Last night, getting off the tube, I was accused by a group of drunk, loud-mouthed, relatively posh boys of being a 'yummy mummy'. I had heard them shout, "Welcome to middle England!" as the train pulled into the station, followed by, "I bet she's married to an advertising executive!" (wtf?)
I never imagined what it felt like to run on empty for days on end. I never knew my mouth would become full of ulcers because my body hadn't felt proper rest in weeks. I never knew the fatigue I'd feel as a breastfeeding, working mother of two under two.
Did I do wrong? I don't think so. Am I betraying my feminist tendencies? Possibly. It's highly unlikely that our afternoon will leave her wanting to be a glamour model rather than a rocket scientist. I doubt that she will be left thinking looks are singularly more important than anything else.
If you think of all the social networks that exist for parents, they almost exclusively exist for the benefit of mums. Whether formal or informal, mums, especially if they have young children, have much greater opportunities to meet, mix and make friends.
You and your partner agree to have an 'early' night. Search the underwear drawer for something other than pyjamas. Options are; nighties (baggy tee shirts), comfortable knickers, two old maternity bras, three used breast pads or a random thong that must have escaped the Great Thong Purge of 2010.
Babies are deceptive by nature. As newborns they lull their hapless parents into a false sense of security by laying perfectly still for every nappy change. However they soon reach their developmental milestones.
A chatterbox is quite happy to talk to anyone about anything. And by anyone I mean; strangers in the street, the ladies in the supermarket and the neighbour you don't know very well. And by anything I mean; what picture they have on their pants today, that Daddy parped really loud this morning, and that "Mummy said our neighbours are very noisy."
I have been telling myself for WAY too long now that I need to be performing at 100% on all these cylinders to feel happy and fulfilled. I need to be good, no "GGGRRRREAT!" at all of them to feel validated and this will in turn mean I am a good mum, a sexy wife and a shit hot entrepreneur.
Wanna know how to be self employed as a parent over the hols without going la la? Here is my short and sweet lowdown on living, loving and working during what can be a challenging time for self employed parents.
You cannot babysit your own kids, what you are doing is being a responsible adult or parent and looking after the produce of your (probably) misguided fumblings (anyone who claims this clearly has no wish to be a dad so it must have been a mistake, am I right?).
Wife goes on a rare night out and you have strict instructions regarding kids bed time - ignore all said instructions, give them all the forbidden snacks they want in front of a movie and let them fall asleep on the sofa without brushing their teeth. Maximum points for dad!
Schools can no longer ignore the fact that parents are expecting better communication and want more information about their child, whenever and wherever they need it.
You did everything you could to help us, especially as we were in a hospital far away from home. We knew you were always there for all of us. We knew you loved Hugo nearly as much as we did. We knew you wanted us to be able to take Hugo home as much as we did.
Here are my tales from the front line. The rookie mistakes I made in my first five years of parenting. Of course, I only made them with my first son because when the second came along I knew exactly what I was doing. Can you smell smoke?!
Contrary to my assumption, at the playgroups I went to, many children (well, only girls) were being encouraged by mothers to make cards for their fathers. The thought of getting a Valentine's Day card from my daughter makes my skin crawl.
It has recently become apparent to me that little sorcerers have infiltrated the Walker Camp. Disguised as our offspring too, would you believe! I am in increasing awe - or is it fear?! - of their ability to apply mastery and cunning in a plethora of situations.