At 35, I was leading a media development agency, loving the creative challenges of a script editing career, stimulating city meetings, and crazy dancing at the weekend. Married to a handsome surf-dude in the film business, living in Cornwall, UK. A perfect setting for relaxation and reflection, but mainly, I worked. My work was who I was. Travelling home from the hospital after a long and difficult labour, I looked over at my newborn son and asked ‘whose baby is that?’ For the first few weeks, I hid.
I found support for the external challenges: exhaustion, pain, and the struggle to breastfeed my shrinking son. But underneath, I was deeply lost. I had absolutely no idea who I was any more.
The hollow space slowly filled with love for my son. I filled it with attempts to be a Good Mother. A workoholic in a mother’s body, I was pushing myself to be perfect again. I had simply shifted from one end of the seesaw to another. Yes, I had a new respect for my body, I felt joy at my son’s development. But I wasn’t there
. I missed having a sense of me, beyond my child. I didn’t value my achievements as a mother.
A good friend of mine died—suddenly. A mother of two young boys, Laura had been my role model for life/work balance. She took risks, she transformed lives, and she loved her family. Her house was a delicious tip that helped me to understand the choices one can make as a mother. The loss of Laura gave me a sad courage.
I started to develop a quirky online project for mums, building on what I’d learnt in my career: Sharing our stories can change our lives. When I discussed it with my own mum, an emotional conversation revealed her
difficulties in coping with the transition to grandmother. So together, we developed story of mum
, to inspire mums of all ages to make time for ourselves, to value our creativity, explore our many identities, play together, laugh like drains, and celebrate not just our strengths but our flaws.
I now have two beautiful children who inspire me to play and appreciate every moment. I work part-time—for money and for me. I think love is more important than an immaculate house, your
stories can change the world, and mums, including me and you, are amazing. Please join us