Monday, October 24, 2016

Claire from Wedding in Central Park {The Mommylogues Series}

The newest Mommylogues Series guest is Claire and she hails all the way from the UK! My first international guest! 
Hi, I’m Claire. I blog about weddings in Central Park. Since 2011 I have been running a small business planning weddings for couples who want to get married in Central Park. I do it all from home and around my two young children. I used to live in New York, that is where I was when I started the business, since then I have lived in other parts of the US, and have now returned to my home, England. I am mum to Thomas, who will be three in November, and Joseph, who just turned one this September.
I have enjoyed reading the blogs in this series and I was very keen to be a part of it. Thank you for having me, Whitney. I have never been someone who dreams of weddings, nor did I feel sure that I would be a mother someday, and wedding planning and motherhood are certainly roles I have fallen into by accident. So is being home so much and working from home. I am going to talk about being a stay at home mum, and a work from home parent, and about the empowerment I feel those roles have brought me. Also about balance, and keeping a sense of identity while dedicating myself to raising a family. 
Becoming a mum has changed me in ways I could never have imagined. I am sure every single other mum feels the same way. I truly understand what it means to put another person’s needs ahead of yours. I know what it means to love someone so much that you don’t really mind how annoying they can be when they won’t eat the food you made them, when they won’t sleep when you know it’s good for them, or when they fight with their sibling. 

In a sense, my business is my baby, too, you can check out my website if you are considering a wedding in Central Park. I think it was a major part of what kept me sane through the tougher days when my babies were smaller. It is true that it has always been one more job on top of raising my kids, keeping my house clean and feeding my family, but having that extra responsibility away from thinking about running the home has often been a welcome change from mothering.
I didn’t really stop working through my pregnancies and the children’s births. In all these photos I have my children with me, albeit in my belly in three of them. In the US many mothers return to work within just a few months, but in my home, the UK, it is most common for a mother to take a year off work. I remember my husband bringing my laptop in to the hospital for me to answer a few clients’ emails the day after Joseph was born. I take my laptop along on every vacation. Because I can’t miss responding to any clients. When my boys are asleep, I am working, like many other mothers, in all the various ways. I have the housework and cooking, but also my time at the laptop and phone, dealing with clients and making arrangements for them. In some ways, it is just one more obligation, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like the distraction from kids’ stuff, and I love that I do it all from home, almost always in sweat pants, occasionally in pyjamas.  
It helps that I enjoy my work. I like talking to couples about what they want for their wedding day, discussing their questions and concerns, and helping them to feel relaxed in the run-up to their special day, and confident that all will go smoothly. The thing I like most about my business is that it’s mine. I decide what needs doing and when and then I do it. It’s very empowering. 

I am the primary carer of both my kids, but my husband also works from home now. He went through a massive lifestyle change of going in to an office to do his job of software consultancy, to working out of a small office at the back of our house. My husband is very involved in raising our children and also my parents are invaluable to us in keeping a balance in running a home and a business, and caring for our boys. My husband and I are busy, and we work very hard, but since the birth of our first son we have experienced the massive shock to the system that parenthood brings. We used to be career-focused and out of the house for most of our waking hours, for work and leisure. We have made changes to our lives that allow us to put spending quality time as a family first, while also making a comfortable living, we are extremely fortunate that our skills allow us to make a living working from home. 

I hope my children grow up seeing their parents working hard to provide for them, and that they have an appreciation of how we arrange each hour and balance our responsibilities and working lives to get the best out of our time. I hope they see the empowerment that being self-employed brings. They have parents who are present every day, throughout the day, and I hope this contributes to their upbringing as well-adjusted and happy people.

Claire

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2 comments:

  1. What a fun job and so awesome that it offers so much flexibility. What a blessing to a mama.

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