As well as being a blogger and founder of this here blog, I’m also an award-winning filmmaker and mother of two. I’m honoured to be taking part in the Mamas & Papas’ Urbo campaign alongside Edith Bowman, Charlie Condou and Cherry Healy, giving an account of life as a working parent and my views on celebrating modern parenting.
I have to say I adore what the Urbo symbolises-that parenting is an extension of our current lifestyle and that’s what motherhood feels to me. I’m still the same Vicki as I was before having kids, slightly older, a *cough little more tired but head over heels happier than I’ve ever been having these beautiful babies in my life.
Kids don’t have to mean a personality or lifestyle transplant. I often take Alexander to meetings with me. I’m proud to be a mother. We live in a modern world (thankfully) so the industry (and I work in a male dominated one-film and TV) need to acknowledge and accept this. They are part of who I am.
I won’t hide my kids away or pretend I don’t have responsibilities. I have commitments but I haven’t lost my voice or vision, dedication or ability to get the job done like the professional that I am just because my womb has been put to use for 9 months, twice. *high fives my cervix.
My directing twitter profile is rather telling: ‘writer/director/mother/ blogger in simultaneous order’ because that’s my life.
I’m lucky that I have an incredibly strong support system so my family, Mum, Dad and husband help with my childcare when they can, along with nursery for my eldest and being freelance means I get the best of both worlds. I took a year’s maternity leave after having my first child Oliver, only getting back on set when he was 1 (after a move from London to Leeds to be close to my folks) but after the birth of Alexander, I felt so good, I gave a lecture about my film career at the Northern Film School when he was 3 weeks old.
The 200 strong student- filled auditorium looked pretty shocked when I said I needed to get back to my newborn at the end of the seminar. I hope I inspired female students that day, that directing careers aren’t doomed by having children.
I started to return to writing and blogging commissions when Alexander was a few months old, while he slept in the day or I worked in the evenings here and there as my husband took the reigns. I was lucky to have the choice as to whether I wanted to return so quickly but I felt well physically and mentally, was sleeping (thank you chilled out baby) and was sure I wanted to keep writing and working, and being me as much as possible.
I respect Stay at Home Mums and know first hand what a difficult but rewarding job that is; I feel my life flits from being just that to taking on freelance work here and there. I’m currently developing a TV series with a co writer and TV giant of a producer but again I work around my kids, they always come first. Writing is good like that. Looking at a blank screen trying to make the magic happen can commence at any time, day or night. Sometimes I joke to my husband that I’m on LA time…sometimes it works (nothing like a deadline to get you motivated) other days I feel like I’m spectacularly failing at everything-motherhood/ my career.
It’s incredible to have that choice though, that choice to do what I love with all my heart while raising my family- that to me, makes me a better mother. My children have enhanced my work too, I prioritize the jobs I love and my children have even inspired my blogs honestmum.com and mummysgotstyle.com!
…Pregnant on set at 4 months old with my first child, a technician asked me if I was taking a risk having a baby as I’d just won some prestigious industry awards. I look at my two boys and know my answer every time. No. They are my biggest success of all.
This post appears as part of our How We Roll campaign, celebrating diversity and individualism that forms the makeup of the modern family, for whom parenting has simply become a positive extension of their current lifestyle.
We were kindly sent the Urbo pram-all views, thoughts and words are my own.
Photographs taken by Peter Broadbent.