Eighteen months ago, if you clicked onto my Instagram, you’d think I had my sh*t together.
My social media presence made it look like my life was a montage of satisfying career accolades and wholesome moments with my baby daughter and doting husband. Oh, and you’d think my hair was always spot-on.
There’s one photo that shows me, back to the camera, at the beach holding my baby daughter up for a kiss. She’s giggling cutely into my shoulder, the sun is highlighting my blonde topknot, and laid out before me is a crystal-clear rock pool.
It’s idyllic, and frankly, it's bullshit.
At the time I posed for that photo, I was experiencing serious stress and burn-out. I’d had a baby four months prior, and I’d become fixated on trying to do the motherhood thing perfectly – while trying to keep my professional life spinning, my friendships afloat and my lippie intact.
I’d always been a perfectionist with a tendency toward people-pleasing, but becoming a mum took things to the next level.
The problem was, while running on miniscule levels of sleep and recovering from a caesarean section, my body and brain just wouldn’t play ball.
The day after I took that photo on the beach, four months after I became a mum, the pressures weighing on me came to a head.
I’d developed fantasies of depositing my daughter with her dad for a week and running away to a five-star resort, where my phone would magically deactivate and I wouldn’t have to write back to anyone’s text messages.