Several friends recently forwarded me CEO Katharine Zaleski's blog on how poorly she treated working mothers before having one of her own. It was good to hear a woman admit her complicity in making women's lives a misery.
You were kind and you didn't judge. You took the time out of your day to empathise and notice someone who was on the edge and offer help to them; for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The world needs more people like you
I've just been thinking about some ridiculous sayings people say to you when you become a Mom. I didn't realise how stupid some of these sayings were until I've stopped to think about them. Comment and add your own if you can think of any that I've missed.
At first, you think that you are the problem. That you're new to this world and they know best. After all, they're the ones who have been working in this office for many years.
They all talk all the time (no idea where they got that from). I love the chats and the sweet singing, but there are some sounds that send me over the edge, that make my heart sink, my head hang or my shouting commence. These things more than others are triggers for me, especially when I'm tired.
Operation 'Find the shoes' commences. Mum says 'Where are your shoes?'. Kid 1 replies ' I dunno. I dunno'. Kid 2 does not respond. His face is pressed up against the flat screen TV causing snot to smear across the front of his idol, Peppa Pig.
I have two amazing, bright, funny, gorgeous boys,. One is eight and the other is six. Over the years they've said some weird and hilarious things - as I'm sure all kids do. Not being on social media yet, they won't have noticed that I've been documenting all of these conversations...
I actually think I'm a good parent when I've had a couple of drinks. I laugh more. Loosen up a tad. Let my daughter eat lots of cocktail sausages. I construct creative meals out of buffet foods- piling up her plate with crisps and cake (so she has a good balance of savoury and sweet). And I have fond memories of my own Mum being pissed...
I can't tell you what happens to everyone but I can tell you what happened to me. And I can offer some reassurances too. It does bring you together. Probably in the same way as two people being held hostage are brought together. But that wasn't how it worked from the start.
It's been over a year now and, as I hoped and feared, it's been the most fun/interesting/terrifying year I've had for a few decades. On the whole, it would have been cheaper to buy a sportscar and less time-consuming to have an affair with a 25 year old, but, as I can't drive and am happy with my fella, this 45 year old's mid-life crisis is a "follow your dream" business startup.
I'm due to give birth tomorrow. I've never done it before and like many women my age (early 30s - just), I've agonised over whether now is the right time. Will it wreck my career? Do we have enough money to feed and clothe another human being? Will we become one of those couples who fill social media feeds with massively un-fascinating photos of their dribbling offspring?
Feminism and the fight for women's equality rights has never backfired as much as during the last decade. Where men demand from women to be what they want, i.e. equal. And rightly so.
There has been a lot of speculation about how men won't take up the opportunity of shared parental leave because the money is not enough for them or because childcare is not seen as a man's job. These are valid concerns but I think it goes even deeper than that.
I received an email last week from a parent who was concerned about her daughter: "...she's lonely and I don't know what to do. I heard her whisper to herself I wish I was someone else. I am distraught. How can I help her?"
Where did I sign up for the indentured servitude that is picking up everyone else's undies, wee-sodden pull ups and a shipwrecked flotilla of toenail clippings from the bathroom floor?
Times goes at a different rate in the country. It seems only yesterday that we drove out beyond the M25, and the cat pooped on my lap, and we began our new life in a house of flies and dirt and no door-handles. It was actually ten months ago.