The term 'birth rape' is used by women whose bodies are treated like machines when they are most vulnerable to other people's wills. Labouring women whose minds and wishes are not respected or consulted. The power is taken from mum's hands to gloved hands the second you enter the ward, and you cannot take it back.
Parenting can be tough because it's not only exhausting at times, it also holds a mirror right in front of you, forcing you to face you beliefs, hopes and fears; but it's also an amazing experience and there is no shame in admitting that sometimes we have questions as parents, and if we reach out, the answers are indeed there.
The teenage years, a little like the 'terrible twos', are a stepping stone in the individual's development: from baby to toddler, and from child to young adult. They each indicate the transition from one important stage to a very different one: but why is it often so challenging to deal with teenagers?
Even though I'm a hands-on parenting advocate, I accept that motherhood is hard. The hours are long, it's badly paid and it puts demands on you physically and emotionally that would have any other 'employer' up before the International Court of Human Rights. Time-out to 'be yourself' at work breaks up the intensity of full-time parenting.
It's incredibly difficult to get a part-time job, especially if you are professional, qualified and reasonably well-paid. Too many companies aren't open to the part-time option or to job-shares. Too many women are trapped in the job they have. There is nowhere else to go. It's worse if you have had a baby without the security of a job to go back to. It took me years to get a part-time position, and I know I am not alone. In fact, I have been banging on about this, and the waste of a whole tranche of intelligent, well qualified women, for years.
It is our son's fourth birthday this week and we will have a great time, the day will be about him and celebrating his life. The day before it however, I like to celebrate myself and what happened on the day I struggled to give birth. I know I have only been through it the once but I bet others who have been through it many times can still recall each and every one?