Kelly Mortimer is an international wedding venue consultant and wedding sales trainer. She works globally, training and enabling hotel chains and venues to increase their wedding bookings whilst ensuring every couple has the perfect day to remember. With more than two decades of experience working at high end establishments including the Mandarin Oriental, Claridges and Rosewood London, she juggles delivering exceptional results with being a mum to her 18-month-old son.
Tell us a bit about you as a mum…
I don’t feel like a “traditional mum”, I didn’t have my son until I was 39 and until then my life had been very independent (I didn’t meet my husband until 37). For ten years I lived in hotels and travelled the world thanks to my career and so I’m not a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination!
My life before my son revolved around my career in the world of 5* hotels where I planned events and weddings for celebrities and royalty. I had never really been around babies and children and so I turned to books and the internet to learn as much as I could! I was very obsessed with schedules and lived those early months by Gina Ford’s books! It was the only way I could feel on control.
Tell us about your current job…
I am an international wedding venue consultant and wedding sales trainer. I show venues how to be much more successful and increase revenue. I started my business just as my son was turning one. The business involves lots of travel – which I adore, but with the flexibility for me to control my schedule ensuring it now fits with our family.
How easy have you found being a working mum?
Because it’s my own business I know this makes it much more flexible than other working mums and I often think if I had to be in London every day I would need to get an au pair or nanny as it would be impossible! Personally, I need work to balance home life, I love my business and enjoy being successful and helping wedding venues increase revenue – this gives me a great sense of achievement and personal fulfilment. Thankfully my son loves his nursery and I can see he is flourishing there which helps with the occasional guilt.
How have you found trying to balance being a mum with your current role?
I feel now he is 18 months we are starting to get a good balance. I ensure the weekends and the time before and after nursery is quality time and again the flexibility to “pause” work for a couple of hours to do nursery pick up, play and bedtime and then resume working after he’s asleep makes me incredibly lucky. Often I will wake up at 5am to do work before he wakes at 6:30am, to squeeze in the extra time – it’s a juggling act.
What has kept you going throughout your journey so far?
My mum! She is very hands on with my son and even though she lives two hours away she comes every fortnight for a few days which is invaluable. This allows me to travel nationally and internationally without affecting my husband’s business and without putting too much strain on family life. It’s amazing when I come home from work trips, and all the washing and ironing is done and the house is spotless and there’s always something tasty in the oven.
What advice would you offer anyone who is about to return to work after having a child?
Get support where you need it! We have a cleaner which I cannot recommend highly enough. It’s a small out going to take the stress off you to keep the house tip top.
I think it’s different for everyone, I enjoy my work and so actually needed to get that balance back in my life so that I wasn’t “just a mum”, for others maybe they’re not looking forward to it. Do what feels right for you, we’re all so different.
What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you about combining motherhood with a job?
You can’t have it all.
I know this sounds strange, but the reality is you can’t be the perfect 1950‘s housewife with a show home, plus be a full-time mum plus work a full-time job, there’s simply not enough hours in the day. You’ll break.
Once we realise we can’t have it all/ do it all we can work out which parts we do want and prioritise those, rather than live up to the idea of being perfect at everything.
Anything else you would like our members to know about you?
For more about me and what I do, please visit my website: kellymortimer.co.uk/