This is Me ...
What already feels like so long ago, there was a young woman
who lived her life to the full. Her only priorities were for
herself and her career. The girl woke up, casually picked her
clothes for the day ahead, and carefully applied her make-up.
Public transport brought peace and relaxation as she sat with
her own thoughts.
Little did the young woman know that her whole world was
going to change, and she would find times when she didn’t
recognise herself or her own thoughts.
This book was created from my real experiences as a new
mum, single mum, working mum, stay at home mum,
business mum, a loving wife and a very rewarding ending.
I haven't held back with my thoughts, feelings and
confessions, even though at times I did hesitate. But I truly
believe that we can find ourselves instinctively holding back
from the fear of being judged, discriminated against and not
I couldn’t imagine opening up and talking about my worries,
fears and weaknesses when I first became a mother. But three
children and my own business later, I feel I can encourage
other mothers to open up and not fall victim to what they’re
told motherhood should look, sound and behave like.
You don't need to have the tidiest of homes, wear your hair
perfect every day, speak about only the positive side to
motherhood and you don't have to behave like you have
nothing else in the world that you would like to achieve. It's
okay not to mirror other mothers and it's okay to get it wrong
sometimes; we’re all human. Everything in my own journey,
from being a Royal Navy engineer fixing gas turbines to a
single mum changing nappies, happened to create the reason
and experience that I needed to be able to write this book.
Hopefully I can support so many wonderful women and
mothers across the world who are feeling trapped in an
identity that is unfamiliar to them.
I refer to the word identity multiple times. I want you to
understand that before I had my children, my identity was
solely me, Clare. I had my first son at a young age of twenty. I
thought becoming a mother had taken away a piece of my
own identity. In reality, and what I have mindfully accepted
now, having all three of my children didn't take anything
away from my own identity, like I was led to believe and
made to feel by outside influences.
It was often simple conversations that stayed with me.
Moments like when I was attending my first midwife
appointment and I was told by a lady in the waiting room that
my hair looked nice, but I wouldn’t have time to do it when
the baby came. She said that new mums don’t get time to do
anything they want to. It felt like even the small things, like
spending time on my appearance, would be taken away from
I wish I had known then that my children would add to my
identity in a beautiful and powerful way, and that I would still
have time for me. But for a period of my motherhood journey
I was so clouded with negativity and listening to what others
thought, that I nearly missed out on so many beautiful
opportunities for me and my family.
Using my own experience to help support other women is one
of the most rewarding gifts I could have ever imagined
possessing. I want my readers to appreciate just how amazing
you all are when you allow yourselves to ‘just be you’.
We all have different roles throughout our lives. Sometimes
we are career driven and other times we focus on raising a
family, most of the time it’s both simultaneously, but no matter
what role you choose to take, this shouldn’t define you as a
person or change your identity. Yes, all these roles will lead
you down different paths, some not being as easy to walk
down as others, but that shouldn't stop us.
I like to think of these paths like this; if one path has more
stones on than the other and begins to hurt your feet, what
should you do? Put on suitable shoes, right? If one path is full
of cold and rain what should you do? Wrap up and use an
umbrella, right? So now that you have that mindset ask
yourself if your life gets a bit tougher, what should you do?
The answer for me would be to protect and shield myself, do
For me a life of teaching would have been wonderful. I
enjoyed being around children so much and a part of me
wanted to take the next steps from being a teaching assistant
and gain the qualifications needed to have my own class. But
in reality, it wasn’t the right time for me when this
opportunity came up. Instead I made the decision to return
home every night, as I had a long commute and was a single
mum with two young children. I’m not saying it isn’t
possible, but I didn’t have the belief in my own identity at the
time to make the changes for this to happen. I felt that I
couldn’t ask for help and that I would be judged for spending
time on my hair, never mind further education and a new
Now, ten years later, I’m walking down both paths of career
and family. I run a household, three children and a business.
I’ve got the support from my husband, family and my friends
and grab this help with both hands when and if needed.
Situations change and that allows you to see opportunities
more clearly. I want to tell you that just because you don't
think you can do something now, doesn't mean you can’t ever
do it. You never know what opportunities are waiting for you
around each corner.
Protecting yourself from the negativity that life brings with it
doesn't for a second mean hiding away. You can protect
yourself whilst standing on the frontline by using your voice.
Using your words and behaviour choices mindfully will open
up new opportunities for you to flourish.
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