Mummy & Maker
Designing and Wineing
Until I was a mother I never knew how challenging, draining and exhausting being a parent could truly be. I spent my whole life in education right up to graduating and thought all nighters in the library doing an essay, the day before it was due, was a test of my patience and work ethic. How wrong I was. Giving birth and raising a human trumped the hardship of university on every possible level.
The thing is, at university at least you get to let your hair down once or twice a week by hitting the cheap trebles and attending a nightclub where your feet get stuck to the floor. Not only those delights but a decent adult conversation would probably arise at some point in your day whilst sitting in a seminar or eating lunch, with a mate you just met in Sexual Cultures. Despite moving away, isolation was never really a problem for me, in fact isolation was sometimes exactly what I wanted, especially drunk wanderers opening your door at 4am with the wrong flat.
So I guess what I am trying to say is, parenthood may come along with the same nights of hanging your head over the toilet vomming but it is way more challenging than anything I had ever experienced mentally, physically and emotionally in my 20 years of studies.
On Sunday 28th June 2015 motherhood hit me like a stump to the toe. It was extremely painful to begin with (Yes, crowing is not exactly pleasant!) and then the ache which lingered on afterwards was the never ending period cramp. Then you have the same brain wave of “I am never doing that again!”
I could not believe I was responsible for feeding, changing, bathing and cuddling this little bundle of joy which had kicked me non stop for what seemed like forever. I for one would have found all of this a hell of a lot easier with some sleep.
But hey! It is was not all that bad, those tiny fingers which grasped my thumb and those big beautiful eyes which stared up at me were worth every yawn, boob leak, cervix ache and penguin waddle.
Penny or as she is known on my blog as Penelope Polka dot opened up a whole new world to me. The world of “I know best, my child is breastfed and eats like a zillion veggies a day then sleeps 7-7” but also the world of “My child had quavers for breakfast and is still not out of her pyjamas.” It was like I had entered motherhood high school.
The competition was fierce and whoever could walk the talk with their new Quinny buzz or Kath Kidston backpack and breast feed with their boob covered was the popular chick. I for one needed to vent! There was so much to talk about and every day was a school day for me. My brain was replacing everything I had learnt in my 3 year degree with ‘this is how you change a nappy’, ‘Don’t wipe back to front’, ‘Don’t wean until they are 6months’ it was like gaining a whole other degree but in motherhood.
I first began my blog far too late into Penny’s life. At first, I tried sufficing by attending every mother and baby group going. I would mix in with mums who were married, successful careers and beautiful family homes, whilst little old me had just graduated, flew to Australia to start a career, flew back within two months because of violent sickness and had a baby. Mark and I had sold all our furniture and flat to start a new chapter on the other side of the world for a year. However, being so ill I could not afford the medical bills (pretty sure my insurance did not cover pregnancy) and the 40 degree heat was too intense.
I met lots of lovely mums in my first few months and depending on what group you attended, many of them were none judgmental and friendly towards everyone. At this point I felt no need to write about parenting, it had never crossed my mind that parenting bloggers even existed! I was too busy dealing with shit explosions and bottle making.
It was not until Penny became a lot more mobile and found her feet when the fun began! Just as I was facing the challenges of weening, baby proofing and solid poos I found Constance Hall who just made my mind explode. She was honest, sweary, positive and loved her post pregnancy body! I began following her instantly and that’s when the seed was planted. I needed to do this!
Penelopepolkadot first launched on Instagram, it was blogging my parenting through photographs and small paragraphs. It soon got a few followers and developed into an account just for Penny. I began talking to other mums over the internet who shared similar interests and they told me about small shops!
Small shops are shops that are ran from home by a mum or dad who needed a little more income or wanted to stay at home longer with their baby after maternity leave. Some have huge followings and some have committed mums who now refuse to buy from any other shops. It was another crazy world!
Anyway, having no job (as I left mine in Australia) I decided to find spare time and set up a small shop myself.
With no clue at what I was doing, I put together a few designs, names, logos and created the account ‘Alamodekids’ on Instagram. It soon developed a following and people wanted to see and buy products way quicker than expected! I searched for weeks on ways to print my own clothes from home but it was so expensive! I eventually found another company I could collaborate with who were willing to print my designs and send them out. This is how my shop began! It was spiraled from here and I went on to become more involved, creative and positive.
Putting two and two together.
It soon became apparent that being a mummy and designing clothes would make good blogging content therefore I decided to set up a Twitter and website to talk about what I do and gain more interest from other bloggers. I also hoped that I would inspire more mums to work from home and turn something they love doing into a business alongside raising their babies. It is such a lovely world to enter into, having virtual mum friends up and down the country allows me to vent, chat and laugh (a lot) without even leaving the house. If you are a person who does not fancy the mum and baby groups then don’t isolate yourself, you don’t have to be. All of these social networking platforms are full of mums who all have something in common with you!
I now blog at (www.penelopepolkadot.co.uk) and post regular updates on Twitter (www.twitter.com/alamodekidswear) as well as update my Instagram shop (www.instagram.com/Alamodekids) and Penelopepolkadot (www.instagram.com/penelopepolkadot)
Thanks so much for reading,