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The Amazing Secret of a Guilty Mum in New Zealand

I was very career focussed in my 20’s. I saw lots of women leave the workforce to have children and not return. Not for me I thought, why put so many years into a career to lose it all when you become a Mother?

These women weren’t me. I would go back to work AND be a wonderful Mother. I would get the balance right - provide my child with the right care and continue in the career I’d put so much of myself into. And I did. When our first son was 6 months old my partner stayed home for the second 6 months of our maternity leave. Once the 12 months were over, our son went to (a very carefully chosen) home based carer. We both worked. After our second son arrived, I realised as much as I loved my job AND my family - life was really, really hard.

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Being a full time Mum didn’t work for me. Being in a job full time didn’t work for me. A full time working Mother still (and I’ll argue with anyone who disagrees) picks up the majority of the load if both parents are working full time. That made me really upset. I knew there was a better way. I wanted a business so I could get the best of both worlds - my own hours around my role as a Mother. Less guilt.

It was a moment of inspiration with my own child that started my business. I noticed how much joy we shared in this one very specific magical moment. This moment made me realise that it’s not the quantity of time with children that matters, it’s turning some of the moments you have info magic.

I wanted to help busy Mothers feel less guilt by showing them that even if they only have a moment - that moment is an opportunity for magic. An un-proportionate amount of joy.

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I created a book that has become more of an experience for parents - a way to put aside the things you need to do - and bring both Parent and Child together in seconds using our characters of affection; ‘Kiss’ and ‘Cuddle’. The overwhelming affection in the book helps the parent be present. And these moments of shared affection do wonders for the child too.

I didn’t want Mother’s to miss out on daily moments of joy with their children because they were overwhelmed with guilt for not having enough time.

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But, did the success of the business mean I’d lost sight of the lesson I was trying to teach others? I had got really busy again.

I realised that the problem was never my job - it was me. I had just made the same choice twice - to work. And actually what I was hoping to impart on the world I could impart on myself - you shouldn’t have to quit your job if you (as a Mother) want to work. We just need tools and mechanisms to encourage quality time with our children in the moments we do have. We need to be with them when we are with them. And that alone is enough.

I love the mix of business and parenting and I hope the other women out there can be at peace with what the balance means for them, and remember that memories are made of moments. It’s something I have to continue to remind myself of, and do the best job with the balance I have chosen for myself.

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Messages I get from customers make working for me, a very worthwhile choice:

“I brought two books for my son who was struggling with his first year at school. It was a special time to sit and connect. They have such a simple and beautiful message.” Justine D.

“I can’t think of better stories to read to my baby girl then books filled with cuddles and kisses. These are definitely the perfect purchase” Waihoea H.

“I sent this to my nieces (11 yrs & 8 yrs) in Scotland who I miss every day, I wanted them to know how special they are to my world. I just received this message from their mum "The girls absolutely love the books you sent. They are brilliant, we have been reading them most nights. Georgia loves to read them to herself too." I received a video on the 8yr old reading The Gift of a Cuddle - melted my heart. SO happy with the purchase - thank you for creating this gift that makes the world seem a little smaller.” Jenni W

We saw a huge change in the business over covid - with grandparents not being able to see their children but wanting to send them love from afar - I got so much satisfaction from that and reassurance that spending my time working on this brand is a very worthwhile and loved use of my time. As are my Children. 

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