When the days of motherhood blur and the hours are hazy, when the fog seems too thick to walk through - know that these are not ordinary days. Know that there is no moment like another, that there is no groundhog afternoon, that there is no day like every other.
I will share with you three mistakes I made that taught my daughter to fear failing and, how the Great British Bake Off helped me rectify those mistakes and build her resilience around failure.
It's important that we recognise that some men will not benefit from being at the birth of their child. For some people this would seem like a step backwards, the exclusion of anyone based on their sex, from anything, will always be seen as such, but we must remember that a father's mental health is important too.
Yes I know I've been absent without trace for the last 10 days *blows tumble weed off blog* but I've been busy "having fun" (read "breaking up fights") with my kids. This year I vowed to make the most of the 6 week break (rather than wishing it away) and I think I've achieved that. But there are still 7 days to go and quite frankly, we've all come to the end of our fairly short fuses.
I've whipped myself into a panic with all the chat about kids being 'school ready' going on at the moment. What does that even mean? Separating from me, focusing on a task and sitting still? Good luck with that, teachers.
Gone are the notions, in this country at least, of individuals with Trisomy 21, as it is also known, not being worthy of lovely clothes, of having to wear hard-wearing institution garments, of shameful regulation haircuts, of being 'put away and forgotten' as they were segregated from society in institutions.
The world is watching and analysing the physiques of women in the public eye as a kind of first-world sport, and hypothesising obsessively about their diets, feeding the consciousnesses of young girls with drivel about who they should be and what they should look like and telling them they really should care an awful lot about those things, or else.
These lessons were far more important than anything I learnt at school or through work. These are not the lessons of how to become cleverer or earn more money - these are the lessons of how to truly live life to the full.
Never more have the words keep calm and don't panic been more poignant. Just how did a two-year-old manage to outwit a team of ten grown ups to make a bolt for the front gate?
I think it's really important for children to be involved in food preparation, as the more they know about cooking and healthy eating from a young age, the more likely they are to use those skills in later life.
So much is written about being pregnant and giving birth, but very little information is shared on what to expect after your baby is born. I wish more was shared on what might happen after childbirth, as this would better prepare new mums for what could be in store.
I remember a work colleague of mine from some years ago, who regularly told me that work was easier than looking after his kids. "The office is a break for me," he used to say, "I'm heading home now to the real job". I didn't have children at the time and I assumed he was exaggerating. In fact, as the work we were doing at the time was very challenging, I thought it was a form of self-praise - a humble-brag of sorts.
Children who may be suffering or who are at greater risk of neglect, but whose circumstances do not reach an authority's threshold to receive social care support, are less likely to get the help that they need. Instead, their situations can be allowed to deteriorate to become even more desperate or dangerous. It is a tragedy that due to a lack of gathering the right information, children whose lives could be improved are needlessly put at further risk. Child neglect can be stopped in its tracks.
I was relieved to realise that my own utter lack of awareness of the whole breastfeeding process was shared by other mothers in the room. Breastfeeding and milk production should be covered on the school syllabus and in more depth in ante natal classes.
Hold your horses just one moment Mr Dawkins. I think perhaps you are confusing non-essentialist, humanist thinking with a loss of humanity here. You are so very wrong on every single count above that it would be eye-rollingly laughable if it weren't so hurtful and damaging. Adults with Down's syndrome are reading your outdated and bigoted views. Yes, they read, and have opinions and feelings, just like you.
We all know that schoolchildren go through a "summer dip", where learning falls back over the long summer holiday. From 2015, state schools will even be allowed to set their own term times, which may see summer holidays shortened.