One of the reasons I started my blog, ‘Mama Still Got It’ is because after my children were born I went through a phase of feeling completely and utterly blah, mixed with a bit of self doubt. I didn’t have postnatal depression, I would just say motherhood was starting to take its toll on me.
It wasn’t an immediate feeling of blah – it’s something that crept up on me over time… like watching a time lapse of a flower blooming on a nature program, but the flower was in reverse.
Without realising it, I was putting myself last on the pecking order and lacking a bit of confidence – which again I know is normal when we are mothers, but I also realised that other people were also putting me low on their pecking order.
Like the lady in the café who rolled her eyes at me when I was trying to calm my baby down. Or the shop assistant who mimicked that infamous scene from ‘Pretty Woman’ when I walked into her up market shop looking like I didn’t belong there. Or my male chauvinistic bank manager who called me to say he’d noticed my bank balance was lower than ever before followed with (and I quote) ‘you’ll never make money again now you’re a mother’.
That was it. That was the moment I had to make a change in my life.
How dare anyone undermine me because I created a miracle (got pregnant) and performed the hardest act of physical activity for a human (giving birth). I was proud of what I had achieved and felt so angry that society had struck me off as a woman capable of doing anything aside from changing nappies. I seemed to only be pigeon-holed as a mother – and I know I’m not alone here.
I’d been working as a full-time model until I found out I was pregnant. I travelled the world and had been lucky enough to shoot with major brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino and H&M. But when I told my previous agency I was pregnant, they told me my modelling career was over.
Does this mean motherhood is a disability or a life threatening illness? How can anyone be stuck off just like that?
‘You can’t have it all’ said a fellow mum mate of mine. ‘Why not?’ I replied. Why can’t we have it all?
If you know me well – you’ll know that I’m a very positive and ambitious person. My glass is always half full and am a huge believer in positive thinking. I needed to tap into this positivity to make a difference in my life. I wanted to work again as a model. I wanted to show the world that no matter how old you are, what dress size you wear, or what profession you’re in – we can all still be successful, even with a kid on our arm. In fact, now that I’m in the ‘Instamum’ community, I’ve witnessed an array of mothers not going back to their previous jobs due to lack of flexible working or simply because we are all superwomen who can make a business from scratch with a baby on our breasts.
I was feeding my 7 month old baby when MiLK Management got in touch and said they wanted to rep me as a model – and that a client in Italy wanted to shoot me for an awesome campaign. I looked at my baby boy who was spitting out a piece of pineapple and jokingly said to him ‘I guess mama still got it’. Then something happened – I felt like a lightbulb went off above my head. I instantaneously searched Google to see if the domain was available – and miraculously it was. I bought www.mamastillgotit.com there and then without really having a clue what I was doing, but I knew something just changed in my life.
I got that job in Italy, and my profile picture on my Instagram account @mamastillgotit_ is a result of that shoot.
I slowly started to build up my confidence and self-belief again when I would head to castings (sometimes with a toddler in tow), I built up my portfolio again and before I knew it, I was working again.
I was making my own money again – I felt like Diane Keaton in ‘Baby Boom’
I even called my male chauvinistic bank manager and thanked him for giving me such determination to get my job back (in a very passive aggressive way naturally).
I started to gain followers on Instagram – and I couldn’t believe how many women and mothers there were out there that were interested in my story and liked what I was posting. I had women emailing me for advice about skin care and fashion.
I suddenly felt like I was needed again, and not just by my kids. And it felt really good
Since going back to modelling and breaking all the rules within in the industry (I should be retired because I’m 37 years old, a size UK14 and have 2 kids) I’ve recently shot with my biggest client to date in my whole 23 years as a model. It’s out in August so you’ll have to wait until then to see what it is (sorry I can’t tell you yet!)
Last week I was featured in the Figleaves ‘Beauty has no bounds’ campaign with some incredible models and influencers I follow on Instagram – and it went viral. I was representing the new mum who loves her post baby body – and I do!
I always wonder where I would be now if I had listened to my ex agent and hung up my hair pieces and threw myself into another job that I would have hated. I’m so pleased I listened to my gut instinct and ploughed on through the days of feeling blah – to now feeling….phwoar!
So a message to anyone out there reading this, who has a plan, who has a dream or perhaps feels a little blah – you have the power inside you to create your ideal life. Self love, belief, and determination will always win. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do what you want to do. There is always a way.
Hence the name of my blog ‘Mama Still Got It’ – we all still have it. Never lost it. Now go build your dream x