So its been a while I know. I have been busy working 5 days a week in my new role as Art Director at Mini Boden. Finally I really feel like I am back on the career ladder after having Rose nearly 7 years ago. So I wanted to write a post about Careers & Motherhood.
Finding out I was pregnant at 26 was a little bit of a shock. Working at a Glossy Fashion magazine with my whole career ahead of me was suddenly halted by two little lines on my first ever pregnancy test. Yes, my first. I though it would be a laugh as my hangover didn’t seem to be getting better. It wasn’t a hangover. I was expecting. LIsten I was thrilled too, i Have always wanted to be a Mother, but I also cried for two weeks solid and this wasn’t in the plan. Nope, I had to be married, own a house be a Fashion Editor and have had my stint on the front rows on the catwalk shows. Not be a Senior Fashion Assistant on 19k a year.
So for the next nine months, various looks of shock and disbelief. I think there were quite few “How is she going to do this” raised eyebrows. We went through the motions. Mr B and I looking in marvel at our twelve week scan, watching as my stomach grew, the first kicks, the twenty week scan, the row over putting up the flat pack nursery furniture, the four-day labour which ended in an emergency c-section (to posh to push), the awkward NCT meetings, our tiny one bedroom flat with neighbours that came to bed when out angry newborn baby woke up on the hour every hour for 12 weeks. It was an education, let me tell you.
So when Rose was eight months old, I was ready to go back to work. Although very quickly we realised that 19k doesn’t quite cover the £1800 a month nanny fees we would be looking at paying. So I said a fond farewell to my glossy magazine dream and was sent off with a huge beauty bag and Magazine Cover leaving card with the strapline from ‘Burberry to Bugaboo’. I know it sounds dramatic but falling off the ladder and going freelance was and has at times been really bloody hard work. Emotionally and financially. You see the thing about it is that you never really feel like part of a team or only are as good as your last job. I also know that I love being around people, I am used to it, being one of six and going to dreaded boarding school since the age of seven (army children) I am not used to spending time on my own at all. So being on my own with two small children at times felt like the opposite of what I am used to. Of course I attempted to make friends wherever I went chattering away, but it wasn’t the same as being in a work place.
There were also the really terrible jobs of which I had two which really were the pits. The jobs that I thought were going to be the one or the jobs that I took because at the time it was my only option and I had two little mouths that needed feeding. The jobs I took that I knew I was too good for but didn’t have a choice. The worst thing about underselling yourself is that you do just that and it really can’t set you back a few years. Confidence is so key to so many elements of your life so please don’t give it away when you really don’t have to. I wish more than anything that I knew my worth a little more and told a lot of these people to fuck off. Sorry to swear but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.
I so get it and want to tell Mothers on maternity leave who are so worried about the combination of their careers and motherhood, that is does work out in the end. It might just take some figuring out. What annoys me is that it needs figuring out. Childcare is ridiculous, Although I do look back now and am sort off ( I say sort off at times I felt so isolated, exhausted and fed up) happy that I was at home on & off for their little years.
Marvellous Martha has started pre-school and Rose Bay is in Year 2, so they are sort of off starting their own adventures. Although I am struggling with Rose being Seven. I remember when she was about two weeks old and Mr B came home to find me near hysterical waiting for him outside of the tube. ( I used to meet him outside the tube sometimes if I had a bad day) Anyway I had been crying all afternoon at the thought of Rose going to school. Mr B of course tried to calm me down but in a funny way I think I always knew it would go so fast. So when she acts all a bit sassy and Seven year oldish it reminds me wot that time when I looked at her beautiful tiny face and had such a sad sense that time is so fleeting with them. It really is, they are just ours for a little bit before they head off into the world. Hopefully with a bag full of tricks to navigate this world.
So maybe it was a good think to have been pushed off the career ladder by extortionate childcare fees as I got to spend so much time with them. Although it was tough never knowing when I would work again, seeing my contemporaries rise the ladder whilst I was at home changing nappies or sitting in a cold Church Hall singing some horrendous Nursery rhymes whilst I wanted to shout ‘I don’t belong here, I am twenty six’. Do I sound terrible? A bit maybe but I think it is good to be honest. At times motherhood is really hard work.I mean really hard work, I adore and my girls but it can be challenging in ways I had never thought off. You learn an awful lot about yourself being a parent. Good bits & bad bits. In a way its like untangling necklaces that have taken your whole life to tangle. All those little issues you have, have to be untangled so you can understand it all and be the best person for your little loves. It can be a process.
This blog really helped me actually that’s why I am going to keep going with it and really focus on making it the online book of their childhood so they can read it when they are older and read all my musings about their childhood. It wont be about getting
likes, freebies or statistics. Just really back to basics and the reason I started Musings to give me something of myself back when I felt completely lost in Motherhood and my Career. Two things which mean a lot to me.
London Mum and my little loves x