Fans of How I Met Your Mother might be familiar with Barney's Bro Code. Here in this post I have created my very own Mum Code, a list of the sorts of comments other mothers should really never to say to a fellow mum. Or face the wrath and subsequent flicks.
When I was growing up there were no characters in books or on television that looked like me. I grew up with Barbie and Disney Princesses. There was no diversity in the characters I saw, just beautiful flawless females who I aspired to look like. But that was never going to happen.
You see, it is a very different situation when baby arrives. It's generally not until you've had more than one child that you get a bit of confidence in you to voice what you want and what's going to be best for you and baby.
I love Iceland; the North Atlantic Island is a land of breathtaking but savage beauty with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and black beaches; perfect for my dad who spent much of his life as a part-time photographer, while working full time in computing.
I love summer, of course. Everyone loves summer: spending more time outside is good for us and there is always more to do. Then, during the five or so days a year of 'proper summer' - AKA heatwave territory, things ramp up a gear and we get to feel like we're on a foreign holiday at home - for free - amazing!
Why am I making excuses for my baby crying? Babies cry don't they? The do don't they? Mine cry, other people's cry. I'm sure other peoples' cry. Other peoples cry, don't they? Enough of the second guessing: Babies cry. End of. Sometimes you know why, sometimes you don't.
My usual response in stressful situations is to crack a joke and have a laugh, but I found myself embarrassed and on the defence. Just like STDs in your twenties, it turns out nits aren't such a natural source of humour when they happen to you...
Up all night, covered in filth, ears constantly ringing... When you think about it, a weekend at Glastonbury is pretty damn close to life at home with toddlers.
Drink plenty of water. So you can enjoy the moment your toddler gives you the three second warning that they NEED A WEE RIGHT NOW, RIGHT NOW MUMMY, NOW as you're in the middle of breastfeeding, on a pebble beach, with about 90% of the world's baby equipment spread out on a picnic blanket in front of you, at least half a mile from any kind of public loo...
For years the years seem to have been passing by more rapidly than the last. As a child, I remember adults commenting on how quickly I had grown, and how time was flying, but I never really got it.
When I had my first baby I was one of THOSE purists. My child was never going to watch TV, he would never eat anything that wasn't home made or organic, and he certainly would never ever grace the doors of McDonalds despite his mothers love of all things Big Mac shaped. Then I had my second child.
Just as I don't have the words to try and help you, you may not have the words to express you grief and that's OK. I'm not expecting anything of you at all, I just want to try and give you the space and support so that when you're ready you can tell me what you need.
Of course I understand that we have many identities as women as well, and plenty of responsibilities, differences and other roles that help define us as people. But when it comes to describing our parental role I think we should have confidence in doing so, and even celebrate it openly.
Obviously, I don't think that parents of children with special needs are miserable moaners with greasy hair. Well not always. As for the greasy hair, I mean it in the metaphorical sense. In the way that, because of our offspring, we are sometimes viewed to be a bit downtrodden, frumpy, burdened, the underdog, the one (gasp) who is not much fun to be around.
Sir Anthony Seldon, the outgoing headmaster of Wellington College, has claimed that too many parents are "clueless narcissists". Our view is that Sir Anthony is misguided with one or two exceptions for these five key reasons.
Natural conception and IVF are two different animals. If I was younger (I am 42) by about a decade, maybe I would have reason for optimism, but I am not and age is a mitigating factor.