‘What special projects are you working on at the moment?’
I was sent this question in an interview when my baby Orson was 9 weeks old.
As I sat feeding him, whilst scrolling through 2546 of unanswered emails, I felt a pang of guilt and inadequacy.
It immediately made me ask myself, ‘Why am I not doing more right now?’
Many weeks later and I am still seething. At first I was irritated that a person I didn’t even know felt it was appropriate to ask this of a new mother; but mostly I was disappointed with myself for not pushing harder to bounce back from childbirth and juggle more; therefore providing an immediate and admirable response to the question. I felt immense guilt that all I wanted to do was switch off and stay at home with my newborn.
Over the past six years, I have lovingly grown and delivered three children. I have nourished and fed each of these children from my body, with all my strength and might, which is no easy feat. I have pumped milk on the back of buses, RV vans and aeroplanes all over the world; working and travelling, whilst still being committed to breastfeeding - wanting to be a mother whilst retaining my sense of self.
I have struggled with the guilt and grief of leaving my children for work, knowing I will be a better mother for it. I have survived on no sleep for countless years, not wanting to miss a moment of their flourishing lives. In the past few months I have discovered that I alone, can get three children fully dressed, fed and out the door for the school-run, by 7am. If that doesn’t deserve an award, I don’t know what does.
I have lost and found myself time and time again in this selfless and wholly selfish process called motherhood. To put it simply, I am a warrior.
To all the mothers out there struggling with these very real and conflicting feelings, I see you and I salute you. We are all fighters. We are all warriors.