By the time the painless bit of the appointment is done, my eyes are streaming, I am a hot sweaty mess, and it is down to sheer luck that I am not covered in my own regurgitated breakfast. My dentist tells me I am not his worst patient. I'm not entirely sure I believe him.
I'm not a perfectionist about everything - one look at the state my house is in most of the time can tell you that. But I can be hard on myself when I make mistakes. I have even been known to avoid a situation rather than risk making mistakes or making a wrong choice.
As Relate's new CEO I will make sure this report is used to continue to build our understanding of what people want and need from relationship support. And we are getting a very clear message from the stats - families need more help to get the balance between work and family life right.
Of course I totally support women who prefer to wear breastfeeding bibs to cover up when they are feeding. But it still begs the question, why do they feel the need to hide their breasts when they are simply keeping their child alive by feeding it?
I am so looking forward to getting to the stage where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it's a way off, but with enough hard work anything is achievable, that much I know for certain.
Right now feeding your infant would be like sticking a giant gin nipple in their face and syphoning off last night's post-3am Jaeger-Bombs... You've thrown up in your own hair and made the decision just to 'brush it in', and for the first hour you were awake this morning you couldn't remember how many children you actually had...
Christ alive I've never known a rollercoaster of emotions quite like the last three and a half years. Gone are the 'good days' and 'bad days'. Days are less easy to emotionally rank now. Sometimes I encounter the full spectrum of emotions in the same day.
For parents who don't have a social network it can be daunting to build one. They may have moved for work, or they may be estranged from their family. Loneliness can knock people's confidence and send them into a deepening cycle in which it becomes harder to make friends.
Hands up who's read Lord of the Flies? (Hand down, Dad, I read your school copy of the book: two pages of the whole book were annotated.) Those who did read the whole book: has anyone noticed their house has gone just a little bit Lord of the Flies since having a toddler?
This is it now, you know what's coming; you need to dig deep and find the strength within you to get through the night. But to help you, here are a few little reminders/tips on how to cope when the chips are down.
Now I have small children, a 'holiday' rarely involves two minutes of peace. Although it does seem involve the same amount of alcohol - just with less bikinis on a boat and more PJs on plastic furniture. So here's what summer holidays mean, now that I am a Scummy Mummy.
Children in England are some of the unhappiest in the world (England came 14th out of the 15 countries surveyed - only South Korea fared worse). Nowhere was this more apparent than when children were asked about their experience of school, with children in England amongst the most unhappy with school life due, in part, to bullying and exclusion from their peer group.
I consider myself lucky to be raising my girls in a generation where we are encouraged to talk about the difficulties of parenting, to share the tough days as well as the momentous and jubilant times beyond our partners and the family home.
Nobody knows your child like you - and nobody loves them like you. So listen to what we say, try it, but if it doesn't work, try something else. There is no one way to be a perfect parent - but there are a hundred ways to be a great parent.'
I loved being a mum, and was so ready for it, but looking back it feels like I frittered that precious time away. I hated our old flat and we were always out - doing stuff, going places, meeting people. No wonder P was a demanding baby, she was probably over stimulated half the time.
As a dietitian, I know just how important it is for growing children and teenagers to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. And as a mum, I know first-hand how difficult it can be! So just how can we ensure our children eat a healthy diet, without mealtimes turning into a battlefield?