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I so enjoyed the article about hipster mum bloggers in this week’s Sunday Times Style (for those behind the paywall it was entitled “Mothers of invention: Mummy blogs have moved on from maternal martyrdom to focus on fun, fashion and hustling freelance work – all with baby in tow”). It really answers the question: can I have a baby and keep my career, my 100% silk clothes and my sanity?
The answer is: YES.
When I was growing up all I wanted to do was be a parent. I still felt this way when I was pregnant – I worked in a stressful job for a magazine and couldn’t wait to give it all up to raise kids. I wanted to bake cakes and grow herbs. I never wanted to step foot in an office again or worry about deadlines (bar the odd pre-school application). I even thought I might like to start crafting.
But I didn’t figure how important my career, my wardrobe, my hobbies and err, my figure, were to me. In a nutshell I had unwittingly signed up to give up everything that made me ME. And as soon as Elfie was born it felt so unnatural. I loved this little person to death but didn’t bank on how much my job (and wardrobe) meant to me.
So when Elfie was four weeks old I started my own business. I picked up my first client when she was six weeks old and have worked ever since, anything between three hours to five days a week. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination; because of Elfie’s condition I don’t trust any childminder apart from my Mum so we moved closer to my parents, I often sit up late into the night answering emails and CBeebies is much more of a crutch than it should be. I love my days in London but I get a massive ache in my heart every time I see a baby and I get jealous that my mum is doing fun things with Elfie when I’m not there.
Had I given my career up I worry what I would have done with myself when Elfie goes to school. I worry I could be left 5 years behind my industry with no recent experience, bar a possible foray into glass painting or hat making. I didn’t want that to happen; I want to be a role model to her, to demonstrate that it is possible to parent successfully, to keep your friends, career, style and sanity (just). One year in and we’re doing OK though I still struggle with having enough time to be the perfect wife (I’ve mastered cupcakes… isn’t that enough?). And let’s not talk about where I find the time to blog.
Put it this way: if Sharmadean can be the amazingly stylish businesswoman (I was in awe of this girl before she became a mother) she is whilst raising a beautiful baby boy, then I can do it too. I can wear my sequinned jackets to NCT meetings and buy M&S ready meals for my husband because I held a conference call rather than going to Tesco.
I can do it.