One of the biggest myths about being a woman is the belief that you can have it all; at 36 years of age I have undoubtedly learnt that you absolutely cannot.
As good as us ladies are at juggling and multi-tasking, managing a balancing act can only be done for so long before things start to topple over.
The actress Kim Cattrall admitted this week that working 19-hour days during her Sex In The City days prevented her from having children.
With three failed marriages behind her she also says her career has affected previous relationships.
I’m a big fan of Kim, at the age of 61 she looks amazing, she embraces her age and comes across during interviews as a warm, down to earth character.
Hearing her so open and honest about such personal matters is so refreshing and I imagine touched many women who may have had similar experiences.
I did believe that as a woman I could raise a family, be a happy wife and have the career I wanted but for me it definitely didn’t work out that way. The guilt of trying to strike that perfect balance but in reality being too tired to even think became too much for my family and me.
I remember one day having a conversation with myself about what kind of mum I wanted to be and the one I was didn’t measure up to my expectations at the time.
My first year in full time breakfast radio was so consuming that I actually can’t remember much about my home life or special times with my daughter.
My job became who I was, not what I did and when I look back there is this blank space where my family are concerned which makes me really sad.
I am lucky because my husband has a very successful career which means I can now do a little of what I love – radio at weekends - but make him and my children my priority.
I’m aware that this isn’t the case for everyone and some people have to work full time just to keep afloat.
Then there are women like Kim who have very demanding jobs, haven’t found the right man at the right time and some continue with life thinking maybe they still have time. I have a friend in her mid 40s and she hasn’t had any children simply because she has never found the right partner.
Of course there are also women who don’t want children, I know quite a few in the radio industry.
They have great careers and I often think that’s because they don’t have any ties and they can deal with a job that although wonderful is very pressurised and consists of unsociable hours.
People started to tell me my clock was ticking when I was 25 and at the time I didn’t know if I ever would have children, it wasn’t on my radar at all.
I think even though people can’t wait to tell you time is running out to procreate, the majority of women don’t really believe it, myself included. I was 30 when I got married and I felt this urge to have a baby, I didn’t even think there would be an issue and luckily I fell pregnant as soon we started to try.
The second time round was quite different though and I did panic thinking “What if I’ve left it too late?” I was 35, constantly tired from 4am starts, stressed and I felt older than my years, there were a few disappointments and times when I honestly thought it would never happen. Sometimes when you are so engrossed in a new venture time doesn’t seem to matter, it’s easy not to see the years going by. Mums like me will have times when we think ‘what if?” and successful women without kids will also have times when they wonder ‘what if?’ There is no right or wrong answer for anyone; the answer lies with women supporting each other’s choices and realities.
Having recently turned 36 and about to pop with baby number two I’m quite comfortable admitting that I can’t have it all. I envy women like Kim Cattrall who are amazing actresses, beautiful and talented and the irony is she probably envies normal women like you and I, who are drowning in motherhood and trying to still keep a little bit of ourselves alive!
The pressure to be skinny
It makes me so sad to read that American Singer Kelly Clarkson say’s being too thin made her really miserable.
The mum of two admits the pressure to be skinny for the sake of her career resulted in her being at the gym every day and people thinking she was happy because they thought she was healthy.
It baffles me what goes through these music moguls’ minds when they are dealing with talented artists. Why is it so important for them to look like they haven’t eaten a good meal in a long time? What kind of example is it setting to everyone else? Kelly Clarkson has an amazing voice, writes her own music and has more than proved her worth since winning American Idol.
She believes people seem to have an issue with her weight because she doesn’t, but it really isn’t anyone else’s business. So she’s curvier than she once was but she still looks great, does she have to be stick thin to be accepted?
Everyone has a limit to what size he or she will get to before they think ‘right I need to cut down now’ and of course everyone’s limit is different.
I’m always my happiest with my body when I’m between sizes 10-12 but that does come a cost. I have to be really strict with what I eat, train four times a week and limit my weekend glass of prossecco to the odd treat.
We are still judging, shaming and forgetting that size has nothing to do with a person’s talent or personality.
We’ve had a great half term
So nearly at the end of half term and although I’m exhausted I’ve had a great time with my little girl.
If you are anything like me you try and organise something every day in an attempt to keep them entertained.
We’ve had play dates, shopping trip, pizza and pumpkin making. We are going to finish the week with a trip to see the new Little Pony movie; I’m looking forward to napping during that one!
I must admit I do worry how I’ll manage the school holidays once I’ve got a baby as well but I imagine like everything to do with being a mum you just find a way. I love having this special time with Ava-Lilly, it’s great just chatting away with her and not having to rush around in the mornings. Some mum friends of mine told me every night they’ve had to have a G&T to get through it! I’ve just been dreaming about one of those once baby two is here. I don’t actually need anything to make me sleep though, running after my four year old all day is enough to knock anyone out before 10pm!