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“I wake up positive, but by the afternoon when I’ve been ground down, I feel like I’ve failed"
June 1st 2020 / 0 comment
Youtuber, author and podcaster Louise Pentland speaks for many parents coping with homeschooling and an already busy day job. She talks candidly about coping with keeping 2.4 million followers – and two daughters under 10 – happy in lockdown
The life of a YouTuber seems well-suited to lockdown – after all, the beauty of the medium is that it can all be filmed from home, safe in the confines of their bedroom.
This may have been the case when Louise Pentland launched her YouTube lifestyle channel 'Sprinkle of Glitter' ten years ago, but fast forward a decade and lockdown life as an influencer isn’t as easy as we might have pictured – especially when you add two children under the age of ten into the mix; Louise and her fiance Liam have two-year-old daughter Pearl, plus nine-year-old Darcy from Louise's previous marriage.
As someone who has long juggled many projects and channels (2.4 million followers on Instagram, over 183 million YouTube views, a successful parenting podcast Mother's Meeting , three novels and a memoir, Life With A Sprinkle of Gitter under her belt, Louise is better-placed than many to tackle homeschooling alongside her regular (if you can call it that!) job. But that’s not to say it’s easy.
“While I’ve always worked from home, it’s everyone else being here too that’s the problem!” says Louise who lives in Northampton. “I work quite late into the evening to fit it all in – and cry a lot!” she admits. “I fit home-schooling around work but I originally thought a nine-year-old’s workload couldn't be that hard, but it’s a lot and it feels like we’re a thousand worksheets away from the summer holidays!
“I always wake up feeling positive, I’m a naturally optimistic person, but by the afternoon when I’ve been ground down, I have an issue with feeling like I’ve failed. If I haven’t done a brilliant job on the home-schooling and Pearl hasn’t had lots of stimulating playtime and I’ve got emails stacked up and all of a sudden it can feel a bit overwhelming. I think that’s something a lot of people if not most people are feeling because suddenly we’ve got a lot more to do.”
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I’m really conscious that I mustn’t complain and I promise I’m so grateful for all that I have. That being said, omg I’m struggling. . I’ve learnt this won’t last long. Good days follow bad days and I know to just ride it out. It’s just, it’s a lot isn’t it? . Friends risking their lives as nurses, daily govt updates in front of the brown walls with the big yellow signs on the podiums, people queuing with huge gaps outside shops, feeling afraid when someone goes past you on your one approved walk a day, all the summer events cancelled, no end or start dates for anything, only talking via screens, printing off the home school sheets, loosing your sense of self, loosing faith in the future. It’s a lot. . I’ve started to struggle to imagine life going back to normal. Even with a vaccine ready, how long would it take for everyone to be given it? Would another strain of the virus flare up? . I never post things like this because I want to provide joy and inspiration but I also want to say, for anyone and everyone feeling the same, I’m right there with you. . I’m scared the comments are going to get really down really fast so let’s make a little rule for everyone’s sake- if you leave a comment, end it on a good note! . Here are my good things- I’ve bonded so much with Pearl now we have no childcare, I’ve loved doing so many games with Darcy, I’ve surprised myself with my kitchen skills (they’re still bad but not totally awful), I’ve noticed things about my area on our walks that I’ve never seen before and, I’ve never spent so much time chatting to all of you on lives or in the dms. Positives. Thank God.
As well as the challenges of balancing homeschooling with still creating content that followers devour the second it’s uploaded, Louise is facing challenges that many of us relate to, mainly in the name of beauty.
“My nails look like I live in the woods and don’t get me started on my hair!” says Louise. For the last nine years, Louise has treated herself to a weekly wash and blow-dry at the salon. “I hadn’t realised how boujee I was until this happened! My hair is so thick it’s really hard to wash and I actually hadn’t washed it myself in nine years. I’m now doing it myself and it’s not looking good; I look like a wolf. It started off pink and now it’s a weird sand shade. I need the salon.”
Louise has moved away from beauty content in more recent years, growing with her followers to move away from beauty hauls and makeup bag tours and into parenting Q&As and kidswear clothing inspiration, but makeup is still close to Louise’s heart. here are a few of her favourite buys.
The last beauty product I bought before lockdown
"I buy this a lot in shade NW15 as well as the and the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft and Gentle, £26.50. I use it down to the pan until there's nothing left and that takes a solid year."
What I stocked up on to see me through
"At the start of lockdown I decided to order a big box of Lush goodies to see me through, because I love a bath but here’s the tragedy - I had the box right next to the shower cubicle - I had a shower, didn't shut the door properly and all the water came out and it soaked into the box and all the bath bombs got squished. I salvaged the ones that I could and put it down to experience."
What I wish I’d bought before lockdown
Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil, £22.50
"I wish I had gone out and bought was the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in Number 2 - I only have a nubbin left and I am using it really sparingly."
What I can’t wait to buy as soon as the stores reopen
"I love bright pink lipstick but I don't like to buy online; you need to see and test them. There's nothing I enjoy more than a little mooch around Space NK, asking the assistant for the brightest pink they have. There’s a lovely By Terry one, shade 13, brightest pink is lovely