Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Romae on the 'Pulse' of motherhood

Published:Sunday | May 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Romae Gordon and her son Cole.
Romae and Cole by Luca Khouri

Since giving birth to her first child, Cole, fashion director of Pulse Model Management, Romae Gordon has been basking in her new role.

"Life is a lot more beautiful now! I could not have imagined that the experience of having Cole would be such a delight. I am a mother now, but it's like I am child again, filled with excitement as I watch him grow, finding great joy in my simple interactions with him. I am fascinated watching him play and sharing his journey of discovery. I love his healthy curiosity and his intent as he tries to figure out and fix things," she told Outlook.

Gordon admits that prior to her son's birth, she had no clue about motherhood. "I really didn't have a burning desire to have a child before Cole, and I would have been quite happy without this experience, at least that is what I thought until I discovered otherwise," she admitted with a smile. "Prior to his arrival, I hadn't a clue about mothering. In fact, before he was born, I took up residence at my mother's to ensure that I had the most trusted and knowledgeable person around (she has four of us) to usher him into the world. And although I have three nieces and I have done some babysitting, this does not come close to the role of mother. I have to be a bit more precise with planning and timing, but I have managed to handle things relatively well."

Gordon's planning has allowed her to make the necessary adjustments in her life to make things work. "Of course, there are the daily adjustments such as getting less sleep, having to incorporate and prioritise his activities into my super-hectic schedule. I have had to adjust time spent on work to ensure that I meet his needs. I understand and have embraced the fact that I am his first teacher and I have discovered that I love this responsibility of ensuring that he learns certain fundamentals from me. For example, I am teaching him French now so that he can know the importance of learning about other cultures and people and the ability to communicate with them. This will also make it easier for him to learn Spanish and any other language he may need later on in life. I want to be successful in the foundational things he must adopt from early and this takes some serious time investment in these critical first years."

Like many working mothers, Gordon is realising how much it takes to have a healthy balance. "Having Cole has completely changed the way I view mothers. I have a lot more respect and admiration for the work they have to do to successfully raise children. As I try to navigate a healthy balance to my life with him, I am fortunate that I have help and the strong support of family. I am grateful at every turn, because there are so many mothers who are not able to enjoy the simple and rich pleasures that their children can bring to their lives because they get overwhelmed by work and myriad other issues."

But she also recognises and is thankful for the flexibility that her job allows her. "The flexibility of my work allows me to make the time to be with him and very often, he is on the job with me, whether it's at a TV screening for our upcoming CFW and Caribbean Model Search television shows, experiencing photo shoots, seeing castings or joining me for several of the other non-administrative parts of my portfolio,"she said.

As her son approaches two years old, and is getting more active, her schedule also becomes more active with this year's 15th staging of Caribbean Fashion Week. "Without a doubt, it has become a lot more challenging managing Cole now, especially as I prepare for the most extensive and demanding CFW. While the early months were about his survival, as he nears two, I have to be a lot more engaged with him because of his growing inquisitiveness and increased physical activeness. The latter is great for me since I have had to give up some of my morning exercise routines (Pilates and the gym). I am now reduced to just playing squash. It's a great stress buster and an absolute essential element of maintaining my well-being as I work longer hours leading into Caribbean Fashion Week. I love to run about and play pretend basketball, football, and tennis with him in the evenings before he starts to wind down for bed. This is a good break from work for me, and it helps him to sleep well, plus I get few more hours of solid, quiet night work done after I put him to bed."

For her partner, Kingsley Cooper, fatherhood the second time around seems like a breeze. "How natural and seamlessly he has also integrated Cole into his life. He gets great joy in his daily, and 'special' undertakings with Cole and the boy has developed a love for cars like his dad. In fact, his first words after he greets Kingsley in the mornings is "conduit la voiture rouge," - let's drive the red car! And, my experienced brother and father of one, tells me that at this age, kids are called 'Closers' meaning they are unrelenting when they ask for something. Therefore, more often than not, dad has to acquiesce to the aforementioned request. Kingsley has always been extremely driven and sometimes very singular in his focus to achieve his objectives, and while this has largely remained unchanged, Cole has added a new and wonderful dimension to his life that neither he nor I imagined."