I was conditioned to believe that being a mother was menial. By that standard, being a stay-at-home mother amounted to an all out failure. I believed no mother would choose to stay at home - she must have gone wrong somewhere or have no aspirations. I believed this because I grew up in a culture where external success - with all its verifiable benchmarks from degrees and job titles to cash in the bank and a big house - were the only type of achievement to aspire to.
I hid the deep desire to be a mother that I’d carried throughout my childhood in a dark recess of my heart and set out to be a success. I gained a masters degree, founded a company and worked for a number of well-known clients. Kids ruined your life I was told. I’m too selfish and love my life too much to have kids I said. And selfish I was. My external achievements often came at the expense of my own humanity and consideration of others. School and university taught me knowledge of the outside world, but the world I desperately needed to know was within.
Since leaving London in 2016 and the life I created up until that point, I’ve discovered that my greatest achievements are mostly imperceptible to the outside world. Some take place behind the closed doors of my home, some even more invisibly within my own heart. None of them can be measured, yet their impact is seismic.
Choosing to be kind instead of right, forgiveness instead of blame, love instead of fear. Letting people see me in my darkest hours and asking for their support. Holding my husband while he cries and fears rejection because he learnt that boys shouldn’t cry. And allowing my body to open as I roared a baby into this world. A world that would not go around without mothers holding the fort. The more our culture supports and champions mothers and motherhood - and indeed fathers and fatherhood - as we plant love in our children’s hearts, the more of a success our world will be.