"In motherhood a woman exchanges her public significance for a range of private meanings, and like sounds outside a certain range they can be very difficult for other people to identify." ***
"A day spent at home caring for a child could not be more different from a day spent working in an office. Whatever their relative merits, they are days spent on opposite sides of the world."
"Birth is not merely that which divides women from men: it also divides women from themselves, so that a woman's understanding of what it is to exist is profoundly changed. Another person has existed in her, and after their birth they live within the jurisdiction of her consciousness. When she is with them she is not herself; when she is without them she is not herself; and so it is as difficult to leave your children as it is to stay with them. To discover this is to feel that your live has become irretrievably mired in conflict, or caught in some mythic snare in which you will perpetually, vainly struggle."
"Looking after children is...isolating, frequently boring, relentlessly demanding and exhausting. It erodes your self-esteem and your membership of the adult world...Even when you agree on a version of living that is acceptable to everybody, there are still longings that go unmet. It is my belief that in this enterprise generosity is more important than even than equality...."
- excerpted from the brilliant Rachel Cusk's A Life's Work