My Mum is my hero. There is no more giving, selfless, loving mother than she. Caring, super intelligent, creative, considered, her achievements and love for her children are endless.
She learnt English in a year, passed all her O' levels and then A' levels with flying colours, got a degree, a Masters of Philosophy, a PGCE, became a lecturer and only decided to stop her PHD because at age 2, she missed me too much. She and my father George whom she met at Uni, opened their first Greek restaurant 30 years ago and run three award winning ones in Leeds, although since my kids were born, she dedicates most of her time to helping me raise them. She is utterly amazing.
Without her I couldn't continue to have a creative career in the way that I do...
There are so few female directors in the film industry-approximately 7 % and I can see why, it's hard juggling a career where you are on set for 12 hour days with a young family, children who need you and you need them.
When I had Oliver, I took a year off directing. Some thought it was a risk to take off what was perceived as a long time, post several awards and industry recognition and at only 28, but I was determined I wanted a family and I simply hoped I'd have a career to return to.
As a creative I had been Editor of film magazine Film & Festivals, taught, lectured, directed and produced, making my first film at 11. I've exhibited artwork and written short stories. From as long as I can remember, if I found a creative outlet I was happy.
First time motherhood for me was not easy, far from my folks and a shock to the system, I felt I'd lost my identity, my previous reference points, lost and lonely unsure of my new role.
A traumatic birth had taken away my voice and confidence...returning only when I started this blog when Oliver was 10 months old. Suddenly people wanted to read what I had to say, what's more they seemed to relate to it and enjoy it. Suddenly I'd found a small space for me, to be creative and hone my voice.
4 weeks from starting honestmum, I became a finalist at the BritMums' Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the Fresh Voice Category. I was elated. I was a loving mother and still an artist. A writer recognised for doing what I loved: telling stories.
The nomination gave me the confidence to get back on set and direct some fashion advert films.
It gave me the confidence to make the important film here raising awareness and offering support to women on the pregnancy liver condition OC I myself had in my first pregnancy. It was made for charity, unpaid and meant I could help thousands of other women through my skills as a filmmaker.
It gave me the confidence to realise I can be a mother and still do what I love and that's OK. It doesn't eradicate the ingrained guilt but it gets easier. I'm doing it for my family.