‘How are you finding motherhood?’ People would ask shortly after the arrival of my first baby.
‘So great,’ I lied, fighting back the tears. ‘Best thing ever.’
The truth is, I felt like crap.
But I had seen the smiling new mums on Facebook and Instagram holding tiny babies in their arms. I had read the glossy parenting magazines. I knew how I should be feeling. I should be glowing with happiness at the arrival of a beautiful, healthy child. So why wasn’t I?
MY heart is beating fast and I feel sick. I force myself to eat some chocolate because someone said it might help. I take a deep breath and open the door…
The hall is silent except for the occasional cough and the shuffling of chairs. The stench of nervous sweat lingers in the air.
“Turn over your papers, you may begin.”
I look at the clock and I am filled with panic. I feel like I might pass out. I pick up my pen but my palms are so sweaty it is hard to grip it properly. I want to cry. I want to scream, and I really need the toilet.
This was how I felt before every GCSE exam I took. I was 16. This was also how I felt before taking my driving test, aged 22, and my journalism training (NCTJ) exams when I was 24.
Being tested makes us feel anxious. Even the most academic of adults find being in an exam situation stressful, so it’s not hard to imagine how a young child about to sit their Year 2 SATs must feel….
Read more about my thoughts on the impact of testing young children over at The New Statesman!
I also wrote about all the weird and wonderful words for Vagina at Metro UK.…YES. Discussing SATs and vaginas in the same week. I LOVE my job.
I was the mother of two children under two who did not sleep. I was tired, stressed and felt like I hadn’t sat down in years. Of course I needed a holiday. But when you are so sleep-deprived that even a trip to the Big Tesco is a major operation, the mere thought of a holiday can be terrifying.
“The sea air will help the baby sleep,” they said.
“All the excitement will tire the kids out,”’ people assured me.
But I had seen the smiling new mums on Facebook and Instagram holding tiny babies in their arms. I had read the glossy parenting magazines. I knew how I should be feeling. I should be glowing with happiness at the arrival of a beautiful, healthy child. So why wasn’t I? Continue reading →
I am not proud of myself, but sometimes lying (and coffee, so much coffee) is the only way to survive The truth would simply hurt too much (or make you look like a miserable twat) so telling the odd fib is a necessary evil.