I had gotten to the point where the only days I enjoyed, were the days my children were at nursery. On those days, I'd feel a prickle of dread about having to go and collect them at the end of the day. I'd scramble around on the other days in between, desperately trying to get my mum, my brother, my dad, anyone, to come over, so that I didn't have to be alone with them.
Breastfeeding is sold to pregnant women as straightforward, easy and rewarding but many do not find that description matches their experience. But the reason for this difficulty should rarely be to do with breastfeeding itself, but instead because society in the UK is not set up to support women to breastfeed
For a couple of months now there has been a young woman selling the Big Issue magazine outside my local supermarket. Small shop on the High Street, you know the kind of thing. During these months my feelings towards her have spun out of control, from rational to downright, certifiably crazy. And I ask myself why?
I do usually manage to fit in some writing during the day but it is sometimes hard to find the motivation as well as the time. So by last weekend, after a whole week of not writing, it was tempting to think that perhaps I should find a job and contribute to the family in a more measurable way - i.e. financially.
We choose to go to work to earn money for them, to give them more. For them to have more hobbies, a bigger house, more holidays in a year. If you look at what you do, ask yourself, "Is this for my child?" I bet most of the time it is. I hear people all the time feeling bad they miss children's assemblies, but it is because you are working for them.
You might already feel guilty just for getting pregnant if you're not married and you've been brought up by that type of family. Or for ditching your work without an adequate handover when you bugger off for maternity leave (because who cares when your pelvis is falling apart and you can't pull your pants up properly).
We spend nine months trying to live like organic angels verging on born again virgins, doing everything we can to grow a healthy little human. Buying into every miracle cream, vitamin and birthing class and book going. What keeps us committed through all the dry parties, the charcoaled steaks and inedible non runny eggs?
Some say that the antidote to those very understandable and human difficulties is the willingness to love, forgive and to let go of the past. All too easily can we get stuck in the past, concede control and power of our lives to what has or could have been. With that frame of mind, perspective on life, and heavy heart it is difficult to move on.