Now, I wish to take a step back for a moment. You may be thinking it is strange for me to say 'mothers from day one', but it is true. If you look at the toys advertised for girls even today - what do we have? Garish amounts of playthings that are designed to ingrain a want in young girls to be perfect little wives and moulded into aspiring little mummies when they grow up.
I argue that maternity and maternal bodies have become a minefield within identity politics, feminism and public policy alike and that it is time for a movement of women to improve the position of mothers - from birth, to breastfeeding, to the right to provide maternal care and freedom from discrimination in our jobs or careers.
It seems when the youngest started school people became awfully interested in her life. People that couldn't have cared less how she passed her time at home with small people in tow suddenly want to know. But do they really? Do they really want to know why she's still at home? What she does all day?
It's true (and completely normal) to think the world is against us whilst we're growing up but no matter how hard life may get for us, there's always one person who will remain our biggest fan. Mum. It doesn't matter how tall you grow or how old you get, she will always look at you with pride in her eyes and love in her heart.
"Who runs the World - Girls?" Did Beyoncé predict this? Is this the answer to every gender equality prayer? The tide appears to be changing for women. Are we heading for a renaissance where women will no longer be required to address questions on womanhood prior to being assessed on merit? Perhaps, the type of women we are, speaks to the type of leaders we will be. The problem however, is the yardstick used to assess womanhood.
How many times have you sat down to watch the Olympic Games and thought 'I know exactly how that feels'? Not often right, but perhaps we as parents should. It struck me recently that parenting is actually not dissimilar to this sporting event, with numerous hurdles, sprints and relay's taking place all the time.
I know when I'm being judged. And it stings. The judger only sees a snapshot of my parenting or my kids, or an interaction that is missing context. I am parenting 24/7 with 4 little ones running circles around me, all of them at different stages in their development with different demands, challenges, and different temperaments. I encounter many judge-worthy situations. Some smaller; some bigger. And I pick my battles wisely. Because you gotta.
here is nothing wrong in having a preference for how we would like our life to be. But rigid single mindedness can lead to vulnerability, when life and those around us do not deliver. We may not have the necessary mental and emotional resilience and agility to bounce back and adjust accordingly. If we are less accepting of the value of others' difference, then we may find it hard, if others struggle with our own difference.