This is my blog and competition for the wonderful Rock My Family, sister blog to Rock my Wedding. To enter the competition, visit the Rock my Family website and leave a comment!
I’m writing this after coming home from Tumble Tots, our once a week foray into the world of Mum life. We are consistently late, often crying (usually Agnes, sometimes me) and nearly always without the bloody nappy bag. There are other Mums like me, I know there are because I’ve read a variation on the above a thousand times before but in my mind (please let it be just in my mind), it’s just me, scatty old me amongst a sea of sensibly shod, calm, got their sh*t together super mums. Who never forget the nappy bag.
BUT, and there is a super big but here, there are two sides to every story. I am an illustrator and for three of the four years I have run my business, it was sans baby. When I got pregnant I decided I would take a month off working after I had her. In the end, I took six days off, four of which I was in hospital. Ok, blah blah, what a show off. But in reality, the thought of not working, of letting my first baby, my little business, dissolve in the wake of Mummyville was far more terrifying to me than taking on the great juggling act. I plunged in head first and when people said I was mad (which they did, all the blinking time) I just laughed and said I knew. Because it was a bit mad; in the early days I would sling her up, she would sleep and I would draw, email and make phone calls like mad until she woke up again. We meddled through, it worked. Some days were long, daunting and crap and some days were great.
As Agnes has got older (she is now 13 months) it has without a shadow of doubt got harder. Working while she is awake feels like playing a real life game of buckaroo; I stack toys up around her and pray they entertain her for a decent stretch before she flips. I started her one day a week at nursery when she was 8 months and now she does 3 days. I cram most of my work into nursery days, juggle for one and take Monday or Friday off. I don’t do long coffee mornings or sing and sign classes and I don’t have a huge group of new Mum friends (most of my old friends are still happily in a relationship with Tinder, so they don’t count) and yes, sometimes I feel like the worlds most selfish person for not giving up my job for the most important person in my life. But, there’s that but again, I wholeheartedly believe that I am a better Mum whilst I have my illustration business in my life.
My work makes me happy; I love the drawing, the marketing, developing new products, talking to new clients and everything else that goes into it (ok, not the accounts, they can do one) but overall it makes me happy and if I’m happy, I feel better equipped to be ‘Mum’ me. I can forgo the nights out, wipe the contents of an exploded nappy off my pile of invoices (yes, that actually happened) and sing baa baa black sheep for the 400th time. I am more motivated and driven now to push my business than I ever was before Agnes was born; I now have to use every minute she is asleep or at nursery wisely, no more Facebook or ASOS trawling. I wouldn’t swap what I do for the world and maybe, just maybe, one day soon I’ll remember that bloody nappy bag.
Katie Cardew Illustrations Ltd • Company No: 11099351 • VAT Number: 285751958
Kings Cliffe, PE8 6XN, United Kingdom