Opinion

Doctor Preeya Alexander shares with us what happens behind the closed doors of a general practice, and why you're never (ever) alone...

"As a GP, I often reassure my patients that what they're feeling is normal – how do I know? Because many women have disclosed this to me over time and I had similar emotions as a new mother. I can assure you the loss of sense of self is something I commonly encounter in my consulting room," Preeya said.

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"You must have been hoping for a girl". There, that was the moment. For what felt like the hundredth time that week, standing in my workplace revealing to another well-meaning colleague that I was having a boy, I had to do everything I could to bite my tongue...

What pregnant woman wants a person to show disappointment at when they reveal the gender of their baby, and even worse be made to feel upset about it, even if that wasn't the intention of the person enquiring.

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Doctor Preeya Alexander shares with us what happens behind the closed doors of a general practice, and why you're never (ever) alone...

"As a GP, I often reassure my patients that what they're feeling is normal – how do I know? Because many women have disclosed this to me over time and I had similar emotions as a new mother. I can assure you the loss of sense of self is something I commonly encounter in my consulting room," Preeya said. "So to the women who read this – if you can relate to all or some of these then know you are certainly not alone, you are right in the great big spectrum of normal and these thoughts about mental exhaustion, loss of identity and female mental load are something many of us are dealing with – on both sides of the consulting room door."

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I'll never forget an old colleague of mine who, after promptly logging off at 5pm to head to the pub, glanced worryingly at the host of unticked items on his to-do list and claimed that he was, "Really unkind to the Simon of tomorrow."

As he jolted off to down a couple of schooners and I stayed back to clear out every email in my inbox, I realised that I was the very opposite. I wouldn't head out until every last request had been completed. In fact, I would even write tomorrow's to-do list to give myself one less thing to do tomorrow.

In other words? I was always kind to the Amy of tomorrow, often at the expense of the Amy of today.

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In the lead up to Mother's Day, we're inviting women to share letters to their children, telling them about this unique time in history...

Our Managing Editor wrote to her daughter India about the lessons she's learned in isolation with a toddler…

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

2020 was supposed to be a big year for us. Em, it was all about preschool for you, and you had so patiently waited for the year to start and were loving your new big girl days. Max, we spent our days together with Liv still so little that we could drag her anywhere with us, and it could just be about you and me. And Liv, it was your first trip around the sun, and ours as a family of 5. Our big trip to the US. We all had such big plans, and then this...

In all honesty, you three are so little you don't know much about any of it, and most things about it seem to have you pretty excited. Nan has moved in with us, Dad isn't quite as busy at work, we are spending our days at home, no rushing, no racing, we take Alfie on a long walk every single day, and with nowhere to be you are walking most of the way, climbing trees, walking along people's front fences and searching for all the teddy bears in the windows.

Em, you know something is up. No preschool, no ballet or swimming lessons, no seeing your friends and family, and boy do you miss them. As you remind me daily, 'everything is closed' and you have a never ending list of things you want to do 'when everything is un-closed'. This was going to be our first year apart, the first time I would drop you off at preschool and you would be without me all day. You were so ready and now you are stuck at home with my lack lustre craft expertise, but it's ok, there is plenty of time for us to be apart. For now let's just cherish that 'extra' time as best we can.

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When our children are little and we are drowning in a sea of sleep deprivation and tantrums, sometimes the only thing that gets us through is the thought that "it will get easier."

… But does it?

We spoke to four mothers of teens to hear what we're in for (and to pick up a few tips along the way). Here's what they had to say.

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