52 Portraits : The Motherhood series.
Alex has always set about to define and meet her own standards of success. Creatively, professionally or otherwise. We have been friends for over 10 years now and she has always inspired me with her strong sense of self. She is fiercely independent, driven, erudite and charming. She’s passionate. Whether it's politics and world affairs, theatre, horses, clothes, colour, literature, music or vintage styling. She has a point of view, she’ll not dress down for anyone or anything and is flagrantly articulate.
Married to Richard and mother to Rebekah (4) and Scarlett (1), Alex has settled into a more relaxed approach to motherhood than she originally anticipated. She says she expected to be all about flash cards and learning but for her two young daughters, fostering free play and independence have proven the right fit for them all. Whilst Alex and Richard have happily adapted their lifestyle to include children, she readily admits to missing being able to meet her friends or take in a movie or dinner with Richard on a whim, without requiring pre-planning and the expense of baby sitters. The challenges she says, are outweighed by the simplest joys. Morning cuddles, the pride in reaching milestones like mastering the scooter or tying shoelaces and watching her family delight in life and each other.
Alex distinctly feels the pull of prioritising career and motherhood. She took a year maternity leave when each of the girls were born and when the time came to return to work, did so part time. The intent is to return to work full time when the girls are both in school. Despite the pressure to make the right parenting choices, all the judgements and competition, she tries not to give herself a hard time about it and focuses on the right choice for her family in due course. I asked Alex whether she had any advice for mothers, of course I knew she would. Here’s what she had to say:
"Remember that You are a good mother!!! Giving them non-organic carrots or letting them watch ABC 4 kids sometimes does not a bad mother make. Make time for your partner and that relationship and have sex even if your tired! Take full advantage of grandparents where possible."
Participating in the 52 Portraits series project led by Jodi at Practising Simplicity. You can view all of my portraits from 2013/14 by clicking on the 52 Portrait Series links in the right sidebar of this page.