I’m thrilled to introduce Esther Jones to you – Mum of 3, Childbirth Educator, Founder & Managing Director of Barcelona-Metropolitan. I was priviliged to be able to interview her – she’s an inspiration! Hear her inspirering story.
Esther, where are you from and how did you end up in Barcelona?
-I grew up in a small town in Yorkshire, England. After university in London I lived in Italy for a few years, where I met my (Argentinian) partner. He was living in Barcelona and I’d always loved the city so I moved here. That was about 17 years ago.
You’ve lived in Barcelona for a long time, how has it changed for you?
-The biggest change I see is how international the city is now and how it has changed to fit its role as a major tourist destination. Depending on my mood I either find it invigorating or I feel nostalgic for that less-gentrified, seedier, city that oozed charm and mystery.
What do you love and dislike the most about living in Barcelona?
-I find Barcelona to be an easy-going city to live in. It’s creative and dynamic and there are just so many different people flowing through – I think everyone can find their tribe here. On the downside, there’s a lot of traffic and I worry about the air we’re all breathing.
You run Barcelona-Metropolitan – tell me about your job and the magazine.
-I set the magazine up in 1996. Barcelona was just becoming a popular destination for foreigners and I’d seen this model of magazine in Paris and Rome, so I thought, why not Barcelona? It took a couple of years to really get off the ground. There was no free press at that time so people found it hard to understand what we were or to categorise us. We were lucky to catch the boom time when Barcelona just became more and more popular. Also, this was before the internet, so people really came to rely on us for information about the city and events. We’ve changed a lot since then, but our goal has always been the same – to help people make the most of their time in Barcelona. I’m still very involved in the company but my role now is mostly focussed on strategy and future projects. I have a great team of people who take care of the day to day.
To me you are a very grounded, centred and calm person, but you are a mum of 3 small children, you have the responsibility of a magazine, have a travelling husband, how do you cope with all of it?
-I’m a very optimistic person so I usually manage to see the bright side of whatever is going on. I also try to keep things in perspective and if it’s not important then I won’t worry too much about it. I try to make sure that there’s some downtime each day, when I can just unwind.
How do you find a balance between work/life/family etc? Any recommendations?
-I don’t see it so much as work versus family, but rather just as a need to blend it all together as best as I can. I have a lot of freedom as to when I work so that’s helpful of course. I think that the flexibility and the fact that I can have my four-month old baby with me while I work, whether at home or in the office is key to keeping things balanced.
You come for regular massage, do pilates and you teach women about hypnobirthing – why and when an interest in all of this? How does it help you?
-I was brought up in a very health conscious family, so my health has always been important to me. Rather than develop an interest in holistic care, it’s just something I’ve never really questioned. I believe that our minds are a very powerful influence on our physical state so to really achieve some kind of harmony in life, we need to pay attention to our mind and body.
Last but not least what makes you tick? What’s your passion?
-I’m a childbirth educator and advocate for improving the understanding of women’s needs in childbirth. I run a website called www.barcelonabirth.net, which provides information for English-speaking pregnant women in Barcelona and I co-run a monthly meetup group for pregnant women. My professional life so far in both Metropolitan and Barcelona Birth has been driven by the desire to share information and to create supportive communities.
Thank you soo much Esther!
You can find Esther at: