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Mum's suicide reality check horror

PUBLISHED: 09:16 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:52 06 July 2010

LAST month's suicide verdict on the death of Catherine Bailey, a mother to three beautiful girls and a successful career as a city lawyer, chilled me to the bone and resonated with so many fellow working mums.

LAST month's suicide verdict on the death of Catherine Bailey, a mother to three beautiful girls and a successful career as a city lawyer, chilled me to the bone and resonated with so many fellow working mums.

The 41-year-old was a partner of leading law firm S J Berwin, her handsome husband Neil is a doctor specialising in kidney treatment at a top London hospital and she had three daughters under the age of five waiting for her every night. To the outside eye she was the envy of every mum, working or not.

On Friday, January 9, this year, she vanished from her office where she was a litigation partner and the following day her body was found in a stretch of the Thames, near Richmond Bridge, in south west London, after jumping to her death.

Shortly before she was found, her husband received a text message reading: “Richmond. I am so sorry. BK all my love to you and the girls. Hold them close.”

So what could have pushed this loving, talented mother to ending everything so abruptly, leaving her precious little girls?

To me it is so easy to understand, it is the modern era of the working mum. The new breed of women who WILL have it all, the women who will only take the minimum maternity leave required and return to full time work, to achieve the ultimate goal of actually having everything.

Catherine's death has prompted me to think, what are we working for, and what really is it all?

My all has seriously made me doubt everything I thought it would be, although I am financially independent and don't really want for anything, other than my Chanel handbag, am I actually happy?

My current job is 9 to 5 so I am lucky enough to be home every night to put Oliver to bed but what about the 49 hours a week I spend working in a shop, wandering round trying desperately to look with it every time my store manager looks my way, pro plus in my back pocket, and for what?

To be able to buy new Uggs every winter, for that annual holiday, that gorgeous dress in French Connection or am I just doing it to show the world that I'm just as good as them, that I can do the impossible, I can do everything.

Every day off I have with my beautiful son I try to make it count. I relish in dressing him in his newest clothes, taking him out in his top of the range buggy, with his designer trainers because I earnt them … for him. Every day when my alarm goes off at 5.30am, I get up because of him, I drag myself out of my pit to travel 40 miles to work for him, everything I want to achieve is for him, but at what point will he actually realise and when he does what do I expect? Is he going to drop to the floor and kiss my painted toes for buying him a pair of £60 jeans when he was two? Or will he look at me and say: “But I wish you were there to hold my hand when I took my first step.”

Anna Friel recently commented on her life as a working mum saying: “I'd be a liar if I said it was easy.” And quite rightly said: “You just have to keep going, keep looking forward.”

I think its that sentiment exactly that keeps me going, but you have to believe what you're doing is right in your heart if not I think the eventual result could be the same fate that poor Catherine Bailey reached, where you can't handle the truth, that “everything” perhaps doesn't exist.

I guess we all make our own decision regarding work after the babies and I bet that a lot of those decisions that are made prior to the birth are quickly changed once you've held your precious bundle of joy for the first time, but whatever decision you make, just make sure it makes you happy. Don't feel a failure for needing some “you” time as I've now come to realise and most importantly learn to let off some steam when you need to. And if anyone figures out what having it all is, give me a ring and let me in on it.

I RECENTLY bought some gorgeous cream for Oliver's sun drenched skin. It was from the Body Shop called Buriti Baby Body Butter. It's enriched with oil from the precious buriti tree and packed with natural caring ingredients plus it smells gorgeous. Its paediatrician-approved and suitable for sensitive skin and although it's £12.50 a pot you don't need much so it will last for ages.

I RECENTLY invested in a gorgeous sequined boyfriend blazer from Topshop, it's cropped so it's not too outrageous. Since getting it home I have totally fallen in love with it, it goes with so many outfits and will be perfect for keeping those shoulders warm with those looming winter months. I've seen statement jackets featured in all my top fashion magazines so I reckon it's probably the best wardrobe investment this season.

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