In this time of judgement and peer pressure, this Mother's Day I have a message for every mum... you're doing great!
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?
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!
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.
Having children changes your life in so many ways, not least because you acquire a protective instinct that makes you want to protect them from harm or hurt. I remember feeling this protectiveness instantly when my first child was born.
Part of me wanted to write a letter to my own mum, thanking her for being such a wonderful, strong role model. The other part of me wanted to write about the harsh realities that being a mum entails.
As the student, it's oftentimes hard to see the wood from the trees. Throughout their academic year they are required to adhere to a regular timetable. Once they start the revision period however, once lessons are suspended, it can be challenge for them to control their own time management.
It's Mother's Day this weekend, which usually means one thing. Dad is In Charge. Millions of dads across the country will be breaking into a light sweat at the thought of 8 hours entertaining and arguing over snacks and meal times.
Don't get me wrong: Often it's okay to play the Child Card. But don't abuse it. Don't think that because life is so difficult for you as a parent, non-parents are obliged to make your life easier. I'll let you decide the date and place we meet. I won't comment on you turning up an hour late. But it's because I'm being nice, not because I owe it to you.
On this particular occasion we had invited someone else who was suffering into the fold. The former England captain and widowed father of three, Rio Ferdinand, was joining us to find out more about how we processed our loss and helped our kids through theirs.
On Mother's Day last year, I remember being so excited for the future. I was hopeful that despite not yet being pregnant, it was imminent. It would be my last year without being a mother, or at least an expectant mother. If only it was that simple.
New family. It's not what you lay in bed dreaming of when you were small and imaging how your life might be as a grown up. You don't ever really want to end up sharing your own children's weekends with another woman (or man) only linked to you by virtue of the fact that your former love has ceased to be yours and is now theirs. But that is how it is now.
Let's face it, Lila just can't find the staff these days. I pander to her whims based on a battle to battle evaluation; The bottom line being how prepared I am to deal with a mini-person literally melting onto the carpet.
Unbeknown to me at the time my anorexia was trying to regress me back to a time where I was carefree and cared for - not having to face harsh realities of life like my parents' catastrophic divorce or becoming a young lady.
I will never forget the day I realised I had to quit my well-paid job and set up my own business. I say had to, not because I was on the verge of being sacked or had an idiot of a boss, or even because I was bored. It was quite the opposite in fact.
Fast forward eight years and three children later and I am only just starting to be more open about these topics of conversation. This is important because I don't want my own children, nor the teenagers whom I teach, to feel there is a stigma connected with mental illness.