Well, I thought I was worried starting a new job with a new puppy. She's 7 weeks old and she's just a dog, far less a 6-week old baby.

And yep, I'm aware I'm running a radio show not a country.

But what the new Prime Minister's pregnancy is seemingly saying to us all is that the notion of the supermum is back.

Anyone who's had kids and returned to work knows that's a deluded notion. There is no such thing as a supermum. Just a tired, stretched, guilt-ridden, pulled in every direction mum, is more to the point. But what this pregnancy has shown us, is that we needn't worry.


Now I know from experience that one of the worst things about being pregnant is all the unsolicited advice, and actually, none of it matters in the end, because you only know once you're in something yourself, how bad, or good, or exhausting, or fulfilling, it's going to be.

Everyone's experience is different. So all we really should be saying to Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford is - congrats.

But of course, we're all saying so much more than that.

We are a country of opinionated, judgey, tribalistic, loud mouths. So naturally, her pregnancy announcement could never come without the tidal wave of reaction it elicited.

I didn't tell my colleagues and friends the news of my first pregnancy until I was five months along. I was young, one of the first of my friends to get pregnant, I too had started a relatively new job, and I was worried about what everyone would think.

Worried about not having "scheduled" my baby to everyone else's expectations. Pathetic really, but that's what societal conditioning does to a person. We're chastened by it. And that's what's so refreshing about Jacinda. She isn't.

I watched the hysteria unfold post her announcement, the media screaming congrats from every corner, tweets and posts and texts and opinion pieces. On why this is so important for NZ, for women, for progressiveness, for stay at home dads, for unmarried women, for virtually everyone, but actually, the most important thing in all of this, is the baby.

I'm sure Jacinda's smart enough not to lose sight of that. And even with the village she'll have, and the childcare, and the aunties and the fabulous stay at home dad, I hope she knows it's bloody exhausting - and she's welcome to carve out time for her in there too.

Yes she's Prime Minister and it's an important job, but so is raising a child, and yes she can and will do both. Tons of us do. But we don't do it without stress angst and worry, and to be frank, sheer exhaustion.

I hope she feels free to take as long as she wants, she's set herself a pretty tight timeframe, six weeks. You only get to do your first baby once, and yes we're women and it's the year of the female and empowerment and we can do everything, sure.

But at the risk of sounding like I'm offering more of that unsolicited advice, please feel free to relax about wearing the mum hat for a bit longer if you feel like it.
We don't expect a supermum.

* Kate Hawkesby is the host of Early Edition on Newstalk ZB, Monday to Friday from 5am–6am.