Parenting is the single most challenging and emotionally complex thing I have ever done. Nothing prepared me for how vulnerable, anxious, and sometimes depressed, I would feel. No-one told me how much my responsibilities as a mother would dwarf the rest of my life, challenge my identity, and shift all my priorities. I always had a strong idea of what sort of mother I would be, but most of that changed under the stress and pressure of trying to build a career and manage a young family- to say nothing of the chronic sleep deprivation. 

Raising two small children through a pandemic would not have been possible without, a strong network of parent friends that understand the struggle. I don't have family nearby, and having moved for work, my social network has dwindled, leaving little options for a break from continuously keeping my kids clean, fed, educated and entertained. I just find it all really difficult, and I don't think it needs to be that way. It takes a village to raise a child, and if you aren't surrounded by that village, you need to build it. I built that village for myself, and it has been a scaffold that keeps me going when things get really tough. Now, I want to help other people find that supporting network, to share the hard times and relish in the good times.