Adele just said exactly what I was feeling. The singer's take on the struggles and loves of motherhood is a triumph
"In my pregnancy and through becoming a mother I lost a lot of myself. And I've struggled, and I still do struggle being a mum. It's really hard. But tonight winning this kind of feels full-circle, and like a bit of me has come back to myself..."
Looking back when I first gave birth to my gorgeous bundle of snuggles, my body was so decimated, and I was so exhausted, I remember feeling that everything I did should be celebrated. Loading the dishwasher, or walking to the shops seemed like a monumental achievement equivalent to hiking in the Himalayas or winning an award at work.
I'd gone from organising big TV shoots at work, and managing multiple crews of people to managing a little baby and his poos and wees and feeding. He just wanted to feed ALL DAY from 5am to 1pm, and then sleep for a bit, and then feed again all evening, and sleep a smidge. Packing up a TV crew of four to go on a shoot to rural China was less complicated and stressful than packing to go to my parents with a baby. I really struggled with my little one, and I didn't really talk about it.
And that's why I love Adele's acceptance speech so much. Her take on the struggles and loves of motherhood is so uplifting for all mums. It took me so long to feel like "myself" again.
When munchkin was about 14 months old, I began going to yoga classes while my husband watched the baby, and it was such a relief to do something just for me. And yes, I could almost hear the strains of Adele singing.... "HELLOOOO" in my mind as I did my downward dog. Yes, Hello, I was back.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to pluck up the courage to leave little one. I'd struggled so hard to get pregnant, and as a 39-year-old, I think I didn't want to screw it up. I didn't want to jinx it, and for something to go wrong.
In her previous Vanity Fair interview, I loved Adele's honesty in being "obsessed" with her little one, and I could so relate to that with my little bubba. I couldn't face the thought of going back to work and leaving my bundle of snuggles. I had promised I was going back to work after nine months, but I chickened out of it. I desperately wanted to work, and I needed to work financially, but I just couldn't bear the thought of the long irregular hours in TV news and the travel.
After months of floundering in the "former career" wilderness, I finally plucked up the courage to use my Post Graduate Diploma in business and executive coaching. I started with mums in the park, we would meet, and I would coach them as we walked round the park pushing our buggies. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to even think it could be a business, and I could charge people.
Now 20 months after baby Ben was born, I feel confident enough to call myself a success coach, but it's taken a while to feel like ME AGAIN!
Booking an appointment with a personal shopper really helped (it's free for a two hour session with department stores). For two blissful hours, my gorgeous personal shopper and I power-walked around John Lewis and found stylish yummy clothes that helped me reconnect with the new me: casual and stylish and mummy to Ben. Out went my office frocks, and in came gorgeous jumper dresses, and things with pockets.
I set up my new business as a coach for mums, and a photo shoot was all part of the shebang. Having someone do your hair, makeup and style you was just fabulous and SUCH A CONFIDENCE BOOST! I now can look at these photos on my website Dream it, Do it, Love it and feel that I do scrub up okay once in a while, even if most of the time I have porridge-coated hair, and bags under my eyes the size of my Ocado order.
I'm not suggesting that you all need a photo shoot to feel like you again. But do make time for you... do something that you love for the afternoon away from little one.
And as often as you can, spoil yourself. Whether that's a bubble bath, or a yoga class, get out and do something without little one. Whatever it is, just do as Adele says, and start feeling like yourself again.