We moved into our house when I was 6 weeks pregnant with my son. The house was built in the ‘20s and we are only the third set of owners. The last family to live there had raised their children grown old and died there. They hadn’t touched the décor since at least the 70’s and the garden, which is huge by city standards (we live not far from the centre of Edinburgh), hadn’t been tended for ages and was severely overgrown with thistles, vines and potato plants of all things.
I was excited about the renovations and the decoration ahead – the place needed the lot, including removing lead pipes, updating the wiring and installing central heating – but I hadn’t been pregnant when we accepted the offer so it would no longer be the slow leisurely project we had intended it to be.
We got on with it, and the house began to take shape as my bump began to grow. The garden was the last thing on the priority list as I was due in January so getting the house ready for the baby was definitely the first priority. So we were kind of amused when we realised that first summer when I was pregnant that there was a fox and her cub living in a den at the end of the garden hidden away behind all of the overgrowth. I did of course worry about what happens when I have a baby and I want to go out and use the garden, but that seemed a long way off and I assumed that when we cut back the growth, they’d decide it wasn’t such a comfy place and go find somewhere better.
I think you can tell where this is going…. My son is nearly 15 months old now and though the Mama fox seems to have moved on her cub is all grown up and still living in our garden. We made a good attempt to clear the garden last summer and most of the overgrowth is gone, but with a 6 month old there was a lot left undone. Our fox thankfully is skittish enough that if we walk up the garden he’ll jump over the back fence and go off somewhere else until we go back inside, but he’s not so skittish that he feels he needs to hide in his den all the time. When its sunny out – which it occasionally is in Scotland – he’s right out there lounging on the grass and basking in the warmth of the sun. He’s clearly very at home in our garden.
But the fox in our name isn’t just a nod to this cheeky sunbathing fox at the bottom of our garden, he’s also a kind of metaphor, for me as a mother and for all our babies and ourselves in a way. Our garden fox has found somewhere to bed in and call home even though it isn’t his natural environment and with us clearing the overgrowth it can’t always feel like a super safe space either. I am not someone who grew up knowing they would be, or even wanted to be, a mother. I felt like an imposter for most of my pregnancy, thinking I could never be a good enough mother and that it would all be too much for me. A lot of it is hard of course, really hard, but I surprised myself, and I’ve now made myself at home in this new world of babies that was alien to me not long ago. My son too is starting to make sense of his world, evicted from his warm comfy womb of a home and finding himself out here with all of us dealing with new sights and sounds and feelings that must be oh so confusing. We were all like that once, and at times in our lives we feel that way still. But hopefully for most of us we find our way, we snuggle into a place, and people, and way of living that makes us feel at home.
Nested Fox the company was created because I felt like motherhood had changed me completely and I just wouldn’t feel at home back in my old job with my mind off somewhere else wondering what my baby was up to. Maybe that’s just some more mother angst and in reality I would have adjusted, but I’d already made this huge leap into the world of motherhood, parenting and babies and I don’t want to leave. This is where I feel at home now and I want to help new mums feel the same, as they decorate their baby’s nursery or celebrate their exciting milestones. If you’d known me 15 months ago you’d be shocked to see me here now designing nursery lampshades and baby milestone cards, but here I am and here I intend to bed in, just like our domesticated fox.
I hope you enjoy seeing our little company grow and that we, by way of our products, can be part of some of those warm fuzzy moments with your kids that are what it is all about.
It’s a big wild world out there – Let’s make our kids feel cuddled!
Director, Nested Fox