While any parent I know would agree that having children was the single best decision in their life, they would also admit that they've had to say goodbye to the life they once had. This isn't always a bad thing, and in some ways, I secretly revel in the thought of not having to make an effort on Saturday nights anymore!
It's 6pm on a Friday and the weekend has begun. But I'm avoiding texts from my girlfriends who I'm supposed to be meeting for a drink. I'm still at home waiting for my husband to return so we can exchange our baby like a dodgy brown package, and I can have my night out.
This important issue has been brought to the public eye by fellow blogger @lifeasawidower. At just 33 years old he lost his wife, and his son lost his mother, when an 85-year-old pension mowed her down by accident. According to blogger Ben, the OAP had mistaken the accelerator for the brake.
This doesn't bode well for me. For, in order to be 'successful' I have to survive on five hours' sleep, do exercise at the crack of dawn every day, hold down a career, be the perfect wife (and cook) and all the while eating healthily. Apparently these are all traits/ways of living that successful CEOs and Mumpreneurs observe, so they must be on to something, right?
Returning to work from maternity leave was the final boost I needed to start putting myself first again. Inspired to make more of an effort during nine-to-five, I started to research and test products that would revive or disguise the daily grind of being a parent.
I decided to update my CV and ring around some recruitment agents. The reality check was humbling. I was told to be 'thankful' for even having a job, while others told me no-one would employ me part time when there's 400,580,235,253,532 younger girls willing to do seven-days a week at half my day rate.
As a parent it would take quite a lot to thrust my son into the media spotlight in such a exposed way, knowing that part of his childhood is lost with it. The fear of online trolls and how being famous could take my son from a boy to a man overnight. It would change their life no doubt.
But I digress. Gender neutral - what's it all about? Well in brief, it's bringing up your child without preconceptions assigned to its gender. In effect - raising your child without a bias, making all things available to them.
This year, my favourite novelty kitsch comes courtesy of Jo Jo Maman Bebe with this red cashmere mix jumper (£22), a very fabulous Christmas jumper from George by Asda (£8), some festive winter warmer Peppa Pig PJs from Boots Mini Club (£14) and fabulous furry socks from Mothercare (£8). I mean, what's not to love...
There are certain milestones in a new parent's life. The first smile, the first word, the first time they say Mummy (followed by 'Daddy' forever after!) and the first time they wave goodbye to you when they start nursery <sniff>.
It's the classic name that's always in fashion. And whether it's JLo, Jenny, Jennifer or just Jen - we can't get enough of them! It means "white shadow or white wave" (Nameberry), and remains a favourite name by parents of all generations. So inspired by our favourite Jennifer of them all (Aniston), we've put together our list of Top Ten Jen's for today, tomorrow and all days...
As a working mum, the things that important to me are the things that are also important to you. Free healthcare, good education, job prospects and opportunity for our children - the rich, and the poor.
I'll never forget my baby's first day at nursery. Besides crying more than I ever have before (it hit me unexpectedly), I remember saying to his keyworker 'Please look after Boo for me - all that matters is that he is loved and looked after". Words, I echo now, even six months on.
A lot can happen in nine months, but even more can happen in a year. That's why the decision to take a whole year out to bring up baby was a no-brainer for me. When I heard today that only one in a hundred men have taken up paternity leave, I can't say it shocked me.
My time was up, 365 long, exhausting and beautiful days had passed, it was time to resume duty, resurrect the old me. I decided that returning part-time would give me the best balance possible. Four days with baby, three days with normal people, no more time with the NCT massive! But which three days should I work? Well here's my science...
If you were to listen to all the advice that people offload on you when you become a parent, you would go insane. From 'sleep when baby sleeps' to 'don't buy more than you need, as you won't use it' - I'm glad I had the sense to override these tiresome tales of woe.
15/02/2016 11:37 GMT
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