Amelia at home with her daughter, Carys, and son, Snarf

Mother-of-two Amelia Gregory is founder of Amelia’s Magazine, which started as a printed biannual in 2004. The venture is now largely online and Gregory runs the website while producing illustration books, including her new publication ‘Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion’. She lives in Brick Lane, East London with her two children – Snarf, aged three years, and Carys, three months. 

I work in the morning when Snarf is watching CBeebies, and in the evening after both kids are in bed. I have very little day-to-day help because I’ve split up with their father and he no longer lives with us. Close family members have not been happy about the break-up and I don’t have any childcare help at present. I basically haven’t been out at night for nearly four years, but I figure I went out enough to last a lifetime when I was younger, so I’m fine with it… for now.

I’ve never had any specific support in creating the magazine. I’m not very good at filling in forms so have never applied for any kind of funding. I’m a bit of a loner. I think there are bits of support out there but every time I’ve hooked up with some great sounding network it always fails to deliver. I’m a bit jaded when it comes to offers of help I’m afraid – I’d rather just get on with it and do it myself.


Either one or both of the kids wakes me up at 5am on a bad day. We co-sleep in my double bed and I tandem feed so it’s a bit of a juggling act

Hence why I decide to do crowd-funding for my new children’s book Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. Crowd-funding is such a great idea… anyone can do it! But what I’d ideally love to see is some kind of working mum’s network whereby there is a place you can go on an ad-hoc basis and know that your kids will be entertained whilst you get on with work.

I don’t have any spare time at all. Carys, my daughter, is with me the whole time and so she is pretty used to me staring at a screen; I chat to her all the time – right now she’s lying on a sheepskin rug playing with a rattle. Thankfully she is a much easier and less demanding baby than her brother… Snarf is only at Forest School for eight hours a week, but it’s a long way from where we live so I have to work in cafes with Carys on my lap, which is getting much harder to do now she is getting bigger…

Either one or both of the kids wakes me up at 5am on a bad day, by 7am if I’m lucky. We co-sleep in my double bed and I tandem feed so I’m either woken by my youngest having a poo or by my eldest going “I want booby…” and it’s a bit of a juggling act who gets dealt with first. I have always done breakfast, the nursery run, dinner, bath and bed on my own so things haven’t really changed very much in that department, it’s just that I have two kids to tend to now.

Image: Eleanor Percival

Since Snarf is only at Forest School two days a week we do varied things on other days, but I try to get out of the house in the morning otherwise he starts climbing up the walls. We go to a home education group in Hackney one day and meet up with friends for various adventures on the other days and are usually back by mid-afternoon. It’s taken a bit of adjustment to figure out how to manage both the children at bedtime but I can usually get Carys down to sleep whilst Snarf is in the bath. Thankfully she happily goes to sleep on her own – Snarf still likes to snuggle on the boob so that’s a chance for us to have a nice bit of downtime at the end of the day.

Carys is far more independent already. I either eat with Snarf or have something small a bit later once he’s in bed at about 8pm, then I work for a few hours, gobble chocolate, and try to fit in a bit of colouring before bed if my eyes are not too knackered (I had an operation on them to correct short-sightedness many years ago and don’t do too well at night). I try to be in bed by 10 or 11pm but don’t always manage it. Of course something has to give, and my house is in a state of abject chaos – I aspire to do some serious tidying and sorting in the new year.; Support the Kickstarter campaign HERE

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