I don't like rules as such. I find them suffocating. I want my children to feel safe, but I don't want to control them. I certainly don't want to 'punish' them, or chip away at their little souls by making them feel small or ashamed. Good communication with children would be my chosen tool in giving them the boundaries that they need.
The toddler, on the other hand...Mouse has encountered more calamitous incidents than me and her father put together. Her latest badge of honour is a sizeable graze on her elbow from pissing about in the garden wearing flip flops on the wrong feet. It blends in nicely with the receding scab borne from a pretty savage slide at soft play.
Until we had Brody, I lived in a disability free bubble. I admittedly didn't spend much time thinking about disabilities and I certainly didn't know that 6000 children are born every year with a genetic condition that is likely to remain unknown. Fast forward 4 years and I am only too aware of this.
What I haven't seen are any posts about how to stop yourself becoming housebound during these long 6 weeks. Because sadly that is already the case for lots of families I know, and will continue to be until the schools reopen in September.
So we all know the overwhelming joy and love yadda yadda yadda that comes with having a baby but what about the other lesser talked about, but undeniable perks about owning a tiny person? We all know how parenting is a 24/7 job with no paid holiday or annual leave, but that doesn't mean to say there aren't some hidden benefits...
When I started my first proper job I had low expectations. I'd been working in a furniture shop and it involved standing up for long hours and watching other people buy stuff I couldn't afford. This new job offered me my own laptop and a sit down desk. It seemed like a step in the right direction.
Many parents seem to have the luxury of time this summer, hosting barbecues, taking their children to playdates or birthday parties. But for our family of three, two working parent household with one child with additional needs, summer is even more of a juggling act than usual.
I always planned to make a programme about the dark times, but I don't think I realised it'd take me five years to feel strong enough to do it. Now, after so many supportive and heartfelt messages, I'm glad I did.
My husband worked his last day as a teacher in a primary school the day before my birthday. The kids had finished up their year at that very same school just a few days before that. They will not be returning when school resumes later this year... We are taking a gap year!
How can you tell if this is a normal part of growing up through the primary years, usual adolescent development, or an emerging mental health problem? Well at this stage, you can't, but what you can do is take the changes seriously, because if it is the start of a mental health difficulty, then the sooner your child gets help the better.
I continued feeding her for 19 months and 2 weeks, I can tell you that on day 2, when my nipples started bleeding and I fed her in absolute agony, I would never have believed that would happen. I had a love-hate relationship with breastfeeding and here's why.
It is so important to begin teaching children environmental stewardship from a very young age. To know is to love, and whilst they are still tiny, children still have the eyes to see magic in its full glory. This is the best time to fall in love with Nature and understand its complexities.
Whilst Instagram might tell us that every day of the holidays should be filled with sunshine, smiles, adventures and kisses, the likelihood is that the odd day here and there will inevitably be tainted with tantrums, tears, arguments and, occasionally, all out war. But here is a newsflash; that's okay.
I often wonder what happens to other parents going through this horrific journey without the kind of support I had from my mum, partner, family and friends. What happens if you don't have someone trustworthy to be able to lean on, and cry tears of anger, tears of pain, tears of happiness, tears of exhaustion? Where does their emotional support come from?
I realised I had a certain amount of bandwidth as a working mum, and I'd run out. Some mums may have run out way before me, others farther down the road. But I was beginning to understand my bandwidth and the message was clear: I couldn't have it all.
As much as I love sharing my photos and having a platform that is exclusively for that - it just makes me feel bad. It makes me feel like I'm the only one who has days where the only food consumed is half a yoghurt and a handful of raisins. Days when you stop for 30 seconds to down your lukewarm coffee and you find your fast-as-a-whippet daughter has climbed the stairs and is upstairs roaming free.