Tomorrow will mark 1 month since we left for Italy. What a whirlwind it’s been. We’ve had numerous adventures in this time including a quick stay in France, a trip to Sardinia and many weddings. It’s been one of the craziest (and let’s be honest – stressful) times of my life, but also one of the most incredible, character building (!) and rewarding.
My maternity leave for weddings ended when Ziggy was one month old. Until Ziggy was about 7 months old, I found managing this job and being a mum extremely hard. It’s not something I chose to talk about with anyone other than very close friends or family at the time, as I was just trying to cope. I felt trapped and really on edge, like I would never get through it, like the weddings was taking over my life and stopping me even from resting.
I had major mum guilt. Every time I worked, I felt bad about it. I was torn between working towards my dream and being the mum I thought I needed to be.
Everyone I spoke to was desperate to help me and find a way to take away some of my work so that I could get a second of ‘me time’ or a nap in the day. The truth is that every second I had spare, I would work. I had no choice – I am my product, I had commitments to my couples and I had a future that I was aiming for. My business was growing super quick and I was ill prepared for what it meant juggling all of this with a newborn. Every time Zigs would sleep, I would work. At night, I would work.
If anyone considers working soon after having a baby I cannot stress enough when I say that if you have the choice, DON’T DO IT.
When I was struggling, sleep deprived, desperately trying to be ‘the perfect mum’ and have some sort of life as well as working…I would focus on the summer, when I knew that Ben, Zigs and I would hopefully be in Italy. I’d think about how this hard period wouldn’t last forever and I would soon be delivering these beautiful weddings I was creating, with these lovely couples. I would hopefully see Zigs and Ben having the time of their lives; in the pool every day, eating copious amounts of pizza and gelato. Even more importantly, I’d have a long term way of life that meant that I can work part time and see more of my Zigs.
And now we’re here.
When we arrived in Italy, I had a big glass of prosecco and a big cry. We’d made it. I’d gotten through a really tough time in my life and here I was on the other side. I was still reasonably healthy, still had a husband (!) and friends (who’d stuck by me even though I’d been quite absent from their lives), oh, and everything ready to go for my weddings. I cannot tell you how many times I thought I couldn’t ‘do it all’ and I didn’t have time to get everything done for the weddings.
Most importantly, I have a very healthy and happy Ziggy. I am so sad for myself that I doubted my ability as a mum back in those early days. I was a brilliant mum to Ziggy. I gave him everything he needed and more, but at the time I just couldn’t see it.
I guess my blog today is about a few things; You can achieve things that you think you can’t do, that you never think you’ll have the time for. It’s about desperately protecting that belief in yourself and your goals. Having goals really does work. It’s about the fact that being a mum is hard – no new news here – hormones and who knows what else really do play havoc on anxiety and self belief, or at least that’s what I experienced. And it’s about your team. Those people close to you that do everything they can to help you stay sane and work towards your dreams. I have so much love for my team. You know who you are.
Even though I feel happy and strong in achieving this goal, I’ve realised in this last week that I’m still quite weak. I’ve been through a really hard experience with one of my couples and it’s really knocked my confidence and self belief. It shouldn’t have.
So here’s to another glass of prosecco and working on myself a little more, building back up to full strength and moving forward to my next goal.
More on actually living in Italy next time…