In the garden centre last weekend I asked the man in wellies and a tabard if he could point me in the direction of a fast growing, evergreen, tall, narrow tree that possibly flowered too and wasn’t too expensive. He sighed, “The Holy Grail then?” Well, yes actually. That’s what I want. And maybe it was a bit optimistic, but I’m no Monty Don, and mother nature is pretty smart.
When I asked my toddler to have a good night’s sleep so I could too before my early start to catch the train from Manchester to London for my first day as a Film London “Returner” at Tiger Aspect, he proceeded to wake on the hour demanding various comforts. “More milk”, then he called, then “hot” was shouted down the stairs after me. Once the hot milk was delivered he wondered could I arrange his blue bear more comfortably in the crook of his arm? And so we went on…
There’s a seed of vulnerability planted when we become parents. That child’s wants, needs and desires become the priority. The seed can sprout branches of insecurity too, since parenthood shakes up everything you were before and waits to see how it will rearrange itself when it settles. Being a mum makes me ridiculously happy, it also made me afraid I could only be one thing – a mum. At first it felt too hard to give my all to my little boy and to give my all to the job I loved too. I needed space to be with him, be there for him, to move house, to make a happy home for my family.
Film London’s “Return to Work” scheme fills me with hope and confidence that I can find my way back to be a professional and a mum. I have always worked with writers in my previous roles at the BBC and in the Independent Sector, my big passion has been to find and develop new voices and to help them find their way to broadcast on various platforms. At Tiger I will be joining the Drama department and I’m excited to be able to introduce some of the writers I love to them.
I am aware I am lucky to be an “out of Londoner” on this scheme, to have been accommodated by Tiger Aspect so I can be away from home the least amount of days in a short working week.
I’m on the train down to my first day, excited about who I will meet, and hopeful about what I will learn and experience over the next few weeks. Of course I’m a little guilty too about my absences from home over the next few weeks, and apprehensive about missing my silly, funny little boy, and leaving my husband to hold the fort. But the fridge is full of healthy balanced lovingly prepared meals (of course!) and the childcare all sorted – so this feels like my chance to find out if I can still have it all, if I can do what I love and still be a mum who puts her boy first too.