Bianca Kellar, PR Manager for Prada talks to us about motherhood, maternity style and balancing work life with family life.
What is your biggest challenge as a working mother yourself?
Being a working mum is tough and certainly a juggling act. There is an element of guilt about leaving my son and going to work every day, which is very challenging. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my mum around and her help combined with a fantastic nursery has made me feel at ease. I know my son is in the best hands.
I am currently pregnant again with my second child. I’m not feeling too well and have all the possible symptoms that come with pregnancy – including all day sickness! Continuing to work and putting on a brave face has been a struggle for me, but also a great distraction.
My husband and son will always be my priority. However, I have worked hard to get to where I am and my work is my passion. I love the combination of PR and fashion – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. My definition of success would be maintaining a good work/life balance.
Did your career change after having children? If so how?
Yes, it did. Having a child shakes everything up, you are ‘less available’ and your priorities shift. I believe as long you have a supportive partner and strong network behind you anything is possible.
How do you balance your work life with your family life?
Whilst I am working I tend to dive in and give all my energy to my job. My free time is my family time. I try and spend as much time as possible with my husband and son when I’m out of work. Learning to separate your time and giving yourself completely to whatever moment you’re in takes practice and experience. I’m still learning!
What are the top 3 items you always carry in your bag?
My Smythson Panama diary details my life. I never leave home without it.
My phone: So I can be reached at all times …..and of course to check instagram!
Do you have any recommendations on where to go for baby play dates?
Whilst on maternity leave, I kept busy with local baby music classes, Gymboree or strolls in the park if the weather was good. Anything that allows you to see friends and meet new mums whilst entertaining you baby works.
Do you have any maternity styling tips?
Cos is my new best friend. This is my go-to store for a generous modern fit that won’t swamp me! I also tend to avoid anything specifically designated ‘maternity’ – I just wear bigger sizes in the brands I like. My top picks are Zara, Cos, J Crew, Prada, Peter Pilotto, Paul & Joe, Marc Jacobs.
Paige do a great pair of maternity jeans. I look for pieces that are loose-fitting or have stretch to accommodate the bump. I also try to combine these pieces with my existing wardrobe as much as possible.
What were or are the biggest challenges you faced going back into the work place after children?
Getting over the culture shock! It takes time to acclimatise to the working day after maternity leave. Fortunately, most of my colleagues are also good friends. So that made things much easier.
If you could give your past self-one piece of advice about being a working mother what would it be?
Store up your sleep tank wherever and whenever you can. The key to survival is maintaining your energy levels. Without sleep you quickly lose your energy and your sanity!
What style advice would you give to a first time working mother?
A good blow dry, great nails and statement accessories can take you a long way! If you are still working on getting your figure back, do some grooming and treat yourself to make you feel better. There are also some fabulous dresses out there which are forgiving – don’t pack your Cos dress away too quickly!
What are your favourite pieces from the SS17 collection?
1. Lucio Baby Set: This is so smart yet comfortable – I love the crisp white peter pan collar against this particular shade of blue. Useful to be able to wear the top & trousers separately too!
2. Pelayo Baby Ceremony Set: This white outfit could make any baby look chic! The detail and all in white look is extremely ‘prince like’ – if my son had a summer birthday party or a wedding to attend he would be wearing this!
3. Acebeda Baby Romper Suit: I just love the print of this romper!
4. Brea Baby Shirt: My son has a few shirts in this shape from La Coqueta – the fit is perfect, especially worn with a smart pair of shorts.
5. Nappa Pram T-Bar: These shoes are made so beautifully. I love the soft leather and adore this neutral shade of grey which is such a stylish and useful colour for Spring/Summer.