Victoria Davies | Another Mother Her Way
Victoria Davies is going to tell you, in her gorgeous British voice, that we met while she was bringing home her son, Ruven, from the hospital. Two things you should know - first, she is the Managing Partner of The&Partnership, a stellar global creative agency, and she is very good at storytelling. The second is that the truth is she picked me up when we were both pregnant and sharing an elevator in our building. While we did have a very sweet run in when she was returning home from the hospital, we were courting each other as new mom (or mum, as she would say) friends well before. She had Ruven in November of 2016, six weeks before Bodie came along. When I envisioned the spirit of Mother Untitled, I thought of our makeup-less playdates made richer because of her confidence, authenticity and smarts. Read about her take on the "choice" to be a single parent, her approach to the subsequent day to day as a set of choices and the work and village that keeps her whole.
Q HOW DID YOU CHANGE AFTER BECOMING A MOTHER?
I became much happier to live life in compromise - I used to be very black & white, good and bad, wrong and right and now I am surprisingly happy in the grey and in the 'I don't know, I'm just working it out world'.
I also think I am much happier in my own skin now - becoming a mum has made me feel so grounded and focused on what matters and who matters as I look at this little boy and try and make him and the world around him as happy and as fulfilling as possible.
Q WHAT CHOICES DID YOU MAKE TO ACCOMMODATE MOTHERHOOD? WOULD YOU MAKE THEM AGAIN?
My big choice was to have Ruven on my own - that makes me a 'single mother by choice' but really I'm not sure how not having met a man to love and love me back is really a choice but hey ho.
Would I make that choice again? Hell yes. It was the biggest and best decision I have ever made and probably will ever make again.
Now my daily life is full of choices -
Do I choose to feel guilty because I leave my son in the morning and leave work too early in the evening?
Do I choose to worry about every minute he is with my wonderful nanny and not with me?
Do I choose to panic about the fact that he doesn't love to nap in the day?
Thinking about all of these questions as choices is actually quite helpful as it makes me feel I can choose whether I feel guilty or happy or over-whelmed at any given moment and really I should choose being nice to myself so I don't spiral out of control.
Q DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A MOTHER IN 3 WORDS. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?
Unflappable, Engaged, A Rock
I have always been able to stay calm in a crisis and I am very happy that motherhood hasn't changed that. However...I have no doubt that that's because Ruven has so far been a happy and uncomplicated kid - I'm sure I will lose my mind when he starts talking back and not following my perfectly laid out plans.
I desperately want to stay engaged when I am with him. I feel like I could eat him up when I get home from work and want to watch him like a nature program so I can catch how he's developed in the day without me. I want to do everything in my power to stay that way and be present when I am present.
My parents were always 'a rock' for me - dependable, real, exacting at times and always full of love for me and all I did. I would love for Ruven to know that whatever happens and whoever he is that I will always be there.
Q HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OUTSIDE OF MOTHERHOOD?
I think work is a huge part of that – I work 4 days a week, which seems to be a balance that just feels right for me. I work in a creative business which has always been the right mix of strategic, creative and people challenges that keep me on my toes and my brain whirring all the time.
I need to exercise regularly every week to not hate myself and then I see friends and family in the evenings at least twice a week.
To be honest, motherhood is so new to me still and has been such a delight so far that while I love time away from him, time with him feels like a privilege – I think that is what comes from working the majority of the week.
Q EVERY MOTHER NEEDS HELP TO FIND BALANCE. WHAT DOES YOUR VILLAGE LOOK LIKE?
I have a whatsapp group called ‘babes’ (my 16 year old neice LOLs at the name). The group is three of my friends who have all had babies in the last few years – I haven’t made a decision about anything without chatting it through with them first. It doesn’t matter that one of them lives in Amsterdam – the brilliance of social media keeps us involved in every minute of all of our lives. We are all different in terms of whether we work full time, part time or no time but that doesn’t stop us having each others’ back and helping us each stay happy with our every day.
My mum and sister in law pop up on FaceTime most mornings – they are in the UK but again technology makes them feel like they are next door and it’s a delight to start every day with them. Plus I have family in new york who now prefer Ruven to me so are happy to see him whenever I let them in.
My nanny Cristina is a gift from God. I am not religious, but she is and her love for Ruven and our family makes me feel about as blessed as a non religious person could ever feel. She was a real lesson for me in trusting your instincts as her English wasn’t great at first and there were plenty of other more qualified nannies but she had a warmth and a kindness to her that made her simply shine.
And then there is my NBF (new best friend) in the building who I met when bringing Ruven home (Mother Untitled, herself) who has become my rock as I navigate my way through the week.
Q WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IMPROVING ABOUT YOURSELF AS A WOMAN & A MOTHER?
Learning how to be a friend to other parents is a weird thing - you can't help judging their parenting styles and their kids behavior and I don't like myself for that. I know there are going to be so many - my kid hit your kid - challenges along the way and I am desperate that I can rise above judging and be a good and strong friend. I underestimated the mama bear instinct to kill with your bare hands anyone that hurts your child and with a quick temper as well, I know I am going to have to be very very careful...