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?
As if there is not enough pigeon holing of us mums already, as we endure fellow mums, relatives, friends and the old woman down the street trying to shoe horn us into a motherhood "type". We now have the latest stereotyping on the mum block that is "Momstrology". Yes you read right ladies. "Momstrology".
Since retiring from international sport, I didn't think an emotional drive that had enabled my accomplishments, would ever absorb me again. But the day my baby boy was born and I became a mother, something even more powerful enveloped me. It's impossible to describe this overwhelming feeling, but every mother will know it.
I am so tired I want to crawl up my own ass and have a nap. Yes, not the first place that springs to everyone's mind as a retreat of choice. However, I need somewhere, dark, un-crowded and most importantly somewhere no one (namely my small humans) would even think I would be. A place they would be too shit scared to even look.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I thought about perfect and good. So this time around, I called three friends and made them promise: when my daughter was three months old, they were to call and ask me if she'd had any formula. I would not lie. If the answer was no, they had to come over and give it to her themselves.
Then last Summer, for the first time, I found myself looking around at other women and comparing. I felt conscious of every little lump and bump - three kids in five years can do that. Discussing this with two friends some months later, I expressed how uncomfortable I had felt wearing a bikini last Summe...
This loss of everything I took for granted in my adult life was much more overwhelming to me than the love I felt for my baby. I know, I said it, shoot me world - and what a world we live in when it comes to 'views' on mothers. How we should feel, how we should look, how we should react... the expectations are real and they are fired at a new mother like arrows from a bow.
For any first time mum to be, currently being subjected to hours of unwanted advice and comments on how they should be handling their pregnancy, what they should or should not be doing and what type of mum they should be aiming to be, here is a list for you to pin up in your consciousness to remind you that when it comes to parenting no one is a God damn expert.
Thirteen years ago today my mum died. It all feels like a lifetime ago, and actually I can't really remember what life looked and felt like with her in it. I wish I had been given the chance to get to know her, to appreciate her and, of course, I would do anything to thank her for all the things I can now see she did for me and my sister, and all the little ways in which she showed us that she loved us.
Sometimes it feels like the cracks are growing across the surface of our lives, creeping slowly into the foundations and threatening to force a crumbling. Sometimes it feels like I don't have a firm hold on all the pieces and if I stop concentrating, they'll fall apart. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to wear the smile anymore.