we’re living in some crazy times. how challenging has it been for you as a new mum?
i gave birth and went straight from hospital into lockdown. i couldn’t see or speak to anyone in person for support or help. all my doctors and maternal healthcare appointments were over the phone and i couldn’t participate in a mother’s group. i had no idea what i was doing with such a tiny little baby that relied on me for everything, so it was difficult.
when something goes wrong everything is amplified so to not have these resources or to call and ask ‘is this normal?’ was scary. i think it’s also made any worse by the fact that you don’t have any sleep at the beginning and you’re putting all these pressures on yourself to be a perfect parent. but i’m very lucky and i have a good healthy baby that also sleeps well which helps.
and on the flipside?
my husband has been working from home so to have three months with me, for the first few months of maia’s life would never normally have happened. that’s been such a blessing. he’s also taken up a lot of the domestic slack. to raise her together this early and for so long has been amazing and something i never expected we would ever have.
there’s been some incredible joys of having a baby in lockdown but it’s also been stressful. i think particularly because it’s my first baby. it’s funny as a mother and a woman how resilient you become though. you do whatever you need to do to just make it work.
what is a typical day like?
i’m very much a loosey-goosey, on-demand parent so maia doesn’t have a routine or scheduled feed time. i just feed her whenever she wants. i love playing with her in the mornings but generally, it’s just a never-ending cycle of feed-play-sleep. by the time she’s asleep it’s pretty much just put some dishes on, unstack the dishwasher, have a shower and maybe feed myself. i’m quite fluid with things which i like as she can just come along wherever i go. she’s a very chilled baby.
we live near the beach so i always make sure we have a daily walk. in the first couple of months she was confined to the house so to hear new sounds and to interact with people is huge. at the beginning of her life, our faces were the only two she had ever really seen.
how soon before giving birth did you stop working?
in my second trimester i did an amazing three month shoot that took me all around the world. i had an abundance of energy – we hiked up mountains and did the most incredible things. i didn’t find it difficult but when i left i had a flat stomach and when i returned i was a giant round ball!
i planned to take 4 weeks off but i gave birth three weeks early so i worked right up until the end. my waters actually broke the night before my last shoot but everything had been pre-planned and i didn’t want to let anyone down. when you’re self-employed you have all these other people who have been booked months in advance and you can’t just call in sick. i ended up giving birth a couple of days later. in hindsight, i probably pushed it a little too far.