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A Week That Made History

Grad Edited It’s not every week that your trailblazing Prime Minister gives birth to her baby girl while in her first year running the country. Impossible for me not to be moved to write about it. Just the day prior I was also asked to give a speech to our university degree students on their last assessment day – literally where I sat 12.5 years ago. If someone told me then that I would be where I am today about to send my second published book off to the printers that people have pre-ordered NINE MONTHS OUT I would not have believed them. When you are in the grind and hustle you just don’t have time to cast your mind back to where you started. This week forced me to stop and think back. I shared with the graduating students the choices I had to make in having a family, setting up a business, starting and finishing a PhD –giving birth to two children along the way, all with no family support. I shared with them how I made the choice – yes choice- to take one week off after having Sahan in order to submit my doctoral thesis 11 months later. Changing the course of my life, my family’s life and making a difference to the body of research in children’s health. Seems I was perhaps a little before my time. But I think women have been fighting for this time for many generations prior. And I could not have done this without the voice of one friend. One friend who I remain in debt to for ever. One beautiful friend who had two children and was a year ahead of my in the PhD journey. She was the VERY first person who knew I was pregnant (she guessed, just as mothers do). She was the VERY person who looked me straight in the eye and said to me – you CAN do both. Turns out she was VERY right. She was also the VERY person who stood by my side when the grip of postnatal depression was banging on my back door when I couldn’t feed my son. She was the very person who shared a coffee with me every morning in the office making me feel like I could do this double gig even though I had barely slept and couldn’t remember getting dressed in the morning. She was the very one that I could cry openly to when it all got too hard. All it takes is one person. One voice. One single but powerful voice to make a difference. This is what this week is all about. This is not about politics. This is about one woman being brave enough to tackle the unknown. To carve out a path for generations to come. I for one am so proud and lucky and grateful all at once to be a woman and a mum right now. I am also proud and lucky and grateful to all those women who have fought for us to have this time. For my beautiful friend, For all you who have my back with what I am trying to take on, All it takes is one, Imagine what we can do as a collective voice? Go grab those dreams mama bears, go re-write that rule book, go live your truth. Our time is now. x Dr Julie Bhosale Long edited

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