Link to Metro article 10th April 2015
Interview Q&A for Babble April 2015:
- The pictures in the book are hysterical and relatable. Do you have a background in illustrating?
Very nice of you to say so!
I’ve worked as a storyboard artist for the last ten years. When I’m not drawing for work, I draw for fun or as some sort of weird necessity. So when the momentous event of childbirth and mummy-hood happened to me it was very natural to reach for a pencil.
- What motivated you to draw out your experiences rather than write it?
I’m much better at drawing than I am writing. I have to ponder over words whereas drawings just sort of happen. For me it was also cathartic to make a joke out of things that were at the time challenging.
- What has your reaction been from other moms?
As and when I drew the pictures I would share them with friends who were also mums. They found them funny and said that they made them feel like they weren’t alone going through what can be a difficult time.
The first year of motherhood is (for some) a strangely solitary time, your up at silly hours. Being able to share drawings and silly stories on whattsapp etc with friends can become a lifeline.
I haven’t really had any direct feedback from anyone other than friends
- Have they found it funny/encouraging?
I think knowing that someone else has found it hard too can make you feel better. We’re all learning together.
- Do you plan on having anymore kids or has your experience with an only child been fulfilling?
I came to motherhood quite late, I was 38 when I had my daughter. Everyday I thank my lucky stars that I have her. She is more than enough for both my partner and myself, we are totally content and fulfilled so no we won’t be having any more.
- Do you plan on continuing to document your parenting experience through illustrations?
I probably won’t be able to help myself, but I don’t think I will publish another doodle diary. I worry it would be an invasion of her privacy.
The first year is an extraordinary time, everyday seems to bring with it a new developmental milestone and most parents are going through the same things at roughly the same time.
As they grow, their personalities get stronger and they become distinct little individuals, I don’t think my daughter’s everyday life would be quite as relatable
Also, I recently watched ‘Gone Girl’ and it touched a nerve!
- What is your most embarrassing parenting moment?
My daughter was what’s known as a ‘happy sicker’ so I had more than my fair share of dabbing up projectile milk vomits off friends couches, shop floors, peoples clothes etc.
- Where is the strangest place you’ve ever breast fed?
Again because of my daughters ‘happy sicking’ (sometimes 50 times a day!) she would want to feed ALL the time. So I got quite blazay about getting my boobs out in public. My daughter refused to drink from a bottle. It was awful to pour away un-drunk painfully expressed milk. Long car journeys were always fun, getting into a position to dangle a boob over her in the car seat was tricky but possible. Passing drivers must have had a laugh.
Luckily I never encountered any negative reaction to my breastfeeding in public, it wouldn’t have been pretty if someone had challenged me!
- What moment did you finally feel like a parent?
My labour and birth happened through the night. At around 5 in the morning, my partner Tom was sent home and I was wheeled back exhausted into my room with my daughter in my arms. The door closed and it was just her and I, we were on our own and it was my job to keep her safe and warm. In a flash my life changed. She was more important than me. My desperate sleepiness irrelevant.
Luckily for me breastfeeding was pretty straightforward. That first night, as she latched on, it dawned on me, that the large glass or five of wine that I had been promising myself after nine moths of abstinence was going to have to wait a little bit longer.
- What’s one thing you wish someone had told you before having a baby?
When I was pregnant, I was flooded with parental advice, warnings and anecdotes by, it seemed, everyone I met – people at bus stops, hairdressers, everyone had something to say. Some of it was useful and gratefully received but other bits were nonsense. I think it’s just one of those things you have to experience for yourself. Every child is unique and everyone’s situation is different.
- What do you really want for Mother’s Day?
Its corny but just waking up with a happy, healthy baby is enough for me.
Since having my daughter I think I will always see her Birthday as the real Mothers day, a day to remember the moment she came into the world. I think all mums should get lots of presents on their children’s birthdays!