Othermother, by @Finn_Mackay

Cross-posted from: Finn Mackay
Originally published: 21.11.17

I am what is called an “other mother”, a same-sex parent to my son who I did not carry. I make up for this by now carrying him everywhere, to the point I have contracted a mysterious ailment known colloquially as ‘mother’s thumb’, or more formally De Quervain’s Tendonitis. After a search online an archived article from The Daily Hateinformed me that this condition is now rife because mothers aren’t as strong as they used to be back in the good old days when we had outdoor toilets and had to wash our family’s clothes in a communal scullery. Sedentary roles behind computers now make us unequipped for the physicality of child rearing, lifting and carrying. I started to notice all the mothers at groups wearing little wrist and thumb splints, pressure wraps and bandages. In the end I got one for myself; I’m wearing it now. …

I realised early on in this parenting journey that my suspicions and concerns about myself and my capabilities were well-founded. Indeed, as I had feared, I am much more of a cat person than a baby person. I just do not have the patience and passion required. I did not lack self-esteem or a sense of life’s purpose before-baby, and I do not find either of those enriched or awakened post-baby. Perhaps they have even declined, as the academic and political activities that used to fill my spare time have had to fall by the wayside in favour of sleeping and doing the laundry. I cannot get excited about latchkey boards and I spend too much time wondering why Pando in Bing appears to have no parents and no trousers. Walking into draughty halls full of waddling toddlers makes me want to poke my own eyes out with a plastic safety spoon, and this overwhelming feeling is not dissipated by the promise of a cup of a tea and a bourbon at half time.

To add to my woes, as an Othermother at these groups, fellow parents are often unsure as to who or what I am. It probably doesn’t help that I look much younger than I actually am and don’t fit gendered codes about what a woman should look like, never having identified or presented as feminine. Unlike some lesbian parents, I’ve never had to have those awkward conversations about bleeding nipples or night feeds and pretend I know what women are talking about as they assume biological motherhood onto everyone within sniffing distance of a nappy. Usually I end up on the margins of these groups, and I don’t think this is due to homophobia as such, at least not with any intent or consciousness. I think it is a widespread and common response to gender difference. That response is to freeze, and in that frozen stasis is how we remain as we stiffly navigate what are really quite intimate moments, sitting in circles, sharing a mat or beanbag for various baby activities, singing together. This means that I am not questioned about our son in the same way that Rosie is. …

 

First published at We are Family Magazine and the full text is available here. 

Finn Mackay: My area of research is contemporary British feminism and feminist activism. I am particularly interested in changes in this social movement from the Second Wave of the 1970s and 1980s to the present day. I have been involved in feminist activism for twenty years, founding the London Feminist Network and revived London Reclaim the Night in 2004. Prior to returning to academia, my professional background was in education and youth work, where I worked on domestic violence prevention and anti-bullying. I am still proudly involved with the women’s sector, conducting work and research for organisations such as Women’s Aid. I am passionate about all social justice issues and equalities. Other research interests include gender studies, animal rights, lesbian and gay studies and particularly gender identity, definitions, expressions and borders within the LGBT community.  @Finn_Mackay

Raising Boys: The Feminist Way ,by @Finn_Mackay

Cross-posted from: Finn Mackay

This is a brief practical guide to raising humane children, male and female, daughters and sons. The ideas contained here are not new, they are available in many other places, and I cannot take credit for them; they have been said before in parenting guides, feminist theory on girlhood, feminist theory on masculinities, as well as in attachment parenting and gentle parenting manuals for example. In many ways these suggestions are instinctive and common sense. The problem is, however, that our world is so rigidly divided along gender lines, and our brains so thoroughly washed in either pink or blue, that parents and carers have learnt not to trust their instincts and to assume instead that baby humans must be treated remarkably differently based on their sex. The following is not really a feminist guide at all, and it is not solely about sons. There are 24 suggestions in the list, I’m sure you could add more. I have included some examples or case-studies to show possible practical implementation of these suggestions.

A bit about me: I am not a parenting expert. But, I do have a professional background in youth and advice work. I set up and managed award winning domestic violence prevention and anti-bullying programmes across all children and young people’s settings (including Early Years) for a London Local Education Authority – Islington – and I advised on national anti-bullying policy and safeguarding. I have delivered training to teachers and whole-school staff, social workers, nurses and police. I am now an academic researcher in the area of feminist theory and activism, with a PhD from the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol. I have been involved in feminist activism for over twenty years; I founded the London Feminist Network in 2004 and revived the London Reclaim the Night march. I currently do a lot of research on masculinities and I work with several men’s organisations. I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of the West of England in Bristol, and author of ‘Radical Feminism: Activism in Movement’ published by Palgrave.

I only have one child, my son is toddler age. I am a terribly impatient person and therefore parenting is often an effort for me. As is the case for all women, childrearing does not come naturally to me, though it may feel instinctive to some; parenting skills are however, unfortunately, not genetic nor predestined by sex. My partner and I are trying to raise our child as best we can in the world as it is; acknowledging that the world as it is, is imperfect, and so are we. While I know the world is imperfect, I do not have to accept that, nor do I have to remain silent about it and I hope to teach my child the same. I hope to raise him actively against much of the culture that he will be increasingly immersed in, because much of the culture tells him lies about boys and men and the biggest lie of all is that his future is written in stone. Boys will not be boys, they will be adults, carers, fathers, lovers, friends, colleagues; they will be human, like anyone else, and humane, if only we let them be. …

You can read the full article here.

My area of research is contemporary British feminism and feminist activism. I am particularly interested in changes in this social movement from the Second Wave of the 1970s and 1980s to the present day. I have been involved in feminist activism for twenty years, founding the London Feminist Network and revived London Reclaim the Night in 2004. Prior to returning to academia, my professional background was in education and youth work, where I worked on domestic violence prevention and anti-bullying. I am still proudly involved with the women’s sector, conducting work and research for organisations such as Women’s Aid. I am passionate about all social justice issues and equalities. Other research interests include gender studies, animal rights, lesbian and gay studies and particularly gender identity, definitions, expressions and borders within the LGBT community.  @Finn_Mackay

“On Motherhood” by @GappyTales

Cross-posted from: Gappy Tales
Originally published: 28.05.18

I gave birth to my second son under a tree. It was under an Ash tree, and it was bloody. Days after, a chuckling visitor told me I could be heard the other side of the hill; that everyone within a mile radius knew he was coming. I’d delivered that son standing, my two feet rooted into the ground, my face up to the sky. Roaring.

A few years later saw my car, boot full with the weekly shop, pulling in to the driveway next to my house. A short, clear three metres over tarmac and lawn lay between car and front door, but it would be another hour until I was home. My daughters head butt deep in my pelvis, her feet tangled under my ribs, I could not force those last few steps and fell instead into a dead, dribbling sleep against the steering wheel. I woke to confusion and imminent labour, thick red indents striping my cheek.  ….

 

You can read the full article here.

Gappy Tales : Writer, feminist, mother. Likes cake, hates Jeremy Clarkson. These are my principles – if you don’t like them, I have others. @GappyTales

 

The Un-Mother, by @MogPlus

Cross-posted from: Mog Plus
Originally published: 11.03.18

Four years ago I entered a writing competition on the theme of motherhood, at the time my daughter was 5 months old, and had only come home from hospital a few weeks before. So this is what I wrote. 

I never used to want to be a mother, in fact the very thought of it scared me. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted less, and yet, when I gave birth to my first child I felt love like I’d never felt before. From the very first moment his big blue eyes opened and gazed around him I was head over heels in love, my whole world was turned upside down by this massive rush of affection. This beautiful little boy was the most amazing thing to ever happen to me and my heart ached with the strength of the emotion. I’d had the most horrific pregnancy, I’d been sick every day right up until his birth, had spent the last three weeks of the pregnancy in hospital because of it, and still it all felt worth it. He was worth the horror.


Read more The Un-Mother, by @MogPlus

Winnicott’s ‘good-enough’ mother

Cross-posted from: Mothers Apart Project
Originally published: 02.08.17

The concept of the ‘good-enough’ mother, introduced by Winnicott (1965), is still in common use today in family law, and in health and social services. However, it is often misused to blame women for falling below expected standards of parenting rather using it in its intended context. It is often not understood that the concept of the good-enough mother was embedded in another concept: that of ‘the nursing triad’. Winnicott acknowledged that support for mothers is necessary to mothering. The author did not have an expectation that mothers could be ‘good-enough’ without the support of either the child’s father, or another supportive adult. On the contrary, Winnicott acknowledged that mothering would be very difficult without support: this was a concept that he applied to all mothers.  
Read more Winnicott’s ‘good-enough’ mother

On being one of the #hiddenhalf at We Mixed Our Drinks

Cross-posted from: We Mixed Our Drinks
Originally published: 17.07.17


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“Some professionals just ask are you coping, are you OK? And think that is all they need to ask but this is a very closed question and too easy for a woman just to say yes when she could be crying out for someone to notice her or help her.” 
New research from the NCT has found that around half of new mothers’ mental health issues don’t get picked up by a healthcare professional. Consequently, the organisation has launched a new campaign – Hidden Half – to raise awareness and push for better postnatal care that will identify and treat more cases of postnatal depression (PND) and associated conditions. A key focus of the campaign is making sure the existing checkup that takes place six weeks after giving birth looks at the mental health of mothers – something that doesn’t always currently happen.
I want to talk about my own experiences in the wider context of postnatal mental health issues developing later on, after those first few weeks following the birth. I want to do this because I know from personal experience that it’s easy to dismiss symptoms when they’re not what you think PND looks like, when you’re busy and when very few people take the time to ask. I’ve never written about this in detail before, but having done a lot of processing of my experiences over the past few years having come to the point of understanding much more about how to practice good self-care, I’m hoping it will be useful, in some way, to at least someone.


Read more On being one of the #hiddenhalf at We Mixed Our Drinks

Am I In Control?, by @cwknews

Cross-posted from: Stephanie Davies Arai
Originally published: 21.05.17

Control is a bit of a dirty word isn’t it? It’s had a bad press anyway, it has connotations. I have been told in the past “you’re too controlling” and found it impossible to defend myself against that accusation, it’s very slippery – do I say “No I’m not!” or is that too controlling of the agenda? I think what I have done in response is to laugh carelessly as I imagined a really laid-back person would do, trying desperately hard to show that I could let go.

It is good to be laid-back, chilled, careless and able to let go. I have read that.

It is not a good image these days to control, to be controlling, to be uptight, to try hard to make things happen the way you want, to not go with the flow
Read more Am I In Control?, by @cwknews

The Problem with “As a Mother…”, at @JumpMag

Cross-posted from: Salt & Caramel
Originally published: 24.08.17

When a sentence begins with ‘As a mother…’, it’s generally a bad sign. This rarely heralds an insightful observation, as Andrea Leadsom demonstrated. The discussion will continue around the political wrangling, but I wanted to pause for a moment and consider the idea that motherhood grants a woman anything other than the ability to cook meals one-handed while holding a wailing baby.

As a Mother…

I’ve changed. It would be impossible not to. The focus of my life has shifted, and the opinions and feelings of others need to be taken into consideration. I’m sure this is true for most parents, not just mothers.

As a mother, I became aware of different aspects of life that I hadn’t considered. When my kids were babies, I noticed that dropped kerbs and accessible buses meant that I could get around the town easier. It made me pause and consider that the inconvenience of using a pram or buggy was a temporary one, unlike those in wheelchairs, who are often prevented from using a bus because the buggy space is full.

As my children grew, their needs changed. From searching for restaurants with bottle-warming and baby-change facilities to ones with a play area or colouring books, to ones with free wifi as the kids reached their teens.

I noticed the differences in pre-school child-care between UK and Germany where we lived when the kids were little, and became aware of the high costs that were a burden to many families in UK.

They started school and I became more interested in the education systems in the countries in which we lived. The way in which the world treated my daughter in comparison to my son affected me and encouraged me to become more feminist, more politically active.

In the coming years, I’ll take more of an interest in further education, colleges, apprenticeships. We are already starting to think about paying for the college years, how to enable our kids to buy property, giving them a good start in life.

Parenting is not a science. Sure, there are studies about breastfeeding, attachment parenting, education systems and more, but there is no ‘right’ way to parent children because every child has different needs.

My experiences have given me insights into many aspects of life. Maternity provisions, child-friendly products and services, child-care and education, housing requirements for families, feminism… but this is all from my perspective, as a educated white woman with a comfortable home life and loving family. Other parents will have taken a very different view on life, based on their experiences.

And others base their world-view on experiences in other walks of life. I can’t speak with authority on what it is like to work as an academic or a researcher. I don’t know what it feels like to be so poor that you don’t know how to get through the week. As much as I can empathise with the struggles and support the rights of people of colour, I can’t walk in their shoes. Why should my life experiences be any more valuable just because I am a mother?

The insights gained as a mother shaped my opinions; they don’t make my opinions any more valid than those of the next person. And they certainly don’t make me more suited for political office  than a childless person.

 

Featured Image by Priscilla Westra/Unsplash

 

Salt and Caramel is a blog about the sweet and the bitter side of life. Freelance writer Lynn Schreiber shares tips on Social Media, blogging and parenting, reviews products and events, and highlights issues surrounding the rights of women and girls. (@JumpMag)

On Night Lights and Living Vicariously through my 3 Year Old, at Never Trust a Jellyfish

Cross-posted from: Never Trust a Jellyfish
Originally published: 07.09.17

As a parent, you learn new things every day. Some you learn through research and experience, while others you just sort of stumble across by pure chance. It was during one of these epiphanies that I realized something ridiculously obvious: childhood is just an endless stream of ‘phases’ stuck together in a haphazard manner.

Kids are perpetually going through ‘phases’ and if it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Telling yourself that it’s ‘just a phase’ is all well and good till you realize that even if this particular phase ends soon, another will inevitably take it’s place and the cycle will start all over again.
Read more On Night Lights and Living Vicariously through my 3 Year Old, at Never Trust a Jellyfish

BACK TO SCHOOL (FOR A HOMESCHOOLING FAILURE), by Bauhaus Wife

Cross-posted from: Bauhaus Wife
Originally published: 07.09.17
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I loved homeschooling.  I loved our wild days, and our shoeless kids, and the romps in the field and afternoons in the woods.  I do look back on that time wistfully.  And while I’m not envious exactly, I also feel a certain yearning when I see my friends who homeschool share their posts and the photos of their classrooms in the treetops and meadows and cozy living rooms.
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Homeschooling, for most kids, is, I think, optimal. Just as it’s my conviction that home birth is optimal.  Do I need to specify that I mean “optimal” within the context of “normal” circumstances?  Oh I do. Alright then.  That’s what I mean.


Read more BACK TO SCHOOL (FOR A HOMESCHOOLING FAILURE), by Bauhaus Wife

The Wifework of Empathising with Absentee Fathers’ Struggles, by @LucyAllenFWR

Cross-posted from: Reading Medieval Books
Originally published: 17.06.17

Perhaps it’s inevitable that, the same week the Guardian decide to publish a moving, impressive tribute to two young men publicising the toxic and predictable effects of violent masculinity, they’d also ruin all that good work by printing this piece, to destroy my ever-fragile faith in the male of the species.

(Kidding. I love men, me, and I think it’s totally important to keep saying that.)

Julian Furman, the author of the piece that so irritates me, nobly explains his history. ‘I … pressured my wife to start a family,’ he blithely explains, as if ‘pressuring’ someone to risk their health for nine months is a perfectly normal marital dynamic and not something to feel deeply ashamed of doing. But Furman seems to imagine this admission will endear him to readers, coming (as it does) hot on the heels of an overwritten depiction of how he tried to punch his father who, it seems, committed the crime of being concerned about his son’s emotional health. After a lengthy whinge about how awful it is not to be the centre of attention when you have a newborn, and how terrible it must be to actually have to do some of the childcare instead of living separately from your family and calling it ‘sacrifice’, Furman ends with an impassioned plea: men need to be heard. Silence is deadly. To begin, all that is required is for us to talk.


Read more The Wifework of Empathising with Absentee Fathers’ Struggles, by @LucyAllenFWR

Nothing Like A Toddler to Dash Your Feelings of Self-Importance

Cross-posted from: Never Trust a Jellyfish
Originally published: 08.12.16

3 Year old: Mommy let’s go to the big bouncy place!

Me: Ok Lilly, we’ll go tomorrow. Do you want to go alone or with friends?

3: No friends!

Me: Ok, go alone then?

3:  Not alone mommy, I want to go with you!

Me: Awwww, that’s so sweet, I’d love to go with you. 
Read more Nothing Like A Toddler to Dash Your Feelings of Self-Importance

Tiffany Dufu’s ‘Drop the Ball’: Women Blaming Themselves, Again, by @LucyAllenFWR

Cross-posted from: Reading Medieval Books
Originally published: 14.04.17

A quick post, in irritation. Today, I read in the Guardian that women should expect more of their partners, and less of themselves. Not terrible advice (though not really a revelation either). The article is a puff piece for a book I never plan to buy, written by new mother and bringer of epiphanies to the oblivious, Tiffany Dufu. In her book, so we are told, Dufu describes her revelatory experience navigating the return to work after her first child’s birth, and her growing realisation that her partner would have to do some of the work around the home, since they both had full time jobs. The experience that brought on this revelation sounds depressingly familiar. Back from a full day of work, while struggling with breastfeeding difficulties, Dufu heard her husband return home to the meal she had prepared, past the dry-cleaning she had picked up, only to dump his dirty plates in the sink for her to clean.


Read more Tiffany Dufu’s ‘Drop the Ball’: Women Blaming Themselves, Again, by @LucyAllenFWR

Is It OK If Other People Discipline Your Child? by @cwknews

Cross-posted from: Communicating with Kids
Originally published: 05.06.16

other people discipline your childI was on BBC Radio Tees last week discussing whether it’s ever OK if other people discipline your child (you can listen here, from about 01.29.00) , which made me think we’ve come full circle: in my parents’ generation it went without saying that it was everyone’s duty to do so. ‘Bobbies on the beat’ would give kids a clip round the ear if they were caught stealing apples or being ‘cheeky.’

It’s surprising to me that some people have such strong views that you should never discipline another child, until they state the reason: “because THAT’S THE PARENTS’ JOB” and then I get it. Parents these days! No authority!

To inject some nuance into the discussion, there’s a huge difference between different parents, some of whom I have great sympathy for and some of whom I don’t.
Read more Is It OK If Other People Discipline Your Child? by @cwknews

10 Things My Toddlers Found Boring Today by Never trust a jellyfish

Cross-posted from: Never Trust a Jellyfish
Originally published: 16.11.16

You know how kids pick up a new word and suddenly they’re using it all the time and it’s completely adorable? And you know how it’s adorable for maybe the first few hours and then it’s maybe not all that adorable?

Yes, that.

Lilly recently discovered the allure of the word ‘boring’ and for the last week or so, everything and anything has been enthusiastically described as ‘boring’.

What exactly has she been calling boring? Well here’s 10 things she insisted were ‘boring’ just today:

1) The moon

How exactly can the moon be boring? No idea. I suppose it does just sit there without hype or glamour or neon disco lights so it could appear boring to a toddler..

Super-moon
Though I’m sure Mother Nature would beg to differ (image courtesy ABCnews.com)


Read more 10 Things My Toddlers Found Boring Today by Never trust a jellyfish

How do we talk about mother’s day? at Positive and Promise

Cross-posted from: Positive & Promise
Originally published: 10.05.14

The older I get, the more capacious the significance of Mother’s Day becomes.

Yet this has very little to do with biology. For one thing, I am not a mother myself. In the most simplistic, Hallmark card terms, I identify as “daughter” in each relationship that is traditionally relevant to the holiday. Daughter, granddaughter, and, soon, daughter-in-law.

I by no means want to diminish these relationships; each is dear to me, and I will talk about them in this post. But I find myself frustrated by the biologically essentialist emphasis upon blood lineage perpetuated by this holiday. Women create exquisitely intimate ties amongst themselves, ties transcending and circumventing bloodlines. Lineage is not exclusively chromosonal. Motherhood, while important for its conceptual origins in biological connectivity, carries an even richer meaning when we widen the breadth of its reach.
Read more How do we talk about mother’s day? at Positive and Promise

Getting pregnant won’t ruin your life: teenage girls, pregnancy and myths

Cross-posted from: Slutocracy
Originally published: 12.04.13

As Doortje Braeken noted in her telegraph column, “we’re not teaching young women about teenage motherhood because we don’t believe it’s a good idea because we do see that it reduces a woman’s future choices.” She went on to say that personal choice is absolutely sovereign. I fully agree with Doortje Braeken but I want to highlight the issue of believing that pregnancy limits choices.

Because the idea that starting a family at a younger age somehow magically limits a woman’s choices is absurd. If you’re under 16 it is the law that you have to go to school so even if a young parent wants to stay home with their child, they can’t. No university will ban you from attending because you are a mother or father and it’s the norm for older or mature students to be parents. If older students are often parents why are younger students assumed to be unable to cope? And that’s without considering the fact that while kids take up lots of time and attention, many students work while studying so it’s not like being childfree means you have unlimited reserves of time.
Read more Getting pregnant won’t ruin your life: teenage girls, pregnancy and myths

THINK OF ME AS LOVING YOU STILL by @_ssml

Cross-posted from: Fish Without a Bicycle
Originally published: 15.10.15

My second to last day on the land I threw away the black leather jacket that I had been wearing to shoot the Night Stage in for the last five years. A very persistent mother mouse had established a nest in an inside pocket and in the process destroyed the lining of my beloved (and iconic, to me) jacket. That jacket was one of the last personal items I let go of on the Land this year, but it was far from being the only. In fact, this year on the Land I ended up losing many things that I knew I would never see again.  I lost the labrys that I wore in the lapel of my jacket on Saturday night, my brand new Michfest hoodie, a one-of-a-kind hand crafted metal earring, a beautiful bouquet of feathers that a Sister presented me with as a gift of gratitude for my work, at least two lens caps, some brand new socks and finally the tent a friend had gifted to me seven years ago – the year my daughter came to the Land as a four month old infant. My tent was badly damaged by the aforementioned persistent mother mouse and a tree that fell on top of the tent, resulting in a ripped rainfly. The mouse came through the bottom of my tent and the tree came through the top. No, the tent was not tarped, I know, I know, I know. My point is,  there were few days that some part of my mind was not occupied by my relationship to the things I had to let go of. I was given plenty of opportunity to remind myself that the most magical, comforting and even practical of “my” things have the potential to pass right through my hands and that both possession and permanence are illusions of my heart and mind. Everything changes. Every single thing reaches a moment of completion. In big ways and small ways we are always moving through and toward and away from the things, the places and the people we have loved, cherished and tried to hold on to in our lifetimes. 
Read more THINK OF ME AS LOVING YOU STILL by @_ssml

Mother at The Feminist Poet

Cross-posted from: The Feminist Poet
Originally published: 30.03.14

My earliest memory was you
Being wheeled away by green men
A checkered blanket on your knees
Doubled over
Then pushing my tiny thumb up against your brass jean button
The stars making a dent
I would watch you roll your cigarette
In one hand
The other holding a book
Or tea
Your laugh
Faultless and compelling
You’d brush shimmering lilacs
Dusty blues
Dusky pinks
On cheekbones and browbones I desired
Your mouth an Oh
As you traced the line of the lid
In kohl
Pitch black lashes
A Chrissie Hynde fringe
Black vest
And converse boots
I stole your leather Jacket with the fringes
I’m sorry I never told you
When I smell nail polish
You are here
When I smell leather or Patchouli
You are here
My first love
My idol
The one I’ve always hoped I could match
To be for him
What you are for me

 

The Feminist Poet: A Shout from the DarkI am The Feminist Poet and this is my blog. You will find poems, fables, allegories and fairytales inside. Sometimes the hardest things to hear are easiest heard through poetry. And for me, the hardest things to hear are the stories of the women, my sisters and the daily battles they face. This blog is for them.

On Dealing with Feelings of Inadequacy at Never Trust a Jellyfish

Cross-posted from: Never Trust a Jellyfish
Originally published: 04.08.16

I miss work. I miss the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it, I miss the daily challenge.

Not that I don’t have ‘work’ as a stay at home mom, this is after all a 24/7 sort of gig. And it is also probably the most fulfilling and contentment-inducing job out there, but damn it it’s just not the same!

motherhood
I don’t regret giving up a career to raise a family, I honestly don’t, hell I’d make the same choice again in a heart beat, but there’s a lot that comes with this new role that you can’t truly understand till you feel if. I may be exactly the same person with the same personality, but people and society just see me differently. There’s a change in perspective, a paradigm shift, when you go from ‘working person’ to ‘stay at home mom’, and even though I know that’s not who I am, living and interacting in this society just makes me see myself the way they see me.
Read more On Dealing with Feelings of Inadequacy at Never Trust a Jellyfish