I write to keep those that care about us updated about Tink's progress (or not, as the case may be!). I write to share the funny things she does, the little things that amaze me or worry me. She's awesome and I want the world to know!
I don't disagree with my husband that there probably is within us a subconscious, animalistic desire to procreate. I think there is much more to it than that, and only after having a baby myself and going through that first tumultuous year of parenthood can I understand the real driving force behind why we choose to have children.
As free childcare is extended, nurseries and pre-school settings provide an increasingly vital route to help get children off to the best start with food and nutrition. So what should hot meals and packed lunches be specifically based around, and which guidelines should parents and nurseries follow?
However, many children aren't consuming balanced, nutrient-dense meals. Picky eaters and children with food allergies or intolerances often don't consume sufficient calories or are reliant on highly processed convenience foods, which are deficient in the vitamins they need to grow and develop.
Before we begin, it is worth pointing out that by merely reading this letter you will undoubtedly be inspired to follow our example of parental perfection. This is completely normal and does not necessarily imply any inadequacies in your own parenting.
There's a place and a time for parent bloggers and they are very much part of the conversation, but at the end of the day that is just one person's opinion. The Family Panel is all about connecting people, and letting everyone have their voice heard.
This generation never knew a world without the Internet. With near on constant connection with their peers, social media has taken a dominant role in school age socialising. But much of this is invisible to us as parents.
I may be so much more conscious of this issue as a single parent, who is self-employed, runs a charity and has raised two kids 'single handedly'. My girls roll their eyes and mime at this line as it is much used, mainly in an aim to get people to see that if I can do it....anyone can, seriously, anyone can do this.
In times of turmoil, what better than to turn to the statistics. What do they say about children and happiness? At first sight, it's not good. Most of the data seems to indicate that having children makes you less happy.
I've heard it all, from ladies who tell me how desperate they are to drink blood to those who also end up with cravings for certain smells, like creosote on fence panels or for the aroma of their pet's feet.
Sometimes they will want to curl up and cry and it might make them very anxious but it is all a necessary part of going it alone. They can't say no to a team day at work because they are afraid they might be asked to do something they don't want to and haven't learnt to say no yet.
When my youngest child G was in primary school, the walls outside her classroom were display boards for pupils' artwork. She wasn't academic at that time (being a late reader), but with child-like enthusiasm and exuberance, she used to put a lot of work into art.
Despite living in 'classless' Britain and being 'middle class' (ahem) there has always been a part of me that feels like I am masquerading somehow. I have never really felt the need to get caught up in any kind of pretension and quite honestly I couldn't care less about my social standing. That is until I became a parent.
How many times have you sat down to watch the Olympic Games and thought 'I know exactly how that feels'? Not often right, but perhaps we as parents should. It struck me recently that parenting is actually not dissimilar to this sporting event, with numerous hurdles, sprints and relay's taking place all the time.
When I was working long hours and running from work to childminder I might have had my rose-tinted glasses on and I may have assumed that staying-at-home was the easy option. It really isn't. It can be tiring, mundane, frustrating and boring.
My 60 kg 16-year-old daughter is strictly a carnivore. She eats greens under sufferance, namely to neutralise the acidity of the meat she eats. She of...