Hello! Thank you to Wunderlife for asking me to write a guest blog post. I am Anne Clouston and let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a mum of two young kids, living in Leith, Edinburgh. We’ve been here for almost two years. Before that, we were in London for 13.
My husband and I always knew we wanted to move to Edinburgh, to be closer to family, sometime in the distant future. Dangerously, I was a Rightmove/ESPC addict, dreaming about the type of Scottish home we might own. Inevitably, our dream house popped up on the internet, sooner than planned.
With the closing date looming, I flew to Edinburgh to view the house on the Sunday, put our London home on the market on the Monday, we sold by Thursday and had our offer accepted in Edinburgh by Friday. Before we knew it, we had made a very spontaneous decision to sell up and move north. The same week, I also discovered I was pregnant with baby number two!
The house we were buying hadn’t been touched in over 20 years, had splintered floorboards and no central heating. It was a complete restoration project.
The clock was ticking as my pregnant tummy swelled. Needless to say, nothing ever goes to plan so the builders were still here when the baby was born. The labour was quick. I very nearly had him on the aforementioned floorboards in the bathroom. The 999 operator asked my husband if he’d ever delivered a baby. Cue an ashen-white, and very nervous, husband. I looked at the splintered floor and told myself “no way”. He arrived in an ambulance around the corner!
So, there we were living in a building site with a newborn. Thank goodness, he turned out to be an angel baby. He still is. For anyone rolling your eyes, my eldest was a nightmare who struggled to feed (undetected tongue tie) and never napped (probably hungry!) so I definitely deserved the angel baby!
2016 has been a busy one with two kids and an ongoing house renovation. Towards the end of it the existing kitchen disappeared bit by bit as the various electricians and plumbers needed access. On Christmas Eve my husband removed the last of the remaining kitchen units to locate a water leak. The baby was now six-months old but I thought it best to delay the weaning!
The new kitchen was eventually completed in February last year. Finally, a dishwasher after washing up in the upstairs bathroom for months!
As the year went on and house slowly began to take shape, I turned my attention to what I would do next, for my own sanity but also to aid the dwindling funds. In London, I worked as a retail buyer for companies like Habitat and BHS, and later as a Product Developer for Talking Tables, a creative party product company. Opportunities for the same in Edinburgh were limited. Plus, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to the nursery drop off / commute / work / race home / collect children / be a mum and repeat, routine. Have you seen the BBCs Motherland sitcom? It’s hilarious, but it’s also a ‘terrifying, no-holds-barred glimpse into parenthood’ (The Guardian). So many home truths there!
So here I am now training with Digital Mums to be a Social Media Manager. Their mantra is #WorkThatWorks and the aim is to have fulfilling freelance work that fits with family life. Working from home, being here for the children and being able to do nursery / school drop-offs and pick-ups on my own terms. At least that’s the plan!
...So, hello to 2018…
I foresee another busy year! My youngest doesn’t have a place at nursery until July and the Digital Mums workload is ramping up. It’s a six-month course and I’m about halfway now. The course is based around learning whilst doing so students run live social media accounts which we create from scratch. If you’re interested, my campaign is @LeithLocal across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
I’m proud to call myself a (honoury) Leither. Stemming from that, Leith Local is a celebration of all that there is to love both here and slightly beyond in Edinburgh. I graduate in April and then need to #DoTheHustle (another Digital Mums mantra) to find some freelance clients.
Following that the eldest turns five in the Spring and will be finally starting school in August 2018. I feel like I need to jam pack the Spring and early Summer with camping trips and fun times before her freedom is governed by the school holidays.
I’m raising my new year’s glass to a endless warm Scottish sunshine! I hope you all have a healthy and happy year ahead!
Find Leith Local here:
For more info on the Digital Mums course: