Hi, my name is Tegan and I am the owner of Cubs & Pups, an online baby store selling handmade bibs, burp cloths and sensory blankets. I am also mum of two beautiful little boys, Archer who has just turned two and Huxley who is now 10 months old.
I started my business when Huxley was around four months. Huxley suffered from reflux and the endless vomiting was the main inspiration for Cubs & Pups bibs and burp clothes. Once I stared sewing, I felt a new sense of purpose that I hadn’t felt since before having my kids. While I adore being a mum, I love being a business owner and this new journey I find myself on.
Juggling two very young children, housework, making products and keeping on top of business administration is a lot, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Some days and weeks are easier than others, but most of the time with a little forward planning I can manage to keep on top of things. JUST!!
What does a normal day in the life of a work from home mum with two kids under the age of two look like? Well, depending on how Huxley has slept, I am usually up by 6:30am. I have approximately half an hour to get myself dressed and ready for the day, including a coffee before Archer wakes, around 7am.
I make sure to change and get Archer dressed before setting him up with some breakfast just in case Huxley decides to wake earlier than expected. Breakfast usually consists of pre-made or store-bought porridge and some fruit. Huxley will usually wake up around 7:30am and I can generally get him up and changed while Archer is finishing the last of his breakfast. Archer then has 30 minutes TV time while I feed Huxley.
Once everyone has been fed, we head out for a quick morning walk and a play at a near by park, making sure we are back home by 9:30am. The reason I like getting out first thing in the morning is mostly so that Archer can use up some of his energy. Then when we get back home, he’s a little more settled and will happily do some kind of activity. Recently he has really been enjoying painting and we were given these magic water colouring books for his second birthday which he absolutely loves. My other go to activities include drawing with chalk on the brickwork outside, playdoh, building block or magnetic tiles. With each activity I try and keep him engaged for as long as possible by giving him a theme or asking him to make certain things. I do need to provide him with quite a lot of guidance at the start but then he usually does his own thing. Keeping him engaged for as long as possible is essential because Huxley goes down for his first nap around 10am.
I would say this strategy works about 70% of the time and I am able to easily settle Huxley and get him to sleep, the other 30% of the time usually involves Archer barging through the door yelling “ta-da” or having a tantrum because he wants something to eat. On days when everything goes smoothly I take advantage of Archer playing quietly by putting a load of washing on, cleaning up the kitchen and checking emails or new orders. Around 10:30am he will start to get a little restless and demand some more attention at which point I’ll take him outside where he can ride him bike or play in the sandpit. Most of the time he is occupied enough that I can hang out the washing or sneak my laptop outside with me for some extra worktime.
We have lunch at 11:30am as this is also when Huxley will tend to wake up. What Archer and I eat really varies because it mostly consists of leftovers from the night before. If I’m really desperate I will whip up a smoothie bowl or I’ll throw some chicken nuggets in the oven. Huxley will usually have some more fruit, pasta or rice, some kind of protein and either sweet potato, carrot or broccolini.
Archer still has a nap each day (thank goodness) and I’ll put him down at 12:30pm after having a bottle. He’ll then sleep until around 3pm which is AMAZING because this is when I try to get as much work done as possible.
Huxley is well and truly on the move and climbing on everything but as long as I can see him and he can see me, he is pretty happy to play and explore independently. I just try and judge based on his mood what I might be able to do, whether is be writing a blog, responding to emails, bookkeeping or sewing. Sometimes I have to sit on the floor with my laptop on one side and him on the other and multitask work with playing with stacking cups or sensory balls. It is far from the ideal working environment but this is what I signed up for when starting Cubs & Pups so I make the most of it! I am lucky because at least once a week my mum comes over to help and I can usually catch up on anything urgent including sewing on those days if need be.
At 2:30pm I put Huxley down for another nap and provided Archer isn’t stirring I attempt to tick off my 30 minutes for physical activity. This definitely does not happen every day, in fact I think I would be lucky to use this time to work out more than twice a week but regardless of whether I’m able to or not I have it pencilled in on my planner.
Archer get’s up around 3pm and has a quick snack in front of the telly while I do any dinner preparations and then it’s either onto another activity or back outside for some more play time before we get Huxley up at 4pm.
Now this is when the chaos really begins! I am still breastfeeding and Huxley loves a little cluster feed in the early evening, Archer also tends to become increasingly clingy around this time. From 4pm onwards my only objective is to minimise whinging or crying from both children! My husband Chris will generally come home anytime between 4:30pm and 5pm to find us all on the couch, either watching ABC Kids or trying to read a book while I am feeding Huxley and Archer is climbing all over us.
Chris will then take the kids for 30 minutes or so to allow me to finish dinner and we aim to be sitting at the dining table around 5:30pm. Dinner is very much like feeding time at the zoo and food ends up going everywhere so all four of us jump in the shower. We just find this the easiest with the kids and are lucky that we have a large enough shower to be able to do this. Bedtime is 7pm and both Archer and Huxley have a bottle in our bed while we read a book. Chris and I then each take a child to put to bed. I usually take Huxley which is good because most of the time I make it out in time for a last minute kiss and cuddle with Archer before he goes to sleep.
The clean up from dinner is 100% a team effort but once it’s all done Chris and I usually enjoy a wine or a cider while we watch Survivor or whatever other reality TV show is playing! Before heading to bed, I will pack any orders and schedule any emails, social media posts or other marketing I have the have done for the following day. I try to be in bed by 10pm at the latest because I’m still feeding Huxley overnight and sometimes, he wakes up three or four times, and then it’s very much just rinse and repeat the next day!
It is definitely hard work, particularly given the close age gap, but I believe that having the boys so close together will pay dividends later on and they will become the best of friends! In fact, I’m often asked if I had my time again, would I have waited until Archer was a little older before having Huxley. My answer is always no because it warms my heart so much seeing them grow and develop together.
This is a guest blog very kindly written by Tegan. If you would like to chat and get to know her more then please go over and follow on Instagram HERE