How do you even begin to write a blog about something when it's taken you by such surprise that you really aren't sure what is happening?...
40 before 40? So over! It's all about 24 before two and a half. Here's my list of things you MUST do before you turn two and a half.
How much do we really know about happiness? From a Buddhist perspective, all sentient beings, including animals, seek happiness. We have a subconscious instinct to seek happiness - even though many of us don't have a clear idea what it is, or how to achieve it...
We need to spend more time with our children. We want to see them grow; we want to see them learn; we want to be the ones who teach them. And so we must continue to pine for our holidays. Because that's our time.
I think we all do this a little don't we? We believe vehemently in not judging others. We know how tough this is and that we are all only human. Yet we still continue to find faults in ourselves.
The family I live with as an au pair have noticed me scribbling away and after our break over the Christmas holidays they bought me back a journal from Paris. Small acts of kindness go a long way, and this was a very touching start to my next chapter.
The UK is not at the vanguard of parental equality. The imbalance between mothers' and fathers' leave in the UK is among the highest in the OECD. But a rare benefit of lagging behind more forward-thinking nations is that we can wait to see what works (and shamelessly copy it).
As I navigate the straights and narrows of intimate connections, I am struck by the difference between being righteous and defensive and my willingness to look at my behavior from the reactions I get from others.
It's not like having an extra child. Children learn to wipe their bums and muddy feet, and they learn to feel embarrassed. Dogs never learn that dragging their bum across the patio to clean it (usually when you have visitors) is not nice to see. And your dog will never feel embarrassed.
Why shouldn't girls climb trees which can promote courage and the ability to take risks? But, equally, why shouldn't little boys play games that bring to the fore no-less important qualities such as empathy and kindness?
There are no sick days as a parent no matter how cruddy or sleep-deprived or manic you may feel. In said state of cruddy, sleep-deprived mania, I decided that being a parent is like being a one-man circus for both mums and dads. Here's why.
I'm sure there will be a few people that will read this and think, "I've got loads to do, wait till you've got three kids it's not that simple, my other half does nothing..." If you're thinking anything along those lines, you've completely missed my point.
Now I challenge any mum to have a day like this and not lock herself in the bathroom for a little cry or yell at the kids whilst struggling to get her words out as she is that stressed.........and then shout a little more as the kids point out she can't talk properly!
The notion of children's developmental and emotional needs is practically a no-go zone; taboo; too controversial to deal with, whether out of fear of provoking guilt in parents for some perceived failure or out of a prioritising of adults rights over children's needs. This really does need to change.
It's a strange old sensation watching your retired, aging parents clearing out their house, painfully filling endless boxes for the charity shop and the local recycling centre with the ever-eclectic mix of objects that have come to define who they are.
When I gave birth to my first daughter almost 15 years ago and my second, just 18 months later, it never occurred to me to purchase a book about raising girls. Being a girl myself, surely I knew everything there was to know about bringing them up as happy, healthy individuals? How wrong I was!