Six months after having my first baby I finally realised that while life had changed, I was still the same person
It didn’t happen all at once, but somehow between the fogginess of midnight feedings and the never-ending nappy changes, I lost myself. From the time my son Rafferty was born to when he was about six months old I felt like a completely different person and to be quite honest – I didn’t recognise who I was anymore.
Before him I was a journalist who lived and breathed my job. If I had to get up early to go to a shoot I was there. If I had to stay up late to finish an article there was no question – I’d do it. I wrote articles about women who were successful, stylish, driven, determined. Entrepreneurs, Actors, Musicians, Chefs. Women who took great leaps of faith to create something. Women who were mothers. To all those mothers I interviewed in the past – I apologise – although I’d nod and pretend to emphathise with your exhaustion about doing your job and having kids I actually had no idea what you were on about. I do now.
The truth was, being a journalist wasn’t just a job, it was how I identified myself. It was such a big part of who I was, and had been for almost 10 years, and it felt like almost overnight my title was stripped away from me. I was officially and unceremoniously de-throned. And without my job I was lost. I remember when I was breastfeeding my son I’d pick up my phone and I’d check my work emails. Not just once a day, sometimes twice, sometimes ten times. For MONTHS! Always telling myself it was incase anything important cropped up. I just couldn’t let go. I missed going into work and the adrenaline rush of a print deadline, I missed chatting nonsense with my work friends on the daily, I missed choosing an outfit depending on what interviews were on that day (and not one that would work because it would easily disguise milk spills) And I missed having a lunch break and choosing whether to do a quick workout or to meet up with a friend at one of the city’s newest cafes. I missed doing things, anything, on a whim!
Day by day part of my identity, the armour that made me up, was peeled back. I stopped carefully curating an outfit each day preferring leisurewear instead. I stopped wearing my signature red lipstick. I stopped planning dates with my girlfriends and socialising in general. It just seemed so hard to bundle Raff up and take him out. And I stopped reading magazines and keeping up to date with the latest trends – something I had always relished before I had a baby. It just all seemed too difficult when I was dealing with wind issues and sleep schedules. I was in a style slump.
Sure I was tired, drained, exhausted. But it was more than that. I was struggling to adjust to life after birth. To fuse my new life with my old one. For some reason I didn’t know how to fit my former bustling life (a life with stilettos and silk dresses, of champagne and canapés) into my new all-encompassing mum life of feed, burp and repeat. It wasn’t until my editor gave me a story to write one day that I really started to feel like my old self again. I threw myself into it with great gusto and I realised I wanted to write. And not just that, I wanted to work, I wanted to do something, anything, that wasn’t just being Raff’s mum. I loved him completely and passionately– but I wasn’t in love with the lifestyle of being a stay at home mum. It just wasn’t for me. Before having him I used to look at mums walking their babies in pushchairs and think how blissful maternity leave looked. What I found out is that maternity leave, and motherhood in general, is no walk in the park. It’s more like a walk through the jungle where you have no compass and every day poses a new threat you have to deal with. Teething, wind, sleep regressions (ya feel me?) And sometimes it seemed like my toughest day in the office, days when I felt the sky was falling, would be easier than a day at home with him.
But by writing again, it gave me a piece of myself back. The fog started to lift and soon, everything else followed. I decided as comfy as it was leisurewear was only for actual active activities (and the odd day when I wanted to chill!). I got excited about fashion, and beauty and planning dates with my husband and girlfriends. And I started this website so I could continue to write about things I like, things I love, and things that excite me. I’m no no insta-mum (because quite frankly I’m not cool or witty enough for that). I’m just a new mum who realised even with a baby, I still like to surround myself with stylish things. I still like to know what the must-have boot for the season is, what’s the latest beauty innovation, and how to make my house look chic. The only difference is – I have less time – and a baby in tow! Sure I’ve changed, we all have, but there are ways to incorporate who you used to be with the woman, the mother, you are today. And my hope is that this website will allow me to inspire and connect with modern mums around the world through fashion, beauty, lifestyle and of course, babies. Enjoy!