I think that when you have a child your perception of time alters. It is no longer measured as a working week, with hours to start and stop by, no weekend, no evenings off. Instead life is broken into baby milestones, first words, first foods, first poo.
Your life becomes so shifted that it can even take a while to remember who you are. The person I was before Tabitha seems like something of a distant memory. I have the odd vision of myself surfing, taking on wild seas, reckless and free. Practising yoga every morning, without fail, absolutely happy and able to fulfill my body and my mind's needs.
Now my needs get squeezed in where I can find time. I attempt yoga, but like a strange dream my practice metamorphosises and I become a horse, being ridden around the living room floor before I am fully awake.
The first couple of years as a mother were pretty undeniably intense. I didn't really have much in the way of back up. My husband and I had moved away from London to live in Cornwall and so we didn't have any family to help. At the same time as I gave birth to Tabitha my husband realised that his job with the NHS was causing a crazy amount of stress and so he quit to start his own raw chocolate business 'Food of the Gods'.
While he made and sold chocolate, I looked after the two dogs, cat and Tabitha. And created art.
Creating art has always been part of my life. I'd made work for exhibitions, designed cards, worked on commissions and experimented to my hearts content. It was great, but it was unreliable and so I waitressed and took housekeeping jobs to supplement any freelance opportunities.
I was quite happy really, with enough money to pay the bills and go out for the odd meal. The Cornish lifestyle was and still is, one of simplicity. Surfing was such a big part of our lives that it met most of our needs. 'Why live in London?' We would say. 'Everything has a price tag there. Surfing is free.'
So when I had Tabitha everything changed. Including my relationship with art. Where once art was something I played with on the edges of my life, it instead filled all the cracks that surfing had left. It created a new mould of me and it gave me back my sense of self and purpose and moments of reckless freedom.
And now nearly three years have passed and the sunshine is awakening my spirit. I feel as though the intensity of the past few years is floating away and I am seeing opportunities to surf and connect with parts of myself that have been given to my little girl.
I have learned so much about art and the business of making and selling commercial art. I am in a fortunate position as my husband's business is meeting the basic needs of living and so I have a little bit of space to develop my business without too much pressure. Of course, I want to be able to contribute and whatever it is that I can generate will go towards increasing the fun factor in our lives.
We all have a passion for adventure and I think that there is going to be a lot of fun ahead. I can't wait to share the things I love with Tabitha, to go splashing in the ocean and go for long walks. Time is a funny thing though. I know that I am already looking back and seeing time measured in how much she has grown, in all the things she can do now and I marvel in it.
How amazing and how precious life is and how much meaning my girl has given to my life. I see my art growing now as she grows. I want to create things to inspire and delight her. To give her a positive impression of the world and also to give all girls images of strength and courage, so that they can be a force for good. I want to be able to share the magic that I have found and it is my pleasure to be able to do it.