The Pretend Parent.

School holidays have begun here in Australia. This is the summer break, and school won’t begin until the start of February. That is a long, long time.

I love my children, deep down. And when I say ‘deep down’, I mean, it is  a love which generally surfaces when they’re sleeping, or playing at a friend’s house. Because there always seems to be so much to do when they’re around, it’s hard to focus on how important they are. Instead, it seems that it’s more important making sure we have clean underwear and at least one vegetable per day (and sometimes, even those small milestones seem difficult).

But I know that there are also lots of other parents around who feel the same way… the mundane everyday routine, trying to work and parent while enjoying the moment, it can be overwhelming and stressful and wears you down until you are a smaller version of yourself. So, what do you do?

You write poetry, of course! To this end, I have published a book of poems on parenting, and all of the fear, love, anger, anxiety, desperation, sadness, and powerlessness which accompanies it. If you’re interested, it’s here. And in light of my own struggles with post- and antenatal depression and anxiety, for every 100 copies I sell, I’ll donate $50 to beyond blue, an organisation which helps educate about, and reduce the stigma surrounding, anxiety and depression.

Putting these thoughts out there is both cathartic and terrifying, as I’m sure many of you understand, but I think it’s good to step out of our comfort zones, at least occasionally. Heaven knows I’ve got another six weeks of discomfort ahead of me!

(I’m kidding! They’re actually great. Especially when they’re sleeping, or at a friend’s house.)

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About Rebecca Freeman

I'm an editor of fiction and non-fiction. I also write stories of my own, because then I can steal all the best bits of the work I edit. Uh... I mean, I find reading and editing other people's work really inspiring and interesting. Really, though. Being able to work with an author to help their work shine is such a privilege and a really fun experience. I'm so happy I get to do it. When not editing, I like to run, write, grub about in the dirt, and drink tea.
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