Family Story written by Lucy H. Pearce from Dreaming Aloud.
Family names and ages.
I’m 35, and live with my husband, Patrick (36). We have three kids. Timmy is 10, Merrily 7 and Aisling 5.
Where do you live?
East Cork, Ireland, in the village of my birth, just a few minutes from the sea, and a stunning sandy beach. On a new-built housing estate. I never would have planned living on an estate, but it is fabulous with kids.
Please explain your lifestyle and philosophy
We sit on the white picket fence between the mainstream and alternatives… and we like the view.
Do you work-from-home or are you a stay at home parent? Please tell us about it.
We have evolved a life of shared work and parenting. So we both work (for our own companies – we have an editing services company, Lucent Word, a publishing imprint, Womancraft Publishing, and I have my own work as an author/ blogger/ teacher.) We work together in the office whilst the kids are at school and then alternate afternoons – home or working.
How do you make things work?
We’ve tried all sorts. I’ve tried being a full time stay-at-home mum (but ended up working in the edges of my time and going half mad). We’ve done half and half. We’ve been self-employed, business owners, contract workers and employees. In the last ten years between us we’ve had a handmade chocolate business, been editors, sold wood-pellet boilers, worked in a shop, been office admin staff, organized festivals and parades, taught pregnancy yoga and drama in schools.
Living in a rural area, having young kids, going through the breakdown of the Irish economy, needing to make a living, wanting to do work we love, with people we respect, and contribute positively to our family, community and world, we’ve had to be flexible and resilient.
What inspired your lifestyle?
Philosophy, my studies, my family, Charles Handy and his idea of portfolio living, strongly feminist and creative mother sensibilities, and my own mental health needs. I have a strong belief that how we live matters hugely. That we have to live out our ideals. My guiding motto is: do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
What are your children’s education options?
This has been a big issue for us. I wanted to home school since before having kids. But soon realized that I didn’t have the energy or patience – and a strong calling to do my own work. But it has been a constant inner battle. 95% of schools in Ireland are Catholic – we are not. We helped set up a non-denominational school in the nearest town, which is now totally over subscribed – but we prefer to have our kids educated in the community we live and work in and not be car-dependent. It is a small village school with a veggie garden and chickens and friendly atmosphere… we just have to wade through the religious dogma and fight our battles.
If you work from home what is the best bit of advice you could give other parents who want to work from home?
Clear boundaries. Clear communication. And the ability to change gear quickly. I’m still learning all of them!
What is your favourite family activity?
Dancing together. To mad songs. Making stuff together – but NOT the cleaning up.
Three words to describe how you feel about your lifestyle?
NEED. MORE. ENERGY.
Win a copy of Lucy Pearce's book The Rainbow Way : Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood by following this link and popping your email in the form. The winner will be announced by mid October.