There are no easy choices

Being a mother is like navigating an army assault course every day, for the rest of your life.  Except the obstacles aren’t the baby (okay, the obstacles are sometimes the baby).  The obstacles are other people, expectations, and self-inflicted guilt and punishment.  Linsey articulates perfectly how that feels.  How everyone’s assault course is different.  How no obstacles are the same.  How you just can’t win, over and over, until you do:    

 

Trust your instincts, ‘mama knows best’ – except when you just don’t know. So then you feel like you’re failing all over again – failing at knowing best, failing at knowing what you are doing, failing because your baby is crying and you don’t know why.

Don’t feed/rock/cuddle your baby to sleep. Leave them to cry, they just want attention. Imagine in the middle of the night, when you have tears running down your face from sheer tiredness and overwhelm and panic and stress and lack of control, imagine being ignored because you just want attention. Of course you do. Everyone does.

Breastfeed but make sure you feel appropriately self-conscious about doing it in public and don’t flaunt it in peoples’ faces. Don’t feel proud of persevering, don’t mention all the many, many obstacles that there can be on a breastfeeding ‘journey’. Keep the conspiracy going that ‘it’s easy’, ‘it’s natural’. Don’t do it for too long though, don’t feed them when they’re too old. Stop at a pre-determined perfect time that no one has informed you or your baby of.  Bottle feed but feel guilty about it, feel self-conscious about doing it in public too and arm yourself with 100 reasons why you aren’t breastfeeding if you are questioned. There’s no guilt- free choice. Guilt driven by society, from other people having opinions on what you should do. You should feed your baby some baby milk. That’s all.

Listen to the experts. Listen to the midwives. Listen to your parents and grandparents. Except they all say something different. Listen to yourself. But you don’t have a clue. Best bit of advice. Don’t listen to Google.

One day it feels easier. You come to terms with it all, get some perspective. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. One day you will feel like you know your baby best. It might be when they can talk, when they shout ‘Mummy, big cuddle’ from their bedroom in the morning, it might be as soon as they are born. One day you will feel it, you will realise that your arms are their home, the thing they look for first and the thing that heals all (or most). But it’s not the same for everyone. Nothing is the same for everyone. Babies are not the same.

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Life Experience
4 interesting thoughts on this

The next chapter

September is coming, and it’s a bittersweet time for parents across the world as they send the most important people in their life off to the big unknown, all wrapped up in freshly-washed school uniform.  Liz absolutely nails the guilt, the pride, the sadness and the hope.  Good luck, darling Tessa.  What an adventure awaits:   

 

Less than two weeks until the start of school. Two weeks until my little one can no longer be classed as a pre-schooler. I hadn’t anticipated the over-whelming raft of emotions this would bring. Starting school is such a perfectly normal event, everyone does it. Yet this time it’s not just anyone, it’s my baby and that is bloody momentous and I’ve not quite come to terms with it.

All the anticipation and excitement  (because there definitely is excitement) is also tinged with the fact that this new milestone is forcing me down memory lane to revisit all the milestones which have come before.

How on earth did nearly five years pass? When did my baby become my little girl? Why didn’t I know that five years is such a short length of time? Why didn’t I spend more time enjoying this time?

She started at nursery when she was eleven months old. A tiny baby unable to walk or talk. I put all my trust in strangers to look after her, care for her, love her whilst I went to work. In the four years since then she has absolutely thrived. Lost all that “baby”ness and transformed into a beautiful, articulate, strong-willed little girl.

Nursery has definitely contributed to this. Yet now I lie in bed at night thinking of all the time that I didn’t spend with her, did I do the right thing? I had the mum guilt when she started nursery, and there have been many times since then (the morning I had to wash her hair twice so that it didn’t smell of the previous nights vomit as I had a meeting I just couldn’t miss – a particular low point). However, that guilt was looking forward to all the times I would miss in the future, ultimately it was in my gift to change things if they weren’t working for us. This new brand of reflective guilt is brutal, it’s thinking of all the things I could have done differently and I have absolutely no way to change it.

I have to rely on the fact that actually she’s become this little person I so love precisely because of the decisions we have made, and I would have a different daughter today if any of it were done differently.

The thought of collecting her from nursery on her last day makes me well up everytime. Saying goodbye to all her little friends, the staff. They’ve been our life for four years. I’m going to need some phenomenal waterproof mascara.

We are ready though, she is ready. She is desperate to make sense of all those letters and numbers she has been slowly deciphering. There’s a whole new world of learning and adventure ahead and she wants to jump right in. As we walked to school for her settling in session she told me that it was more exciting than Christmas.

We are going to be excited together, with big smiles on our faces when we head to school on that first morning. But for just a little while longer I’m going to be sitting here reminiscing. The next chapter is bittersweet.

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
1 interesting thought on this

In which I open a book for the first time in forever*

*18 months

Team. I am sorry. I am embarrassed. What is AOW about, what is our core, if not BOOKS? We are readers; voracious, varied, passionate readers. We have double-stacked bookshelves, we’ve dropped books in the bath, we buy replacement copies of favourites when the weathered spine finally gives up, we sniff the pages of Harry Potter….so that one might just be me?

Anyway.

I know that not all mothers will concur, but holy sherbets my concentration span went.to.shit as a new mum. I was going to say something about not having time to read after Stella and Monty were born, but I’ve realised that it wasn’t time I was lacking - I had a pretty decent amount of that even in the heady days of Colic is Slowly Destroying My Marriage – but focus. In my spare hours I wanted to watch re-runs of Lewis. I wanted to listen to Magic FM and lie in the bath. I wanted to starfish on top of the covers and stare at my bedroom ceiling, or my sleeping baby. I did not want to read. Or rather, I wanted to but I couldn’t fathom actually following a story. I re-read HP, some well-thumbed chick-lit, good old Phillipa Gregory, but nothing new. So many wondrous books passed me by…don’t banish me from the AOW kingdom, will you?

Last year I devoured Station Eleven and was giddy to have my mojo back. Except then I jumped into Life After Life and buuuuuhhhhhhhhhh. Couldn’t get past the first 100 pages. ‘What if I NEVER READ AGAIN?!’ I wailed to my husband. Who didn’t read a single book between finishing Of Mice and Men for GCSE and picking up The Gruffalo for the first time when his daughter was born 14 years later. Wrong audience. Should have come and wailed at you lot.

But! I read a book! Not to go off on a tangent (who, me?) but I learnt to crochet and I genuinely believe this is what helped me re-learn that focus you (I) need to truly read a story. So, yes. I have recently finished a new book. A trilogy, in fact. The Order of Darkness. Yes, it’s written by good old P. Greg but it’s not about the Tudor court so I consider myself to be well-read, once more. And I can feel it coming back. The urge to know another’s story. The need to see a ‘to be read’ pile beside my bed, to feel the heavy comfort of 600 pages of lives lived. And so we come to the point of my rambles. Tell me, dear readers, tell me what I have missed. Tell me who and what to read, tell me where to read them. (I may eschew the latter advice in favour of ‘in bed’ but I am open to suggestions.) Tell me what you’ve loved, what was alright, what sucked (*cough* Life After Life) and tell me, was there a book that changed your life?

I am indebted to you, as ever.

Categories: Books
12 interesting thoughts on this

For Patrick

5 years ago, we were heartbroken - yet honoured – to share with you a post by our wonderful friend Fee. I would not dare try to paraphrase her beautiful, raw words; if you have not read it, I urge you to do so. I think I speak for many, if not all of us, when I say that I try to be the woman at the service station as often as I can.

It’s with infinite love and respect that we welcome Fee back to mark her beautiful baby boy’s 5th birthday.

It’s 2014 and I’m sitting in the GP waiting room with my infant son. A lady around my Mum’s age is sitting by us and starts to chat to me as we wait, as people so often do when you have a baby. As she is called in and stands to leave she says, somewhat wistfully, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are’. I don’t know her story so I smile at her in return but inside there is a voice shouting ‘I do. I really do’.

***

It’s hard to describe where I am, five years later. It seems like yesterday that I wrote on these pages days after we lost Patrick, our first baby boy. It seems like yesterday but also like it was a different life. Five years on I am a mother to two more little boys, something we thought at times would never be possible. Part of Patrick’s legacy is that I find it easy to see the joy in the everyday because I am so grateful for each glorious, ordinary day having lived too many that were extraordinarily sad. I laugh often, worry more, judge less, empathise always. I’ve come a long way for sure but part of me is still in a hospital room on July 27th, 2012, saying goodbye to my little boy.

***

I’ve written before here about the time between Patrick and our second baby, Max; looking back it feels like someone else’s life. I underestimated the impact it had on me, on us, as it was swept away in the sheer brilliance (and of course tiredness) of having a newborn and then a toddler, then being pregnant with a toddler, then having a toddler and a newborn….. It was in fact when our youngest, Jude, was around six months old that it all caught up with me and came crashing down. That is a story for another time but now, after all this time, I feel like I have faced it. I have learnt that part of me will never accept what happened, that it is ok to be angry but equally that I no longer blame myself, that looking forward does not mean never looking back.

***

I feel guilty a lot. Guilty that I have two beautiful children but sometimes still struggle with the aching sadness that it isn’t three. That I am exceptionally fortunate in so many ways, compared to so many people. That across the world there are people fighting for their children in unimaginable circumstances. It is that ‘luckier than some but unluckier than others’ conundrum that leaves me spinning. What happened to us isn’t fair yet it’s so small compared to the plight of others yet it’s so enormous compared to never experiencing a loss at all yet, yet, yet….

***

Less than two years after Max entered our lives, I found myself in another hospital room, metres away from where he was born. I wrote here about Max’s birth which was overwhelmingly joyful but also frantic and unpredictable; fitting for a baby that we had spent the past 18 months fighting for. This time however, things were different – it was just my husband and I in a bright room flooded with December morning light and I was calm. Minutes (seven to be exact) after I told the midwife ‘I really think something is happening’, our little Jude was born. Born into my waiting hands as this time I was ready for what was coming, ready to feel his heart beating against mine, his tiny hand grasping my finger. For the third time in four years I gazed into the face of my newborn son, each time the face an imprint of the one before and I was reminded of what links my three boys. The miracle of new life for sure but more than that the love. The love that broke my heart and then brought me back to life.

***

 

It’s the things I won’t experience that are the hardest. I will never feel his body against mine, seconds old, slippery in my hands. I will never feel his heavy warmth on my chest as I sit hazy with tiredness waiting for the sun to rise. I will never know who he would have been. There is very little I would not give to just be his mother for one day; to hold him, to feel the softness of his cheek against mine. I feel a physical yearning for him that I didn’t really understand until his little brothers were born; it is the feeling we must have to keep our babies safe. It’s the feeling my body can’t switch off even though he’s no longer here. That physical yearning is now somehow a comfort; he may not be here but I have changed. He has changed me.

***

Last week, I met some friends (friends I made right here on AOW) for dinner to celebrate two of our birthdays. Except we weren’t there to celebrate our birthdays I discovered, they had arranged this dinner for me, for me and my first baby boy. They had got together with our wider community and collected an overwhelming sum of money to donate to the neonatal unit at the hospital where our children were born, to mark our baby’s fifth birthday. Alongside this was a book of messages for me, for our family, messages that I will forever treasure as they show that our baby’s tiny life was significant, is remembered. This is just one example of how the people we love show us that they remember him; each gesture is infinitely meaningful and we are indescribably grateful for each one. We have been unlucky for sure but how fortunate we are to be surrounded by so much love.

It is that love that has given us the joyful moments that have slowly balanced the grief and sadness that overcame us five years ago. Love for our children and each other, love for our friends and families that leads us to seek solace in their company; to smile and laugh and feel absolute happiness. The grief and sadness hasn’t diminished but now it is only on certain days that it is weighing heavy. Upon reflection, that is one of the many things I would say to anyone going through similar or not quite so far down this road as us. The joy will come back. Hang on. You are still there. Just hold on.

***

Today I will go to the hospital where all three of my boys were born and leave a gift for the doctors and midwives, thanking them not only for their kindness when Patrick was born but also in gratitude for Max and Jude, both born full term thanks to their wondrous care. Then I will visit the hospital chapel where on this date our baby’s name is displayed in the book of remembrance.  I have stood to read it with his little brothers on the inside and the outside; today they will be standing next to me holding my hands as I wonder how one day I will explain to them about the little boy whose name they both have within theirs. ‘Patrick Hatcher’, it says. ‘27th July 2012. Son of Tom and Fiona’. Five years later, everything has changed yet nothing has. He is still our son. This day still belongs to him. And we are so grateful for the short time we had with him. There is a quote you will see often equated with baby loss that reads ‘I carried you for your whole life, I will love you for all of mine’. And I will, my baby boy, I will.

 

 

 

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Life Experience
8 interesting thoughts on this

The centre cannot hold

There are some lines that get into my blood and under my skin as soon as I read them.  I think of them at particular points in my life.  “The centre cannot hold”, I think, when I recognise that I’m getting close to breaking point.  It sort of comes to me, over and over, starting as a quite hum, then playing out in my head louder and louder, like a mantra.

It’s from The Second Coming by Yeats and was written in the aftermath of the first World War.  The poem is apocalyptic in scale.  The sentiment doesn’t stand alone; the full line in the poem is “Things fall apart; The centre cannot hold;”.

One is a natural consequence of another.  Anything breaks with enough pressure applied in the right places.

The trick is to know where you’re weakest.

Read More »

Categories: Life Experience, Written By Anna
10 interesting thoughts on this

Something Just Like This

Disclaimer: you guys KNOW what I’m like. Anna calls me the Baby Loon…about sums me up. It’s long, it’s wordy, it’s two birth stories in one and you’ll need a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits to get through it…but here it is…

At the end of March in 2015 I was 39 weeks pregnant with a very wriggly little boy called Monty Bernard. A day of very little movement led me to pop to hospital to be monitored – just for reassurance, I was probably imagining it all - and from there everything went, not wrong, at all, but… off-course, I suppose? His heart rate was ok, he was ok. Pure relief. But I wasn’t imagining the lack of movement, he very simply was. not. moving. For anyone or anything. I was admitted to the antenatal ward overnight for constant monitoring and would be seen first thing to discuss induction. I didn’t know where my head was, I was alone and terrified and when Philip arrived at 7am the next day I thought I would die from crying. A scan was ordered, to check in on our wee boy and when the sonographer placed the wand just under my ribs, there, impossibly clear and beautiful, was a perfect round baby head. Very much NOT fully engaged in my pelvis as my midwife had been confidently telling me for months. (I never liked her anyway.)

This breech diagnosis led to a very resigned senior team of medics (and my very apprehensive husband) firmly talking me down from my plans to deliver vaginally regardless of Monty’s position. I was completely against trying to turn him, leaving a caesarean section as our delivery option. In all honesty I was heartbroken. I cried and I cried and I wished that everything was different. We were to return to the hospital 2 days later for pre-operative checks. As simple as that. However, when we did – by now fully on board with the idea of an elective caesarean (ELCS) after hours of soul-searching and, yes, more crying -  the little sod was head-down, prompting a bit of head-scratching but lots of smiles from doctors and midwives alike. We were sent on our merry way to wait for labour to begin naturally and with our heads spinning and aching from the dramas of the previous 72 hours. To sum up the following ten days, I felt excessive movement from Monty all hours of every day, growing more and more anxious and despite repeated attempts to contact my midwife and the consultant we’d seen, I was 41 weeks before I was seen again. Lo and behold, our boy was breech again. This time there was very little discussion, a diagnosis of unstable lie was mooted and Monty arrived 14 hours later by, according to our notes, ‘elective’ caesarean.

The surgery itself, the arrival of Master Monty, it was incredible. It was calm and exciting and fascinating and we were all looked after as though we were the only people in the world. I would never hesitate to extoll the virtues of an ELCS, when it is the way your baby needs to arrive. I will forever be thankful that Monty arrived safely and as beautifully as he did, but I was beside myself that the black and white breech diagnosis a fortnight before could have resulted in a very different outcome. Unstable lie can have dramatic and devastating consequences and we are lucky, so lucky, that we had the outcome we did. So, it was the right decision, if a little late in the day. Why am I wanging on about it 2 years later? Well, because, for me, the very worst thing about having the surgery was the effect it was going to have on any subsequent pregnancies. If I were to get pregnant again, I would have to venture into the confusing world of the VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Caesarean. And that is where Clara’s story begins. Read More »

Categories: Any Other Baby
12 interesting thoughts on this

Behind Closed Doors: They Will Not Break Us

 

 Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

This is your place for those subjects. A place for you to tell those tales you’d not considered telling before. No names, no justifications, no apologies.

You can send your BCD submissions to us and we promise that you’ll remain at. nonymous throughout the entire process

 

Today I feel profoundly sad.

 

Sad that I’m seeing such terrible acts on the news, sad that my life is suddenly shrouded in this horrible cloak of hatred.

 

Sad that my friends have lost loved ones in the terror attacks in the U.K. and abroad and sad that it has divided people.

 

Sad that my nieces and nephews grow up in a world that knows this fear.

 

Sad that my friends have stopped their teenagers going to concerts when my mum’s only worry was that I’d return slightly drunk, a hippy and with multicoloured hair (which I did, but it dyed more of her bathroom grout than actually made an impact on me) when other mothers now have to worry about their children being shot.

 

Sad that I hear comments in my place of work like “why don’t they just go home” from seemingly intelligent people where I just want to say “what, to Manchester?” while the amazingly kind-hearted Muslim girl that sits next to me shifts in her seat.

 

I could let this break me, we could all let this break us. But the fact is the extremists will not make us scared, they will force us together. They will pull us into a united front and make us stand against this hidden enemy.

 

In an unknown world with political turmoil, we are British, we are multicultural and I am proud to be a member of this society.

 

They will not break us. This is the nation where a guy gripped onto his pint running away from a terror attack. We are known for our solidarity. We are known for our stiff upper lip. You will not beat us!

 

Now… who’s for a cuppa?

Categories: Uncategorized
2 interesting thoughts on this

Behind Closed Doors: Being There

At Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

This is your place for those subjects. A place for you to tell those tales you’d not considered telling before. No names, no justifications, no apologies.

You can send your BCD submissions to us and we promise that you’ll remain anonymous throughout the entire process.

 

I am reminded daily of my mother; she is hard to avoid.  She pops up whenever motherhood is even briefly in the air, when a colleague talks about their children, when a friend mentions theirs, in advertising, on social media, on television, in  emails telling me I should buy her flowers on the 26th.  She is everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

I sat in the back row at her funeral, my unendingly supportive husband gripping my hand.  It had been just over 13 years since she had left us and we’d met only twice in that time, both on horribly sad family occasions.  I couldn’t bear to look at her, I was so angry still, even after all those years.  Just like I was angry as I tried to push my way through my GCSEs (she left in the middle of them), as I dropped out of my A Levels (I had never failed at anything before then), as I gave up on the career I had always dreamed of and pushed myself up the ladder of one I had never even considered to be for me.  Needs must.

Just like I was angry when I was ill and she had no idea; when my heart was broken and she wasn’t there.  Just like when she missed my wedding day, the day that I had become sure would never happen because what she had done meant I could barely believe someone could really love me as unconditionally as (I now know) my husband does.

Just like I was angry when she took her own life.  When she sentenced me to a lifetime of fear that 16 year old me telling her I didn’t want to see her eventually lead to that.  When she committed the ultimate selfish act.

And I am angry now.  I am angry because for all my outward insistence that I’m not sure I ever want to have my own children I know deep down that actually, I really do.  And I am angry because I am afraid.  I’m so very afraid that I will do what she did.  Afraid that I will resent my children so much that I will be incapable of loving them forever the way a mother is supposed to, the way that she was supposed to love me.

But I am also determined, aways have been, and she couldn’t take that away (not least because I clearly did not get it from her).  That un-planned career is going very well; my husband is utterly amazing and tells me every single day how much he loves me; I have the most grounding, faithful and infinitely patient friends you could ever wish for.

I will never have her again, and I can’t even remember any of the good times I am sure we did have together when I was small, but I will always have the strength she gave me when she walked away.  The strength I have had to build up to keep going and the strength that I am reminded of daily when she comes to mind.

Perhaps one day, not too far away, that strength will be enough for me to be sure that I could bring my own children in to this world and give them strength and determination too, but instead of it being rooted in a need to get by, that strength and determination will be borne out of a daily reminder that I will always be there for them.  No matter what.

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
7 interesting thoughts on this

Behind Closed Doors: Radicalised by the Internet

At Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

This is your place for those subjects. A place fo07r you to tell those tales you’d not considered telling before. No names, no justifications, no apologies.

You can send your BCD submissions to us and we promise that you’ll remain anonymous throughout the entire process.

Since AOW closed for business I think we’ve all been struggling to find our internet tribes. Some of us have quite happily settled into the mummy blogging/insta routine. Some of us have dangerously dallianced with the dark side and it’s oh-so-pretty interiors. And some of us have floundered around not knowing quite where we fit. Apparently being a thirty something woman with no children who had a total bastard of a time trying to move house automatically precludes you from quite a lot so I mainly fitted into the latter category. Sure I read The Pool and Stylist and Standard Issue from time to time, but they weren’t mine, they weren’t home.

Which is how (somewhat ironically given my aforementioned lack of sprog) I ended up on mumsnet. Specifically the FWR bit of the site. I don’t join in much but I read a lot and it’s led me to some sites and some twitterers I’m really pleased to have found. And they have one thing in common – they’re all ‘radical’ feminists.
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Categories: Behind Closed Doors, Politics and Feminism
27 interesting thoughts on this

Big girl pants

Oh, readers.  Do we have a belter of a post for you today.  From the one and only Katielase.  You’ll know her as the “cake-baking science nerd triathlete” (as I once described her).  I don’t know many women who won’t feel this post touch the most uncomfortable parts of their insides.  It’s brave, it’s honest, it’s unflinching.  Much respect to you, KL.  It’s not easy, doing what you’re doing.  But it’s so, so necessary.  Here we go:    

This is a story of a journey, a journey so far, not completed but begun, at least.

This year I am not trying to lose weight. I think this is the first time in my adult life that I can honestly say this. And I say it while weighing the most I have ever weighed (apart from that time I had a nearly 9lb baby inside me). That nearly 9lb baby girl though, is the reason I started trying not to try to lose weight.

I’d read so many articles and studies and research showing that girls are developing body image issues at younger and younger ages, and it was clear across the board that one of the best ways to protect them against this as a mother was to deal with your own body image issues. I never wanted my daughter to hate her body, so I started to try and stop hating my own.
It was hard. It really was, and is, hard. I have worked at this for the past few years, since I pushed her out and my body changed irrevocably, but now I can honestly say I can look at myself in the mirror and I don’t hate what I see. I don’t love it yet, it’s not a journey completed as I said, but most of the time I don’t hate it. I don’t wish half of it away. I don’t jump straight to my flaws. I see myself and I feel okay. I try to treat my body with kindness.

This is an empowerment for me. Particularly so because I am a reluctant anarchist, a deeply anxious rule-breaker, it does not come naturally to me not to just do what I am told. I’ve been called a teacher’s pet, a goody-two-shoes, and I will own those things, because it is quite quite true. But this, this is for me. I started for her but it’s for me now. I deserve this. I deserve to look at myself in the mirror and be happy. I am breaking the rules by doing it, because the rules say I should want to lose at least 5 stone, I should want to skim down my hips and tone up my thighs, I should want my cheekbones to stand out and my waist to go in and my bum to perk up but I am refusing to want that, I am resisting. I am breaking the rules and it feels amazing.

Read More »

Categories: Body Image, Health, Life Experience
39 interesting thoughts on this

About

Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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