the challenges facing young people today and HRH Prince Charles and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to support Bookstart to encourage childhood literacy.

Click to view the transcript

Alesha:
I’m Alesha Dixon, and you’re listening to Wear It’s At. A brand new podcast all about midi-life milestones, brought to you by online styling service, Stitch Fix.

Alesha:
Our first episode is called, We Should Do Drinks Soon, something I’m sure you’re all guilty of saying, but not always meaning. We’ll be chatting friends, frenemies, and foes with Brit award winning member of S Club 7, fashionista, foodie, and mom of two, Rachel Stevens.

Rachel:
[crosstalk 00:00:27] That was a nice intro, thank you-

Alesha:
Lovely to see you.

Rachel:
Oh, you too.

Alesha:
And she’ll be joined by the UK’s number one parenting Vlogger, best selling author, and mom of two gorgeous girls. It’s YouTube sensation, the lovely Louise Pentland.

Louise:
Thank you. That was very nice.

Alesha:
You’ve got to love an intro, right?

Louise:
Yeah. It’s good for the ego.

Rachel:
I’d like someone to walk round with me just every day, and then introduce me to people in that way, just-

Louise:
Or, just hold a card up.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Rachel:
That’d be nice.

Louise:
That’d be nice.

Alesha:
Exactly. Well, thank you for joining me.

Rachel:
Thanks for having us.

Alesha:
We’re going to get straight into the questions. Have you become more or less sociable with age?

Louise:
I ebb and flow. At the moment, I’m having a sociable season. I think it’s to do with the weather. Right now I’m like, “Yes, I want to come and do things.” But then I have my miserable hag times where I’m like, “No, I just want to be at home.” And I say things like, “The chilled, oh Darcy’s got a parent’s evening so I can’t come.”

Alesha:
Kids are great for getting out of things, aren’t they?

Rachel:
They are so good.

Louise:
“Pearl’s a bit snuffly. I’m sorry, I’d love to come.”

Alesha:
How old are you both if you don’t mind me asking?

Louise:
Me or my children?

Alesha:
You?

Louise:
34.

Alesha:
And how old are you now Rach?

Rachel:
41.

Alesha:
41? Okay. You look cracking.

Louise:
Oh bless you.

Rachel:
Thanks!

Alesha:
So you would say depending on the weather, depending on your mood-

Louise:
I think sometimes you can overdo it can’t you? You find yourself having a month or two where you’re going to so much and doing so much, especially in this slightly crazy industry that we’re in. And then after a while you feel a bit like, I just need some time in my pajamas at home, working from home. And you’re still achieving things, but you can’t go on, and on, and on, and on. You run out of steam eventually.

Rachel:
Totally. And making arrangements seems like a great idea, and then days are so crazy busy now aren’t they? And by the time you get home you’re like, “Oh my God, you just got to you know.” But summer’s definitely much easier isn’t it? When the nights are-

Alesha:
Would you say your more sociable or less sociable now then at this point in your life?

Rachel:
I think it’s changed over the years, but I’m probably less sociable.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Rachel:
I love socializing, but it just changes. There’s different kinds of socializing isn’t it as you get older.

Alesha:
I think it’s about the quality of the socializing now. If I’m going to make the effort to go out, then it has to be for something special, or really special occasion. Not like back in the day when I was in my twenties-

Rachel:
You just hang out on the street.

Alesha:
It was rare to see me in.

Louise:
Do you find now as mothers… This is something I never do with people. I never hang out. People that say we should hang out, I think what a luxury, what do you mean? I’ll socialize with you if you’re at an event that I’m also at, and we can speak to each other.

Rachel:
Yeah I know you mean.

Louise:
Or if our children are going to play or there’s something happening, but just coming round and hanging out-

Rachel:
Having a coffee or-

Louise:
I don’t bloody think so. Hanging out. That stops I think. I’m past my hanging out days.

Rachel:
Me too.

Louise:
Do you hang? Are you a hanger?

Louise:
I wouldn’t say I’m a hanger outer, no, I much prefer a friend to just say, when are you free? Let’s get together for dinner. Or like you said, there’s an occasion or an event that you’re at. I don’t particularly love going to events. I never have. I’d much rather just go out and have a nice dinner with my other half, or my friends or something like that.

Rachel:
Uh, I’m that same.

Alesha:
And if it ends up organically going into something else, then great. But I don’t particularly like to plan anymore.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Louise:
And I never get that thing of, let’s go out for drinks. It’s always got to involve food for me.

Alesha:
Always!

Louise:
Always! I never ever got that growing up [crosstalk 00:03:42] . Let’s go and have a drink. Let’s go for drinks and then we’ll go to a club.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Louise:
No, no, it’s always got to involve food.

Alesha:
Absolutely.

Rachel:
I can’t remember the last time I went to a club. In fact, the other day I asked Alexa to play the Hokey Pokey for my daughter, not just for my own enjoyment. And I said to me and my partner.

Alesha:
Are you sure?

Rachel:
Yeah, I’m positive. And I did a dance, and I said, “Babe, this is what I’d be like in the club.” And he was like, “Nobody says what… Did you just say the club?” And I was like, “I think I did. I did say the club.”

Alesha:
The last time I was… I don’t know if you could even call it in a club, [crosstalk 00:04:11] because I turned 40 last October. And I wasn’t going to have a party. And then I said, “Do you know what, I’m not going to turn 40 and not celebrate it in style.” So I just got a really small venue, and just invited those nearest and dearest. But I got one of my favorite DJs there, my favorite food, favorite drinks, favorite cake, everything. And I had the best night. But I’d rather do that once every year.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
That sounds really extreme. Than going out to a mediocre club every other week. Who can be bothered to do that anymore? Not me. I’ve got to think about the school run.

Rachel:
Oh God.

Alesha:
And that’s what my partner and I do now. Whenever we go out, we’re like, “Right, if we go home now, we might get five, six hours sleep.” So-

Louise:
This already seems adventurous.

Alesha:
So I have to plan it [inaudible 00:04:55].

Rachel:
What is it children? My children just do not like sleep at all. I mean they just do not like sleep. No matter what time they go to bed at night, they’re still up at six o’clock in the morning.

Louise:
I know-

Alesha:
They all do that. Doesn’t matter does it?

Rachel:
I’ve never known humans.. You have to work so hard to encourage a nap. If someone said to me, “You can go and have a little sleep, and then when you wake up you have a cheese sandwich.” Like what a day! what a time to be alive? Okay. Thank you!

Alesha:
And then we’ll put a movie on and snuggle. Do either of you ever feel pressured to socialize by other people?Or do you think whatever?

Louise:
Yes. I’ve got one friend, one dear friend called Ester, but she’s the only friend that gets it. And sometimes she’ll ring and say… We call it you’re the beloved as you do. She’s like, “Beloved, I can’t do tonight. I just don’t want to.” And I’m like, “I get it.” But other friends, you’ve got to make the excuses why you don’t want to hang out. Hanging out! Who hangs out!

Rachel:
Yeah. See I’ve got a friend like that actually, who I can just be totally honest with-

Alesha:
You have to be.

Rachel:
And I’ll just be like, “You know what, she’s got two kids as well, she’s a teacher. Busy day, whatever, and she just gets it.” So it’s nice when you’ve got that.

Alesha:
What would make you think, “Oh do you know what, I’m going to make the effort for this?”

Rachel:
Um well-

Alesha:
Food.

Rachel:
Food! Totally food! But summer evenings, so lovely going out and having a glass wine.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Rachel:
Good old chit chat. But company, isn’t it? Company food and wine, happy days.

Louise:
Well don’t say that because all the people you flaked on now, will be like, “Well I wasn’t good enough company.”

Rachel:
Well exactly.

Louise:
You’ve got to say something logistical like, “I don’t like going places where it’s hard to park. It wasn’t you, It was just that venue has no good parking, or that’s a bit far for me. Don’t make it about the person when you’re flaking.

Alesha:
Louise, what’s the worst excuse you’ve ever used to get out of going somewhere?

Louise:
I don’t want to tell all my excuses.

Alesha:
I bet there’s been a few!

Louise:
All right, this is crude, but nobody ever can argue with a stomach upset, can they?

Rachel:
Oh no.

Louise:
Because you don’t say it’s about you, you say I don’t want to make you ill. I don’t want you to have diarrhea.

Alesha:
That’s good! Reverse psychology!

Louise:
Yeah I’m thinking of you.

Alesha:
Ooh I like that!

Rachel:
See, I get paranoid though if I say make an illness excuse, I get really paranoid-

Alesha:
That your putting the thought out, it’s going to come back to you.

Rachel:
Yeah exactly, exactly.

Louise:
And I’m a bit of a Hypochondriac-

Rachel:
But you don’t want to say anything big. You don’t want to say like, “I’ve got, you know, mumps.” You’d say, “Oh I’ve had a bit of a bubbly Tony.”

Louise:
I use a headache a lot. That’s my one.

Rachel:
Oh that’s nice.

Alesha:
I’ve learned how to have an indirect answer, so I keep it really generic. So mine is just more like something’s come up.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
Or there’s something personal I’ve got to deal with. [crosstalk 00:07:19]

Rachel:
Or I’m working late. [crosstalk 00:07:19]

Alesha:
Yeah, so I’m never specific. Is it okay Louise to use your child? Faking their illness?

Louise:
I don’t want to say it on here in case the friends ever listen, but I have used the child to get out of a friend’s wedding. And I’ll say no more.

Alesha:
I love it.

Louise:
In case she listens.

Alesha:
Rachel, have you ever felt too old to go out?

Rachel:
Not too old, just too tired.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Rachel:
Just mom tired.

Alesha:
Is that the same thing?

Rachel:
I think it is. I don’t know. Not too old. You’re never too old to go out.

Alesha:
That’s right.

Rachel:
Never.

Alesha:
I never feel too old to go out, I just can’t be bothered to go out.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
But that could be the same thing again. I don’t know. Do you know what it is-

Rachel:
No I think it’s different-

Alesha:
When you’re younger, I think you’re chasing something. Even if you’re consciously aware of it or not, there’s a buzz, and I feel like you just want to be out. And it’s just an energy you give off. And I think the older you get, the more content you are. So you don’t feel the need to be everywhere. It’s like actually, I’m quite content just in my own company with my partner, my family at home, and that’s good enough.

Rachel:
Totally. And like you said, it’s the quality going out. It’s different. When we were younger it was going out. You couldn’t be home on a Saturday night or a Friday night, you had to be out.

Alesha:
Or Tuesday or Wednesday.

Rachel:
Or Tuesday or Wednesday. And we used to hang out on the street. We literally would meet up at a station, and just all hang out. And that’s what we did. But it was so fun, because everyone would just be there, and we’d just be, I don’t know what, we’d just be hanging.

Alesha:
Hanging out. So when you do make the effort to go out, what would be your go to outfit? Do you have a classic look that you always go to that’s a winner?

Rachel:
My classic look, and don’t you find you’re always in a… I’m not a great planner and I think you do have to plan your outfits. Because it doesn’t just happen. Do you know what I mean? And I’m not… Because days are so busy or whatever. So my go to would be a blazer, a cami and a high waisted trouser and a heel.

Alesha:
Nice.

Rachel:
That would be my go to if I don’t know what to wear and I’m in a rush.

Alesha:
It’s classic. [crosstalk 00:09:22]

Louise:
That sounds nice.

Alesha:
What about you?

Louise:
Well, I have to be quite careful about what I wear, otherwise I end up very, very easily looking like Big Ears from Noddy. You know when he wears the high wasted trousers, and he looks like an egg in trousers-

Alesha:
So that’s your most comfortable look

Louise:
Skirts and dresses, because you can feel a bit more floating in those. You have to wear heels at events, when you go to work events. And I don’t suit [inaudible 00:09:46] because because I’m tall anyway, so I just look looming. When you’re tall and broad… You two are lucky because you’re like very petite ladies. But I do have to plan all my outfits.

Alesha:
Does it make you feel anxious when you’re planning your outfit, or putting an outfit together? Or are you quite relaxed about it?

Louise:
It doesn’t make me feel anxious actually. I’d love to be like, “No, I guess it is what it is.” As they say on Love Island, “It is what it is.” But, it does. I do fret over it, and then spend a lot of time scrolling online thinking, “Could that work, could that work, could that work, could that work.” So I do plan ahead a little bit with clothes.

Alesha:
Do you feel anxious Rachel? Or are you quite chill?

Rachel:
Yeah, I do. Because for me, getting dressed is… Style is such an expression of who you are as a person, and I think it’s like putting your armor on, but it makes you feel confident. If you feel good in your outfit, it makes you feel confident, doesn’t it?

Louise:
Yes.

Rachel:
So I do. But I think as you get older, you know your body more, and you know what you like and what suits you. And I think the key is just to go out and feel comfortable, isn’t it? [crosstalk 00:10:49] And then you just feel most confident.

Alesha:
Do you think it’s better to dress within your comfort zone? Or push yourself to try something different?

Louise:
I’ve got a good answer for this, because for the longest time I’ve dressed in my comfort zone which is pastels and florals, and kind of 1950s cuts all the time. And then recently I’ve had some jobs where I’ve had a fantastic stylist and he’s brought clothes that I would never, ever have considered wearing. And when I saw them on the rail, I was like, “Oh my God, smile.” But really I don’t want to put that on. And he says, “Have a go, try it on.” And I’ve tried on, and I’m like, “Wow” I can wear this sort of style, I can try this and that and the other.” And it’s really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve started to wear different shapes of clothes.

Alesha:
I love that.

Louise:
So I’m really excited about that.

Alesha:
That’s really great. What about you, Rach? Do you play it safe because you know what works for you, or would you try something slightly out of your comfort zone?

Rachel:
I just love clothes. So I like to experiment, but it’s taken me a while to find my style and what I really love. Because I’m quite eclectic at the same time. So I’ll think I’m quite classic in my style, but I like it with a little bit of an edge to it.

Alesha:
Nice. I like that.

Alesha:
Now a word that I learned today; Jomo, joy of missing out. I’d never heard of that before. Would you say you ladies get Jomo or Fomo?

Louise:
Fomo.

Alesha:
Fomo.

Rachel:
Jomo.

Louise:
I think I’m Jomo too.

Rachel:
Yes. Totally

Alesha:
I never get Fomo. I don’t care what’s going on if I’m not there.

Rachel:
Me neither.

Alesha:
I really don’t care. I love saying no to things as well. I’m like, “No, I’m just not going to. No, I’ve don’t fancy going.” I love that.

Rachel:
Do you know what, I think it’s important though, because it’s easy to just say yes, you’ll go and try and do everything. We try and do a million things in a day. We try and do everything, don’t we? And I think it is quite empowering.

Alesha:
Less is more.

Rachel:
I think so. It’s quite empowering to say no, and look at your diary for the week and what you’ve got on. Because I think you can spread yourself thin.

Louise:
I’ll tell you the one thing I get Jomo for, and again I hope that nobody I know is listening to this, but I hope that this episode does very well for you. Obviously lots of people aren’t listening. But no one that I know personally. So I have shared custody of my elder daughter Darcy with her dad, and nothing brings me more pleasure than when the birthday party invite from a classmate comes through when it’s on his weekend. I’m like, “Yes! I don’t have to take you to a kid’s birthday, and sit in soft play for two hours.”

Rachel:
Oh, that is joy.

Louise:
Jomo for those.

Rachel:
Especially when there’s one every weekend.

Louise:
Yeah, she’s more popular than I am. They have better social lives than us.

Alesha:
So Rachel, do you prefer hosting or being hosted?

Rachel:
It changes, but I think overall probably being hosted. I like to sit and just chill, with an evening with my glass of wine. But I’m always helping clearing up, and helping you know…

Louise:
You’ve had to add that on there because you’ve just said hosted.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Louise:
You’ve just said that I don’t want to- [crosstalk 00:13:32].

Rachel:
But it is true, I’m a helper. I can’t… I actually can’t just sit. I have to help. But no, definitely hosted.

Alesha:
What about you Louise?

Louise:
I like to host. Not because I’m generous, but because I am a control freak, and I like to control every element of the room, like the volume, and the temperature. And I can’t bear it when you go to someone else’s house and you’re too warm, and you don’t know where the toilet is, and you’d quite like a drink, you don’t want to ask. So the [inaudible 00:13:57] myself. So I’m really cool there, but I like to host-

Alesha:
I like to host when it’s family, because I like it to be in my house, and kind of just how I like things. But if it’s friends, I prefer to be hosted, just go to their house and let them have to deal with the cooking situation.

Rachel:
The washing up and the clearing up.

Alesha:
Yeah it’s much nicer isn’t it.

Rachel:
And also multitasking as well. Trying to chat, and clear up-

Alesha:
I know.

Louise:
Or just all go to restaurants so you don’t have to do anything.

Alesha:
Exactly. If you do host, what sort of things do you like to cook?

Louise:
Oh, well I can’t cook anything. I would set a bag of popcorn on fire in the microwave.

Rachel:
Easily done?

Louise:
It is easily done.

Rachel:
I think so.

Louise:
It is. You don’t think it’s going to set on actual fire. You think, oh that’s smoking, but actually it’s a small fire in there.

Alesha:
Oh my God.

Louise:
And your microwave is ruined forever. I had to get a new one after that.

Alesha:
Do you like to cook Rach?

Rachel:
No, I’m also not great in the kitchen-

Louise:
Are you a decanter?

Rachel:
I’m a decanter I’m very good at that. But my stint on master chef, which I still can’t believe I did that. My specialty dish was salmon in wasabi with pistachio crust.

Louise:
Wow!

Rachel:
So that’ll be my go to, because it looks quite impressive I think, but it’s quite easy.

Alesha:
It’s always good to have one dish that you can pull out of the bag. [crosstalk 00:15:16]

Rachel:
Exactly.

Alesha:
Love that. Right. We’re going to take a quick break, but we’ll be right back talking about friendship groups, toxic friends, and how having kids can affect your relationships with those that don’t.

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Alesha:
Welcome back to Where It’s At with me she Dixon. I’m here with Louise Pentland and Rachel Stevens, and we’re talking friends, frenemies and foes. Rachel, would you say your friendship group has got bigger or smaller with age?

Rachel:
Definitely smaller, definitely smaller. I’ve always had quite… Well I’ve got different groups of friends, and obviously I’ve inherited all of Alex’s, my husband’s friends who I get on really, really well with. But I’d definitely say smaller over the years.

Alesha:
What about you Louise?

Louise:
I’m going to say it stayed the exact same, but that means that some have dropped off and new ones have come. I think when you become a mom you make mom friends, whether your children go to school or nursery, et cetera. So the friends that I might have lost in my twenties who our lives just don’t mesh anymore, I’ve gained in mommy friends.

Alesha:
But would you say the mommy friends that you meet through your children have become genuine friends, or is it more circumstantial and you just get together when the kids are together. Or would you actually make plans together outside of the children?

Louise:
A bit of both. Some are the moms that I just enjoy to say hello to at the school gates, and have a bit of a chit chat with, but then there’s some who I would spend time with someones children. I’ve been on holiday with one of them.

Alesha:
Oh, lovely.

Louise:
That’s so Nice.

Rachel:
I’m actually quite the same. I’ve met… There’s a few lovely moms. They’re all lovely moms actually. A really nice group of moms. They’re very good at organizing big social events where once in a while, we’ll all go out, get together. [crosstalk 00:17:26]. Have you got the WhatsApp? Oh my God WhatsApp group.

Louise:
Oh God, I’ve had to come out of the WhatsApp group. Nothing brings me more anxiety than that school WhatsApp group, everyday a thousand messages… Have you got the-

Alesha:
Well it’s not just me then.

Louise:
Nancy’s lost her school skirt [crosstalk 00:17:40] , have you got a shoe?

Rachel:
I’m like how have you had time?

Louise:
And then everyone responds, “It’s not in my bag, it’s not in my bag. No I’ve not seen it all, but have you seen the invite to Natasha’s?” Oh my God, it’s too much, I can’t cope with it. It’s giving anxiety just thinking about it.

Alesha:
I have to say, I’ve been tempted to leave it on occasion.

Louise:
I’ve left.

Rachel:
Oh you’ve left? [crosstalk 00:17:54].

Louise:
I have Left, and do you know what happened? I missed out on a mom dinner and do you know what? Jomo. Yeah.

Alesha:
Rachel, you touched on the fact that you’ve become friends with your husband’s friends.

Rachel:
Yep.

Alesha:
And would you say that’s… Have you experienced something similar like this, so your partner that you’re with now, have his friendship group, become part of your social circle?

Rachel:
Yes, yes. Although I’m far more popular than him, so mostly he’s friends with my friends.

Alesha:
Yeah. Because my next question was, “Do you actually like his friends or do you have to tolerate them?” Because you kind of have to like your partner’s friends don’t you? So it’s a bonus if you genuinely like them.

Rachel:
Yeah, you kind of do, don’t you because you inherit them.

Louise:
You do!

Rachel:
You inherit them, they come with the package.

Alesha:
That’s right!

Rachel:
But yeah, I’m really lucky with my… They’re really cool, and we have a laugh, and they’re… So it’s worked out really well.

Louise:
Yeah. I also like Liam’s friends.

Alesha:
Really trying not to laugh here.

Louise:
A lot of Liam’s friends live really far away, so we don’t actually get to spend a great deal of time with them, but the time we do spend I do really enjoy, but we don’t see them super regularly.

Alesha:
Gotcha.

Louise:
But again, fortunately I’m very popular. And I enforced all of my friends and family upon him, and he’s a good boy.

Alesha:
I love it. Moving on to toxic friends, have you ever had any toxic friends that you’ve had to ditch?

Louise:
Yes.

Alesha:
What and why did you ditch them?

Louise:
I just found that the more and more we spent time together, the more I was coming away feeling negative feelings. So either stressed, or upset, or angry, or I would think, oh it’s going to be okay this time, it’s just me being sensitive. Then you come away and reflect on it, and think actually it’s not just me being sensitive, that’s not okay. And I don’t really like confrontations, so I’ll just slowly slip away rather than have it out with someone. So yeah, I think most people I’ve been there.

Rachel:
It’s really hard though, isn’t it? Because it’s is only a few… You only get this get of jail card a few times and if they don’t get the message, then it’s awkward.

Louise:
It is awkward. It is awkward. Nothing brings me more panic than when someone says, “Can we talk, when someone wants to confront something, which I know is probably a much more mature way of dealing with things. But I would rather just pretend it never happened to be very British about it, and say, “Thanks very much, goodbye.”

Alesha:
Yeah. But I think you get to an age where you look at the quality of your friends, and I agree with you, and unless somebody is bringing something positive into your life, there’s nothing wrong in moving away from that individual if you need to. But definitely, I’d say for most of my adult life, was more like you in terms of, I didn’t like the confrontation, but I have to say the last couple of years I’ve found myself braver, and able to actually articulate to somebody if they’ve done something that’s upset me, because in a way that’s a healing way for me to like let it go. Because I feel like if I don’t say anything and I hold onto it, I’m carrying that toxicity around with me.

Rachel:
Yeah. It’s hard depending on how friendly you are with them, or what your relationship is.

Alesha:
And whether it’s worth continuing to invest in that friendship.

Rachel:
And how you deal with it. Whether you are honest with them, or it depends how close you have been, or what your relationship’s been.

Louise:
Yeah.

Alesha:
So have you ever had to let go of toxic friend? Has that ever happened to you?

Louise:
Do you know what? I think because I got into S Club quite young… So I got into the band quite young and that kind of took me off on a whole sort of other path. And the few friends that I had that are the friends that I have now, have always been in my life and always will be, you know? So I think that’s why my social group got smaller, because I’ve got my best friends that I’ve had since I was really young.

Alesha:
Nice.

Louise:
And that just took me… I was just off the whole time we were away, or.

Alesha:
How old were you when you first joined the band?

Louise:
19. So that was a big chunk of my life. We were all over the place. So you do miss that element of… You would’ve had the same thing really wouldn’t you?

Alesha:
Absolutely.

Louise:
That social thing that you miss? I couldn’t go to friend’s weddings. You do miss that.

Alesha:
Yeah, you do. And in a way, once you kind of come out of the craziness of being in a band, and being away from friends and family for a long time, you have to sort of work on those relationships again and reconnect people.

Louise:
Exactly.

Alesha:
A bit like you, my friends are the same friends I’ve had from school. And I think they’re the friends that know you truly.

Louise:
And have always been there.

Alesha:
And they’re the kind of friends… That’s what I mean. So you can have disagreements or things happen, but you’ve invested pretty much your whole life into that friendship. So they’re the friendships that are probably worth working on and nurturing, whereas you get what I call new friends that kind of come and go in your life at different stages. And they don’t always stick around for whatever the reason.

Louise:
Do you have levels of friends. So for me I have my closest friends who I know will be there through thick and thin, and also they’re not interested in the perks of my job. They’re not in it for that, they’re just there because they’re great friends, and those are the ones that you would always treasure, make sure work. But then I have like your middle layer of friends. You think, “Hey, could take it or leave it.” And then you have friends who are people that you see at things, like the nice school moms that you probably don’t hang out with, and you’re like, “Hello.” But it’s those middle ones that I think I don’t always fight for those friendships.

Rachel:
You can’t… There’s not enough time to see everyone.

Alesha:
I could count true friends on one hand, and I’d rather have a small number of true friends than a large number of fake friends.

Louise:
Yes, absolutely.

Alesha:
Changing it up a little bit. Moving away from girlfriends. Do you think that you can be friends with an ex?

Rachel:
I think you can be, but I am not. So I can’t speak from personal experience. I think… I don’t know what that friendship would be.

Alesha:
I’m with you. I know people that are, but I don’t know if I could be. And I don’t know if I’d be okay with my partner being friends with his ex.

Louise:
Yeah.

Alesha:
But if you don’t like your friend’s partner, should you tell them?

Louise:
Oh that’s such a dicey one, isn’t it? Because I’ve made that mistake before when they’ve had a fallout, and then I’ve said I never liked him anyway, and then I’ve said it all, but then they get back together, and you’re like, “Oh, I wish I could just swallow up my words!”

Alesha:
I think so many people have been in that situation before. It comes back to bite you. It’s happened to me too. What about you Rach?

Rachel:
Do you know what? I don’t… I actually don’t think I’ve been in that situation, because the messy breakup has happened, and then I’m like, “Great, I’m out of it. I don’t have to [inaudible 00:24:48] .” Do you know what I mean? It just kind of run its course. So I’ve not really been in that situation.

Alesha:
It’s a really tricky one isn’t it? Because I have had a friend that was with somebody that I didn’t particularly like, and I waited until they broken up before I told her, and she was like, “Why didn’t you just say?” And I said, “Well because in that moment you were in a blissful state of happiness.” And it wasn’t like he was a nasty person. I just didn’t particularly like him. Sounds awful doesn’t it.

Rachel:
[crosstalk 00:25:08] I don’t think you can ever say… It’s a bit like.

Alesha:
You can’t tell them.

Rachel:
And also these relationships that we all have that are not great for us. You kind of have to go through your own sort of journey.

Alesha:
Yeah exactly. It’s for them to discover.

Rachel:
That’s a real sort of learning. I think your relationships that you go through in your life are such learning experiences.

Alesha:
I agree.

Rachel:
Of what you don’t want, or what you do want rather.

Alesha:
Yeah. And the only time I’ve ever piped up and said something is if I’ve heard, or seen something that is quite bad or detrimental to my friend, and then I will tell them, and I have done that, and that’s even come back to bite me before.

Louise:
If he’s abusive or… That’s so difficult.

Alesha:
But that’s the only time I will say something, because the way I treat it in that moment, is if it was the other way round, what would I want? And I would always want someone to tell me if they knew something about my partner.

Rachel:
But it’s that thing as well of wait till you’re asked with that… You can’t… It’s hard to give an opinion. Do you know what I mean? You’ve got to kind of be asked. It’s a difficult one.

Alesha:
Yeah.

Louise:
It’s a tricky one. Like you said, because I’ve been in a relationship where my friends didn’t like him. And I agree that if something very serious is happening, like sort of cheating or abuse or anything like that, you should step in, that’s the right thing to do. But they just didn’t like the cut of his Jib.

Alesha:
Right. That’s different.

Louise:
And I was really upset. I was like, what do you mean don’t like him is he makes me happy wa. And then it turned out that he did dump me because he said I wasn’t very adventurous. I am very adventurous. I had just been on holiday, and that was adventurous. I had just been to New York, and that’s adventurous. Anyway, but he said I wasn’t adventurous. And then all my friends were right. But at the time I didn’t appreciate it.

Alesha:
So funny. I love that.

Louise:
It was a very adventurous holiday.

Alesha:
I’m with you. I think if it’s… They just don’t like him for the sake of liking him. Maybe keep that to yourself if your friend’s happy. But if it’s something more serious, cheating, abuse, whatever, then I think we have a responsibility as friends to tell our friends.

Louise:
Totally.

Rachel:
Definitely.

Alesha:
Right. So we’re all at a stage now where some people are having babies, like we all have, and others aren’t. Are you still as close to friends that haven’t settled down and had a family, or has family life separated your friendship a little bit?

Rachel:
I would say yes… I mean definitely I think it just happens, doesn’t it? So I have a friend who I’ve grown up with who is a very close friend, but we cannot see each other for ages, and then we’ll go out for dinner and we’ll literally pick up where we left off. And it’s that closeness and that foundation that we’ve had from when we were younger. But we wouldn’t speak like regularly, because our lives are so different.

Alesha:
Right.

Rachel:
And I think she’s single and she’s going out, which she’s got to do. And it’s just a different-

Alesha:
Different path. Yeah. What about you Louise?

Louise:
I am still friends with all my friends that don’t have children. I really enjoy it because you can have a different kind of friendship with them. I’ll find someone to look after my children-

Alesha:
Right, love that.

Louise:
And then we get to go and have a taste of my old life again. I’m like, “This is great!” And when you have friends with children, it’s often that, where should we go that will suit the children, where can we go, where they can play, et cetera. But I did find that it was very hard at the beginning, because I was the first in my friendship group to have a baby. I was 25 when I had Darcy, and none of my friends were at that life stage. And all of a sudden I had such Fomo because they were all still going out and living their best lives, and being in their early and mid twenties, and I was at home with the baby. So that was really difficult. But I’ve found that actually those friendships that kind of maybe weakened over that time are now strengthening again, because a lot of those people are now having children themselves, and now we’re back on level playing field, and it’s actually really lovely. I feel like I’m having a second wave of a lot of my friendships.

Alesha:
That’s so nice.

Louise:
Now that we’re in our early thirties. And I’ve just had a baby as well. So it’s like doing it all again. It’s really, really nice.

Alesha:
That’s really nice.

Rachel:
That’s really lovely.

Alesha:
I was one of the last to have a baby in my friendship group, but it was okay because whilst they were raising their children, I was kind of off working, and so I didn’t really feel like, “Oh none of my friends want to come out and socialize.” I didn’t feel like I was missing out. But then once I then decided to have a baby, and all my friends children were pretty much growing up, I sort of them felt alone doing it. Because it’s quite nice isn’t it, when you can share that with someone?

Rachel:
Oh.

Alesha:
So most of my friend’s children were ten/11

Rachel:
Yeah. I think you’re so need that when you’ve had a baby.

Alesha:
Absolutely.

Rachel:
To have that… Those are the moms who are going through exactly the same thing as you. When I had Emily, I lived off mom advice and mom tips, and we all would share with… Not that had loads of moms at the same time going… But just mom advice, and sharing what you’re going through. And I was one of the later ones to have kids and I do remember phone conversations change. I don’t know if you found that when you were trying to have a conversation with a friend, and they had their kids in the back of the car, and I wasn’t a mom yet so I didn’t get it. Whereas now you, literally cannot have a conversation with your kids in the car.

Louise:
You learn code very well, don’t you?

Alesha:
Yeah.

Louise:
Everything is in code.

Alesha:
But I remember him trying to have a conversation, and it’d be like, “Mommy!” And you know so.

Louise:
I think that’s why social media is so good now for moms. Not that I’m trying to plug my own thing-

Alesha:
I totally agree.

Louise:
but that’s how I got into it. Because I didn’t really have any mom friends when I had Darcy, because I had just moved down to North Hampton, and none of my friends were having babies, and it was just a very lonely time. And also after Darcy had suffered from PTSD and was really down. And I think that when you’ve just had a new baby, and you feel down as it is, it’s really, really hard to get yourself out there. It’s hard work to get out the door anyway when you’ve got a baby and all the Gubbins.

Louise:
So for me that was when social media was just coming into its own, sort of 2011, 2012. And that’s where I connected with moms on there, and that’s how all of my stuff has happened. Wow. So I would just say to any moms that are listening that are thinking, “Oh, you’re right, mom friends are so important, but I don’t have any.” You know, there is space for you online. There’s lots of moms out there that you can reach out to as well.

Alesha:
It’s so nice.

Rachel:
It’s so nice. I follow bloggers and people like that who are moms, and I think to myself, I wish I had that when I was a new mom.

Alesha:
What do you miss most about responsibility free days with your friends now that you are moms?

Rachel:
Lie ins.

Alesha:
Ah, lie ins.

Rachel:
Lie ins. Don’t you find the pressure when you’ve got that one [inaudible 00:31:48] my kids are staying out at my parents or whatever. And you’ve got the pressure of a lie in. Do you ever feel the pressure of lie in?

Alesha:
I feel like my body clock has changed now, [crosstalk 00:31:57].

Rachel:
Wake up a seven o’clock you’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve got a lie in today, and I’m not taking advantage of my lie in.”

Alesha:
Yeah. Even if the zoo is not there, it’s like my body is waking up for the school run anyway. They’ve done us in that’s it.

Rachel:
Yes.

Louise:
And also sometimes this is what I miss. So even if you have a babysitter to go out, and you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, you think, well I can’t have any more because it’s not worth the hangover tomorrow. It’s just not worth it. [crosstalk 00:32:22]

Rachel:
I know.

Alesha:
I know, but I think I miss being spontaneous, do you know what I mean?. Like before when you didn’t have children, whatever you wanted to do in that moment, you could just do it. Whereas now there’s always that train of thought. Right. You have to plan so much more, don’t you?

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
So I missed that freedom.

Rachel:
Just being able to walk out the door, and go for a bite to eat, or-

Alesha:
Just anything.

Louise:
Yeah.

Alesha:
So to finish ladies, if you were an alcoholic beverage, what would you be and why?

Louise:
Oh my goodness.

Rachel:
Is it you like? Or what your [inaudible 00:32:55] personality.

Louise:
I’m glad you asked that, because I like a Porn Star Martini, but I am not anything like [inaudible 00:33:02].

Rachel:
Just to clarify [crosstalk 00:33:04] she’s not a porn star everyone.

Louise:
I’m the least porn star.

Rachel:
I just go with it.

Alesha:
That’s brilliant.

Louise:
I am the least porn star woman you’ve ever met in your life. That’s me, Louise Pentland, to Porn Star Martini.

Alesha:
So you enjoy drinking a Porn Star Martini?

Louise:
Yes.

Alesha:
But which alcoholic beverage would describe your personality?

Louise:
I’m going to say a Strawberry Daiquiri.

Alesha:
Oh that’s good.

Louise:
Because I’m very sweet, and I love pink.

Alesha:
That’s a good one. What about you Rachel?

Rachel:
I would be a Mojito.

Alesha:
Oh nice. Classic.

Rachel:
Classic.

Alesha:
Fresh.

Rachel:
Yes refreshing with a little bit of a kick.

Alesha:
I like that.

Louise:
Oh nice.

Alesha:
I think I’d go for a Rum Punch, because Rums got a kick to it.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
It’s quite tropical and colorful.

Louise:
Yeah,

Alesha:
And occasionally sweet.

Rachel:
Yeah.

Alesha:
But let’s stop talking about alcohol because I can’t drink any for a very long time, and I don’t want to sit here dreaming about a glass of wine.

Louise:
No.

Alesha:
That’s unfortunately all we’ve got time for today, but thank you so much to Rachel, and Louise for joining me. I hope you enjoyed it ladies.

Louise:
I did.

Rachel:
Brilliant, thank you!

Louise:
So good to have you on the show. Thank you.

Louise:
Thank you for having me.

Rachel:
Thank you.

Alesha:
Thanks so much for tuning into Where It’s At. We’d love for you to hit subscribe, and join us for our next episode, The Greatest Love Of All, Where I’ll be back with the ever stylish Natalie Lee, and Jodie Kid, as we chat all things self love.

Speaker 4:
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