I had thoroughly prepared for a positive birth experience, but not for one that went so far off plan. It took me a long time to be able to discuss the birth calmly, and even longer to forgive myself for decisions made in moments of panic.
Recently, I've read a few articles written by parents who for some reason or another feel like a failure. They are not, they really aren't. And unsurprisingly these thoughts have come after they've been criticised for something someone else thinks about their parenting.
To mark the end of World Autism Awareness Week, Beatrix, my amazing autistic daughter, would like to share her personal experiences of Asperger's. She would really like to make a difference, to make her own little mark on the internet, so please share...
Therefore, without any excuses, I should do my chores. Yet before I get to them, my mum has already taken over and would rather I studied. I only hope that she releases her book soon.
It's a toughie. In the kitchen I am rarely just cooking. There is usually also some tidying, cleaning, laundry and conversation also taking place. And often a toddler driving a plastic car into my legs.
We just mucked about all day with no rules to rein us in. We had no clock to worry about, or no structure to adhere to. We just simply went with the flow. An easy-going day full of fun, bonding and an astronomical amount of laughter.
I am determined not to allow myself to be limited by my fear of interacting with people. Whether I was born with an inclination towards social anxiety or whether I happened to develop it, I'm desperate to overcome it.
Conner was put on life support machine in intensive care: We knew the situation was very serious and grave. However, despite the horrendous circumstances we were in, Richard and I, and both our children, drew a lot of comfort from the way the hospital managed everything.
This year, soon to become a mother of two and having recently gained so many wrinkles that our clothes look ironed by comparison (they aren't, but every cloud...), I decided to focus on building my mental resources with project 52 pauses.
My parents took in the words, the concerns, the information. They sat there in a cold room, surrounded by doctors, and they decided to be strong.
I haven't written for ages. I've written almost nothing this year, apart from work-related items and to-do lists. It's not so much that I gave up writing for Lent as that writing gave up on me... there's been so much going on that I have struggled to find the words to quantify it all.
Ever wondered how your account of your day compares to your toddler's? Wonder no more...
I was good at my job but I was failing my family. The birth of my second daughter made me realise that I couldn't continue as a teacher. I was one of the many teachers leaving the profession but this wasn't for the reasons the media would have you believe.
Being a carer does not come naturally to me. My mum's inability to perform theoretically simple tasks often frustrates me. Every time I find myself getting annoyed, or expressing my irritation, I feel enormously guilty. I know that none of this is her fault, but the bitterness rises in me every time I go home.
The family has been a recurrent theme of David Cameron's speeches - both as opposition leader and Prime Minister. He has rightly linked family relationships and to broader themes such as social mobility, life chances and wellbeing. But until recently it has been less clear that this point of view would inform day to day policymaking.
With a pre-natal diagnosis for Down's syndrome we were expecting Maxwell...or actually, we thought we knew what to expect. The reality of the last two years has probably been as far removed from those early expectations as any of us could imagine.