I seem to have something in common with adulterers and secret agents. “My name’s Vicki and I’m leading a double life”. There, I said it. I recently seem to be spending half my life with my husband and 16 month old boy in Leeds, the other half in meetings and working/and sometimes playing with my other family: my close friends in London.
My husband even joked before I left for a recent ‘workcation’, that I should say ‘hi’ to my other husband and kids from him. Poor guy. Really, though, he is totally understanding.
To clarify, I love, love, love my life in Yorkshire and my priority is and will always be my child and husband but I am truly passionate about my work. Always have been, always will be. I love writing and directing. I’ve been doing it since I was 11. I’m not saying it was my best work when I was 11 but it was happening! Being on set and seeing your work come to fruition is exhilarating and having a child hasn’t stopped my ambition, my tenacity, my need to do what I love.
After a year’s maternity leave, having O has made me more determined than ever. I want to do it for him now too. I’ve been lucky to find great work in Manchester and am currently developing a TV series idea for BBC Comedy based in the North but I also have strong ties to London (and always will) and have been there recently for some very exciting meetings about a feature film I am developing. (More to come in the future but right now my lips are sealed).
So over the last few weeks, I have spent a few days away, staying with my girlfriends. It’s nothing much in the grand scheme of things- but boarding the train, I feel like Harry Potter (but you know a woman, without the specs and Greek)-but you ‘get me’-I’m slowly entering another world. I start morphing back into Vicki pre baby-but a much happier version of the original now I have Toddler O. I’ll always be a Mother and I am deeply proud of that but I am also determined to keep writing and directing and following my dreams.
As I enter Platform 9 and three quarters-I mean Kings Cross, I switch into work mode-for a start I suddenly and miraculously learn how to walk in heels again, (see my superpowers are returning), and then perhaps once my work is done, I turn into party mode. A great meal, most recently at Notting Hill’s The Bumpkin, followed by a girly night out with my closest friends (usually Mahiki-well if it’s good enough for the Royals…) is pure joy and not doing it as often, makes me really appreciate it! It’s also pretty liberating to actually be able to have a conversation and real catch up with my friends, especially as most phone calls have to be cut short and meet ups too, as Oliver has fed the cat banana or put chocolate fingers onto white couches.
Anyway there’s a moral to this post somewhere…
To all the ladies with the babies (and female directors and heads of departments) having a child doesn’t have to mean an end to who you are, what you want to do or the things you want to achieve- whether that’s going back to Uni, changing your career or pursuing your dreams of being an astronaut. I never said it would be easy, but it’s possible. My biggest career dreams only really started happening once my biggest dream was achieved-my little Oliver.
Onwards and upwards….
Photograph ©Vicki Psarias-Broadbent.