The Mother Hustle Interview: Helen and Becky from Little Bubba Boxes
August 23, 2017
I came across Little Bubba Boxes recently, the same place I come across most cool stuff, on Instagram! They are a Mama duo living in Cornwall who have joined forces to create their fab new business selling themed boxes of goodies for little bubbas! I love how the boxes are themed around stages of development (Snuggle, Chew, Munch and Move!) and I think they would make a great present for a special new baby. As always I was interested to find out how Helen and Becky juggle their business with Motherhood as well as being nosey about their Cornish lifestyle!
Tell us a bit about who you are, where you are and what your family looks at the moment.
I’m Helen and I live just up the road from Becky in Cornwall. My other half, James, and I have been together for several years but almost 6 years ago Lily came along to make us a family of 3.
...and I'm Becky. I will have been married to Kieran for 10 years next summer. Our first little boy Thomas was born in the summer of 2012 and his little brother Oliver came along 2 years and 2 days later.
2.Tell us all about your business/ side hustles/ work life and where we can find you on the interweb?
H: Little Bubba Boxes is actually my side hustle as I also have a full time job, but what a brilliant side hustle it is as it means I get to work with one of my very good friends again (Becky used to be my boss from back in the day!) and we get to surround ourselves with some of our most favourite baby goods.
B: Before having the boys I worked as a media marketing manager. I loved working life and assumed I would want to throw myself back into it as soon as possible but once my babies were here my outlook changed and I was very lucky to be able to just spend time with them for a little while. I did start to miss using the creative part of my brain though and started helping a few friends with their start ups and supporting my husband with his business. I will still be looking at occasional freelance work but after thinking about Little Bubba Boxes for a while it's very exciting (and a bit nerve wracking) to now have it out there in the real world (www.littlebubbaboxes.co.uk and @littlebubbaboxes) as my main hustle.
How do you find the Juggle with work/ family/ life / childcare etc?
H: Definitely not easy! There’s no way I could do what I do without a fantastically supportive family and great wraparound care from Lily’s school. I certainly feel the guilt of not being as available as many of the other mums at the school gate but I hope that Lily will get an early insight into how work is not just a necessity but also something that makes me who I am.
B: I am very lucky in that I don't have a full time job or an employer to answer to so I can take Thomas to school and pick him up every day. It's still hard to get much done though as most days I have a lively 3 year old around the house and my husband works away in the week so once I've done the dinner/bath/bed routine every evening I don't feel much like working. I generally get a second wind around 10pm and then stay up far too late trying to cram things in while I'm feeling productive.
What would your ideal balance be, and are you close to achieving it? If not what needs to change?
H: I guess the ideal balance would be to double the number of hours in the day and my energy levels, which probably gives a good indication of whether or not I’m achieving it!!
B: Ideally I'd love to get all my work done when I'm on my own without infringing on family time. In reality I'm often simultaneously drafting web copy and drawing dinosaurs or encouraging my husband to drive on family outings so that I can quickly reply to Instagram
comments en route! I hope I can get closer to achieving a good balance when the schools go back (launching a business in the summer holidays was not my brightest move ever!).
Why did you decide to work for yourself?
H: I think there’s a certain satisfaction you can get only from working for yourself to be honest.
B: The flexibility and the creative freedom has always appealed and as we had got used to going without my salary it was a great opportunity to see if I could create something of my own.
Would you say you have been more productive since having children, or less?
H: Definitely more productive. My logic has always been that I would always have rather been with my daughter, but if I do have to spend time away from her working, then I’d better make the absolute most of that time and then get back to Lily as soon as possible.
B: Without a doubt I do more but how productive I feel varies week to week - if I can have uninterrupted chunks of time to work then I can spend quality time with the boys and feel productive and happy as a mummy too. Often I feel like I'm flitting around trying to do everything and achieving very little. That's when the guilt sets in and I know I need to organise myself with some fresh lists!
What is your favourite thing about being a mother?
H: Of course the kisses and cuddles, but also watching your very own little person find their own way.
B: Oh so many things - they are very loving and so much fun to be around. Their excitement for everything and sense of adventure rubs off on you and you start to see through their eyes and see the magic in things again.
And your least favourite?
H: Learning to have patience. Also learning to let go.
B: The worrying - and the incessant noise!
What do you love about where you live and what does your ideal weekend look like?
H: I think Cornwall can be quite deceptive – despite it being incredibly beautiful in places, it can also be a hard place to live for many different reasons. Nevertheless I’m keen to never take Cornwall for granted either. We are truly spoiled for beaches, coast paths, creeks and coves and we try to get out on the water as much as possible too. It’s a bit of a playground for us and I love that we can share this with Lily too.
B: I feel so lucky to be seeing the boys play on the same beaches I enjoyed at their age. Town centres and even rural landscapes change but the beaches largely stay the same. I have pictures of us enjoying big beach barbecues with friends, the little ones running around in the last of the evening sun, and my mum has identical pictures but my brother and I are the little ones. The nostalgic side of me likes that link to my ow memories. I think we have amazing food and culture too - last night Helen and I took Lily and Thomas to see Rogue Theatre's Wild Woodland Summer Ball in the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It's hard not to feel lucky at moments like that. My ideal weekend would include a visit to Godrevy for breakfast and a big stomp across the beach and a walk at Trelissick Gardens or Cardinham Woods. Sometimes though I see more washing and
Lego than I do sea and trees!
And finally do you have any tips for working from home with toddlers?
H: Only because of my working pattern I tend to do all my Bubba Boxes work in the evening. It’s not ideal in terms of energy levels to be honest, but definitely means less chance of interruptions. I’ve also been known to escape to the local pub on the weekend, not for a drink or carvery sadly, but to take advantage of their wifi in peace!
B: Tire them out! Oliver is a bit like a puppy, if I take him to the park or beach after we've dropped Thomas at school then I have a fighting chance of sitting down with a coffee and getting an hour's work done while he plays (relatively) quietly. When needs must there's always the classic parenting tools of snacks and CBeebies!
Thank You Helen and Becky!
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