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Jakki Jones
My Journey Dec 20, 2019
8 Minutes

My Journey: Jakki Jones

Our philosophy is that when it comes to fertility, conception, pregnancy and early years every person goes on their own unique modern journey. We are simply here to support that. Raising awareness and providing tools and the latest science/experts for you to pick and choose from. We love hearing about inspiring people’s journeys. There is usually a lot to learn. 

Today’s journey is with Jakki Jones: a bad-ass career girl, mother, step mother, illustrator, writer and wife to a real life rock star…(phew!) 

We talk to Jakki about everything from how to juggle it all, to modern blended families, going back to work and the dreaded ‘mum-guilt’ and everything in between.

If you’d like to listen to our conversation click here for our podcast. For a few of the snippets/highlights read on!

On being a bad-ass career girl and having kids: 

Jakki works in the music and entertainment industry heading up talent and influencer relations at PMKBNC an American PR firm. She started the London office back in 2011. Before that, her first job was TV and Radio for Warner Music, then to MTV where she did the show TRL and then on to Russell Brand’s show. She is also a step mother, and mother to her three and a half year old daughter Riley with Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones. A lot to fit in! 

The juggle is real: 

Jakki: I have two gorgeous step daughters, so I entered the parental world quite young. My first experience of being a mother was through them. It was quite challenging as a young girl, but, it was a great learning experience for me. Saturday mornings all my friends would be having lie ins but I would be down at the park with my step-daughters and my husband. This absolutely meant though that when I did decide to become a mother I was ready for it. I became pregnant around 33/34. I felt really ready for it. It was a good time for my career and I felt confident. 

It took around a year to conceive: 

I wasn’t really actively consciously trying, but for me I feel that it happened when it was right for us. When we were completely 100% ready. I was fortunate enough to fall pregnant naturally. 

’I almost feel apologetic when I say this…’

I had a really good pregnancy and birth. I feel really fortunate and I almost feel apologetic when I say it because some of my friends and family have not had easy experiences. I didn’t really get morning sickness and I felt well throughout it. I really enjoyed it and felt very happy. 

I absolutely loved having my daughter: 

It was the first time I had any time off work. Being at home with my daughter and husband. Honestly, I just relaxed into it. I did not stress myself out. I just tried to take each day as it came.

I took one bit of advice someone gave me: 

Always sleep when the baby sleeps! So, everytime Riley had a nap, I slept as well. I think as a result didn’t feel too crazy! I’m pretty lucky as I can sleep anywhere, my husband calls me Bagpuss! That being said, it will be interesting when my next baby arrives as this time I will have another small person to run after…. 

On breastfeeding:

I took to it well, but, I didnt do it that long. I only did it for a month. It wasn’t because I didnt get on with it. It was more – which sounds a bit selfish – to get a bit more of ‘me‘ back. I tried pumping, I found it tricky to know how much the baby should/would take. I also wanted to share feeding with my husband and my step daughters. Pumping I felt was still really only about me. I found stopping gave me some routine. 

’I cried when I stopped’

I wondered if I had made a mistake. It is a real bonding time. I did worry I was being too selfish. But, after a week I was fine. We moved on to other bonding experiences and it worked for us. 

‘The thing that surprised me’:

How emotional I was in the first week. I would cry at every opportunity! It was everything. Things like one of my friends coming to see me. All they would have to do was walk into the room and I would just be crying! The hormones are real! I wasn’t crying because I felt down, I was just very emotional. 

Taking a year off… 

For me, I didnt want to just give up work. But, I was resolute that I wanted to take a full year off and enjoy it. I absolutely loved it! It was the best year of my life having that year. That being said, similarly I was really passionate about going back to work. 

Managing the transition: 

I did a few things that I think helped. During my maternity leave I kept my email address live for one thing. I work in entertainment and it’s about relationships, so I did maintain these during that year. I also did do bits and pieces to keep my head in the game. We went to concerts/events, brought the baby along! My husband works in music too so I kept my foot in the door. I do think that helped. I got bored being in the house every day. I wanted to keep busy. 

Transition from full time in entertainment to full time mother: 

I remember being at home, my first day off, waiting for the baby to arrive. I dug out a magazine that I’d been interviewed for. A parenting magazine called Smallish. I remember it being pretty cool and I decided to pitch a column idea to the editor. I wanted to write about the transition between being full time in entertainment to being a full time mum. I did that for the year I was off. I loved it. Writing a column every month gave me something to do and I met lots of different interesting people. Kept something for me. 

The first day back at work: 

I was looking forward to it. I had employed a girl who I thought was wonderful to be our nanny. Plus I was lucky, my mum and husband were around. My first day at work arrived. I left the house, said goodbye and cried when I left (obviously!). But as I got on the tube and walked to work and had a coffee I started to feel empowered. Felt like I was back. It felt strange not to have Riley attached to my hip but everyone was so nice and it felt great. However, when I got back my nanny said that the job was quite lonely…

Finding groups, activities and building your network: 

Was my advice and what I had done. However, she called me that evening and said that she couldn’t do the job and that she didn’t think nannying was for her. On my first day back to work! I cried/was all over the place of course. I rang my boss who was amazing as were HR. Luckily my mum and family were amazing and helped me out until I could find someone else. It was really stressful. It was hard as I had felt I’d found someone Riley was comfortable with. 

The dreaded ‘mum-guilt’ 

I feel it in every way. I feel constantly like I’m not doing enough. Even though I’m probably over compensating. I do 4x days a week at work and take Friday off. But when Riley is at nursery on a Friday I still work at home. In entertainment it doesn’t really stop. I can’t really clock in and out. It is all on me. Plus I love and am invested in my job so I want to do it.

I do feel like I’m stretching myself. But, when I speak to other people it seems everyone else feels the same. It is just what it is right now.

Parent, partner, career, friends… the juggle is real! 

For me I had to prioritise the family. I think having Riley has made our family stronger. It has made me a better step mum and has probably made me a better partner to Kelly as I can now understand what it is like to be a parent. I was a ‘mum in training’ before but now I know what it feels like. I can see things from a different perspective. 

Something’s gotto give: 

For me I feel my guilt now comes form not being the friend that I would like to be. I just don’t have the time to go and see my mates as much as I did. I find it really hard to fit it all in with work, three kids and a husband who can be on tour. My friends are amazing though and always understand. Rationally I know lots are on a similar path, especially with these early years. 

Being open: 

I do find being open and talking about how I feel is good. I am a heart on sleeve person and probably share too much! I will always tell people how I feel. I do feel this sense of guilt and am always apologising for it. I want to do everything but I have to accept it that I can’t do it all and have to let it go. Which is something I’m trying to do.  

The modern blended family: what we have found works – especially over the holiday period: 

I would say be really positive and keep smiling! 

My one piece of advice for anyone going into motherhood: 

Take each day as it comes and enjoy it. The years go by so fast. Everyone says it but it is so true. The early days and months can be tough and a bit blurry, but, being as mindful as possible and being in the moment as much as you can would be my tip. I cant believe I have been with my husband since my step daughters were very young. They’re now in their teenage years. So, I can speak first hand for how fast it goes. I’m really conscious of it. So, I say try and enjoy every single day. Even if you’re tired. It is a crazy journey but the best journey you’ll ever do. 

The challenges of bringing small people into our modern world: 

I am definitely experiencing the challenges through my older step kids. Social media has its pros and cons. We are happy for the girls to go on social media and we trust them. The main thing for us as a family is to be open. To keep talking. We want to have a healthy relationship and dialogue. We want them to share their worries, hopes, dreams etc. The future is out of our control but all we can do is to try and guide them on a safe journey. To be open and to be listening as a parent is crucial for us. 

To hear much more from the lovely Jakki Jones check out her on instagram @jakkidoodles and look out for her column starting in Baby Magazine from March.

Once again click here if you’d like to listen to our conversation on our podcast. 

We also have lots here from our resident expert Emmy Brunner on managing ‘mum-guilt’, anxiety and being a modern woman. Click here to check out some tips and tricks. 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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