When I first started my interior design practice a good friend of mine tried to talk me through branding. He asked me did I want to brand myself as a designer who also happens to be a mum or a mum that designs? I did not have a clue and put this in the too hard pile along with marketing, sales and scary financials. So, I decided to just get on and do what I know and start designing and that’s what I did and I’m fortunate that I’m still doing it to this day.
A second child later and while I’m sort of on maternity leave (I’m not too good at taking time out) I decided I should properly start thinking about my “brand”. I found Instagram quickly became my obsession while breastfeeding in the middle of the night. I quickly discovered how many amazing mothers are out there juggling a family life while trying to run a creative business and posting gorgeous images and blogs. So many women have started completely new paths as their careers could never work with their family life. Their words are inspiring, honestly funny and creative. They think outside the box because let’s face it as a mum there is no neat little box. Each kid brings a different dynamic and challenge, if you bring this free way of thinking to your business it can only be inspiring and give you an edge over the big boys as they have so much red tape.
Back to my friend’s question, do I want to brand myself as a designer that happens to be a Mum or a Mum that designs, well currently on my instrgram page it’s all about the kids with a few interior shots when I remember, my goal is to always work the business around my family and that is my daily challenge as it’s hard to get the balance right as I can never stop thinking about new design challenges. I can always make more money or sleep more but I can never get this time back. Design is a passion and I need that for my sanity. I am fortunate that I love what I do so it never really feels like work. I know I over share about my kids with my clients and I bore them with their achievements but I decided if you work with me they come as part of the package. Harry has had a cuddle with all my clients and Jack is always on hand to give me his keen creative eye before a major presentation.
Some days it’s hard but this is not a sob story this is a thank you to all my amazing Mum friends including my own amazing Mum who all give honest advice whether I want it or not. Thank you to the Mums who have their own challenges but get by with so much grace and with a big smile on their faces and to the oh so cool creative mums on Instagram who keep me company in the small hours when I can’t sleep as I’m either worrying I have forgotten something or I’m feeding the munchkin, to you all I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.
- Remember to enjoy it all. Put the iPhone down and get on the trampoline with your kids. We had a little night time trampoline in the summer and Jack has not stopped talking about it. These are the memories they, and us, will have forever.
- If you are working Mum enjoy it, if you are a stay at home Mum enjoy it, but whatever you do don’t judge another Mum for their choices, working or not, its not cool.
- I have realised there is no such thing as a balanced life, you just have to take it as it comes and plan your family life like you would a work project, that way the year does not run away with you.
- You will hear your Mum’s words coming out of your mouth and it will scare the life out of you. But it’s ok. I now realise my Mother was winging it just as much as I am. I think she did a pretty good job so hopefully so can I.
- When I had Jack I realised I knew no one in my local area with kids, all my friends were in the City working and I had never felt so isolated. I tackled it like speed dating! I turned up at as many Mothers groups as possible and introduced myself to everyone I could. It was so scary but it was worth it as I have a strong group of friends I can turn to. Your network of friends is so important, you need to surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself and who you can have a laugh with when the sh!t hits the fan, or the down the slide in my case