You see it all comes from trying to make things perfect, to squeeze it all in so that everything is just right - but the irony is it only causes me to feel stressed and behave in a way that just doesn't meet my lofty standards of motherhood.
What no one realises (at this stage of blissful naivety) is that the gorgeous, defenceless, newborn bundle will one day become a demanding toddler, opinionated five-year-old, unreasonable tween, and finally... stroppy teenager.
The UK's childcare system is broken. In Scotland, where I lead a major children's charity, multiple factors mean the current settlement penalises many families. The first issue is, simply, cost... There is also a profound crisis of availability. Many parents find it impossible to access childcare provision that fulfils the needs of their child and complements work or study.
It's a bit tedious going to playgroups and meeting mums at school and having to spend months figuring out who you want in your gang. Mummy Speed Dating would make life a lot easier. If you had four minutes with each mum, what would you look for? This is how I would suss out my mummy friend soul mate.
You get an invitation. It may be to a wedding. Or you may have to stay over somewhere the night before a flight. Or perhaps you throw caution into the wind and decide to take your small children away for a mini-break. Yeah sure in the past being confined in a hotel room overnight with two tots was pure hell on earth. But this time. This time? It will be different...
My boys don't conform to stereotypes, they have long hair which they both love and don't want to cut, they love bold clothes, are both fiercely bright and fun, funny and thoughtful and love to pick wildflowers and brush my hair (and tell me I'm a princess), as much as they enjoy running outside, kicking balls and climbing trees.
You know your 11 year old daughter is growing up when you walk into her bedroom and instead of finding the usual charming collection of soft toys on her pillow, you stumble upon Ken getting up close and personal with his harem like this... Seriously, what on earth Ken?
'No. And Mummy not big girl. No stairs!' Oh dear. The Baby, The Toddler and Silly Mummy are all not big enough to go down the stairs. Well, this is a dilemma. On with the post from the top of the stairs, where we shall remain until we are big girls.
As someone who can veer towards the authoritarian style of parenting, one of the most helpful pieces of wisdom I received was, 'Choose your battles.'
This summer, I will feel the ache of not being there. I will live through the photos, I will cry at night, I will miss them with such longing I will feel your anger that we aren't there.
Isn't it about time we afforded society and all of its members the dignity of treating a possible dependency through professionalism and basic levels of understanding. We set ourselves up for a fall when we try to distinguish who's entitled to care based on the noun of what their problem may be. Addictions shouldn't be feared, but they should have default impartiality.
We looked at the back of a very dubious pack of sweets and saw that the green colour derived from spirulina and pea protein. OK, so the sweets were also full of sugar but I felt that was a step forward in the right direction.
By the time we arrived at school she allowed me to put on her dress but nothing else. Amazing I thought. This was about modesty. She wanted to be covered up but remained in control by refusing to wear her pants or socks. She cried on arrival at nursery. I cried on departure.
For many people, one of the hardest parts is knowing where to start when trying to sort out the childcare arrangements. Emotions are often running high, the legal process can be intimidating, and the practicalities can be overwhelming.
People were welcoming and warm and quick to laugh. Almost nothing happened on time. Meetings started when they started and went on longer than expected. African Time existed in the Western Cape, too; it reminded me in this way of a less eccentric Kenya.
A complex syndrome on the autism spectrum is receiving increasing attention from researchers and educators - those with the condition and their families hope that front-line clinicians won't be far behind.