They’ll tell you you’re Brilliant and Amazing

They’ll tell you you’re BRILLIANT and AMAZING.


They’ll remind you that you made a whole human person out of the thinnest of air

out of misted dreams you didn’t know were there

out of back-ache and heart-ache and nausea

out of oh-so-little sleep

This human person, this bag of bones, this snuggly bundle of dependence

quietly full of snapping synapses

and so much poo

You made this miracle.




That’s what they’ll tell you when you’re lost and befuddled.

You are doing a marvellous job.

You are all this baby needs.

You are enough and everything.


They are the cheerleaders and the noticers.

They are delighted – DELIGHTED! – to witness the first smiles, steps, claps, somersaults,

and the seventy-first.

Their clever ears hear between the lines

when you summon your last speck of patience

and you

use your words

to remind a small person

to use their words.


You are such a good mother, they’ll say.


On a day when even on the third attempt,

your parallel parking is shit

and your eye is stuck shut from some gross virus

brought home from kindy

and you left your wallet at home

and you cry in the crooked carpark and complain on Twitter.


They’ll tweet back and say, you poor thing, o Brilliant and Amazing one.

They’ll bring dinner over,

carefully complying with your kids’ food rules of the week

– only beige, and nothing touching –

and look after the kids so you can go to bed and watch Queer Eye.


One day or year you’ll grip their hands as you creep out of the fog

and try to remember

or create

another kind of Brilliance in a foreign galaxy

where people are well-dressed and eat sushi

and they’ve actually set an alarm to wake up for the gym

and there’s a lot of mansplaining and childphobia

and they all know each other

and you’ve been ‘out of the workforce’

doing the hardest bloody job of your life

which, by the way, you’re still doing,

and ‘after work’

means 9.15pm when the last kid is asleep and you can check Facebook for an hour in peace.


And they’ll say You are BRILLIANT and AMAZING

and you need to double your fees.

They’ll say They’d be lucky to have you

and quote research about the high-performing brains of mothers.

They’ll say

Channel the confidence of a mediocre white man

We’ve got your back

Imagine we’re right with you in the room



And you will believe them, eventually

because they are clearly

Brilliant and Flipping Amazing

and they seem to think you are

so why the hell not believe them?


Emily Writes introducing the (girl)Friends contributors, Jessie Moss, Holly Walker, Gem Wilder and me.

Emily Writes introducing the (girl)Friends contributors, Jessie Moss, Holly Walker, Gem Wilder and me, at Minerva Bookshop.

I wrote this poem for Emily Writes’ (girl)Friends LitCrawl event, and read it tonight to a bookshop full of lovely people who laughed in the right places.

Thank, Brilliant and Amazing ones, everywhere.

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