Welcome to “What’s in your changing bag?”; my weekly Tuesday feature where I ask one Yummy Mummy (or Daddy) to share the innermost secrets of their changing bag, and the five items they couldn’t possibly live without!
This week I’m joined by the lovely (and fellow) Brighton-turned-Lewes Mummy, Clara.
Hi Clara! What a wonderful photo of you both. Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Clara, I live in Lewes with my husband Ben, our dog Otter and our daughter Jola, who was born in September 2011, and is affectionately referred to for no reason whatsoever as the Onion! I work 2.5 days a week for Sussex Central YMCA, co-ordinating a project for sexually exploited young people, and the rest of the time I work on my Big Tree Little Moose teeny tiny handmade business and blog. I haven’t mentioned being a Mummy in all of that because we all know that’s a 24/7 job!
It sure is!
What would you say is your favourite thing about being a Mutti?
So many favourites! On day one you get this beautiful and curious little creature and you think, “This is the most amazing day ever and I can’t believe we made her!”, and yet it just keeps getting even more amazing and wonderful as she grows and learns and expresses herself, and (almost!) every day I have that same thought!
It really does get more and more amazing.
So we’ve heard your favourite thing about being Mutti – what would you say is the hardest thing?
I think this is a feeling shared by many that just when you think you’ve got it sorted they go and do something different – when they nap, how much they eat, how happy they are going to other people, how long they take to settle, how well they sleep. I’m eternally trying to ‘fix’ something or convince myself to let it play out. As a fairly organised person I struggle with the lack of consistency and internal conflict!
Oh yes – I completely agree with you there. So much changes all the time!
What three words would you use to describe Motherhood?
Surprising, emotional, joyful!
Great choice of words.
Finally, how do you preserve/maintain your sense of self?
I love sewing, making and general crafting and always make time for that – even if it’s just 20 minutes while Ben is bathing Jola and getting her ready for bed. I really enjoy putting my mind to projects (even if it’s something for Jola) and doing craft fairs and markets with my Big Tree Little Moose head on is something that’s just mine. I’m also a sucker for painted nails and blow-drying my hair (not that you’d always notice!).
Hoorah – a fellow nail painter! It really does make a difference.
So, it’s business time; what make is your changing bag?
My mother-in-law Lou bought me this bag as a gift from Urban Outfitters last summer. Up until then I was using a proper changing bag that I made for myself, which I loved but I wanted a bag for me; one that wasn’t roomy or practical or waterproof yet could still fit everything in!
I love that you made your own changing bag originally – you are super talented! Although this bag is gorgeous.
What are the five items in your changing bag that you just can’t live without?
1. Travel changing mat. I made this just after Jola was born and it is so useful. It has compartments for nappies and wipes, and I know that as long as I grab this one item before leaving the house we won’t be caught short. I don’t really like the fabric as it was only meant as a prototype, but it turned out structurally sound so I kept it. I’ve always had grand plans to do it again with a better print but, of course, I haven’t yet got round to it! I do sell them from my Etsy shop though, so I should just make one for me!
2. Duplo blocks. Compact, light and versatile. And at the moment she loves nothing more than taking them apart and putting them back together – perfect!
3. This might be cheating but I also carry a pencil case containing the important little things: lip balm, gum, pens, nail varnish, keys, hand cream. It stops me losing things in the depths of my bag.
4. Sunglasses. With the weather in this country you never know when you might need them! I got these ones at the K&A Pop- Up Vintage Fair in Lewes – I love them.
5. Hand cream. Since having Jola my hands are so dry! Not because of obsessive cleaning, but they’re in a fairly constant cycle of wet, wash, dry, mucky, wash, not quite dry, wipe, wash… I try not to overuse, but always need it on me!
Thanks for sharing the secrets of your changing bag with us, Clara. The pencil case is cheating, but I’ll let you get away with it! I love your changing mat as well – I’ll be heading over to your Etsy shop later.
You can find Clara’s crafty blog here and Etsy shop here. She also tweets as @Tree_Moose.