With the Budget been and gone the next political battle on the horizon is the May elections. Here in London, all eyes are on a race that's still too tight to call. While much has been made of the different candidates' positions on Europe, party politics and - of course - the city, less attention has been paid to the difference the Mayor can make for London's families.
I get asked this question a lot. I don't take offence; I know that people are just naturally curious when it comes to these things. Also, I guess once you have three kids you're already considered to be a bit bonkers, and could easily be planning on popping out another.
The first weekend went pretty much without a hitch. The kids all made it to where they needed to be; the older one made her art class, the younger one made his party; the middle one got a bike ride. We managed to get the shopping done, do some arts and crafts, sing a few songs, and have a dance around the coffee table.
The Easter holidays are fast approaching so now is the time to start planning what you'll be getting up to. We all know it's always a struggle to keep the kids entertained when they are off school, and then before you know it the time has gone and they are back to school again. So why not doing something different instead for a change! Below I've picked 5 great places you can visit for a fun day out.
Both my uncles are obsessive shoppers, both of whom are equally obsessive about paying the bill at any given restaurant. Both my grandfathers died from a smoking addiction and my Grandma has a tendency to clean manically when stressed. Three members of my family have a tendency to over-eat and are incapable of stopping and my mum can't sit still until all the drawers and doors in the house are shut.
If you ask a bereaved child a direct question such as, 'how do you feel about Mummy dying? their response is likely to be a shoulder shrug rather than a chatty response. On the other hand, if you tell them a story about an animal losing his Mum, the child is likely to identify with the animal and tell you how they feel.
My role is different. As a writer my working life is flexible. And boy does it need to be because my wife works too. Like an increasing number of British fathers I only bring home part of the bacon, the rest of the time spent cooking, cleaning, picking up or dropping off.
I think about my grief, my guilt, and whether my thoughts are normal and how they can be healed. I think about my speed, how far I've run, and try to push myself to keep going when I feel like giving up.
How can a parent help their child who is dealing with mental health problems? I asked various young people for the answer to this question. Many responded with their own experiences, or what they would want their parent(s) or carers to do, or say.
The most valuable part of this process is that we set the best example for our children. When our kids see us making a decision to be happy and overcoming adversity in a positive but honest way they learn how to do it themselves.
In terms of pornography, the internet is like giving kids the keys to a gigantic sex sweet shop and then asking them not to look or partake. And this becomes even more hypocritical when you consider it was us, via newspapers, magazines, music, mainstream films and TV that gave kids their very first sugar rush.
We celebrated Valentine's Day in our usual 'low key' style. Whilst we were all at the market my husband bought me flowers. He was assisted by the toddler who did a quick spot check on various options to see how easily the petals and berries could be detached. Most, quite easily, it turned out and we may not be welcomed back by that particular florist.
Parenting and looking after the mental health and psychology of our young children comes with a set of seemingly endless decisions about what is best. It is a brave decision to take yourself and a child out of a family network that can provide so much in terms of support, both financially and practically.
The demands that we put on children to perform educationally, to organise themselves, and take control of their lives from an early age, is a big ask. Our biology makes us dependent on wise older adults in achieving our psychological potential.
Sardinia has often been labelled as a go-to destination for the rich and famous, thus putting off the likes of you and me from ever considering it as...
Anyway, this week's 'pause' was based around my project of writing 'birthday letters of love' to my daughter, which I will give to her when it feels right. Like many of my projects it was still in the early stages, with both 1st and 2nd birthday letters now due.