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The Secret (Food) Diary of a Mum-Of-Two

22/02/2016 11:55 GMT | Updated 21/02/2017 10:12 GMT

My second child turned six months old at Christmas, so after enjoying the festive gorging, the 1st of January seemed like the natural time to take a long, hard look in the mirror and assess the damage.

The hazy new-baby honeymoon period was over and I was ready to take action. My goals were to tone up, eat a healthier diet with no mid-week alcohol, and consume considerably less sugar.

Suddenly its seven weeks later and zero progress has occurred. To try and understand why, I wrote down a typical food day in the life of a mum on maternity leave with small children:

5.45am: Shocked suddenly from a deep sleep by the urgent cries of a bright-eyed baby, up for the day and ready to play. Trudge downstairs with him and make a coffee. Feel so tired I add a heaped teaspoon of sugar to perk me up.

6.30am: Feed the baby his porridge made with up with formula milk - too early to face my own breakfast yet but I finish off what's left of his bowl of grey sludge on autopilot.

8am: Breakfast with pre-schooler. She asks for toast and jam but then changes her mind at the last minute to a bowlful of mummy's bran flakes. We're running late and she's got a will of iron so I swap with her and eat the toast and jam.

9.30am: Meet a friend at soft play - she suggests a coffee and a cake in the café where we can watch the kids tearing about. The thought of anesthetising the sticky chaos around us with a warm drink, sugary comfort food and a chat with my pal is irresistible. I don't resist.

11.30am: Feed the baby an early lunch at soft play. He refuses the last heaped spoonful of baby food. I can't reach the wipes in my changing bag to clean the spoon so reluctantly force down the last mouthful of now-chilly 'veggie bake' myself whilst gagging slightly

12.30pm: Drive home while my daughter eats her packed lunch in the back. She insists on handing me a freezer bag full of uneaten crusts from her peanut butter sandwiches. Eat them absent-mindedly on the drive home 'seeing as its lunchtime'...

1pm: Attempt to do a 'plank' on the living room floor but my daughter jumps on my back giggling and playing horsey.

2pm: Make a shepherd's pie for tonight's dinner - make far too much mash and it seems like a waste to throw it away. As I've only had crusts for lunch and both kids suddenly need my attention, I quickly polish off the leftover mash.

3pm: Look in the fridge and realise all the fresh soups I bought two weeks ago have now passed their sell-by dates

4pm: A friend pops over for coffee - put biscuits out and eat one because she does. Then quickly scoff another two to stop my daughter eating the last ones on the plate and spoiling her tea

5.30pm: Finish the remains of my daughter's tea

8pm: Eat the shepherd's pie, totally unenjoyable as its now the second time today I've had mashed potato. Then crave something sweet so pretend I can't see the tub of fat-free Greek yoghurt in the fridge and eat a child's chocolate mini-milk from the freezer

9pm: Feel shattered after finishing off some work on my laptop. Half-heartedly consider going for a run. My husband opens a bottle of wine and offers me a glass. Its Wednesday. It's an hour relaxing with him on the sofa having a chat and a laugh in front of the TV. Accept the glass immediately.

10.30pm: Sleepily start googling 'best diet apps' and '30 day abs challenge' on my phone before dropping off...

Deep down I know the first year of baby #2's life is just about survival and enjoying the magical moments in between the ongoing chaos. Sometimes when you're busy, exhausted and contented, counting calories and doing sit-ups just doesn't seem that important for a while.