My baby hasn’t been sleeping at night. I saw our Young-Carefree next door neighbour carrying his bike up the steps to his house earlier and avoided his helmet lit vision. Next door, on the other side, the With-Kids, nodded in a familiar motion of solace. I really need to remove the now rotting pumpkins from the pathway. The With-Kids turned theirs into a bird feeder. Clever. Young-Carefree didn’t even have a pumpkin, they must have been too busy partying. Obvs.
So, I’m sat up in bed having just got the baby to finally nod off and the cat has jumped on my dressing table and started attacking the butterfly mask my daughter decorated, because it has feathers attached to it. Stop it, cat! Ugh, she’s covered in glitter now too. I demolished (so hungry) some spag bol * clinking cutlery * while feeding the now angelic baby earlier and a wave of night time peace slowly descends on our home.
My work begins. In bed. Because I have now entered the parental state of potentially falling asleep while putting the children to bed. Do NOT have wine. Plus, I am allergic to the cold (see: my annual emigration policy), if I move out from under the covers I will genuinely freeze from the ankles up.
Social media comes alive like little zapping wires, as parents all over the land work their socks off to earn a dime.
The glare of the laptop screen welcomes me, ‘hello’. Social media comes alive like little zapping wires, as parents all over the land work their socks off to earn a dime. High fives, you’re great, we’re great, bad day, good day, tantrum on the slide, coffee in a cave, bed time, love time, we’ve made it, love your business, love yours. Help.
I’ve become good at switching in a flash to editor setting. With limited time always and forever, I take my inspiration, pottering and producing, where and when I can get it. I write lists ferociously, get lost in thought often and find time melts away as I type.
It’s true however, that despite nearly falling asleep on the side of a trampoline at toddler gym, that working energises me. I feel a sense of self as I scroll, ping and burrow. Preferably with a tea and one of those cheap Lidl white chocolate blocks by my side. I absolutely love what I do, creating Lionheart Magazine. I’ve been doing it for five years now and after two round babies, I am finally ready to (maybe) do this as my main occupation.
Mum first > Editor second > Together > One human > Fulfilled.
This means night shifts, nap shifts, interviews in lay-bys and my colleagues under three attending meetings, launch parties, galleries, magazine drop offs to stockists and 3,453 visits to the post office.
This means night shifts, nap shifts, interviews in lay-bys and my colleagues under three attending meetings, launch parties, galleries, magazine drop offs to stockists and 3,453 visits to the post office. “Mummy’s magazine” “Roarrrr” and other cute things make me hope they will be nice and proud one day. But mostly, that they will follow their own dream career. But to do this, they will have to work really, really hard. You have to, don’t you? To stay motivated, passionate and attain flexibility, the moments of job elation – money.
It’s not easy as a self-employed parent, I was like Young-Carefree once, I assumed it was all going to be skippy in the hilly. But sometimes it rains hard, and you still have to work. But you know, the With-Kids have had a huge studio built in their garden. The dad does his illustration in there. He’s very successful, at a peak, and he still works into the night. Just like you and me. Maybe the moon has a power. Maybe my gorgeous baby boy is dreaming up something magical and wants to tell us (all night at regular 1.5 hour intervals)? Maybe we are all doing it for our kids.
Photograph by Helen Martin.