When my eyes are stinging and my back is aching because I'm so exhausted...
And when I just wish I could have an hour to myself...
I remind myself how lucky I am.
I remind myself of all the women out there who are desperately trying to have a child, but for whatever reason can't.
I remind myself of all the women who have experienced immeasurable pain & indescribable sorrow after losing a child ...
Because these women would do ANYTHING to be in my position.
Holding my beautiful little girl in my arms is the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced.
And in the wee hours of the morning when I'm frustrated and feeling as though I could cry from exhaustion... I hold her closer and I breathe & relax even more.
Because no baby deliberately tries to test us, or deliberately pushes us to see how far we can go.
Babies just need nurturing.
They need to feel safe in this new and crazy world they are now part of.
And it's MY job to make sure she feels safe.
Today I'm exhausted, but I'm so lucky, I wouldn't change a sleepless night for anything.
And... The sleepless nights don't last forever.
I think I've been fairly selfish these past 30 years ... I think sacrificing sleep for the rest of my life for my kids isn't too much to ask ????
Last week my Husband became an Australian Citizen.
It was and always will be a very proud moment, not just for him, but for myself and our daughter.
When we choose a partner in life, we look for someone who has the same values and desires as we do. We look for someone who shares our dreams and goals for the future.
Often, it is very hard to find that perfect match. But thankfully, I have.
I grew up Catholic, attended Catholic schools my entire life and went to Church most Sundays.
I believe that I grew up to be a caring, compassionate, tolerant and respectful individual. This is absolutely a reflection of my upbringing and the beliefs and values that my parents instilled in me.
In recent years, like most people, I have watched horror unfold around the world. On a daily basis I am gobsmacked by the amount of hatred and violence that people are exposed to.
I've read the articles and seen the footage where the media portrays Islam as evil, but this type of propaganda is something I have always questioned.
Surely an entire religion cannot be based on hate (as the media would like us to believe)
Perhaps because of my disability and being someone who has faced my own (small in comparison) battles with not feeling 'accepted' or 'respected' at different points in my life, I am unable to comprehend any level of discrimination - because above all, we are ALL human before we are anything else, aren't we?
When I met my Husband, I was attracted to his values and beliefs ... because they were exactly the same as mine.
The only difference, he is Muslim.
As I learnt more about his religion and culture, the more I realised just how similar we ALL are.
Together we decided that we wanted to be united in our future, especially as parents.
I converted to Islam for a multitude of reasons, mainly love, respect and a desire to feel more connected with humanity.
I wish the scare mongering would stop.
I wish that those who make ill-informed and uneducated assumptions would instead ask questions.
I wish that the fear would lessen.
But the only way this stops is if we understand the facts -
You don't need to fear me or my husband or our daughter.
As a new mother, I'm terrified of the world that my daughter will experience if we continue to spread hate.
All my husband and I can do, is continue to educate her about all the good that still exists in this world. We can continue to live by our beliefs and do our best to instil the same values in her as our parents instilled in both of us.
At the moment the world needs more unity and less division.
In light of recent comments made in the media, I pray that Australia doesn't 'ban' anyone. Because by doing so means we will lose sight of what makes this country so great - a strong multicultural nation that is enriched by welcoming people such as my husband.
I once read that the sleep deprivation mothers experience is the same level of torture used during war.
The combination of brutal fatigue, hormonal change, physiological change, physical change, and anxiety contribute to Post Natal Depression (PND).
1 in 7 women will experience PND.
It is REAL.
I battled depression for over a decade during my younger years, in a slightly bizarre way of looking at things, I guess that experience helped prepare me (slightly) for motherhood, and I can say that I'm not the 1 in 7 ...
I could be. At any moment, when it all seems too much, I could be that mother who needs extra support.
Today, that's not my journey, but I'm here to support the women who are on the PND journey.
The incredibly honest and raw mum, Lauren from Mad Max Mum is asking mums everywhere to show their support ... And offer a message of hope to the mothers who need it most.
Every mother is doing the best SHE can!
As women we need to SUPPORT other mums!
It's a bloody tough gig and there is absolutely no shame in saying you need some extra support.
Please take a selfie with a positive message for those who are living with PND and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
???? TOGETHER is the only way to make positive change ????
YOU ARE NOT ALONE