I hadn’t intended to make any more downloads, until one day I had three people buy my birth diagrams (thanks for the nudge Universe!). When I shared on social media that I’d received the orders, I got two more! The fact that I had just made money without ‘doing anything’ felt miraculous (and deeply uncomfortable!) so I thought – I had better make some more of these!
I may not have achieved either of the home births I wished – but nothing has dented my belief in physiological birth. I am honoured that my handmade birth education materials are contributing to the community of birth workers across the world who are working so hard to educate, empower and support women and birthing families to take back control of their births, and re-learn to trust their bodies and their babies.
How do you balance work and being a stay-at-home mother?
The weekends are my main time to create – and I spend a lot of time up in our office planning, painting, doing admin and marketing while I have the chance – all the while feeling guilty about missing my little ones. But I know how important it is that I have this creative outlet for me. I also spent a fair amount of time painting with one arm round a sleeping baby, or in the carrier on my back!
I know that ultimately it benefits my children for me to spend time on something that fills my cup and brings me joy and satisfaction. It can be hard to accept that my time to create is so limited when I have so many ideas, but I know my children won’t always be so little and things will change, and I do my best to find a balance for everyone.
What challenges have you overcome and what’s in the future for Womb to World Art?
I’ve recently made my own website and had underestimated how much my admin would increase and how it would take time away from the fun stuff! Coming from a background of digital marketing and customer experience optimisation, I find it hard to let things go and feel constantly driven to ‘optimise’ everything and drive things forward. My main challenge recently has been trying to do too much, and not giving myself enough time to just enjoy painting for the joy of painting, so I am aspiring to paint more – and work less.
I’ve also recently been getting excited about putting my artwork onto products such as doula tote bags, greetings cards, notebooks, T-shirts and mouse mats, and although this does mean more time packing orders and doing admin – it’s wonderful to have more products to reach birthing people directly with my positive birth messages. I hope to keep growing this range of gifts and accessories for pregnancy, and also branch out into more mediums (I just got a sewing machine for free motion embroidery!).
With every painting, I have practised the belief that what I create is worthy, and soothed my mother’s voice telling me ‘you’re not a real artist’. I have learnt to see that what I make really does have inherent value – and actually, it is the birth education materials with my cute ‘childish’ drawings that I now love the most. Because they are the ones that come authentically from my inner child. I feel blessed that I can call myself a mother, an artist, and now a birth worker too.