Meet Aimie MacDonald, a Scottish mother of one who has had a baby, moved country and bought a new house, all in the last two years! Aimie uses the name ‘thegeordiebairn’ on her Instagram account and posts clean, beautiful shots with a focus on her two year old son. It is lovely to see her updates and I particularly enjoy seeing her creative ways of keeping track of her memories and am going to try and recreate some for my son! On a personal note, I am always interested in seeing how other mothers and teachers make a return to work suit them.
Read the interview to get to know Aimie a little bit more!
1) Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
I’m Aimie, 34, from Scotland. I met my English husband while we were working as teachers in Dubai. We had our son Finley in Dubai but moved back to the U.K. when he was 1. We’ve settled in the North East of England and are very much enjoying being ‘home’ after 8 years abroad.
2) If you could give one piece of advice for an expectant mother, what would it be?
I think that you can’t prepare (unfortunately!). I wanted to know as much as possible and ‘be ready’ and realize now that was impossible. When you become a mother you learn as you go and you will know what to do. You have to trust the process but that’s easy to say in hindsight.
3) All of us parent differently and have different values. What is your most important parenting value?
I think because Finn is still young, at the moment our most important parenting value is love. We show him we love him and tell him we love him often. Even now my own parents say they love me when I end a call or say goodbye to them and that has stuck with me. I want Finn to know he’s loved and from that, hopefully when he’s older, we can instil our other parenting values more easily from a basis of love.
4) what motto do you try and live by?
Our family motto (which again has come from my own family) is Making Memories. You don’t need to go somewhere fancy or spend lots of money to make memories. We are lucky we live close to the coast so we regularly go to the beach and I know we’re making memories as a family.
5) What are your hopes for your son?
I hope he’ll be happy, healthy and make good choices. Anything beyond that would be a bonus 🙂
6) Last year you moved back to the UK from Dubai. What prompted you to go out there and what were the reasons for your return?
I’m a Primary teacher and was teaching in Aberdeen. I was 25 and had a job, a house and was bored! I wanted more so me and a girl I worked with decided to work in Dubai and seek adventure! My dad has always worked abroad so it was in my blood and I was encouraged and supported by my family. I met my now husband while in Dubai, we married in Scotland and had Finley in Dubai. Having a baby was a huge turning point and made us want to live closer to our families. Finley is the first grandchild for my parents and I had a lot of guilt about living so far away. We’ve now been back for a year. It’s not been straight forward but it was definitely the right decision and we are very happy.
7) You have some lovely, novel ways of keeping memories alive in your house – you have pebbles you’ve collected from around the world and champagne corks from special occasions. Do you think we are in danger of letting the ease of the digital era erase physical memories like photographs? How do you keep track of your son’s precious moments?
I think because we use our phone so much to take photos and videos, every aspect of his short life has already been documented! We also share these with his grandparents regularly so they keep up to date with his development. I did have good intentions of keeping a baby book when Finn was born and it’s been carefully completed for the first few months of his life but then it kind of got forgotten about. I’ve made a couple of memory frames – one using hearts I cut out of his new baby cards and the other with some important things from his life.
8) You mention that you have been a vegetarian for 17 years. How does that translate to the rest of your family? Do you cook meat for your husband and son or are they vegetarian too?
From when I was a child I didn’t like the texture of meat and was never forced to eat it. When I started university I then consciously decided to become vegetarian. I am a very relaxed vegetation and will happily pick meat out of food before I eat it! I’m happy to cook meat for my husband and son. At dinner time we all eat the same meal but mine is a vegetarian version.
9) You were a teacher in Dubai before you became pregnant and are now teaching back in the UK. Can you see any differences between the UK education system and the one in Dubai and (if you could choose) which would you prefer your son to experience?
The Dubai education system is based on the English curriculum. I trained and worked in Scotland before moving to the Middle East so had to learn a whole new curriculum. Dubai follows the English system very closely and regularly have inspections to check the quality of what is being delivered. Personally, I wanted our son to go to school in the U.K. My husband is a Special Needs teacher and the provision in Dubai is still somewhat lacking. If he does require support in the future I know he will have access to what he needs in England.
10) Parenting is tough and beautiful all at the same time. Can you tell us about a tough time and a shining moment that you’ve had as a parent?
A tough time – I found the first few months as a mum very hard. My husband only got a couple of days at home with us and with family in the U.K. I felt very alone. There is no after care in Dubai, no health visitors or midwife checks on you once you give birth. I found breastfeeding tough and Finley eventually weaned himself after 3 months. What we didn’t know until he was 5 months old was he’d had a severe tongue tie. Once it was cut and he could feed properly and as a result sleep more soundly, we really turned a corner. I still feel a lot of guilt about not knowing he was tongue tied earlier.
A shining moment – we have shining moments every day. When Finn smiles, laughs or comes for a cuddle it makes all the sleepless nights and tough times easy to forget.
I loved finding out about Aimie and her family through her Instagram account and her interview. Even though I have only done a few of these so far, it is fast becoming apparent that my suspicions were correct in that we may have plenty of differences, but we all want our children to feel loved, happy and safe..