All posts tagged: being a mum

The criticism of Meghan Markle

Crikey, where to start? Since her interview for ITV in which she has spoken about her struggles since becoming a mother and how very few people ask how she is, she has come in for a bit of a Twitter thrashing. While there are plenty of women who sympathise with Meghan as she finds her feet as a new mum (not to mention a wife, a member of the Royal family and someone who has been targeting by our press) the criticism seems to take aim at her privilege, that she shouldn’t be struggling because she has money and help. Becoming a mum can be one of the hardest transitions there is not enough people ask “How Are You Doing?” especially after those early weeks, when the expectation is that we have now adjusting, that we are over the hard bit. I don’t know Meghan, never will, she could be being dramatic (after all she was an actress) but she could also be being really honest and open about how she feels as she adjusts …

Mothers and the emotional load

Much is written about the motherload – the organising of children’s schedules and the household, – but let’s focus on the emotional load for a second – feeling responsible for, monitoring and worrying about your child’s wellbeing and development. It’s a huge load to carry, it takes time and investment and it can be overwhelming and exhausting. It’s part of the parenting package, it is crucial to older children and teenagers yet it is another invisible role often of mothers although I am sure plenty of dads take this on as well. Children always need our time and attention, as parents we need to listen to what they are really saying through, often through their actions rather than their words. And this is vital as children get older and then become teenagers – we often need to be their cheerleader, their counsellor, their life coach and their personal assistant (in addition to taxi driver, cook and entertainment’s officer) for them and their friends. This role starts when we carry our newborn baby when they need …

Loneliness of Motherhood

Having young children is not all about coffee shops and idle chatter. It is not a holiday. It can be one of the toughest times in a woman’s life. The loneliness can be torture. With your first child, the learning curve is steep – learning to keep a baby settled, soothed and alive while recovering from pregnancy, birth and unrealistic expectations of how motherhood would be. We are often sleep deprived, in need of supportive mum friends and it can feel like we are on our own with the day-to-day responsibilities of looking after our baby. In our society mothers are often judged, with unreal expectations stacked against them and their children. It can be a hard slog. When you become a mother it doesn’t matter what job you do, how old you are or how much you spent in Mothercare preparing for your baby’s arrival – you have a baby to look after and it can knock your confidence when they cry, need a poo, won’t sleep and won’t settle anywhere but in your …

An observation on tiredness, juggling & being happy

God, I’m tired – this is nothing spectacular or special, most of us are tired and I’m sure we are all tired of being tired. This is not a whinge, just an observation on being busy. I just don’t have the time and the energy to do everything I want to do. On the whole I am incredibly happy – I do what I love, I live with people I love, I spend time with people I love and I am grateful for all of this and for health, for laughter and for my ability to enjoy cheap wine. But the tiredness and the endless juggling is real. Some days I feel like I am doing it all brilliantly, I am on top of the load and on other days – like today – I feel like I am falling short. I want to achieve more at work, to develop my little business but I have washing to do & floors to clean, kids to enjoy before they grow up and bugger off, a husband …

Parent Voices: Enjoy Every Minute?

As my bump grew bigger and the start of maternity leave loomed, I began to hear it from acquaintances, friends and strangers: ‘Enjoy every minute’ It was as innocuous as all the other pregnancy small talk, and I didn’t think much of it as they waved me off towards motherhood with those three little words. I certainly wasn’t ‘enjoying every minute’ of pregnancy, but I was really looking forward to meeting the baby and enjoying every minute of this new adventure. Birth was swift and uncomplicated. Not something I enjoyed every minute of – but a positive experience nonetheless. Euphoria hit before the cord was even cut. This was amazing – I really was enjoying every minute, just like they promised. I was enjoying getting to know this new and mysterious creature; gazing at him; cuddling him; sharing the news. Despite the aches and pains and bleeding, I was even enjoying my post-partum body. I marvelled at what it had just done, and promised never to be critical about its wobbly bits and stretch marks. …