Being a Mother can be many different things to every Mother……… it can be amazing, exhausting, challenging, magical, tearful, testing, isolating and wonderful all rolled into one………and sometimes, it’s all at once! As a mother of two gorgeous girls myself, I know that sometimes life can be one big juggling act. The balance between raising a family, running a home and working is a tricky one to get right, and I’m not sure any of us have got it completely right. We’re a ‘work in progress’, doing the best job we can.
My plan for this series, is to celebrate mothers in pictures; the beautiful, wearying, demanding, marvellous, messy, and at times overwhelming journey of ‘mummyhood’. (This project is ongoing). Lucy is my first Mum, kind enough to feature in my portrait & interview series celebrating mums in pictures.
Lucy is a dispensing optician at her family business A.C. Allan Opticians in Sherwood, and is Mother to Mia, age four months. She lives in Nottingham with her husband, Ben and their baby.
At the time of this shoot, Lucy is working part time.
Thank you for your honesty……… it was lovely getting a peek into your world.
What does it mean being a mother to you?
It is so difficult to define being a mum since I’m still so new to it but I suppose it’s about doing everything I can to make Mia happy, whether that is singing her favourite little songs over and over to try to make her laugh, cleaning up explosive nappies or making sure she always has a full tummy.
How did it feel going back to work?
From early on in my pregnancy I decided that I would be back at work quite soon after the baby arrived. I work with my dad at our family opticians and we would joke with our patients that he would have me back working the day after delivery! As much as we joked about this I knew I would want to go back to work quickly, to keep myself up to speed on the day to day running of the business and also to make sure that my poor old dad (haha) wouldn’t be worked off his feet. I have enjoyed getting back into it but it was hard to leave Mia at first and some days I would feel a bit teary eyed as I left in the morning, but coming home is always lovely and I look forward to seeing her all day.
Do you think you have a good work / home life balance?
I feel very lucky that I can be a mum and work part time. It means I have plenty of time with Mia and my husband Ben, enjoying our new little family. I can meet my friends for lunch and walks with the kids and still have part of the week at work keeping my professional skills polished. I have never been so busy in my life as I am now but I do enjoy it. After a busy day at work it’s lovely to get home to my little girl and have a well missed cuddle.
What do you think is the most challenging part of being a Mummy?
I find it challenging keeping up with how busy we have become as a little family. I have never been a person to plan very far ahead, but I find that now I’m a mum I rely massively on my calendar. Trying to organise and remember everything, from doctors appointments for baby’s first injections and cinema dates with my best friend (for a bit of time off), to keeping track of which days I work and which shift pattern my husband is on – my brain would be imploding if I didn’t have my trusty calendar. It’s nice to know I don’t have to worry that my baby brain will forget everything.
Do you feel a lot of external pressure to conform to the ideal supermum?
I suppose there is a bit of pressure, especially around the subject of me going back to work earlier than is ‘normal’. People commented that they were surprised that I was going back so soon but this is what works for us. Having good friends and family for support helps me to know I am doing everything the best I can and that there is no single right way to do things.
What are the best and worst things about being a Mum ?
The best thing about being a mum has to be seeing my gorgeous little girl change every day from a tiny little baby into a smiley happy girl. Every day brings new things to laugh at and enjoy and just when I think I couldn’t love her anymore she does something new which makes her even cuter.
I’m loving being a mum so no worst bits spring to mind really… except one occasion which consisted of explosive poo and manic carpet scrubbing which was dreadful but still funny.
Any other pearls you’d like to share?
I find on days where everything seems a bit manic and the tiredness kicks in, getting Mia all wrapped up in her fleecy blanket and cute little woolly hat, popping her into her pram and going out for a stroll makes us both feel happier.