When I became a mother just over 25 years ago, I was expecting major changes in my life, but I never really understood that motherhood was like a complete rebirth of myself. I had to became a different person - and quickly - and this was completely unexpected. Like many new parents, the physical and emotional demands of caring for my children were more than I had bargained for. But perhaps more profound was the sharply focused realisation that the failing health of our planet would affect my children’s generation in ways we still cannot imagine, long after I am gone.
Many people say they look at the world differently once they’ve had children. For me, this new outlook was an opportunity to put my previous life as a scientist to work. This turned out to be creating a new type of skin care - one that was better for the planet, and our skin. A small, insignificant change in the big scheme of things, but for me it felt like a mini revolution.
As one person, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the seeming futility of our efforts to change things. But making an effort one person at a time is the only way change will ever happen. When I reflect on the amazing person that my own mother was, and the incredible benefits of her love, intelligence and sense of humour for me and my siblings, it becomes clear that who we become and how we conduct our lives can have profound effects in the world.
Last year I was blessed with my first grandchild. An indescribable joy, and one that doubled my determination to do the little I can to make this world a better place.
Today I’m sending out my love to all the mothers and mother figures who do their very best for those in their care. Please remember that what you do is the most valuable work in the world. And don’t forget to take care of yourself too.