I’m currently taking part in the “March Meet the Maker” Instagram challenge over on (shockingly enough) Instagram. You get a prompt each day, and you post about it. It’s theoretically that simple, but like most simple-sounding things, it can be surprisingly hard.
Not today, though. Today is “dreams and plans”. And oh my, do I have me some dreams and plans.
I also, however, have a one year old. And one year olds and plans don’t always mix – unless your plan is to stack some stuff up, knock some stuff over, and then throw some washing around. In which case, if we’re honest, the one year old will probably decide to shuffle off after a cat.
Still, let’s get back to the point, shall we? The Woolly Badger was born out of two things; my love of knitting, and my intense frustration at not being able to do any bloody work with my son around. Pre-baby, I was working as a freelance writer, a job which I thought would work well with children. And I can see how it would, if your child would just bloody nap (please, for the love of God, Billy, just have a sodding nap.)
Because I have a sleep-immune baby, I really struggle to write with him around. I’m only managing to write this now because he’s at nursery, which he goes to for a grand total of four hours a week. The rest of the time, writing is largely impossible. He’s really into buttons at the moment, so the sight of a laptop is the only thing more exciting than a TV remote. Hit the buttons! Hit them all now!
Knitting, meanwhile, he does not care for. Possibly because I’ve been doing it since he was teeny-tiny, or maybe because it doesn’t involve buttons until the end, and even then they’re not particularly exciting buttons. But he doesn’t care. I can sit there, and I can knit, and he’ll bash duplo together while I try to talk to him about what colours the blocks are, and everyone’s largely happy.
But then we get to those dreams and plans. And I find myself faced with old problems again. Because I have things I want to do with the Woolly Badger.
I want to write and release patterns. I want to design different garments – including, maybe, some for adults. I want to collaborate with indie dyers, and I want to go to yarn shows, and I want to try and convince the local independent shop to stock my stuff, and I want to maybe run some workshops to teach kids to knit because how bloody cute would that be and I want to and I want to and I want to. And in amongst all that I still want to write.
How do I do all this when I spend my life on a playmat with a baby who won’t let me out of his sight? I have no idea.
I’m trying to work it out, though. My first step was to sign up for the Game Changers course run by Helen at Guilty Mothers Club – which, incidentally, is brilliant. It’s helped me let go of the mum guilt enough to put Billy in nursery for those four hours a week just so I can have a tiny bit of time back for myself. It’s helped me work out where I want to focus. It’s helped me have ALL THE IDEAS, and, I hear, will help me narrow them down and work out which ones to follow through on and how to do it (I think we can all agree that “knit a blanket and write a story about it” is probably one to abandon, though.)
So I am, slowly, slowly, working it out. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to do it, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to involve bucketloads of tea.
Until then I suppose I should be grateful that Billy’s looking like being a late walker. There’s only so far you can bumshuffle before you reach a ledge you can’t get over.
Fingers crossed that’s not a metaphor.