“She squinted upwards to make out the image of the stained glass above. Mary, clothed in swaths of brilliant blue raised her hands, nervously it seemed, as her child was passed to her. The large upstretched hands fascinated Sylvie. They were clumsy and inexperienced, placed awkwardly in a gesture of hesitancy.
Joseph stood in the background his presence seeming merely incidental. His face held an anguished expression. Parenthood: this was clearly a colossal undertaking”.
This is a quotation from the first chapter of Balloon Girl (available as an e-book on Amazon http://amzn.to/29rZNV6) It reflects how many of us mothers feel when handed a new-born child. We could perhaps do with a hand-book to go alongside the bundle of joy. Without the hand-book we muddle through doing the best we can or perhaps turn to a maternity guru (Gina Ford springs to mind but I never could cope with that controlled crying nonsense). Usually, things work out.
As women we are hard-wired to care for others whether we are looking after partners, nurturing children or caring for older relatives. But we will often put others needs before our own. The reasons for this are wide-ranging and may be based on our own childhood experiences, may be tied up in our gender role-modelling or be entirely down to circumstantial necessity.
My novel Balloon Girl offers a set of circumstances in which the role-modelling is questionable – how much should we just be ourselves and to what extent should we focus on good role-modelling at the sacrifice of our true selves. I cast no judgement as an author, only offer a fictional journey.
But what I do urge is that, as we journey through our fabulous role as mothers, focusing on our wonderful children, we should look after ourselves along the way!
Take a read – perfect for a holiday e-book!