Striving for perfection is exhausting. I found myself trying to be everything at once: the strict dad, the caring dad, the helper of homework and fixer of bikes. You can only keep that up for so long before you make yourself ill, before becoming enveloped in an emotional sandstorm.
Time heals all wounds. I believe this. I'll never forget him but remembering John-Ian in the right way has helped me move on. John Ian formed a big part of who I am but he also gave me so much in such a short period of time
It is nice to encourage breastfeeding, of course it is. But not ever to the extent that anyone is made to feel panicked or vulnerable, or anyone is encouraged to make a decision that puts them or their baby at risk.
Buying corporate gifts, being entrusted to make the right choice to convey the company's sentiments is a big responsibility. It is important to get it right and to hit the right note, never more so than when sending congratulations on the birth of a baby or to mark the start of maternity leave.
Improving the wellbeing of children is about listening and taking concerns seriously. One way England could do this would be to follow the example of Northern Ireland and Wales, where every school has a counsellor.
My personal experience has proven to me that fathers or male guardians and mentors have a fundamental role to play in securing that seat at the big boys' table for their daughters. If I can sit in endless meetings being the only woman in the senior management - I owe it to my father.
Being in my late thirties with a toddler to chase after, I felt exhausted during the second pregnancy and absolutely wiped out after the birth. It was a physical and mental challenge going from one to two.
This is probably one of the main topics that before the arrival you get the most opinions on and can feel the most pressure and judgement. But just do what is right for you, of course listen to the opinions, but do what makes you happy and you feel most comfortable with. I still believe there is no right or wrong way.
At home our parenting toolkit on technology has been around 'set times' for access and a ban at mealtimes and bedtimes. Indeed we seem to be in the majority there with 80% surveyed saying they don't allow screens at bed time and 67% removing them at meal times.
It's hard not to feel a tiny bit fraudulent when giving advice; as Mumsnet's early business trajectory was so - frankly - flat, I'd be hard pushed to genuinely recommend that anyone try to emulate it. That said, it worked - and while our story is very much a slow-burner, it also features things like dotcom crashes, working out of back bedrooms, and very small children...
Using children as a marketing tool with pester power and peer pressure to get parents spending is a sly trick played on us by the marketing departments of big corporates like Disney. Persuading consumers to buy a pink and a blue version of everything to comply with the gender rule results in those companies doubling their profits!
Children can see where the boundaries are and so feel safe, accepted and loved. They have room to explore, to grow in independence and to push against the boundaries in the knowledge that they are there for their benefit.
When we have children, we need to be very careful about how we react when we're in their presence because we will invariably pass on our fear to them.
When people learn that I've spent the last six years plus existing on a miniscule amount of sleep, they are shocked, because I always seem so energetic apparently (they should see me at 3am!)
If you have lost a baby can I encourage you to share your story and speak your truth....Every person who joins us, is publically stating I want to help break the silence and my story matters and my babies life mattered however short it may have been.
Frustratingly, so often, as women, we're made to feel by others, undoubtedly perpetuated by the media and society as a whole, that we cannot lead, achieve and reach the top of our profession, while raising a young family.
Every day, at varying times, all children down pens, pencils and crayons to run or walk their mile. Despite childhood obesity being on the up, none of the children at St Ninians are overweight.
Girls clothes have long been a bugbear for me. I've always liked the colour pink, but it's overuse in girls clothes and hen nights, leaves me feeling like I've just eaten a whole box of rhubarb and custards. I have pink jaw ache!