Katie Watts is the kind of mum who sets a beautiful example of work hard, play hard (with her kids of course)… Being a self-employed photographer, Co-Founder of a design print company and mama to two daughters, she still regularly makes time for picnic dinners on the beach, wintery walks collecting pine cones and adventures of all kinds.
We chat to Katie about work and family life, her daughters – their different characters, and the ins and outs of motherhood…
HI KATIE. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY…
My name is Katie, I’m 36 and I’m a mother of two girls and married to my husband Keith. Keith and I have been together for 19 years, married for 10. Our eldest daughter is Bettie – Jo and she is 8 and our youngest is Agna – Gray and she is 4.
Our 2 gorgeous girls are completely different to each other like lots of parents with more than 1 child would understand!
Bettie – Jo has more of a chilled out approach to the world which I love and tends to put others before herself which is such a lovely trait to have – but I tell her too that there’s times where she needs to put herself before others as she will end up missing out somewhere along the way. She is such a thinker and sometimes has an anxious mind especially when it’s time to sleep and shut off (bless her heart). And that can be tough as a mother to hear as she wants to put all the wrong things in the world right. So we are trying to bring in a little bit of mediation and mindfulness to help with this. My husband and I have tried this in the past for ourselves as we have such a busy life style even more so now and we found it helped us relax. She has such a beautiful kind soul and is creative and loves climbing and being outside.
Our youngest Agna – Gray has a completely different approach to the world! She is very confident in her familiar surroundings but can be shy when meeting new people. She is very funny and very quick and absolutely loves a cuddle and to be close to us. Her favourite thing is to grab a blanket and get cosy on the sofa together, all four of us. She asks questions all the time and her most asked question is ‘ how much do you love us mummy?’
TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK ALONGSIDE MOTHERHOOD…
Keith and I have several jobs as we work for ourselves – so we work pretty much all of the time, even when we are trying to relax we are working as these days it’s in the palm of your hand your phone. I’m always trying to keep on top of everything and don’t like keeping people waiting.
My husband is a carpenter and a very talented illustrator and can put his hand to anything, he is very clever and is such a perfectionist (which sometimes as a wife drives me crazy haha!) but he is excellent at whatever he does and I can’t take that away from him.
We also work together on our small business called YOURTYPE PRINT. We offer a range of tailored, bespoke and ready-made designs and have an account on Instagram called @yourtypeprint please take a look!
I’m a stylist and have been for some time now, 13 years to be precise. Originally a hairdresser and still dip in and out of that for friends and family (when I have the time). I have recently got into photography and been working as a photographer now for the past 4 years and absolutely loving it. Mainly working with children’s clothing brands but wanting to launch out a bit and work with adults clothing brands too – which I have recently been doing which I’ve been really enjoying.
So whilst all this is going on we try and fit in as much family time as we can. At weekends, we fit in work where we can and then put down our tools for family things and quality time with our girls. It’s so important to have that time together as a family.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE JUGGLE?
As I mentioned previously, our life is very busy and very much a juggling act. But we always find it is important to spend time away from our phones and work and concentrate on our family with days out for walks, dinners and little breaks away together.
Our morning routine is waking the girls, sometimes them waking us, then getting ready for school. Agna has just started which still hasn’t sunk in yet as she is only just 4 and so petite. But she is really enjoying it and feeling like a big girl just like her older sister.
My husband drops us all at school then I go back home and try and get as much work done as possible until school pick up. I’m very lucky I can work from home so I feel I never miss out on the girls. Sometimes I have to go to London for work but I have a very good mother-in-law who helps out as much as possible.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR DAUGHTERS’ NAMES?
The reason we called our eldest her name was because before we knew we were having a girl I had lots of boys names and not many girls… Bertie was one of our names which was my mother’s father’s name.
When she was born I changed the ‘r’ to another ‘t’ to spell Bettie and ‘Jo’ is my mother’s name so wanted to have that as her middle name. So that’s how Bettie – Jo came about.
And the reason we called our youngest her name was because on our baby girl list of names for Bettie we had Agnes – so we carried that over to our list for Agna. I had heard a lot of Agnes’s but still wanting a short name and wanting to keep the beginning part of Agnes, we found Agna and just absolutely fell in love with it. She was going to be Lotta but when she was born we just knew she was an Agna. And the Gray part was because if we had a boy he would have been ‘Gray’ so we thought we would incorporate it with Agna’s.
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
I feel motherhood is very rewarding when you hear your children say ‘Mummy, I love you so much’ on a daily basis. It makes me think I must be doing something right as I’m always questioning my parents skills, as I’m sure lots of mothers do.
…AND HARDEST THING?
I find it hardest when making decisions for them, keeping them safe and healthy and knowing one day they will have to make their own decisions and having to keep themselves safe as it’s a big world out there. And that feels me with dread which I’m sure is a mother’s prerogative to feel that way.
But it still doesn’t make it any easier.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
I love a cup of coffee in the morning to start my day. I make a heap of coffee, half with boiled water and the other with milk, so quite milky, with a squeeze of honey as I have such a sweet tooth.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEA OF THE PERFECT SUNDAY IN YOUR HOMETOWN IN ESSEX?
After such a busy week most Sunday’s we try and get out of the house for either a little wonder around our home town Leigh on Sea or we go down to the beach with a blanket and have a picnic or even chips for dinner by the sea which finishes off a day perfectly, it’s so nice living by the sea, we love it.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU – BUSINESS OR PERSONAL – FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR?
For the rest of the year we will just carry on working hard and looking forward to the October school holidays. We are off to Wales for a week and to spend some much needed time all together.
I have a few shoots already booked in my diary for October and November which I’m styling as well as shooting so I’m really looking forward to those. And we are so looking forward to the cooler weather as we love autumn/winter. And we can’t wait to start wrapping up warm and cosy for winter walks in the woods to collect pine cones, which is our little tradition as we know by that time of year it will be nearly Christmas and we love the lead up to the festive period.
GO TO: katiewattsphotography.uk
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Inspiration/ImageCredits: Katie Watts