Who said you can't soak up culture if you're wearing a nappy? For those of you who haven't heard, CultureBaby, the brain child of Lucie Charkin is a service to parents of very young children feel and interact with culture. It's unlike anything else around for Mums and babies and in my opinion, a far cry from dull toddler groups I've often found myself at.
Lucie says: The spark came 6 years ago when Lily my eldest and I were both asked to leave an otherwise empty Museum because she was crying. I left feeling unwelcome and confused as to why any museum would turn away a member of a key audience with time and a desire to learn. Like many of my friends I also shared a frustration at the mindlessness of standard mother-and-baby activities and harbored a desire for stimulating company and ways to share new experiences with my children. So in 2009, after my last child Thea was born, I started working on CultureBaby.
Have a look at CultureBaby's first year here.
Previous events include a Serpentine Summer Party, a talk on Damien Hirst at The Tate Modern and Italian Renaissance depictions of the mother and child at The National Gallery.
Read more about the supermum behind CultureBaby...
OCCUPATION Founder and CEO of www.culturebaby.co.uk
WHAT DID YOUR LIFE CONSIST OF BEFORE YOU BECAME A MAMA?
More cycling holidays, sleepless weekends – out of choice, travel and me! In my twenties I lived in Hong Kong running a private gallery for a Swiss dealer, before setting up my own art gallery in Beijing, China. I returned to UK in 2000 and hit the Dot.Com boom with icollector.com. After this I headed up the Charitable Giving team at the Natural History Museum and then I managed to squeeze in an MA in Art Criticism and Museum Studies and a dream job at Artangel before I got pregnant with Lily; who just turned 7.
HOW HAS BECOMING A MOTHER MADE YOU A BETTER PERSON?
Motherhood has made me realise I am mortal and that you have to make the most of the time you are given (heavy!!). I like to think motherhood has made me strive to be a better wife, mum, friend and role model to my delicious daughters. I am more aware of what my choices mean to those around me. Above all it has given me greater feeling of responsibility towards womankind not because of the tie that childbirth suggests but rather because of the life-changing challenges to the sense of self that this amazing journey presents.
ASIDE FROM CONCEALER, WHAT CANT YOU LIVE WITHOUT NOW YOU HAVE A CHILD?
Perfume. I like to wrap myself in a smell that is with me day and night that makes me feel good.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST TIME MUM?
Take it easy on yourself, work around your needs and try to get to know your baby. Set yourself a small goal each day in those first weeks and REST. Do not underestimate how much your child understands, feels and learns. Those first 18 months are a daze but they are critical in shaping your child’s neuro-pathways and your bond. Whether you are with them 24 /7 or 3 hours a day after work– talk to them. Tell them everything that you are doing, thinking, seeing. BUT whilst you are doing this, do the things you love! Keep your mind open, meet other parents and come to culturebaby to get a dose of mind candy!
HOW HAS YOUR WARDROBE CHANGED SINCE HAVING A BABY?
It has shrunk! No time to shop.
CAKE OR BISCUITS?
Biscuits – nutty ones with a cup of coffee
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Seeing someone being passionate about something they love
DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRETS OR TIPS TO MAKING MOTHERHOOD THAT BIT EASIER?
Come to one of our events – they make you feel alive, interesting, engaged and let you meet other likeminded folk.
Also if you can love yourself everyone you care for benefits and feels it. So try to keep a hold of what you love doing (or loved doing before babies) and do it with your baby that way you can both grow and learn together. Always move on from a mistake we all make them, adapt and don’t try to do too much in a day!
Lastly – travel and make the most of that first year, as this is when our bundles of joy are so portable and yummy to cuddle in a sling. Its not until they start really moving that you realise how much freedom a sleepy babe in arms can give you and how you can really make the most if your year off at home with your baby, friends and family.
CultureBaby are on Twitter.
To see what's coming up over at CultureBaby, take a look here.