Having been Miss England in 2009, and now being a mother I personally feel that the two roles cannot coincide. Until you actually carry out the role of Miss England, you cannot possibly appreciated how much time is spent on the road, travelling from one place, or even country to another - it's all well and good saying but it's your choice etc but it would not be fair on a child.
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.
In my last article, I identified a new young generation, the SAFFYs: Serious, Active, Forward-Facing Youth. They're very different to the "typical teen" parodied by Kevin the Teenager. Less frivolous, hedonistic, lazy and 'devil may care'. More anxious and responsible about the future, and more respectful of the past.
In the government's latest Orwellian measure, mothers and wives of "would-be jihadists" are being urged to report on their loved ones, avowedly to "prevent tragedies". It won't escape notice however, that despite protestations to the contrary, a message emanating from the police carries criminalising potential.
Are you pregnant and feeling scared, confused, sick, elated, a bit rubbish, amazing, possibly all of these? When I was pregnant I veered from being a manic, over-organising machine ordering too much baby gear to curling up like a grannie on my sofa with a blanket on my knees sipping endless cups of green tea.
Within weeks of joining the bank, I became aware of barriers to my progress that were simply not there for my male equivalents. Women weren't given a chance to prove themselves, men bonded in strip clubs, women were paid less than their male counterparts, sexist 'banter' ruled - and that was before I even noticed what was happening to the one other female executive in my department, who had just had a baby.