As PTSD ravaged my mind I believed I was a burden to my family. In fact some days I believed my family would be better off without me. Yet, as I looked at the pictures my heart could see how foolish that was. I was there, there for my babies, doing everything I could and giving them everything I could.
Baby arrived and our expert exchanges rapidly turned to shit. It was frightening how quickly it deteriorated into utter chaos. You're pre-warned about how it changes everything - the usual guff about no sleep, no social life, etc. However, we just weren't prepared for how it fundamentally changed us as people.
Once upon a time, there lived three little pigs. As the little pigs grew older they each decided to build a home for themselves, and when they left home they were given a smartphone and tablet each.
We can't hide from it, just as we can't trot down the M25 in a horse and cart anymore, so we have to find a way of managing it and making it part of a balanced life. It is part of our children's lives and brings many wonderful benefits - any five year old who has played on Google Earth knows the mind bending sense of awe of zooming out and out from their home to see the planet as a green and blue sphere.
We're in a golden age for children's books: this autumn sees such a wealth of brilliant titles that I've had to separate fiction from non-fiction (non-fiction highlights coming next week). Below are books that will make your child laugh, think, feel and be inspired - what more could we ask for?
As a mother I want to prepare my children for any obstacles they may encounter. I want to encourage them to work hard, treat others with respect and kindness, be good citizens and contribute to society in a positive manner. But how do I prepare their innocent young minds for possible racism when they see everyone as the same as them?
As my children get older, particularly because they are boys, I find other people - their father included - respond with little or no patience to the damp emotion. In fact, anything non-life-threatening that provokes tears is usually met with a flippant, "What are you crying about now? Big boys don't cry!"
People constantly ask us 'What can we say to make it all better?' The answer is 'you can't make it all better, but you can be there and you can keep talking about it and let them know you will always be available to listen.'
I write this post over a week after we completed The Big Bad Ride, a 460-mile endurance cycle from Edinburgh to London in aid of Harrison's Fund, a small charity working hard to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal disease which affects my two young sons, Theo and Oskar.
Joining a mums' group is a great idea. Those first meetings can be a little awkward, though, with everyone trying to be as nice as possible while secretly trying to work out who will be your future drinking buddy and who will be the person you end up having that tedious chat about John Lewis muslin square.
Miscarriage is a personal experience. People share feelings, of course they do, but I don't want an identikit card on my bookcase from my next door neighbour after losing Bella at six months to the next woman from her mum on losing her baby at six weeks.
Yes you guessed it my friends, that Malteser was not a delicious piece of chocolate that had managed to escape from the emergency bag earlier that morning but was in fact a piece of turd that had escaped from my toddlers nappy earlier that week! We live in a cruel world people.
Being a working mummy can be tough. Feelings of guilt and that constant dividing of your attention between work and family can get a mummy from cool and calm to stresshead crazy lady in minutes. So what is the key to finding that balance between the two jobs?
Being a linguist, a primary school teacher, and a parent who taught my children to read, here is my breakdown for you, explaining why they are worth the effort, and why your child may become a better reader and speller because of them.
It's always a bit embarrassing, bumping into someone you know at the chemist. You try really hard to not look at what they are buying, because it's all quite personal stuff, things you buy at the chemist, not things that are normally in the public domain.
Public awareness was something that they felt was so important. The term stillbirth is so loaded and weighty as a phrase, could there be some different terminology? Rob explained that more children die from still birth than cot death, but popular awareness reflects opposite.
The Husband makes his way, slowly and creakily up the stairs, pops his head in and sees there is no space in the bed (I am sure that he welcomed that sight) with me in a strange yoga-like position across the middle due to the baby being attached to the boob and the toddler requiring my hair as a comfort blanket.
Sex education? Easy. Simple facts. No need to go into details of who has to sleep in the damp patch. Just cold, hard facts. But I don't have to think about this right now. My eldest is five. She won't ask about the birds and bees for at least another two years.