• Brenda Boyer is a director of an Auckland-based company and mother of three.
Do you know ANY women who haven't been seriously affected by pregnancy? I don't. I'm 42. All of my friends have had children. In fact, I just had a third one. I'm expected to continue to run my company, look after the teen and tween, be pregnant, have the baby, keep the home and just 'carry on'.
Why? Because women keep harping on about how 'we can do anything'. Actually - most of us can't. And we shouldn't be expected to. All this 'doing' leads to places that are fairly dark from my observations.
Now we can add PM to the list of 'things we can do' while going through the most emotionally gruelling and physically stressful experience of our lives. Bugger off!
Can you imagine it now... people saying 'Well, the PM is pregnant and handling it... why can't you?'
Next we have to normalise giving up the reward (the baby) almost immediately afterwards. Because she can do it, we all can, right?
How is that helping the 98 per cent of other women who can barely butter a piece of toast and hold a hair dryer up at 9 - or any - months pregnant.
Being the Prime Minister is not 'a career'. This is not multi-tasking, or going to work and coming home to your baby. Ardern will be expected to travel, be in a different city or country and behave like the Prime Minister she is. Will she be a mum over Skype?
General consensus seems to be people suggesting we just leave her alone and let her do her thing. Running this country isn't 'her thing'. She's in charge of 5 million citizens, so New Zealanders are allowed an opinion on the pregnancy and she should expect as much.
All women with kids know that you don't just go back to work, you are literally torn in half when you go back to work. Do I want a PM in this guilt-stricken stressed out mental space? NO. She will be distracted to say the very least.
You might wonder if I'm throwing stones from my 'stay-at-home, breast-feeding, barefoot-mum brigade.
No, I'm so lucky as to 'have it all'. I have three children, a home to make, and 18 staff and all the responsibility that a directorship entails. The oldest child is 13 the youngest is one. I'm expected to keep my s*** together and put on a game face because people rely on me.
Luckily I've not suffered from any mental issues or even physical issues with my pregnancies. In fact you'd say I've sailed through them. So I should be in favour of Ardern being Prime Minister and pregnant.
But - this is HARD. Often times, it's appallingly hard. Why should we be expected to do all this?
I think it is selfish for her to ask her country to let her continue her job when we all know the mental, physical and emotional effects of pregnancy and post birth.
Lastly - of course, no one has thought about the babies. All I hear is what the mother wants, she should have, clearly at the expense of the child.
When I saw that woman breastfeeding in Parliament all I could think of was how my baby was tucked up in her bed in peaceful silence after being fed. Not trying to sleep or feed while listening to the howling of middle aged men and angry polititians. Why would anyone want to subject an infant to that.
We are NOT doing women or children a favour by being supportive of this ridiculous proposition. In fact - we are doing just the opposite.