With my eldest daughter in particular - a deep-thinker, highly sensitive and painfully self-conscious - I feel that insecurity lies at the heart of many of her anxieties. I try to combat this by illustrating, in graphic terms, how much I love her.
Planning on eating out...?! Don't. It's a trap... The iPad doesn't work anymore... you better set aside some time to mourn this period of your life. You won't be going to cafes/restaurants/out of your living room for playdates anymore.
February began, for the toddler and I, with snotty cuddles and coughing competitions. 'Dry January' was an easy win for both of us (aided by pregnancy and not being tall enough to reach the wine rack), but our current glow owes more to contamination than bountiful health.
So says Murphy's Law, which got me thinking that there is definitely a version of this for Mums.
My youngest child Georgina does not like to cook. She thinks it's a waste of time. She thinks she has more important things to do with her time. If she needs food, she'd rather blitz something in the blender and chug it down.
When observing my daughter from a distance I learn so much about our species in its raw, untouched state. I admire our ability as toddlers to act, react and adapt to specific situations when they are thrust upon us without our say so.
The subject of sleep needs to be discussed with women antenatally, especially those who may have pre-existing mental health conditions or identified as being at high risk of developing PND. Sleep is not a dirty word. It is a fundamental human need and is essential to promote mental well being.
It's not that I don't want more babies. I definitely definitely do. But, and this is a big but...it takes slightly more effort for the woman to bring a baby into the world than a man.
Taking responsibility for our lives not panning out the way we want them to can be a tough truth to accept, but it's not about blame. It's about not allowing those demons to destroy our chances of happiness for a minute longer.
Parenting labels can make those who don't follow such an approach feel inferior or worry that they're a terrible parent. They can also make those who do follow such approach feel guilty when perhaps they just want a break from it or to steer off course slightly.
The whole de-cluttering thing is everywhere at the moment and I'm sold on the concept, it totally makes sense but I'll be honest I struggle with the reality.
If you think your child may want to discuss their body confidence or if you want to have a greater understanding of how the words we use and choices we make influence young people's self-esteem, please check out Be Real's resources.
You try making conversation, but none develops. Your hopes of meeting new people, making new friends, forming bonds with other parents for the sake of your child are dwindling. You end up sitting alone in a corner, watching your child play alone while all around a community you long to be a part of continues on oblivious.
When I was a little kid nothing would excite me more than when we were out and about and I set eyes on a very special poster. My stomach would bounce with joy at the sight of that special white basset hound dressed in his matching blue sweater and bobble hat, licking his lips and clutching his overflowing cardboard cup of blue raspberry icy slush.
After a morning of procrastination, I spent the afternoon working in Central London with similar levels of productivity. The tube was busy when I returned home, as apparently other people had been working there too (I don't get out much).
I have a daughter who does see her Dad and has other male influences in her life too. Though I am happy she has men around that she loves, I would not be worried if her sole 'inner circle' was made up of women.