motherhood: louise cuckow

motherhood: louise cuckow

louise cuckow

We are so excited to feature one of the amazing mums from our Nature Baby family on the journal. Louise Cuckow is the designer here at Nature Baby, and mother to the gorgeous Jemima. Louise shares her experiences of motherhood and her journey, we hope you enjoy getting to know one of the creative minds behind Nature Baby! x

What are some words you live by as a mother?
A little bit of routine can really help life run smoothly, I am definitely not strict on this, I prefer to think of it as a rough guide to our daily life. For example dinner, bath, then family time chatting about the day and reading stories before bed all at a similar time.
Also I am naturally a planner and a thinker but as a parent the most important thing is quality time, I read somewhere that your child sees you as a rock star, and all they really want is to be with you. I love this, it is so true! I have to remember to stop thinking about my to do list and focus 100% on Jemima when we are together, we have the most fun when I totally let go and am present in that moment, get lost in her imaginative world. At the end of the day this is all they really need to feel loved and secure, which builds their confidence and is beautiful to see.

What surprised you most about becoming a mum?
Everything. The whole experience has been a surprising unexpected learning curve. Firstly becoming a Mum was a surprise, I was one of those woman who are told that they will never have children, I had accepted this and enjoyed my life. Jemima is the most amazing gorgeous, confident, hilarious creation that has completely changed my life. Maybe partly because of this I wanted to give being a Mum my all (I felt so lucky) and so I was with Jemima constantly for the first two and a half years. Having not really even held a baby before Jemima's birth I had no idea what I was doing, but I gave it 110%. We did Playcenter, play dates and other activities, I made all her food from scratch, used cloth nappies, the works. But being a stay at home mum for me was hard, after about six months I wanted something for myself, I missed working, so I started freelancing while Jemima napped. While I wanted to totally devote myself to Jemima I struggled with the idea that I wasn't contributing if I wasn't working, which is a sad reflection on the society we live in. So for me doing it all ended up being easier.

How do you find balance in your life?
I don't really, I try to do everything, it's just the type of person I am. I work, I look after Jemima when not working, but I enjoy all of it. It would be lovely to have time to exercise and be pampered, but that isn't realistic at the moment. Having said this, I love my walk to work in the mornings. And this year, my husband and I have started monthly date nights which are so lovely, they feel like such a treat. Before Jemima something like going out for dinner with my husband would be normal, it is wonderful to really appreciate and look forward to these dinners. My husband is an amazingly hands-on father, while working he gives me the chance to work and have the odd night out with friends.

Words of wisdom for new parents?
Other parents have said to me 'no one tells you how hard it will be', I think they do, we just don't listen or believe it will be different for us. It is hard, but it is the same for everyone and it doesn't last forever. Baby's change every day so one day might be really difficult then the next everything goes to plan.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and ignore the rest of the world. While pregnant I was told about the golden month (the Chinese name for the special weeks following childbirth), for the Chinese mother it is time of joy where she rests and is nurtured. This time is precious for the mother’s recovery and the baby’s future health. I love this, this time is to focus on your family unit and nothing else.
Most of all trust your instincts, remember no matter what advice you are given, everyone is different and every baby is different, do what works for you and your baby.

Meaningful family moments?
When Jemima was a baby I loved wearing her in a sling, seeing Mum's wearing their babies is the one thing that makes me a bit clucky. The feeling of being that close, being one, looking down and seeing her coo or sleep was just gorgeous. The three of us would go for walks together and these were the highlight.
If I am totally honest I really love the age Jemima is now, we can hang out, get crafty, cook, garden, play and dance together. Each Sunday we try go on a family adventure (which we all love and look forward to), hop in the car and spend the day rambling about on a beach, sometimes stopping at a farmers market on the way for a few yummy snacks.

Has becoming a mother changed you? Apart from always being tired, my sense of self has become stronger and I don't really care what other people think of me. I think my focus has changed, I give life my all and I want to spend all my spare time with my family.
The best part of my new life is that no matter how tired I feel I don't get that feeling that something is missing in my life any more.

A day in the life of Louise

I live... in an inner city oasis, a terraced house within a park full of beautiful mature trees.

I am currently reading... Vivienne Westwood by Vivienne Westwood

I’m listening to... Mostly Ali McGregor’s Jazzamatazz (Jemima's favourite album).

My weekends start with... Jemima calling out 'Mama, Dada... hey guys it's time to get up'

One item I can’t live without is... a blast of fresh air

My perfect Mother’s Day would include... cuddles and a family adventure


My Nature Baby picks
This is so hard, there have been so many items we have loved at the various stages of her growth. I really love this seasons' prints and palette which makes these useful items even better.

merino wrap - for swaddling, I loved the super soft feel and the stretchiness making swaddling easy

gown - Jemima lived in these and continued to wear them to bed until she was one, they are so easy for nappy changes.

sling - baby wearing really was the highlight for me.

baby massage oil - we enjoyed a nightly massage as part of our evening routine.

Kid Nature underwear - the best fit available, we love them.