Deprived of the time, due to family and work commitments as well as logistics, to be of practical help to Chris and Jane, Charlotte's mum and dad, we struggled to think of what we could do to support them and their wider families. In the end we decided to do what came naturally; be creative, bossy and try to organise people.
We see our world changing around us. We are discombobulated when we are off line with more and more of our life spent 'in the cloud'. This is only going to increase as the Internet of Things means that we can control our physical world from a distance via apps.
Summer holiday season is upon us. Magazines are bursting with features on how to achieve the perfect bikini body, select the best beach read and pack a chic capsule wardrobe. But these fun, frivolous concerns seem like a distant memory to mothers with small children about to embark on a week in the sun.
We saw my Dad every day. He came to dinner with us each Sunday. If we were away we phoned daily. He spent Christmas with us. Came to birthday teas. Attended school plays. He engaged with our family. Laughed at the children's antics. Enjoyed our successes, commiserated when we failed.
As a bank holiday treat, my son and I headed out to find some nice food and stumbled upon Inamo, a Pan-Asian restaurant in Covent Garden. You order off a tablet placed on the table, giving you a really good idea of what's to come which encouraged us to try new things we might not have risked off a simple written menu.
I worked really hard at that law firm, along with everybody else, and just scheduling in normal holidays could be challenging enough. Just before I got married and started a family, I left my law firm and moved into the public sector. While working life there was slower and gentler, long periods working from home in Italy definitely weren't on the cards.
Teenagers are a strange breed. Creatures of habit, room dwellers, cupboard scavengers, door slamming mumblers. They like to sleep for copious amounts of time but also possess the ability to become nocturnal socialisers. They fridge forage and either avoid the bathroom at all costs or consume it for seemingly every waking minute... there is no in-between.
When someone announces a pregnancy, congratulations frequently come easily and naturally. On the other hand, an adoption announcement doesn't always get the same reaction. I speak from experience; my two children are adopted. My son came to us when he was 3.5 years, and our daughter came to us when she was 10 months.
If we want to fully realise yet another pledge in the Queen's Speech 'to work to bring communities together and strengthen society,' then as the party of Government we have an opportunity - and an urgent duty - to help families build strong and happy homes for the benefit of themselves, their children, and society as a whole.
The dates of Dementia Awareness Week always have a massive circle around them on my calendar. Whilst I passionately believe that it's important to raise awareness all year round, there is no doubt that a week of concentrated action definitely helps to put dementia higher up the agenda.
Nothing's more magical than your toddler's first word. Unless that word is s***, of course. But once they start, they don't stop. Unfortunately, toddler lingo is a foreign language in itself. So here's a quick guide to understanding it.
Our young people need to learn how to think about projects, how to work on those projects and overcome frustrations and set backs, and how to implement and communicate solutions.
Just like Luke Skywalker spared his father's life, thus declaring his allegiance to the Jedi Rebellion, in parenting you must pick your battles. Pardon the Star Wars reference, but my house has been overtaken by the George Lucas franchise thanks to my three-year-old.
Through examining 10 cases in Murderers and their Mothers, I have begun to unpick the complex fabric of the killer by pulling at the "mother" thread. Why such an emphasis on mothers? What about the fathers? Isn't this sexist? These are questions that I have encountered a lot over the past few months.
We have to learn to open up about the only true inevitability in life. Dying Matters Awareness Week is a reminder that opening up doesn't have to be painful and doesn't have to happen at the worst of times - lets recognise that death is part of life and stop running from it.
Relationships can be hard work to maintain, and this week I knew I needed to work on one of mine. The toddler, 18 days ago, became a big sister. I know it's been 18 days because I'm counting the scratches on her cot walls.