We took our boy to his first music festival when he was just weeks old. He did his first camping festival at the age of three. It is now just after his 5th birthday and after our first festival of the year that it has come to my attention that some people frown upon taking children to festivals.
Given that everyone is different and we all have our own ideas about what constitutes personal growth, it stands to reason that some people would benefit from one form of therapy while other people would benefit from another form of therapy.
For all the drawbacks, there is so much to benefit from behind those glowing little squares: the stories, the exploring, the chance to create, the worlds to get lost in, the challenges to overcome, the skills to perfect, the access to so much learning. We can all see it, so why do we resist it so much? Why are screens such a taboo?
How did we find ourselves in Rome? You have an invitation to Aix-en-Provence followed by a spin in Verona, then you find yourself in Cinque Terre, well Florence isn't that far away, and when you're in Florence you can't miss seeing Rome!
When we became foster carers some years ago we decided that we would focus on short-term care, helping to keep sibling groups together while their futures were decided by others. But, as we have learned, 'short term' means anything from a few days to many months, and even years.
Your preparation for your weekend to begin? The sweet sound of the clasp of your bra being undone. And dropping to the floor. Hell it's only 6pm? But it's never too early to let them boobs hang free (and low).
Family dinner time is always such a calming, rewarding and frankly beautiful experience... SAID NO EXHAUSTED PARENT OF A TODDLER EVER. Perhaps, all we need is for a pre-schooler to break it down in an easy step-by-step guide for other toddlers looking to get the most from mealtimes while their mums and dads cry... (Or drink wine. Or something...)
I explained about the long walk down the corridor, about feeling lonely, feeling sad and feeling guilty for my dad and my brother that they were going to have to go through this again after my mum died of cancer in 2006. And feeling dreadfully sorry that I had to give her bad news.
I have been doing long-haul flights with my twins since they were three years old to visit family abroad, so my husband and I have become pros at negotiating airports and planes with young children. Here are my Top 10 Tips...
Fathers (and mothers, for that matter) shouldn't see reading to their children as a chore; sharing a book can create wonderful memories and great bonding opportunities. It also gives children the best start in life.
A tree is predominant, it has many branches and spreads itself far and wide. It adapts to seasons, it provides shelter for birds to build their nests, provides nutrition and fun. A tree is always there...until something cuts it down.
In an ideal world the minute that a child is unwell or unhappy we would drop everything and tend to them completely. But it is not always that easy, especially when one is self-employed.
We all contribute to our communities and society in different ways and we all have a place in the world. Some weeks ago, as we spent a good 40 minutes in the waiting room of our local Doctors' Surgery, this was sharply brought into focus for me.
I hate to think I'm forcing our daughter's pastimes or interests (pushy mum alert!) BUT when we live on the edge of miles of beautiful Chiltern countryside I refuse to ignore the opportunities our natural environment presents: For educational purposes, yes of course, but overall for good old fashioned fun!
Allow yourself time to grieve. Some people say that they feel like they've lost their child, that they have to get to know this other child who lives with them, and the changes that will occur in their lives.
While we're trying to keep our heads above water, while we're fixing things, pretending we're on top of things, kissing it all better... we're also just people. Mothers who don't sleep, lovers who don't agree, women who don't have all the answers.