I became a Mum over a year ago. Nothing really prepares you for that. Not only the worry, stress and sleep deprivation but also the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with it.
And at the end of my maternity leave, whilst looking at Tommy during his sleep, thinking how little and unaware he was, I just felt a sense impotence – as I thought I had to leave him very soon to go back to work every day, leaving little time to spend with him and missing out on all his precious milestones.
It made me really sad. But this is how the world works isn’t it? Although it really didn’t feel right.
I thought back to when I started work as soon as I finished University. Long hours, with the usual agency last minute madness, and I had always been happy and up for it. Although it was hard, I quite liked this fast-paced world. And at MGA, as I moved to London from Italy in 2012, the agency life suited me as it had done in Italy before that.
But something had changed. I now had other priorities.
I had a call scheduled that week with Damien, our CEO, to talk about coming back to work, and I think the sense of relief that I had during the call was a once in a lifetime feeling.
Damien told me how, if I wanted to change a few things, I had the chance to do it, and that maybe working from home would be a good option. I had already decided I wanted to go back part-time, but working from home was an even better option. I wouldn’t lose so much time commuting and although I did need help at home looking after Tommy during working hours I could still see him and hear him from the room next door and that meant I really didn’t have to leave him, which was what I had dreaded for months – just as you see him growing from that little new born you took home and you just feel you’ll never leave him.
I know this feeling will change as he grows up, but looking at someone who hasn’t reached his first year in life yet and knowing that you are the only thing that really matters to him, makes it really hard to let go.
And I feel so lucky that I didn’t have to go through this. I really do, every day.
When you think of the world today and how fast-paced it is, and how everything is about doing more in less time, I really think this leads to missing out more.
I would never imagine, coming from Italy, that I would actually get the chance of spending more time with my son in such a fast-moving city as London. But great things happen, if you’re working in the right company with a bunch of great human beings and this has happened to me.
We’re constantly on the hunt for balance in life, and unfortunately that’s not always possible. It takes really nice people to understand and start making a difference in their environment. That’s what really triggers bigger changes and it all starts with an idea, exactly like our creative process. That’s why I like working in a creative environment, I guess people are just more creative and open for new ways of working!
By Eleonora Mastrostefano, Senior Designer