But how about my kids? How am I with them? At my worst, I'm unable to cope with them. I can't engage, I don't want to play, getting myself up, dressed and fed is sometimes beyond me. Often, all I'm capable of is sitting and staring at a wall for hours on end. I resent every demand that's made of me, I want to be left alone, utterly and completely.
Establish a good bedtime routine. This is key to everything. Babies like to know exactly what to expect. So that they can do the exact opposite.
Theo was not just developing slowly but was very ill, carrying a fatal genetic illness which would cause his muscles to waste away and kill him before he becomes a man. The pediatrician reassured us that this moment, the diagnosis, is the worst part, but stressed it would get easier as the days, weeks and months went by. But how could it? I thought.
I don't want my son to have to ask me again and again and again all day to play with him. He shouldn't have to ask. I don't want my son to have a kind of resigned sadness in his voice that gives away that he fully expects me to say "later." I don't want my son to give up on me playing with him.
Some studies claim that a break-up with a close friend harms your heart the same if not more, as a break-up with your beloved. But don't be tempted, it is time to get busy. You have new friends to meet, new relationships to build and new opportunities to fulfill.
As I recalled my earliest memories I was keen to impress on the group that I don't look back and see my time in foster care as a negative, my expression wasn't from feeling sorry for myself, I completely understand that in the absence of my biological father, my very young mother, too young to even consider a woman would want to get herself together after having me at the age of 15 and, in some respects I think it was very brave decision to take. I didn't say this in front of the room of kids but I'd prefer to be fostered than to have been aborted and to not have had the privilege of life in the first place!
Now it is time for me to pick up the mantle of unconditional love for my children and demonstrate that worth is not bound by physical perfection or the whim of others.
Think back to when you were in your 20s. If you were anything like me you had a BIG VISION to change the world and become the next Oprah Winfrey - mo...
The world we live in makes it easier to eat more and do less. Our environment offers us triggers to eat at every corner, which requires effort to resist and a conscious ongoing commitment to being healthier. Indeed, the latest research found that so-called mindless eating can cause significant weight gain.
My daughter is now over two and a half, and is ready - needing - to learn to interact with new children on her own. Playgroups are fine, but I'm always there. Same goes for playdates, and our frequent playground visits. It's time to play away from daddy.
My elderly aunt was crying the other night. Quite a lot actually. She even made herself sick at one point. I rolled her to one side while I changed the sheet underneath her as quickly as I could. I didn't speak to her, look at her, hold her or offer her a glass of water. I didn't want to get her hopes up or let her think she might be cuddled or listened to. Was that OK?
Fatherhood and motherhood should not be seen as opposing forces - both roles complement each other. An involved father reduces the stress on an overburdened mother, improves family functioning and helps to build mum's own relationships with her children. And vice versa.
The other day there were simultaneous conversations going on; one about how their child's homework was too easy and the other about how their child's homework was too hard. And they weren't just discussing it, they were getting very worked up! They seemed to think that one teacher was either too lazy to set proper homework or thought their children were idiots.
Having had my first son 10 months ago, I became suddenly aware of how little support there is available to new mums and keeping up their self-esteem. Whilst there is plenty of style advice around for expectant mums, and maternity fashion in most high street shops, once the baby is born, there is not much in the way of mum support on what to wear to help feel 'you'...
Often, we don't even realise what's at the bottom of our partner's sudden outburst, tears, anger or other strong emotional reaction - we think it's because of xyz issue (not washing the dishes, flirting, going out with mates too often...). Whereas, in reality those buttons relate to fear of abandonment, rejection, intimacy or being unlovable - part of our individual life story.
One of the weirdest things about self-employement, is that nobody teaches you how to be self-employed. You just....do it. And make a lot of mistakes along the way. Over the last 17 years at the Freelance Coalface, I've learned a few really valuable things that, had I known them at the start, might have saved me a grey hair or 50.