This week’s instalment of Universal Parenthood is with Emily from Doodlemoo! Emily runs a fabulous business from home while raising two boys with her husband, Chris. Her Instagram feed is a lovely mix of her artwork for her business and little glimpses into her family life that reeled me in when I started investigating further. As always, Emily is a brilliant example of how being a parent is a uniting force across all lifestyles – I could only dream of being as creative as she is and yet we have the same values. Read on to find out more and then wander over to her website to buy some of her artwork!!
1) Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
Hi I’m Emily, designer and illustrator, owner of Doodlemoo. Born in London, I grew up in Venezuela, now living back in England for nearly 18 years. I have two boys Leonardo 8 and Phoenix 5, my husband Chris (fine artist and illustrator) and my cat Miro. I work from my home studio designing and running my own business.
2) If you could give one piece of advice for an expectant mother, what would it be?
To enjoy the time before baby comes and put your feet up and I know sounds cliche but the baby stage goes so quickly enjoy every minute. Listen to the parenting information out there but ultimately do what works for you and your baby.
3) All of us parent differently and have different values. What is your most important parenting value?
Letting the children be themselves and creativity in our house is super important. Be firm and fun at the same time. I am a bit of a child myself so i like been playful with my boys. Honesty and openness. In my family we are very open with emotions and feelings, I want my boys to be strong and caring too.
4) what motto do you try and live by?
Be who you want to be, not everyone will love you and that’s ok. And since my dad passed away I feel like life it’s just so short and need to go for the things I’ve wanted to do but keep leaving for later. So just go for it now!
5) What are your hopes for your children?
For them to believe they can do anything they put their minds to and that everything is possible. Specially with Leo’s condition I want him to know that the limits are only in our heads.
6) Could you tell us about DoodleMoo?
Doodlemoo is our other baby in the form or a creative business! Coming from a graphic design background, this is my way of sharing my illustrations and designs, offering something a bit different and spreading playfulness and happy vibes to the family home. You can find art prints, cards, accessories and lately our Iron on patches. I’m also very passionate about getting the kids creative, this is the reason we share our free DIY printables and love seeing what people make with them.
7) You are obviously incredibly creative. How important do you think it is for children to be given time and space at school to be creative?
Creativity is essential as it’s valuable for all walks of life and develops their imagination. I remember how much I enjoyed making something out of not much and still do! It’s also a way of expressing your self in your own unique way.
8) You mention that either you grew up in Venezuela. Do you try and incorporate the different culture into your children’s lives?
Yes definitely, it’s very important to show them my culture, we get together with Venezuelan and Latin American friends and gets very noisy! we speak Spanish at home and we do what we can as we can’t visit Venezuela due to the situation in the country at the moment. We get grandmother visiting for long periods of time.
9) Your eldest son, Leo, was born with dwarfism. Do you have different worries for him than for your youngest son?
Yes and no, there are obviously concerns for Leo about how life will be for him when he’s a teenager and I was very worried about him fitting into school. But he’s shown an amazing personality and his friends love him, he’s fitted in really well. There are other things that worry us equally for both. Also the balance of the brother relationship as this can affect my youngest Phoenix in different ways too. We try to encourage Leo to try everything and he is very independent, we want him to feel that his condition is not a problem to achieve what he wants in life.
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?
My toughest time would be when I found out about Leo’s condition when he was one month old. It was totally random and unexpected so we needed to deal with this and understand the condition. Shining is to see Leo develop into such an amazing character and understanding that anything that might seem hard at a time gets better. Another shining moment is to see how much love siblings have for each other.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Emily a bit more – follow her here:
Instagram – doodle_moo
Website – doodlemoo