Paloma Faith on mum guilt and post-baby body confidence
Paloma Faith talks to Charlotte Harding about juggling being a mum and an award-winning singer.
Body confidence, or the lack of it, is something that many people can relate to.
After having a baby, for most women, that limbo of not being pregnant but also not having the body you had pre-baby can sometimes be hard to deal with, even if you are a multi-platinum selling artist.
“I don’t always feel that body confident but I feel confident in what my body can do,” reveals singer Paloma Faith who had her baby in December 2016.
“I wrote the song ‘My Body’ as a bit of a talking to myself as I think we can be quite hard on our bodies that it isn’t how it was and you want your partner to keep the lights off.
“But you have to remember that your body has done this amazing thing in creating this person and looking after it for nine months, you have to think more about what it has done rather than berate it for what it hasn’t.”
Pre-pregnancy Paloma admits she was really skinny on top but now she loves what having a baby has done to her body.
“I have boobs to match my bum and I love it,”
Following the birth of her child, Paloma hasn’t revealed publicly the name or gender, she returned to work after five-and-a-half months.
“I went back to the album and did some new songs and kept the ones I knew I definitely wanted,” she explains.
“I redid my vocals on some of the songs as I felt my voice had improved after having a baby.”
Her first album in three years, The Architect, includes appearances from Samuel L. Jackson and John Legend.
The title track features Paloma as Mother Nature singing to humanity, and track Warrior, written by SIA, Paloma has interpreted to be about the refugee crisis.
“It is a social observation record,” the Hackney born singer explains.
“I was adamant that I wouldn’t write about love.
“I wanted to look outside myself. I wanted to write something more modern. On previous albums I’ve been concerned with the past. But now I’m looking forward because of motherhood and wanting to change things for a better future.
“It is a marriage of old and new.”
This year has already been a busy one for the singer with a spring tour leading straight into a summer one including a number of big outdoor venues such as Hampton Court in London, and Lingfield racecourse, close to the Surrey/West Sussex border.
There are also a number of festival appearances including Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival.
“I love touring, it is the reason I do what I do,” she says. “After having a child I have to think about my costumes a bit more as I have to wear Spanx underneath everything.
“But running around after a toddler does mean I feel like my fitness has improved.”
Paloma says being a parent is a juggle and that to start with she struggled especially as she went back to work having not sorted out childcare.
“It was stressful,” she recalls, “but my partner has taken time off to look after a child which is working really well.
“I found it hard returning to work as you are in this bubble and it is about interacting with people again and being the person you were before but also you are different as something amazing has happened to you.”
And it seems she is susceptible to mum guilt.
“You feel guilty no matter what you do,” she explains.
“As you want to be with your child but you have to work as well, but I am really careful not to let work take over.
“In this industry you never know when opportunities will come up but if I have said I am going to spend time with my child I have learned to say no.
“I spoke to my mum about it and she said she was proud of the way I have handled it. She was single parent and a workaholic and she told me that she was scared of saying no to her bosses, so just worked and worked.”
Faith was born to an English mother and Spanish father in Hackney, and her parents separated when she was two-years-old.
She burst onto the scene with her debut single, ‘Stone Cold Sober’ in 2009, with a career that has seen her albums sell more than half a million copies. In 2015 she won BRIT award for best British Female Solo Artist.
Talking to Paloma, she loves the career she has chosen but at times the fit of being a mum and singer can be hard.
“I took out insurance and they basically told me unless my child has a life-threatening condition, I can’t cancel a show without having to pay everyone compensation,” she reveals
“It listed things like polio, chicken pox, mumps weren’t included, but I can’t imagine being on stage performing knowing my child is ill or in hospital. I just couldn’t have my child without their mum.
“I was in A&E recently with them and had to pull out of an appearance and I got a call about it and I felt guilty. But I thought ‘no this is my child, I have to be here’.”
With a busy summer ahead Paloma says that she enjoying days with her little one.
“I feel like I am in the best bit now I have an 18-month-old,” she smiles.
“They can tell me they love me, if they hurt, what they want and what they don’t want but then doesn’t have the ability to not like broccoli, it really is the best time.”
For more information on Paloma, visit www.palomafaith.com
Paloma will be at Lingfield Racecourse on August 11, for ticket information visit www.lingfieldpark.co.uk
She also plays Victorious Festival in Portsmouth on Saturday, August 25. Other acts playing over the bank holiday weekend include Prodigy, Paul Weller, Kasier Chiefs and Happy Mondays for tickets visit www.victoriousfestival.co.uk