Today we have the gorgeous and truly lovely Carrie-Anne. Carrie has been my Instagram Mama crush for a long while and now I’m lucky enough to know her for real, I can tell you she’s one super cool chick.
Aside from being Mama to River (great name, huh?), she runs the amazingly brilliant collaborative blog Crafted Sisterhood with her soul sister. She is also the Mum Boss behind Mere Soeur, a small creative business which celebrates Motherhood, the Sisterhood and everything else (and sells the much sought-after boob mugs!). Here she shares her experience of Motherhood…
Name: Carrie Anne Roberts
Location: The northest of Wales
Number of Kids: 1
Names and ages: River, he’s almost the big ZERO ONE.
Was motherhood planned, a lovely surprise or somewhere in the middle?
A complete surprise! If I forget the fact that I misplaced my sweeties during a long weekend at a hotel with Hus, of course.
Initial feelings on finding out you were pregnant?
How did you tell your partner?
Over the phone. I was home in Wales and he was back in London. Not ideal but who can keep THAT a secret.
His reaction? “Hyperventilation”
Did you glow your way through pregnancy or was it a complete bitch?
I felt like Beyonce’s hotter sister. I loved it. However, I have a bicornuate uterus which can be an incredibly troublesome uterine abnormality to have. I had a couple of scares, a handful of massive bleeds and I found myself in hospital beds being internally examined on a regular basis. Bleeding puddles into my shoes in Vauxhall Starbucks while flat hunting and eating a sausage sandwich was a low point but all in all I felt more beautiful and complete than ever.
Tell us about your birth experience…
After two days of trickling waters (definitely didn’t know that was a thing) I thought I’d better text my midwife and ask her why I kept leaking all over my bed and house, she advised me to get to hospital as soon as possible. Riv was breech and three weeks early so I was sent in for a c-section 7 hours later, he’d have been here earlier if I hadn’t eaten two Ripples and a bag of jelly babies in the car. Anaesthetic and food aren’t a great mix apparently. I remember crying as the needles went into my back then almost biting through Hus’ hand when the anaesthetic kicked in gave me uncontrollable shakes. I felt hands and elbows and tugging and jarring and pressure. I’d hoped for immediate skin to skin but I didn’t even realise he was out until I saw the midwife take him into the corner to be wiped and dressed. The first time I saw him he was bundled up in blankets and a nappy and a little beanie hat. I’m still beyond furious about that but at the time I was so happy that Hus had everything taken care of. If your partner makes you feel safe when you’re flat on a bed with a great big hole in your gut and a brand new life to take care of then you know you’re onto a winner.
Describe motherhood in a few words:
Enlightening, hilarious, desperately exhausting, lonely, empowering.
What do you do when the baby sleeps?
This one’s easy! River only has two 20 minute naps a day now so use that time to package some orders and get any screen printing done then I’ll eat biscuits on the sofa and reply to emails. I try not to do any of that when he’s awake but it’s so difficult!
Tell us about your blog…
Crafted Sisterhood is something I started with the help of my soul sister Jody Ewen after coming together on IG during our pregnancies we wanted to create a friendly, inclusive and non-judgemental space for mums to come and indulge in birth stories, accounts of the daily lives of mums of all kinds, self care articles, all things postpartum, useful how-to pieces and so on. We also hold open and free meet ups all over the country for anyone who fancies coming along you can see some of the highlights here.
Tell us about your business…
I own Mère Soeur, an online shop full of wearable celebrations of sisterhood amongst mothers and motherhood in general because we should wear our title with pride and respect ALL OF THE TIME. It’s a little reminder to lift each other up and be proud of each other instead of being eaten up by comparison or tearing each other down and judging. We’re all in this together after all.
What’s the best bits of being a Mama?
The freedom. Stick with me guys, I’m talking about the ‘can do, shouldn’t do, can’t do, gonna do anyway’ attitude that gives you the strength and confidence to pick up that lump of poo that just rolled onto the floor in the john lewis changing room/leave the house looking like shit but feeling triumphant/make a complete fool out of yourself in public on a daily basis without batting an eyelid or thinking twice (‘singing a song about squirrels on the tube while picking discarded banana chunks off your jeans and pretending not to notice the dirty looks you’re getting because your baby has turned into the god of hellfire’ vibes). It’s the same attitude that enables us to start businesses, work tirelessly to help others, share our purpose, get shit done and push ourselves way beyond the self-imposed limits and boundaries in pre-baby life.
What are the worst bits?
EVERYONE and their dog/cat/goldfish/friend of a sister’s cousin’s son having an opinion on how things should be done or used to be done. Not helpful and just plain infuriating. That, and yknow just being EXHAUSTED 24/7.
What do you find hardest about being a Mum?
Definitely learning to give up all control over my day to day existence.
If someone agreed to mind your kids for a week what would you do?
Without a doubt I would take an hour long bath every single day, go out parent-dancing with Hus thus giving myself a stinkin’ hangover which I would be able to recover from in peace and catch up on my reading list in between eating takeout for every meal and living in a two person duvet burrito with babypops. Alone time is precious, as you all know.
Have you got any advice for mamas-to-be/new mamas? Is there anything you wish you had known?
I don’t think there is any advice I can or should give but I would just say that you absolutely will figure it out, then it’ll change and you’ll need to refigure it out then just when you’re on top of things another developmental curveball with catch you off guard or your hormones will drag you down or you’ll find yourself crying in the kitchen at 4am for no reason/all the reasons. Basically, try to roll with whatever comes your way and don’t try to do all the things all of the time.
What’s do you reckon the most essential item mamas-to-be need to pack in their birth bag?
Lavender oil and FOOD. A whole nine hours with no food only to discover that by the time you’re actually allowed to eat it’s the middle of the night, nowhere is open and you’re left with no other option but to soldier through a semi-stale tomato and brown bread sarnie provided by the hospital does not a happy mama make.
What was really useful in the early days?
My Solly wrap was just the absolute best thing I owned during the first few weeks.
Who inspires you?
SO many mamas! My first and probably biggest mama inspo is @littlebirddoula She is a beautiful writer, a huge talent and is truly dedicated to helping and supporting other women in “real life” and on the platform she’s created for herself on IG. All those mums doing their bit to normalise breastfeeding and setting the best example for us all by doing it unashamedly and beautifully as well as writing about their experiences, sharing photos etc. Mums I know personally who are doing it all by themselves, you guys are bomb. I could go on and on and on here….
How many children do you dream of having?
I’d go in for a solid 6. My family is huge, I can’t imagine a day when the older generation will get chance to feel lonely and that’s definitely what I want for myself. A houseful ALL THE TIME.
If you could go back to your pre-child life, where you weren’t so tired, for a short period of time, what would you do?
I thought I was tired all the time anyway so I’d probably just sleep some more.
What do you miss about life before kids?
Not an awful lot really. Life is a thousand times more fun when you have a tiny sidekick, it’s a million times more challenging too. I guess all I miss is being able to leave the house without needing an action plan, being able to wander around with headphones in while smoking AND drinking my coffee (about as multitask-y as life got back then).
What do you love most about being a Mum?
Those moments when they catch you off guard and you find yourself looking at your kid like “wuouououw, I made you and you’re smart and perfect and hilarious”.
Big thank you to the beautiful Carrie for sharing her experience and photos with us! It’s not hard to see why she’s perfect mama crush material, right?
If you’d like to feature on the blog as part of the ‘In the (mother) hood series’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org