Just because I’m a mother doesn’t mean I have to be a saint.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would become a mother.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been the odd girl who didn’t go all coocoodedoo when I saw a baby.

Even as a teen I watched my friends, perplexed at their desire to hold any baby that came within arms length.

Personally I wanted to run in the opposite direction.

I cringed when this smelly, wrinkly, defenceless bundle of scream was put on my lap.

Fast forward to age twenty seven and you find me sitting on a toilet seat staring at those cursed pink stripes.

I thought my life was over.

I thought of my mother and her absolute shock in finding out her daughter was pregnant.  She wasn’t.

I thought of my grandmother and her horror in finding out her granddaughter was pregnant.  She wasn’t.

Outside my now husband was jumping up and down in jubilation phoning the entire fucking world with the news.

I was in shock.

I was angry.

I was bawling my eyes out.

This was not the deal I had with God.

But apparently her plans were different from mine.

So I did the only thing I could think of doing at the time.

I started eating.

And eating.

And eating.

I suspect that the poor cashiers would ring up those packets of chocolate brownies as fast as they could, fearing that I would eat them as well if they didn’t hurry up.

I didn’t do pregnancy well at all.

In all honesty I fucking hated being pregnant.

I felt sick all the time.

I would carry a vomit bag in my car not sure I would make the trip home each day.

I couldn’t stand the smell of toilet cleaner and would lie green on my bed at night wanting to die.

People would say I had that beautiful pregnancy glow and I would think to myself “You stupid motherfucker, I’m not glowing I’m sweating because there’s too much fat on my body for me to cope with the heat!”

Have I mentioned that I didn’t do pregnancy well at all?

I was so afraid of doing it wrong.

Everyone told me not to worry.  They told me the moment that baby is put in your arms everything changes and my mother gene will kick in and it will be perfect.

The bastards lied.

Pregnancy was followed by babyhood with excruciating breastfeeding, shitty nappies, vomit, screaming – so much screaming!

And then just when the baby screams stopped the toddler tantrum screams started.

FUUUUUUUCK!

Of course then I did it all again with baby number two.

This time around I went into full blown depression.

It felt as if nobody understood my private hell called motherhood.

Everyone else just seemed to get it right.

It was like there was a secret club that I was not being let into.

Like there was some godforsaken book that I didn’t read.

Whenever I tried to explain that God clearly made a mistake and somebody needed to tell me The Secret, I would be given a cup of tea or a glass of wine and pacified by cooing mothers telling me it will be okay.

It wasn’t fucking okay.

I would look in the mirror and be absolutely horrified by the overweight body screaming at me.

I was exhausted all the time.

The kids were there all the time!

No matter how early or late.

No matter what I was doing at the time.

I remember years where my greatest desire was to go to the toilet in peace!

Just once!

Closing the door and being able to pee on my own!

Was that really too much to ask?

For more than a decade I honestly felt that I as woman was a complete and utter failure.

I didn’t have what it takes.

I dishonoured the pure word motherhood.

I was a disgrace.

And why wouldn’t I feel that way?

Like Cinderella and Snow White and every other love story that little girls were brought up with, the Stork is complete and utter bullshit.

Except nobody ever had the balls to say it.

Nobody spoke about what really happens behind closed doors.

Instead we took our own shame of feeling inadequate and faulty and we turned it onto our sisters.  We didn’t want to own our shit so we would criticise others who showed any sign of weakness.

I should know.

I was normally that target.

Wanna know what I believe now?

I believe that my kids chose me because they sat in heaven with their little cherub wings and thought to themselves ‘Now who will be the most badass mother to teach me how to thrive?”

And they picked me.

ME!

Not the perfectly groomed mothers who seem to have eight arms at any given time.

Not the cooing gorgeous blondes with their perfectly manicured nails and designer pregnancy dresses.

I used to look at those women and hate them!  I used to wish for a nail to break or for a coffee to spill just once!

Now I look at them and I smile.

I think how wonderful that we live in a world where some souls came here to be perfect mothers.  It’s their joy.  It’s their purpose.

It completely fulfils them.

And then we have souls who came here to build companies, run marathons, burn supper, and raise a couple of future leaders in the process.

And it’s all good.

There is no one better than the other.

We all have our purposes.

And that my Darling is the truth.

Today I want to say to you that you don’t have to be a fucking saint just because you gave birth to a baby.

You are allowed to feel like shit when you wake up exhausted and all you want is to get that first pee in on your own before the screaming starts.

You’re allowed to look at your body aghast at the impact of five thousand and sixty two chocolate brownies in nine months.

You’re allowed to cry.

You’re allowed to scream.

You’re allowed to do whatever the fuck you want to.

It’s all good.

It’s all part of the journey.

It’s all part of remembering not to loose yourself in a label.

It’s all part of finding your joy regardless of how your life circumstances change.

It’s all about remembering that at any given time you have the power to choose your emotions.

And if that emotion is pissed off for now, then give yourself permission to feel pissed off.

I have to say I think today’s young women are doing it way better than my generation ever did.  For one thing maternity clothes are gorgeous!  Have you girls seen the shit we had to wear???

It’s almost as if they are remembering the way motherhood was done hundreds of years ago.

They are also way more open in talking about the reality of motherhood.

There’s less shame in admitting that it’s not all photoshopped moments.

Less.

But it’s still there.

Like so many other things that we as women have taken to shame ourselves and each other.

We’re quite good at the shame thing.

Shame about our language.

Shame about our bodies.

Shame about our beliefs.

Shame about our relationships.

Shame about our ambitions.

Shame about our money.

So much fucking shame!

How about we start cutting ourselves some slack sisters??

How about we start a different conversation?

How about we start a real conversation whereby we own our humanity and explore what that really means?  How about we stop being so afraid of what others will think because quite frankly, that doesn’t matter?

The only thing that matters is what YOU think about yourself when you look in the mirror.

Yours is the only opinion that matters.

You are the only one who knows your truth.

All of it.

Not just the glossy highlights that we tend to show others and then wondering why the fuck they get it all wrong making up untrue stories.

Are you even telling yourself the truth?

Or are you too afraid to look deep down and to see what is going on below the surface?

Because that’s where your true power lies.

But most are too afraid to go poke in the dark.

I dare you to go poking around Darling.

I dare you to drop the shame and to start loving yourself.

All of you.

Even all your ‘imperfections’.

I look at my boys and I fucking adore them with all my heart and soul.

I will die for them.

I am so proud of them.

Does that mean I want another baby?

Are you for real????

Have you not just read my blog?

No I don’t want another baby.

Factory has been closed down permanently.

I’m not going for that sainthood medal.

I have my IronMan medal – and that’s enough for me.

What about you?

What do you really want?

Whether you’re a mother or not, it doesn’t matter.

Trust that your kids chose you for a reason.  And I honestly don’t think they chose you to make you miserable (even though it feels like it when they throw themselves down in the isle screaming blue murder).

It’s time for you to own your desires again.  To get past the bullshit stories of why you can’t do it.  Stop using your kids as an excuse not to thrive.  Stop using your shame as an excuse not to show up fully.

Start living the life you hope your kids will have one day.

THAT is the greatest gift you can give your children.

Start being selfish.

It’s the most loving thing you can ever do.

For death is inevitable.  But thriving is a choice.

With love,

Anel

PS:  I’m thrilled to see more and more women seeing past all the societal programming of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, ambitions, desire.  I’m thrilled to see more and more women going inside and finding their own truth, their soul purpose, their passion and taking the action to make it come true.  It’s phenomenal.  What most people don’t see are the coaches these women are working with.  That’s because it’s tough to take this journey as we normally don’t find ourselves in the environments where we feel fully supported to explore our personal truths to unleash our wisdom.  That’s the space I create for my clients.  I have opened up my practice to a select few clients who are ready to step up and own their dreams.  Those who feel called to do the real work so they can make the impact they came here to make.  If you’re ready to take that step and you know I’m that badass bitch who will lovingly kick your ass, then hit me a mail at anel@anelbester.com and let’s connect.  I’ll keep it real because you deserve the truth that will set you free.