“I’ve approached so many things in my life with such intensity that I want to approach motherhood with dedication and focus.”
A little bit about me BB (before baby). I’ve been self-employed as a stylist for over a decade and have dedicated most of my time to work with social events. My partner of seven years, Joshua, is (thankfully) in the same industry, which means more time spent on work chat.
We moved to London from Australia in 2013 to get a greater dose of fashion and expand our careers on a more international scale.
We had spoken about having a family one day, but with no immediate plans. So with much surprise, just a few months after arriving in the UK, we found out I was pregnant. My initial thoughts mixed happiness with absolute terror, as I was not prepared and mentally unequipped. In addition, I was scared to do this so far away from my family.
After a few months and many chats with family and Joshua, I gained the confidence to accept and embrace my pregnancy. I continued to work as much as I could and after having our little girl, Noa. I kept my finger on the fashion pulse, managing style teams and projects across the country.
It all seemed manic for the first few months and my hormones were still going crazy, until I finally had a moment of realisation that I might need to slow down a bit. Being in such a competitive industry, there is a saying: you are only good as your last job. As I wasn’t able to physically commit to all jobs, I realised I enjoyed managing projects just as much. So in a strange way, having Noa has opened my eyes to another way of doing business.
Some here are five main tips that have worked for me…
1. Socialise as much as you can
Both with mums and friends who don’t have babies. It’s important to have a mix of the two so you feel engaged with all people, no matter what the topic of discussion is.
2. Keeping active is really important
It took me so long to realise this and my weight gain contributed to a few insecurities. Just getting outside the house and going for a walk is better than nothing.
3. Continue to follow your personal and work interests
Whether that is some time out for you to go on social media, read blogs, magazines, do a workshop or learn something new, make sure you go for it.
4. Talk about how you’re feeling
With your partner, your family and your friends. Don’t be scared to ask for help, someone will be available. I do a babysitting call-out email and text message to a group of friends even when I just need to go to a meeting for a few hours and my partner is at work.
5. Create a group
Use Facebook or WhatsApp with your friends, so you can send each other quick messages. The sillier the better, because having a little giggle gets you through some tough days.
It’s true that life changes when you have a baby, along with a new perspective and set of challenges along the way. But I don’t feel I have changed in my ambitions. It is important for me to continue being myself and provide a life for Noa which will be enriching both creatively and emotionally.
Everything revolves around having a work/life balance. Although I might not be at the peak of my career goals (at the moment), there will always be a drive to continue doing my job but also be there for Noa, as she is growing up so fast and I feel so fortunate that I had that time with her.
Of course, none of this balance would have been possible without the support of my partner Joshua, who continues to encourage me to pursue my life and work passions.