So much of my week has been consumed with a focus on what workplaces and employees can do to drive gender equality. And I have loved the opportunity to share a platform with and learn from other leaders - women and men - as we collectively continue to #pressforchange in 2018.
I still vividly recall waking from a sleep deprived fog and panicking as I searched under the covers and beside the bed for my first newborn - only to be calmed by my husband who reminded me that he was safely in his cot and I'd fed him an hour earlier. It was one of the many signs that in my world, EVERYTHING had changed.
When I was about 20 weeks' pregnant with #1, one of my colleagues decided to try and predict the sex of our baby. I am well aware that the conversation was well intentioned, but as you will see, it was unbelievably inappropriate. It went like this: Him: "My grandmother taught me how to predict the sex of a baby. And I'm always right."
The lead up to Mother's Day has become one of my favourite times to slow down and listen to my children: the covering up of cards as I pick them up from after-care, , whispers as they remind Dad to give them $5 for the Mother's Day Stall, the excitement in their faces when I arrive at the various school and kinder celebrations, and my favourite - the enormous effort it takes to try to keep their gifts a secret until Mother's Day!
A few days before my son was born I wrote a letter to him. About my hopes and dreams for him as a person, and my hopes and dreams for me as a parent. About the values that I wanted to instil in him and the values I wanted to guide me as a mother.
When my husband and I had our son, neither of us were prepared. Sure, I’d done my fair share of babysitting and changed a few nappies in my time, and he’d grown up with 5 million cousins and is good at operating on little sleep, but none of that was adequate practice for the parenting gig. And yet, everyone seemed to think that because I’m a woman I would know what to do.
We hear are a lot about “working mothers”; their pregnancy, their struggles with returning to work, their childcare issues, how they manage to ‘hold onto’ their career after having kids, but the term “working dads” rarely rates a mention. They’re just ‘dads’. Work is ingrained in the male identity, but for women it’s an add-on, a bonus word.
Parents of two healthy kids, Alex and Ben Tighe never expected their third pregnancy would go so horribly wrong. Alex had never had trouble getting pregnant and never had a miscarriage. Her 20 week scan was a success and all was well with the baby. But then, at 24 weeks pregnant, she went into premature labour and they lost their son, Jack.
Mothers worldwide broke the internet last week in anger over American writer Meghann Foye's likening of maternity leave to a 'career break'. The 39-year old is out promoting (or sabotaging) her new novel Meternity, about a frazzled editor who fakes a pregnancy in order to get maternity leave. In an article for the New York Post, Foye wrote that the idea for the story stemmed from her own experience being 'envious' of women who were able to take this "sabbatical-like break", allowing them "to shift their focus onto the part of their lives that doesn't revolve around their jobs".
Pregnancy can be a bitch on the body. Aches, pains, nausea, bloating, fatigue, cankles...shall I go on? But one tool I found super helpful for keeping me going through those 9 months that felt like 9 years, was Osteopathy. In fact, after I gave birth I found it even more essential. And so, because I'm good at sharing, I chatted to Osteopathy extraordinaire to the mamas, Daniela Aiello from Bulleen Osteopathy about her work and her life and her amazing ability to recite lines from every television show ever made.
For me, the hardest part about having a newborn was breastfeeding. The mere mention of the word still makes me shudder. It was a horrible 8 weeks of my life and I would inflict it on no one. I know that is not every mother’s experience, some love it and can’t bear to stop, but for me, and many others, it is hideous, painful and debilitating.
I spent most of my pregnancy daydreaming about all the lovely activities and lunches that would fill my work free maternity leave days. My sister was also pregnant at the time and we would constantly text
It’s a complete mind game isnt’ it? That time between ovulation and peeing on a stick (or your period showing up). The waiting, the wondering, the dreaming, the fear, the torment. Unaffectionately known as the two week wait, it’s a time when nothing else in your life seems to matter anymore and you have to pry your body away from the chemist and bargain with yourself to stop taking pregnancy tests on a daily basis. But I’m not here to tell you to stop obsessing during this period (sorry, poor word choice). Because that is just not possible – ESPECIALLY if your potential pregnancy has been stimulated by hormone injections….just ask my husband.
One of the most challenging aspects of having a toddler is raising them to be healthy eaters. One minute they like something, the next minute they hate it, they refuse to eat all day and then gleefully throw their dinner onto the floor, no wonder so many parents dread meal times!
Pregnancy can be a crappy time. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be a glowing, spiritual and joyous experience, but personally, I didn’t really enjoy it. The physical and hormonal changes, the stress and anxiety about such a big life shift, the nausea, the constant need to pee and the inability to enjoy a glass of wine. Too much. I love my son to bits and pieces, but unlike some, I just didn’t find pregnancy to be a blissful time.
A friend of mine is trying to get pregnant, and it has reminded me of just how crappy a time planning pregnancy can be. The constant wondering, the secrecy, the hope, the heartache. Us gals spend years doing our best to avoid conceiving, and then at some point BAM, the tables turn, and suddenly it's time for offspring.
Lets be honest, traditional maternity clothes are not great, in fact they are far from great. It’s a complex mess of stretchy cheap fabrics, 1960s high waistbands and unnecessary frills and wraps. It lacks style and longevity. So when I was pregnant I did my best to avoid maternity clothes shops. I was determined to save my pennies and instead splurge on some fabulous post prego outfit. (Just FYI no such thing has been purchased, nor does it need to be now that I’m a mother and live in the uniform of black leggings and puffer vest).
After coming in to wake me several times during the night, my 4-year-old baby girl stood in front of me, tears rolling down her face. My suitcase lay open on my bed, and she was watching me as I packed for another interstate work trip. It was true, I had been away a lot recently, writes Prue Gilbert.
The meaning of Valentine’s Day changes as we age; from the flower given to you by the boy who usually throws sand on you in the playground, to the ‘secret admirer’ love letters in your teenss, to flowers at the office indicating the seriousness of your relationship to your colleagues. Then comes kids…and quite frankly, after working, washing, cleaning and cooking the last thing you can be bothered thinking about is frocking up and heading out for a romantic night. No doubt that’s why many of us criticize and dismiss Valentine’s Day as another marketing ploy, this time for the greeting cards and floristry industries!