“You should definitely apply for this!” was the note attached to the link to an application form.
Reading through the information, guidelines and terms and conditions – on the face of it, this opportunity was perfect for me. But if I was accepted onto the programme, I'd by then be the mother of two children under five and the mere thought of sorting out childcare so that I could meet the commitments required of the project was making me hyperventilate, and this was before I had even begun to draft a proposal.
“Don't count yourself out before you've even tried!” is the well-meaning advice that friends have given me before, and there definitely is some truth in that. But when thinking out loud about the practicalities of doing certain things as a mother, this inspirational soundbite is often supplied by a friend who either doesn't have children or isn't functioning as the sole primary caregiver.