Name: Louise Wood
Lives: Wilmslow Cheshire
Business: ‘Weaning’ App creator (…as well as Photographer, Wife & Mum)
I am first and foremost a full time mum to my son Charlie (15mths) & ‘Bump’ no.2 due in January, also not forgetting wife to the love of my life Barry. By trade I am a local photographer specialising in relaxed family photography & corporate events working alongside Barry from our home in Wilmslow, Cheshire. However the reality of actually ‘doing’ any work (esp the physical side of photography) whilst pregnant / breastfeeding / being a full time mum to an energetic toddler / pregnant again after just 8mths has been somewhat challenging / almost impossible at times if I’m honest!!
Pre Motherhood / Background:
I am a North West girl originally from Widnes but have also lived /worked / studied in Leeds, Sheffield and London before settling in Wilmslow nearly 6 years ago.
Over the years I have worked for various well known broadcasting companies as an ambitious, career driven young marketeer. Then in early 2008 I made one of those ‘life changing decisions’ and quit the corporate world in search of something ‘more’….wasn’t sure what ‘more‘ was I just knew I was no longer enjoying what I was doing.
Later that same year we decided to rip apart our 100 year old home and that I would project manage the renovation (which eventually took us 3yrs to complete) so I went from suited and booted business woman earning a monthly salary & bonuses to an unpaid ‘Sarah Beeny’ / house wife in a matter of months……I loved the challenge of doing something totally different, even those cold nights with no walls, doors or bathroom and the faint sight of ‘dust’ in the air settling on me as I slept on an air bed with 20 layers of clothing, including a wooly hat to keep me warm !!
Then insanely or not (still not quite sure to this day!!) I decided that very same year to become a freelance marketing consultant – very obvious really as marketing is all I had ever known. I have however learned the hard way that having a ‘job‘ and working for yourself are very different and it is essential that when working for yourself you do something you love / feel passionate about or it just won’t work. So after much persuasion from friends/family I called it a day on marketing and my husband Barry and I proudly set up our photography business in Jan 2010. I have always been a passionate photographer and I love people, so being able to capture very special moments esp with young families is a pleasure and a privilege…….I had finally found something I loved doing…….and then I fell pregnant !!
Skip forward to Aug 2011 and the arrival of our first born son ‘Charlie’……the term ‘vertical learning curve’ doesn’t quite cover it I think. Having my first child was quite honestly mind-blowing in so many ways – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I was in shock after the birth as no matter how much I thought I had prepared I was still sat there afterwards thinking ‘what the hell just happened and what do I do now‘. Don’t get me wrong I’ve loved being a mum from the moment I saw my gorgeous baby boy….‘relief’ however I think was my first emotion – relief at him arriving safe and healthy but also relief that I had survived labour, as a few long hours earlier I was convinced I was going to surely die…..big ‘self appreciative’ pat on the back for me!!!
Then there are the hormones all over the place, trying to learn how to breastfeed without sobbing painfully into a cushion, the feeling that I had been physically hit by a bus plus lack of sleep with no idea what time or day it was for those first few weeks !!
This was by far the hardest job I had ever done. Since becoming a mum however I have made some amazing new friends, Charlie makes me laugh everyday (& sometimes cry / scream too!!) and I often sit and marvel at how amazing this little person is that we’ve made and I feel so blessed everyday to be a mum. I am constantly learning new things and never stop being ‘on duty‘ in my new role. Like most mums however I do miss me time and working, having the ability to earn my own wage especially, which is what brings me to my (our) latest venture the ‘Weaning App‘ !!
As well as photography my other great passion is food – buying it, cooking it, eating it, you name it, I am passionate about what I and my family eat…..food shopping is my favourite type of retail therapy, cooking is my way of relaxing and eating is (almost) always a pleasure (morning sickness & heartburn aside!!!) So when it came to ‘weaning‘ Charlie onto solids I spent a lot of time planning / reading and worrying about what I was feeding him / when etc…
I wrote everything down but was amazed to see that technology wise there are lots of weaning apps out there but nearly all seem to be advisory with recipes, or else they are too complicated trying to be ‘everything’ but not doing anything very well i.e. food / milk / nappies / sleep / drugs all wrapped up in one.
I just wanted to record what Charlie was eating, how much, when and whether or not he liked it /was allergic to it- keep it simple !! So the idea of building our own ‘Weaning App’ was born as a way to help other fellow parents/carers to keep track of the weaning process regardless of how / when they choose to do it.
It’s early days for the Weaning App but so far it’s looking very promising and I am already thinking about other ideas for more Apps centered around life as a busy mum. I’m very keen however to get feedback from other parents & carers as to what they think or if there is anything missing that could help them further.
All comments / ideas are welcome.
Website: iTunes Store Link to ‘Weaning’ App