On being a stay at home mum

On being a stay at home mum…

I have always wanted to be a Mum and not only that I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home Mum.  I know, shock horror, how dare I ever admit such a thing in this day and age of trying to ‘have it all’.  Please don’t stop reading here…

I took voluntary redundancy while on maternity leave with my son and from then on we decided that I wouldn’t go back to work in the same way after my maternity leave was over, at least not while the children were little. We then learned how to manage on one income so that we could afford to do that. 

Like anything, learning how to be a stay at home mum took time, I had to find the best way to make it work in order to keep us all as happy and sane as we could be… (this didn’t always go to plan as I’m sure you can imagine)!!

I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned about being a stay at home mum that helped me while my children were little in case they are helpful to you too:

Always get dressed no matter how little sleep you’ve had, no matter how rubbish you feel and even if you aren’t leaving the house.  It will make you feel so much better.

Always try to get a bit of fresh air if you can.  There will be times when you really can’t face it and that’s ok but whenever I forced us out of the house, even for a walk down the road to the park both me and the kids were so much happier for it.

Know that you can’t do it all!  I’m definitely guilty of feeling like a failure more than once because I didn’t have a freshly cooked meal on the table every evening.  It’s fine to have pasta and stir in sauce for the third night in a row if you’ve had a rough week – at least everyone is eating!

If you have a hobby or interest do your best to keep at it even if it’s just very loosely.  Sewing, knitting and baking honestly helped to keep me sane during my days at home and if you can get the kids involved in something you’re interested in – win win!

Go out and meet other mums even if you don’t feel like it.  I’m naturally an introvert, if I’m feeling rough the last thing I feel like doing is talking to other people when I could be cosied up at home in my safe little haven.  There were so many times in the beginning of motherhood that I literally had to force myself out to playgroup or music group on little sleep and feeling rubbish.  I now have some amazing mum friends that I don’t think I could have got through those first few years without.

It’s ok to have a CBeebies day, or even an iPad day (gasp!!) Sometimes you just need it and guess what, the world won’t fall apart and your child won’t be permanently damaged by it.  And no they wouldn’t be better off at nursery because you are a rubbish mum – they are with you and that’s what makes them happy!

Don’t feel bad for not playing with your child ALL OF THE TIME!  Of course they will want you to play with them all the time but if you have to go off an start dinner don’t feel bad for it.  This is one of the things I used to struggle with the most, then I learned that independent play is actually good for kids and I probably didn’t encourage it enough.

Make time for yourself.  So, so difficult when essentially your day job has become full time carer to everyone else but, if you can, do something that’s just for you.  Even if it’s just once a week!  One of the things I missed the most was probably the lovely hour lunch break I had at work to read my book.

Don’t feel bad for not enjoying every single second with your children.  Yes time flies and yes you should make the most of them but some days are horrid and you just need to accept that and know that tomorrow is another day.

  • Resist the urge to punch anyone that asks you what you do all day!  Staying home with your kids is hard work, it is more than a full time job that you don’t get paid for and often don’t get much recognition for.  It can be seen as an easy option and I’m here to tell you it’s blinking not.  You and only you are responsible for a good chunk of your child’s upbringing day to day and that can be both wonderful and terrifying at the same time.

I hope these tips are a little bit helpful, they kind of focus on the more difficult aspects but I’m happy to say that, for me, I absolutely loved my time as a stay at home mum. I’m so pleased and grateful to have had that time with my children, it has changed me and my outlook on life in so many ways but that’s another post. Of course, I’m really talking here about before my children started any kind of preschool or full time school. I mean I guess I am technically still a stay at home mum now, I work on my business at home around the children after all, but now they are in full time education life is very different.

I know staying at home is not right for everyone and you must do what’s right for you. This is in no way a judgemental post, I just wanted to share my experience of what we thought was best for us. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and tell myself some of these things at the times I felt bad or questioned myself but really I don’t think Mum guilt ever ends does it, I just have other things to feel guilty about now that they are older!

Lots of love

Sally x

January – on taking things slow…

I went out for dinner with some friends last week, our main topics of conversation were:

  1. How tired we are
  2. How busy we are
  3. How much we’d done that day
  4. How quickly time is flying by

You get the picture and I’m sure you’ve probably had very similar conversations yourself.

I am a busy person, I struggle to sit through a film, the cinema would be my least favourite outing of choice because it involves sitting still for more than half an hour.  With both work and home I plan tasks in my head that I ‘must’ get done that day, if I don’t I feel I have failed. I can’t watch telly without doing something else at the same time. It’s why I knit, at least I feel I am doing something with my hands and something productive with my time. In short, I struggle to slow down – I know I’m not alone!

In the run up to Christmas life was so busy, as it is for everyone, with Christmas shopping, working on the business, getting orders out, school activities, productions etc.  In the week or so before Christmas I struggled to sleep at night and by the time Christmas came I felt quite stressed and exhausted from the lack of sleep.  Once  Christmas got going though, with no work and a lovely lack of routine something strange happened – I started to relax.  I would watch tv and be able to concentrate on what I was watching,   I read at night in bed and actually got into what I was reading and enjoyed it, I had a long bath rather than a rushed shower. I began to allow myself to spend time doing the little things I enjoyed and actually allowed myself to enjoy them and not feel guilty for not doing something ‘productive’.  As a result, I started to sleep better and felt happier and more relaxed than I had in a long while.

This got me thinking, I am one of those people who is constantly amazed by how fast the days, weeks, months fly by and  I get frustrated because I don’t feel I can take enough of it in.  But is the reason it does fly by so quickly because we are so immersed in the busyness of life to notice what is actually happening in the moment?  For me I think it is.  There’s almost a pride these days in how busy we are, how many clubs our kids go to, how many nights of the week we are out – but why?

I mentioned the other day on Instagram that in the past I have struggled with being a stay at home mum working on my business while my children are at school because I feel like I constantly have to justify my time, although no one is actually judging me but me.  I feel almost guilty sometimes about stopping for a cuppa and half an hour of telly where I could be working or doing the washing or getting the dinner prepped.  We all know how these tasks never end, but on the times I have allowed myself a break I have been a lot more productive in the hours that follow.

So this month, even this year I am going to try and bottle those feelings of enjoyment at making time to do the little things I enjoy.  To slow down and make time to read, go for a walk with the dog without feeling rushed, watch tv in the evenings, without being on the laptop at the same time, do some exercise (yoga and running for me) and make some time for myself without feeling guilty for it.  What’s that saying – ‘You can’t look after others if you aren’t looking after yourself’ or something like that.

So January, for me, is going to be my slow month.  Even if my slow month does mean slowly Marie Kondo-ing my way through our house along with the rest of the world, it’s good for the soul you know…

Take care!

Sally xx


Lots of us are choosing to ‘shop small’ this Christmas, looking to buy something unique and made with love and it’s such a lovely way to support handmade and small local businesses.  Here’s a little guide I’ve put together of some gift ideas from my own handmade shop – I hope you like them!      

My personalised cushions are not only for little girls.  I’ve been asked to make ‘Nanna’ cushions, cushions with house names on for the hallway, town names and of course ‘Mummy’ cushions for Mum’s special chair.  Something pretty for the home and something she probably won’t be expecting! 
And of course there’s always a pretty Christmas stocking for a before Christmas treat too!

Men are always hard to buy for aren’t they!  So how about, instead of the usual socks this year, you treat the men in your life to something more personal.  Maybe a string of bunting saying ‘Dad’s Office’, ‘Grandad’s Shed’ or of course there’s a personalised cushion again for their special seat in the house.
I find girls the easiest to buy for, if they’re anything like my daughter they will love anything pretty.  So, for girls, I can offer my pretty name bunting in your colour choice, a co-ordinating name cushion, perfect for making their bedroom their own.  Or how about a trendy personalised initial letter cushion in a bright colour, or even a pretty, on trend pom pom trim cushion.  This one would be perfect for a budding ballerina!


It’s difficult sometimes to find things for boys that are bright, colourful and unique.  Similar to the ideas for girls, how about a brightly coloured name cushion, or one in a monotone design for older boys in blacks, whites and greys.  There’s also a colourful string of bunting – which doesn’t only have to spell a name and of course I also offer those ‘on trend’ initial cushions for boys too which can be made in the colour of your choice!


Baby’s first Christmas is such a special time!  Why not treat that little one in your life to a beautiful personalised patchwork quilt or blanket, something special that they can keep and treasure for years to come. 
My blankets are super snuggly, perfect for all of that out and about Christmas visiting baby will be doing.
Or, If you’re looking for something to add a pop of colour to baby’s nursery, how about one of my bright baby print pom pom cushions which look great on a nursery chair, cot or bed.

I hope these ideas have been helpful.  I haven’t been able to include photos of everything of course but everything mentioned or shown here is available to order on my website and I’m always open to bespoke orders too – time permitting.
Please don’t forget that my closing date for made to order items will be FRIDAY 7 DECEMBER.  I’m getting busy already and am so grateful for every single order!
Thank you for reading!
Sally x

October – Monthly Round Up…

October is one of my favourite months.  I love it when the days start to feel chillier and the sun glows that beautiful orange through the trees. It’s been a busy month for me both at Poppy & Primrose and at home.  Here’s here’s what I’ve been up to this month…  

Loving – Autumn walks, our dog walks and our walks to school and back have been so pretty in the sunshine.

Hating – Getting up in the dark, it feels like the middle of the night at 6am!!

Wearing – Cosy jumpers and winter boots, loving oversized knits at the moment.

Sewing – A bit of a variety of orders this months but it’s mainly been pumpkins and blankets.

Dressmaking – Cosy jersey dresses perfect for wearing with tights and boots – hello Coco!

Drinking – Hot chocolate, I’ve never been much of a fan but this year I’m loving it with plenty of marshmallows

Eating – Casserole, it’s slow cooker season, I’ve dusted mine off and it’s in action!

Buying – Sewing patterns and fabric, we’re supposed to be saving but I can’t seem to help myself with all of the lovely Autumn designs there are out there.  A corduroy Tilly & The Buttons Cleo dungaree dress is next on my list!

Watching – Snatch season 2 and This is Us, at opposite ends of the scale but I love them both!

Reading – Jayne Eyre one of my old faves, I read it at college and loved it!

Thinking – About Christmas and all of the things I want to sew, it keeps me awake at night!!

Realising – If you want something done you have to do it!  Sounds silly but it’s true!

Looking forward to November and some serious Christmas planning!  What have been your favourite things about this month?? 

Sally x

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve compiled a blog post of frequently asked questions that I’m often asked before customers decide to buy. I hope these will be helpful but as always if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to message me:


Q: Can the quilts and blankets be machine washed?

A: Yes, my quilts and blankets are machine washable on a cool 30 degree setting. It’s helpful to use a laundry washbag or a pillow case if you have one as this can help to prevent bobbling. The nature of patchwork is that it will pucker slightly over time the more it is washed but this simply adds to the vintage style of the item.

PLEASE NOTE: The patchwork top may be ironed on a cool setting but felt lettering and dimple minky fleece should never be ironed!

Q: Can I have a quilt or blanket personalised?

A: Yes, for both blankets and quilts I have a listing for both personalised and non-personalised items.

Q: Can I choose my own colour scheme for my quilt or blanket?

A: Absolutely! If you are ordering a ‘made to order’ blanket I am very happy to discuss your fabric choice and colour scheme with you before ordering and work with you to get the best fit for your needs. Please note that on some occasions the price may need to be adjusted accordingly depending on the cost of the fabric you require, this will always be made clear before ordering.

Q: Can I have a ‘ready made’ quilt or blanket personalised?

A: I’m afraid not as my names are stitched in before the quilt is finished but always ask and I may be able to replicate or create a similar item and personalise it for you.


Q: Can the pillow cases be machine washed?

A: Unfortunately, due to the nature of the applique, my pillow cases are spot clean only.

Q: Can I request a different colour scheme or shape?

A: Of course, I’ll always try to accommodate your request where possible.



Q: Can I request more end flags?

A: Yes! Just pop me a message to let me know how many extra end flags you would like and I’ll cost them accordingly for you.

Q: Do you make plain fabric bunting?

A: I do, if you would like to order some plain, non-personalised, bunting simply message me and I’ll cost up a custom order for you.