The days will come and they will go, some days will be tough. When baby is ill, when your friends that are still on maternity meet up without you, you will feel a sense of loss, but most days will just come and go.
Every parent is a great parent. It isn't fair that education can make parents feel insecure. We need to ensure that we are bridging this gap and looking at viable opportunities that parents can take advantage of.
Friends talk fondly about time spent with their new babies. They complain about sleep-deprivation and 'new parent panic' but there's always warmth and affection in their voices. It makes me wistful. It sometimes makes me sad.
Before the children moved in, lots of parents we know told us that nothing prepares you for parenting. If I'm honest, I listened and nodded but felt slightly smug because I've worked with children for 10 years, so surely that would have prepared me.
The major advantage of SPL is that both parents can choose to take leave off at the same time for a greater period than the initial two weeks paternity leave afforded to fathers, partners and secondary adopters. In theory, the employees themselves can decide how to divide the leave between them and this may be equally.
So my 'find new mum friends' mission commenced. I went to various playgroups but they were full of mums who had met at antenatal classes, and trying to 'get in' with them was more difficult than collapsing a travel cot. Was I not good enough?
It's the third dress up day this half term which - lest we forget - is only 5 weeks long. It's a constant mental toll on the parents who squeeze a work day around their children's schedules and the threat of dropping all the relevant plates is a very real one.
I think this is something that new mums fear especially if they have a previous bout of mental illness. I've spoken to many ladies who have felt this way and some who actually went through postpartum psychosis.
In this time of judgement and peer pressure, this Mother's Day I have a message for every mum... you're doing great!
Some of these are valid concerns. Younger parents are - in general - less likely to have the financial security, relationship stability and emotional maturity that "average" parents benefit from. It's a little nosy coming from a stranger, but if the concerns are voiced politely, it gives the young parent an opportunity to either ask for support, or say that they're confident in their abilities.
The least we could do for the women who reproduce the human race and nurture children in their vulnerability is to ensure that they are not hung out to dry alongside the muslins and babygros. We could recognise our interdependence and see that having children is not a lifestyle choice up there with keeping puppies.
Early intervention doesn't have to mean thousands of pounds forked out by the NHS or the LA for access to specialist treatment. It doesn't necessarily mean that the child has to have XYZ therapy to be able to access life, as we know it. Although that would be fabulous wouldn't it!
What do you do when the injuries you experience from your child are more than accidents or the usual, though challenging, toddler tantrums? What if it is actual violence? Violence that is daily, unleashed by the slightest perceived provocation, personal and sustained, hitting and screaming, verbal and physical abuse that bruises and injures body and eventually mind?
We went out for lunch on Sunday as an early Mother's Day treat and I almost face planted my lunch. A coat strategically placed on the table meant I could have a nap while eating. There's no choosing when I sleep, it's when my body allows me to stay awake. My social skills aren't great though!
On Thursday 2nd January 2014, when we had our twelve week scan for our first baby, I decided to take a photo every day. That's right. Every day. This new, wonderful chapter that I had dreamed of was about to happen and I was not going to let it pass me by. I'm not a massive fan of getting in photos but I knew that if I didn't do this, I couldn't turn the clock back.
Our local playground is the communal hub near Emily's school, and not only can she not access it in her wheelchair, but she can't even play on any equipment. When we sent an email of this nature to the local council, I think we terrified the park's department into opening that said file and diving straight to chapter four.