Welcome to Meet the Working Mum Interview. Today we meet Care Johnson, a photographer and blogger over at her blog of the same name – www.carejohnson.co.uk
If you have missed any of the previous interviews, or if you are new to this series, check out all the other Meet the Working Mum’s.
Introduction – a little bit about you, your family and where you live.
Iyaaaa (said in a very northern accent) my name is Care Johnson. I’m 23 born in Yorkshire, currently reside in Shropshire. I live with my nearly 2 year old little boy Rhun (pronounced Reen). Yes it’s a welsh name but hey, I’m from Yorkshire so we pronounced it different.
What do you do for a job? Is it what you have always wanted to do?
I’m a photographer and blogger by trade. Photography wasn’t always something I wanted to do until I had a complete career change (previously worked with horses) at the age of 17. I know, I was still very young back then but I’d worked with horses all my life so for me, was a world away from anything I knew. Since starting photography I’ve found a new love and passion and have started appreciating the smaller things in life.
What was your motivation to return to work?
When I had my little boy nearly 2 years ago I knew I didn’t want to stop working. I was working throughout the whole of my pregnancy and suffered with PND when Rhun was born. Photography enabled me to focus on something else, it let me escape from daily struggles as a new mum. I was, at the time, working freelance and had work coming in from our local newspaper for sport jobs. Rhun came along with me to the outdoor events whilst I worked, it suited me perfectly when he was a newborn.
How many hours do you work a week?
I’m currently only working around 5 hours at the moment as I’m suffering hugely with radial nerve damage so lifting anything is painful. My limits pretty much extend to pushing a pram one handed and doing physio at the moment.
Do you have to travel far from where you live to where you work?
I work from home mainly. If I’m shooting a range of products the products are usually shipped direct to me so I can do the photography on an evening once Rhun is in bed. If I have a job or event during the day Rhun comes with me. Sometimes we can travel up to 100 miles away for some events in the summer, but they are usually family orientated events so Rhun has a lot to watch whilst I’m working.
If you use public transport what do you do to pass the time on your commute?
Feed and entertain the child. Update social media is a must as well and draft up blog posts.
What do you do for childcare? Does this work for you?
Like I said before, it suits me that I can be a mum and work with my son. I wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s a little more stressful but we manage and it means he grows up to see me working without missing out on that quality time too.
What does your morning routine look like? What do you do to get you all out of the house on time?
We usually wake at 7:30am, Rhun wakes me up by singing twinkle twinkle little star EVERY morning. I go into his bedroom, get him changed and ready for the day and give him a biscuit whilst he reads his books. Then it’s my turn to get ready, it doesn’t usually take me very long, 30minutes tops, but I leave Rhun in his bedroom reading books with the baby gate up because if not, he ends up in my makeup bag, playing on my laptop, running around with a potty on his head… the list is endless. It gets chaotic if I let him stray out of his bedroom on a morning.
Once I’m ready I pack Rhuns’ essentials and my camera bag if out on a job. I then pick Rhun up, place him in his pram and straight out of the door. No messing in this house. We are out of the door between 8:15-8:30am EVERY morning without fail. We then go out for breakfast each day, usually greggs by Rhuns’ choice! The day usually starts with playgroup if I haven’t got a job scheduled for the same time.
What do you like about being a working mum?
I love that I choose my own hours and that if my boy is poorly I can tend to him rather than sending him off to someone else to look after. This means I don’t miss out on anything.
What don’t you like about being a working mum?
It gets a little tough at times. Especially working from home. December was a struggle for us, Rhun had a sickness bug for 9 days, I’d only just cleaned the house and caught up on washing and then I came down with it for 6 days. Catching up on work that I’d had to postpone was draining, especially as I’d not fully caught up on enough sleep to even function properly.
What would you change?
I wouldn’t change anything.
What three tips would you pass onto a mum about to start back at work?
Enjoy returning back to work, it gives you new focus.
Start being a ‘worker’ again rather than a ‘mummy’ 24/7, like I said it gives you focus.
Stay positive, it’s hard returning to work but it has to be done at some point.
Now time for something fun – show us a picture of your work handbag – what make is it and what’s the most unworkable thing in it?
I don’t even own a handbag… oh gosh! This is the bag we carry EVERYWHERE though.
It has a lead on it so Rhun can wear it as a backpack too. It’s a mix between my things and Rhuns things. Usually has a spare nappy/wipes in there, a small drink, calpol sachet, teething gel, a few emergency sweets, mommas bank card, phone and most importantly mommas diary!
Thank you so much for taking part in the Meet the Mum interview series Care. It sounds like you have a lovely balance between being a mummy and a working mum. And I do love the bag that you and your son share.
If you would like to be featured in my Meet the Working Mum series, send me an email at:- email@example.com