Sometimes my world feels as though it's become very small, but today I don't feel quite so insignificant after all.
When the cameras turned to me... she pulled out my boob to get some milk. I have been overwhelmed with the reaction to our appearance, receiving lots of positive messages from other families who are pleased to see breastfeeding normalised. Nobody in the TV studio blinked an eyelid either. Of course I had a negative tweet from one lone man, but that was it!
But seeing my baby move, even if was to someone else's annoyance, was incredible. "You see baby art?" said Dr Manuel, pointing at the screen to a beating white splodge in the centre of my baby's chest.
For me the path to adoption was very similar, it took two years and one week from the initial meeting until the first day of introductions. In honesty it felt so much longer and this was within the new speeded up adoption process.
Oh how I wish I was one of the ladies that "glow" with health and go swimming and jogging every day, filled with energy from the beauty of the new life within. But I am not. Maybe one day soon, yes, hopefully.
I knew motherhood would be about choices. I just didn't expect it to be about THESE choices. In my head, the decisions I would make each day once my little ones arrived would be ones like whether we would go to the park or soft play? (Park if possible - you don't have to supervise other people's little darlings as well as your own there!) whether my daughter should wear pink (nope) and my son blue (yes, he rocks it!)
Fact: I am a step child. Another fact: More than once in my life I have been told not to refer to myself in this way. Why is there an aversion to using this phrase? What is the problem with acknowledging I am a step child with step relatives? It is, after all, merely a statement of fact.
I knew I had come across that one in a million when not long after we had started going out (I think I am still young enough to use this term. Just.) when he offered to take Joseph to the playground opposite and give me half an hour's break. He knew that a half an hour's peace actually meant fucking everything at that stage. Still does if I'm honest.
I've found parenting difficult and I'm certainly not the earth mother I had imagined myself to be. I've had PND, had a breakdown and have come out the other side, but I can confidently say I've been a good mum, caring mum, loving mum and my children are flourishing. I want another baby, not yet, but in a few years' time and this baby will complete our family as five.
This year, my favourite novelty kitsch comes courtesy of Jo Jo Maman Bebe with this red cashmere mix jumper (£22), a very fabulous Christmas jumper from George by Asda (£8), some festive winter warmer Peppa Pig PJs from Boots Mini Club (£14) and fabulous furry socks from Mothercare (£8). I mean, what's not to love...
We're seeing an entrepreneurial shift in the UK workforce - and women with young children are at the forefront. The 'millennial' generation is usually defined as those born between about 1980 and 2000. Much has been made of how their career aspirations and work habits differ from previous generations. By 2020, millennials will make up over a third of the global workforce.
When I first started flying with my little ones, I had several concerns, even though I was familiar with the aircraft environment. After talking to several parents, I realised many felt like me and they also worried. Here is a list of the main concerns and tips for overcoming them to have a stress free flight. We worried, so you don't have to!
Up until the 1970's, life as a woman was quite simple (if not very equal, but that is another debate). In the main, you got married, you had a child and you stayed at home to raise them and take care of the home while your husband went out to work.
Some days you'll feel like you're back on track and then it will come out of nowhere again like a black cloud, but these days will get fewer and you will have more good days than bad and you'll know that you have the ability to feel happiness again.
In 1655, the medical author Thomas Moffett explained that all 'kind and natural' women would breastfeed. 'Yea', he noted, 'all Women which truly loved their Children' did so. The alternative to breastfeeding for new mothers in the 1600s in England was to hire a wet nurse -- a woman that had recently given birth and was still lactating.
So, by necessity, breastfeeding becomes a constant. You could, perhaps, compare it to relieving yourself in the bathroom - because it is as essential, and just as much a part of our lives. It may not be the topic of every conversation, but it's always in the back of one's mind: I need to deal with this situation within the next X minutes, or I will have a problem...
There are two types of mom friends. Those that will support, nurture and encourage. Then there are those who will criticise, throw self-doubt around like it's confetti and make you question every decision you ever made.
The ultimate joy you feel when potty trained becomes toilet trained. It's great isn't it? The utter pride you feel boasting to everyone when it's complete? Well I now know that those comments of "Oh that's brilliant, makes life much easier for you now!", are quite frankly, utter crap!