author Emilie Leeks,

"But here's the thing: the reality is, I actually don't have anything better to do. Because actually very little comes higher up the priority list than their emotional wellbeing. Oh, it's hard for me to see that sometimes (often) of course. And it can be so hard for me to act with that in mind - often I don't; often I won't manage to quell those thoughts about how important the 'to do' list is right there and then, and that's ok too."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"My story isn't theirs; their story isn't mine, and I can't judge people on a snapshot - or indeed on anything. I can only hold that they are doing their best. And that maybe they need - maybe they *deserve* - a break. A break, to do something of their choosing - because right now in this moment, they *can*."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"It's so hard as a parent. We work long hours with little support - whether that's all day at home, or heading into the office and then back again to continue with the work of parenting. There's too much to do (or we just want some alone time) so we go to bed late. And then 9 out of 10 times (if we're lucky!) our kids wake us multiple times in the night. Or if not that, then far earlier than we'd like. We're always on the back foot."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"To hear parents speak openly of their struggles, to hold space as they express the hardships in their lives is a great honour. There is so much pain. So much pain being carried around by each and every one of us - whether we know it or not, whether we can or choose to express it or not. We all have troubling and challenging incidents from our past - childhood hurts, deaths of loved ones, hospital traumas… But it's not always big stuff. It can be just not wanting to repeat habits of a lifetime - of not wanting to stay in the rut of generations of hurt."

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author Emilie Leeks,

Writing is what I do as part of my long-awaiting, much-needed self care - it's what lights me up and keeps me learning and growing. But it's taken me a long time to get here - a long time to be able to say 'The chores can wait'.

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