In short, I was an idiot. And three years on - sat on the same sofa while my kids take a rare nap at the same time - I can't help but wish someone had taken me aside to explain a few home truths. Granted, I probably wouldn't have listened. But here's what I wish I could go back and tell that new mum on the sofa...
Start considering options and noting them down midway through your pregnancy; ensure your partner does this too if you want to make a united decision. And even if they sweetly say, "It's up to you, love" don't buy it - you'll have to put up with the way they flinch every time they say it if your choice is duff.
Am I the only parent that can't believe how quickly this half term has come along?! I'm sure you've all been settling into your routines again after the lengthy summer holiday and now it's time to have that routine dashed so we can go back to wearing the occasional hat that requires us to become an entertainer, a taxi driver or a referee depending on how many you have and what ages they are. I can snigger slightly at myself here, with two of a similar age I actually fit into all three but sadly, in reverse order!
Every parent wants their child to grow up to be a happy and confident adult so it's a sobering thought that half a million children in the UK are dealing with anxiety or depression. These issues can often develop as a result of low self-esteem, and the impact of social media on youngsters' self-confidence is being widely debated as a result.
In all the turmoil though, it is so important to have time out. As a person, it is your basic right to have a bit of time to yourself. Self-importance and well-being are vital in being a good parent. If you are frazzled, the household will be frazzled. Kids sense tension and will just play up more. It is a vicious circle.