My family consists of three teenage daughters, two dogs, and a very busy husband. Once upon a time I used to laugh if people asked me about finding a balance. Balance was over-rated, balance was something bored people lived for, balance wasn't something I was too concerned with ... I was so naïve.
My 1980's primary school was home to tepid bottles of milk, ramshackle terrapins and identically-clad kids in hand-me-down C&A coats and ice cream tub lunch boxes. Every child in the neighbourhood went there, regardless of family income, house price, religious or political persuasion. It was a proper microcosm, a dog poo-encircled centre of the community. It was fab.
Ultimately, there's a reason so many people want to work flexibly - it means you can do your job to the highest standard without putting the rest of your life on the backburner. It's meant I've been there to collect the girls from nursery, and to bake the biggest and the best cakes on their birthdays.
I was blown away this morning. It was hands down the single best moment of my working life as an IBCLC to date. Early last year I had an email from a lady who was expecting her first child and was enquiring about some antenatal breastfeeding support.
My daughter, Ava, was just shy of three years old when she received her autism diagnosis. I remember sitting in our developmental pediatrician's office and hearing the word "autism" leave her mouth with a sense of unforgettable finality. As a mother, I was at a loss. But three years later, that early diagnosis has changed everything for the better.
I'm not a young mum myself as I had our first, Archie, when I was 31. My mum was a young mum - she had me at 19 - and also my nan had my mum at 18. As a mum you make so many sacrifices and put things on hold until your little ones grow up.
Here is my dilemma. I am somewhat overprotective. With this in mind, the fact that there are videos and news articles about children who get abused or neglected while in a childcare environment, how can you be sure your child is safe?
Please don't stop trying to reach out to new mums - I may not reply but continue to contact me on as many different forms of social media as possible and as often as you can. Despite being incredibly caught up in my own world of spit up, babble, lack of sleep and dirty nappies, I try to listen and hear what you're telling me about your life too - honest.
To date raising all the children is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. It's been an honour for me to have raised them the best I could. I can honestly say hand on heart I've given it my best shot - also to watch them become happy adults has been everything I had hoped for.
Cow's milk allergy can be difficult to identify as the symptoms are often general and non-specific and may or may not be immediate. I've seen children react within minutes of having milk and others react hours or even days later, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.
They will have no experience of failure because they're being told all the time that everything they do is astoundingly brilliant. So, when they really do do something great, do our words of praise have no effect because they're used to hearing it all the time?
Our thoughtful friends asked us if we wanted to bring our kids to their wedding. Most of their friends are child-free, so they didn't care either way about upping the numbers by two. I think they were a little shocked by our vehement negative response.
Friendship: A chance meeting that develops into fun, memories and a million WhatsApp messages. Your only agenda for being there is because you want to be, it's a bond built on pure appreciation of a particular person. Maybe that's why a friends pain can sometimes feel like a personal attack.
We have finally been given an appointment for our four year old son's autism assessment, and while I'm glad the 15 month wait will soon be over, I'm left thinking about what a huge disservice is currently being done to pre-diagnosed autistic children and their families across the UK.
The OnePoll survey of one thousand parents of 10-16 year olds across the country found a staggering 45 per cent - nearly half - believe paying for a private tutor is crucial to guarantee success in exams, rather than relying on schools alone.
In 2008 when I separated from my children's father I didn't really give becoming a single mother a second thought. It wasn't a choice, it was just something I was going to have to do. I don't recall feeling any stigma at the time, and I certainly haven't ever received any abusive comments from any one that I know. Unless I was just too busy 'getting on with it' to notice.