Uncompromising Woman #2 - Kat Hahn
In issue #2 of Uncompromising Women I interview Kat Hahn from London (via Germany). Kat is a mother of two and works as a Creative Strategist at Facebook and Instagram’s Creative Shop.
S: What’s your approach to style, Kat?
I’m not a massive fashionista, but I know what suits me and I know what I like. I’d rather have fewer pieces but better quality - don’t buy a bagful of clothes every week but invest in pieces and care for your clothes. I do remember that the first shop after having a baby is quite a psychological challenge, because you still don’t feel yourself.
One of the things I really compromised on with motherhood was my art; making stuff with my hands used to be part of my every day and that is something I definitely compromised on. But every so often I will do a class to feed my creative ‘maker’ side. It’s so hard to keep yourself motivated creatively with everything that’s going on in your life but if I do a life drawing class, or a pottery class, every now and then I feel I can keep my artistic side alive.
S: Is it a compromise that the situation in the UK at the moment is such that childcare costs are so high, that one partner often has to take a step back, and that’s often the woman?
K: Yes, absolutely. In my case I’m very lucky that my husband decided to open his own architecture practice is going very well and he’s mostly working from home, so he’s free for drop offs and pick ups. It allows me to focus on my career. You need to be able to say to your partner, ‘Let’s work out how to make this happen’. It’s a very individual thing that every family has to work out for themselves but an open conversation is the first step.
S: Are there any compromises that looking back now, you wish you hadn't made?
K: The compromise I wish I hadn’t made was giving myself up too much…. between kids and work, both of which I find very fulfilling, there’s very little space for just “me”. I think that’s the biggest compromise, and I’m still struggling with it. It’s like a creative campaign…if you think of the kernel of the idea, you can chip away at it to a certain extent, but you need to know where to say: 'Stop here; if we chip away any more, we’ll ruin it.’. Similarly, I had to decide what are the basic things that I need… even something small and silly - like wearing dangly earrings, even if the baby will grab them. Or I know I can do my makeup and hair in five minutes - I’ve got really good at optimising - but I really need those five minutes and to give those up is a compromise I wouldn’t make.
The more confident you get, the less you have to compromise on what makes you you.