This week, I’m exhausted.
I could blame it on the summer heat, or on my son’s sleepless night because he’s teething. But that is not the kind of structural thinking that I’ve been encouraged to do here at The Correspondent. As our founder Rob Wijnberg says, we need to report on the climate, not on the weather.
If I take a moment to reflect on why I’m so tired, take a step back and look at the past couple of years, I can’t help but wonder how I’m still standing.
Since Lorenzo was born a year and a half ago, I’ve had two weeks off. I used to be a freelance journalist before starting as your First 1,000 Days correspondent, and freelance journalists like me don’t have access to maternity leave – as I wrote a few months ago. This meant that I was working an hour before my contractions started, and responding to work emails from my hospital bed after delivery.
Over the course of these 77 weeks, I recovered from birth, figured out how to breastfeed and change nappies, took on responsibility for another human being and did a bunch of other things that come with motherhood. All of this while starting a new job, and getting caught in-between homes by a pandemic, with no access to childcare. Thanks to my husband who took over childcare duties at home, I can do my job almost uninterruptedly – unlike many other parents, especially mothers,