This is my mumming out post. What’s a mumming out? It’s my coming out … as a mum. Yes – you read that right. Diversity Dana is also Dana The Mama. I’m a mum. Of twins, who yesterday turned 6 months old.
I know what you’re thinking. I post here all the time and I said nothing about it. Well, there are good reasons for that.
I wanted to be a mum for some time, but sadly, struggled with my fertility. So when I finally got pregnant, and then for the extra icing on the cake it was twins, I was absolutely over the moon. But experiences in the past had taught me that pregnancies don’t always stick and twin pregnancies are even more high-risk. When there were complications at the start, I decided to be extremely cautious. I told my immediate family, with instructions to guard the secret with their lives. And I told work-related contacts and clients on a strict need-to-know basis only. If we didn’t see each other in that period you probably would not have known I was pregnant.
I was so cautious that I only told my extended family at the 6 month mark. My husband & I only really started buying the big things and doing up the nursery after the 7 month mark because we thought “If anything happens and they are born now, they will live.” We were in a state of elation and panic and worry for the entire 9 months, which I understand is what the rest of our lives with kids will be – so it was good practice.
And then they were born. And they were so perfect, I just didn’t want to share them. I wanted to live in a bubble that was just me and them. And so, I did. I made one post on my private FB announcing their birth and that was it. No other social media. I lived my life offline, soaking up every moment of being a new mum.
You might be reading this thinking “But you were online all the time!” And I understand why you would think that. The best gift I gave myself during my maternity was the gift of time. I created tons of social media posts in advance and got a scheduler. Stuff has been posting automatically for months while I held my babies and loved my babies and enjoyed being in the new phase of my life.
In my pre-baby hubris I had said “Oh I’ll be back at work in 3 months.” I even put a few things in my diary for post 3 months. But as the 3 month mark approached, I didn’t even want to leave my babies to go to Tesco. Oh their little faces and their smiles and how they looked at me! I was consumed. Obsessed.
But now I’m actually glad I put those bookings in the diary. They were all with clients and partners I trusted and they reminded me that while I love my babies, I also love what I do. They also reminded me that I’m damn good at what I do. Because I did have some moments of panic wondering if mummy-hood may have taken away my magic. It didn’t – I’m still me. I just needed to find a way to be Diversity Dana and a new mum harmoniously.
Because I want to be there for cuddles and walks – and even poopy nappies. When they say their first words and take their first steps I want to be there. For swimming and birthdays and first days. I want it all. But at the same time, I also want to design & deliver learning that makes a difference.
First I started putting in hard rules. No more than one overnight! London only! No international travel! But then I realised that I needed to be more flexible and consider each offer for work on a case by case basis. Because the beauty of being Diversity Dana is that I am in control. I get to choose when I work, who I work with, where I work and how much I work. That’s the ultimate power. And I plan on using that power to the fullest.
So – I’m back. When you see posts on social media, know that it’s me. I’m here. And just so you know, from now on there will be occasional pictures of my boys around. Their names are Noah and David. They’re part of my reality. And they’re also gorgeous. And that’s not mummy-bias. They are. I may as well start as I aim to continue …