My Mother Hustle by Bryony Lane

Things have been quiet on here recently, perhaps Christmas is to blame? I won't apologise as I am trying to make peace with the fact that simply just being a mum and a mum alone is important sometimes. Sounds simple but There's so much pressure (mostly from ourselves) to be working on other things too alongside Motherhood. I know I always have that niggle in the back of my head and its mainly because I want those other things and I need them to be a whole person BUT my point is, I have to give myself some slack. Raising small humans is incredibly demanding and sometimes other things will slide and thats ok.

This is the essence of the Mother Hustle interviews, I love reading about how others manage this perpetual balance between Motherhood and self fulfilment, Family and work. I have a great one to start the year off with Bryony Lane (@glassbybryony on Instagram) she creates the most beautiful stained glass hangings, they are so modern and fresh and often inspired by the Cornish coastline. I love the colours she uses and the reflections they create in the light. Bryony lives in Falmouth with her two small children and husband. She sent me her musings on her juggle as a Mother and Maker, read below -

"I'm Bryony Lane and my business is Glass by Bryony. I make stained glass art. Until recently I was at a desk for seven hours a day, every day. And after twelve years of university administration work (lovely people, good perks, too much sitting) I needed a fresh start. I need to move and I've realised I need to work on my own.

I know it's not easy to leave a job and the security of the money each month, but after two kids, suddenly the cost of childcare was getting silly and it was my opportunity to get out.

I have a graphic design degree and have always been a creative person but I only started concentrating on glass-work three years ago. There is a very precise process to completing a piece, with lots of scope for experimenting, if you have the tools. You can save lots of time in the long run by being very careful and steady during the beginning stages of cutting a pattern.

I grew up on the edge of Exmoor on the river Exe. A very free upbringing with lots of fields and a freezing river with rapids to play in with my brothers. My work is really focussed on light reflections on water and therefore I use a lot of Spectrum Waterglass, which has amazing water-like qualities, like watching water reflections Dancing. I've spent my life on and around water and I'm drawn to it. I was in swimming club for years and coached Canadian canoeing for a long time. My go to stress release at the moment is sea swimming, which keeps me sane.

Oly and I have two children, They are five and three. So we have passed the really really hard stage (have we?) and all my childcare dreams are becoming a reality. Although I don't want to 'lose' them for too much more than the allotted fifteen hours a week as they're my little mates and I miss them. I can already feel myself looking back to when they were young, with hindsight. And I know how much I'm going to miss this part of my life so much.

Oly has a relatively stressful job and so giving up my full-time job was supposed to help us have the house sorted and have something ready for dinner. I think it has made it easier as I am able to be flexible and get the hours done in the evenings if needed. When the kids are sick, I can have a quiet (yeah right) day looking after them.

I think I struggled before I had children, to meet likeminded people. I worked a lot and when I wasn't at work I wanted to surf or drink and I couldn't seem to find anyone who wanted to do the same that wasn't already hooked up to a friendship group. And finally, I'm a mum and one of the very best things is that you are automatically accepted into the gang. The largest most diverse gang of coffee-crazed, oversharing, sleep deprived friends - just my type. Here in Cornwall, there are so many outdoorsy mums who I can relate to and meet up with. And coffee, which I love to drink with others - really enhances my life.

I am trying, after many years of ignoring Facebook, to give away more of myself on Instagram. I do value it as a modern day creative community and a way to connect with people.

I think it goes without saying that also these little people I am rearing are equally brilliant to me and just the best people I have ever met. They are also just my type.

The juggle is something to get used to. Sometimes it is full on, wrestling kids to the floor to brush teeth, the washing needs to go out before we leave for school, nobody has shoes on, no one has slept. Everyone is crying and screaming and I just want to get on a plane and get out of here. But what would I do without this immense pressure? (I'd go surfing). I feel much stronger mentally now I have made it through nearly six years if this high octane living. If I can do this, I literally do anything (apart from cook a decent meal).

I cannot work at home with children, it's impossible with my two and I need to concentrate and for there not to be little people around sharp glass and poisonous lead. I have two mornings of childcare and along with an evening or two, that is when I go to my shed and shut the door to my 'real' life and become a maker. It's a pleasure (and a pain in the shoulders) and I'm going to make it work as a business."

Thank You Bryony x x x


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