Viewing entries tagged
motherhood

Let's climb down from the pedestal this Mother's Day

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Let's climb down from the pedestal this Mother's Day

The other day I was driving home from my office engrossed in the podcast, “Magic Lessons”, when the road became distorted through my tears and I had to pull the car over.  Elizabeth Gilbert was speaking with a young mother who had a desire to write a book, but had been blocked in part by the guilt that somehow pursuing her own dreams meant failing her children. By way of encouragement Liz Gilbert shared a quote from A.S. Byatt, one of my favourite authors. It said: “I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things.  I, who I am, is the person who has the project of making a thing ... And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.” These fearless words touched a deep truth I had felt but never been brave enough to say...

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A letter to my son

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A letter to my son

On Monday my eldest son turned 5. In some ways it is hard to believe that 5 years have past since he came into this world; a beautiful, slimy creature, peeing on arrival. In other ways it feels like a lifetime, and he has been in our lives forever.  

When he turned one, I wrote him a letter reflecting on all that he had taught me in his first year of life. Today I thought I'd share this letter with you because four years on, and with two more beautiful children, I feel like I have been learning the same five lessons over and over again...

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Survival parenting 101

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Survival parenting 101

I haven’t written a blog in quite a while. I’ve been sick with the flu. That combined with all that goes with having three kids and running my own business, it has been hard to find the time to write. Well, it’s more than that really. I have sat down to blog a few times, and managed a few lame sentences, maybe even a paragraph, but it never led anywhere...

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The bravest thing I've ever done

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The bravest thing I've ever done

Quitting my job at the peak of my international career and moving back to Melbourne is the bravest thing I have ever done. It might not sound like a big deal. In fact, when I spoke to my father about it he suggested that surely moving with three children under three to South Africa, where we didn’t know anyone, to take up a demanding new job, was more courageous. “No,” I explained; “that was normal.” That was my regular life, the pattern I had pursed for years. Yes, it had its challenges but it wasn’t courageous because I wasn’t afraid of doing that. You see, courage, according to the Oxford English dictionary, is the ability to do something that frightens one...

 

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I am not superwoman

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I am not superwoman

Everyone used to call me superwoman. My friends, work colleagues; even people I’d just met. I think it was meant as a compliment.

A year and a half ago I moved to South Africa from Thailand where I had been working at the United Nations, to take up a position leading the largest global programme to prevent violence against women and girls in low and middle income countries. I was thirty-five. In tow were my 4-month-old twins who I was still breastfeeding, my two-and-a-half-year-old toddler, and my husband, musician-photographer-bread-baker-now-full-time-dad extraordinaire. I had a PhD; had recently launched my first academic book; was writing a novel in my spare time; kept up a sporadic yoga and meditation practice; still looked passable in a bikini (apart from a slightly deformed post-twin-pregnancy belly button); and was, at least on the surface, happy. In truth, I was.....

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