I love podcasts and try to listen to different ones, recommendations from family and friends.
This morning whilst out walking, I listen to Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton’s High Low episode from 3 October where lots of interesting topics were discussed like Brett Kavanaugh and Having it all or not.
They talked about different views from women and the expectations that come with the various life choices we all have to make at times in our lives.
As a woman, it seems the choices are at times harder to make as the impact is still, generally, greater for a woman compared to a man. In particular the choice whether to have children or not.
What no woman can ever plan, is how life does change after having a child. We can plan certain things as much as we like; when and where to give birth, when to go back to work, childcare, sharing and being equal with our partners etc.
What we can’t plan is the emotional impact this massive change in our lives has. Not only have we got this little baby in our home, all of a sudden needing care and attention, but it also has it’s own mind and shows it early on. It might not be what I thought it was going to be like! Can I change my mind?! How on earth do I cope with this on my own? There is no manual to follow, only learning by doing.
Also, our partners might have different ideas about how to look after our child and that can become another problem to deal with. Not to mention mothers and mothers-in-law that might get involved and give advise whether we want it or not.
I think it’s important to talk and be open about fears, hopes and voice any concerns you might have. No matter how ‘silly’ they might sound, just say it! These are the things that brings us closer as couples and cements the relationship. Assumptions are the opposite and too many times, these are the things that break couples up! “I assumed she knew how I felt”, "He should know I want him to do this” etc.
The having it all is a myth as far as I am concerned. There is no such thing. You might have it all, but that does not mean “all” is good at all times. Life goes up and down and that is normal. Happiness is not a constant, it’s an emotion that comes and goes.
We all struggle at times and it’s not always what it seems…
Our children will grow up understanding that this is life and that’s OK. As long as there is love, understanding and empathy, we will survive and eventually thrive.
Talk to your partner, family and friends. Ask for help when you need it. Know that you are not alone! Even the HR department at work has humans working who also suffer at times!