In a previous life before I transformed into a mother I was a hedonist. My sole purpose in life from my late teens onwards was the pursuit of fun, excitement and getting completely off my trolley, my best friends and music being the centre of my world.
So many lost weekends dancing, drinking, smoking, chatting shit, laughing, crying and watching the sun rise have all been lost in hazy memories and the mundane routine of being a responsible adult. It feels like it all happened to someone else now.
Music was always my passion, and my first love. I come from a very musical family, my mother and aunties are all professional singers, as was my Grandad. I was brought up listening to all the good stuff, my family’s tastes ranging from rock n roll to reggae. My mum especially was instrumental in shaping my musical knowledge. I grew up with The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Bob Marley, Prince, U2, Kate Bush.
As I entered my teenage years I was so lucky to live in Newport, we had the best indie/rock scene in Wales and that’s when my passion really ignited.
I loved Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, Hole…I also got to see so many cool bands that came to play in the Newport Centre and of course the Legendary TJ’s!
My all time favourite band though was The Prodigy. I have seen them so many times over the years, and my heart still races each time. I got heavily into dance music and the clubbing scene in the late 90’s early 00’s, and it completely changed my life and who I am as a person.
The memories I shared with my best friends, and certain moments will stay with me forever, I thought those days would never end. I get so nostalgic sometimes, I’m just so glad that I still have these amazing people in my life to reminisce with, and still go on the occasional bender.
Fast forward to the present day and I seem to have lost that part of me, she is buried underneath a blanket of washing, cooking, cleaning, parenting, and CBeebies.
I don’t think I listened to any music at all in the first year of my daughter’s life. I almost felt guilty for daring to think about something else other than her for even a second.
Eventually though, as the dust of being an anxious first-time mother began to settle, my old self began to peek through. I could sing and dance to Peppa Pig with as much gusto as a drum n bass track! Something was missing. Just as I felt when we were trying for a baby, there was a part of me yearning for more.
I took this as a good sign. It meant that I was becoming Kerry again, not just Mama. I started putting all my old cd’s on ITunes, and downloading new music. My happy place now is a G&T and headphones, and I love it. I can have my own little party (while watching the baby monitor), and be in bed for 10pm, popping Rennies instead of other white tablets!
I also make sure that I see my best friends for nights out as often as I can. I didn’t realise how much I needed it, and them, until I had a child.
I love the fact that I can completely let go, dance and have a few drinks. It keeps me sane, makes me happy and makes me appreciate what I’ve got. Plus I love coming home and seeing my little baby, it’s so good to be able to miss her now and again.
We’ve got a festival planned for the end of August in London and I can’t wait. Not only does it give me something to look forward to, it helps me to keep on track with the healthy eating and exercise (I have to look half decent now I’m 35 with a kid and grey hair)!
It took me a while to get rid of the guilt of leaving my baby to go off and enjoy myself, but I refuse to feel guilty anymore.
Everyone deserves a break, especially parents…we work bloody hard. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you have to look after your own mental health first and foremost. Do what makes you happy, it will make you a better person, and a parent.