Fellow rockin’ mamas unite! In my hope to inspire women to retain their self identity and passions after childbirth I am recruiting the help of other rockin’ mamas that prove you can mama it up without losing Y O U. Today I am sharing the life and experiences of an old friend that I recently crossed paths with once again and couldn’t help but notice how much of a rockin’ mama she is; Carly Stirling and her daughter Harper Rebel Josie Stirling.
I recently attended a wedding of my two friends and looked to the photographer only to see that it was my old friend Carly Stirling; she was Carly Lewis then but has since married her also rockin’ man Scott Stirling. It was an awesome reunion as I was aware she had recently given birth to her stunningly named daughter Harper Rebel Josie Stirling (… what a name… I mean what more proof of awesome parenting than that do you need!) We arranged to meet for a coffee and talked all things mamahood and how our lives had evolved since our University days.
Carly and her ‘Rad Dad’ husband Scott were always the coolest of all the couples wth their punk and rockabilly styles; as parents they are no different! Carly is recognised by those who know her (and those who don’t!) for her bright pink locks, creative rockabilly punk fashion sense and tattoos.
Scott is defined by his hugely stretched ear lobes, punk love, facial piercings and myriad of tattoos covering both of his arms. Together they are the coolest couple in town (this statement is actually quite accurate when you live in a town like ours!)
Carly had always been a lover of all things creative like me and after Uni had started up a part time freelance project in photography (If you follow me on IG you will know that she is responsible for the delectable shot of my little man and musician at our friends wedding a few weekends ago) She does still do the odd friends wedding but her passion has shifted since having Harper towards more hands on crafts. A lot of her homewares and even Harper’s clothes are made by Carly herself and she has very recently started up a little company called Rebel.Crafts where you can order cushions, vintage crotched blankets and little people clothing.
As a mother Carly has never let her love of punk and rockabilly drop, she continues to enjoy music and spending time with friends; Harper is still quite young but she is determines to not let being a mother get in the way of who she is. Starting Harper off young she loves to adorn her daughter in tutus, band tees and boots aiming to take her with her to festivals and gigs when she is older.
What I loved most about talking to Carly and her approach as a rockin’ mama is her total non judgemental attitude towards mothers. She is vegan and is not feeding Harper meat until she is old enough to make that decision for herself; beautiful concept. She knows this may incur some judgement from other mothers but remains completely unbiased towards other mothers parenting choices and understands that every baby and every mother is different in the decisions they make. She is, however a strong believer in one thing that all mothers should do… retain a sense of self. Motherhood doesn’t define us, we are still our own person and we shouldnt lose sight of that.
As mentioned, Harper is still very young at only 8 months old, but Carly did manage her first solo ‘baby free’ outing a few weeks ago. Albeit feeling quite odd at first not having to constantly keep in check your small person not vomiting on shelves and navigating a store with a baby strapped to your chest or aisles pushing a pram around precariously hoping it will fit, she loved it. She is also guilty of putting too much on her plate by taking on too much in her day to day life trying to juggle mamahood, friends, relationship, hobbies and mama time, but feels it is important to devote time to all of these to remain sane as a parent and not fall in to the ‘I’m just a mummy now’ persona.
Carly will soon be returning to work, depending on the allowance of her employer to flexibly offer her a better location. Currently she is based in Farnborough (from where we both live that is well over and hour and a half drive, considerably longer in rush hour!) and with the added travel time on top of her hours she is not happy with being away from her little lady that long. Work is important for us to feel self sufficient as mothers but at the expense of time with our children is it really worth it? Balance and flexibility is key (employers take note!) Mother Pukka has just launched a fabulous exciting campaign on ‘Flex Appeal’; flexible working for pregnant women and mamas. Check it.
It was so lovely to catch up with Carly and her gorgeous little girl Harper Rebel (can’t get over how cool her name is!) and Jude fell in love with her too! We have joined forces and I am proud to welcome her to my Rockin’ Mama Clan. We will be going to see the new film ‘Bad Moms’ tomorrow for a review so keep your eyes peeled for that and future conjoined adventures.
Are you a rockin’ Mama? Holla if you too wish to inspire the women of the world to Mama it up without losing sight of who they are. Come one come all!