Over eight years ago, my family started a new journey: Home Education. It was a journey ahead that felt extremely frightening, as I knew I would be wholly responsibility for my children's learning, and super exciting as I knew that there would be many adventures ahead!
At my lowest point, I hand her to my husband and say, "There was nothing even wrong with us before. We were fine, just us two. Why did we ever think a baby was a good idea? I don't even want her." I don't even want her. I actually said that.
Every day I plan to factor in a little relaxation, a few stretches - something to soothe and refresh my tired, frayed mind. And then, the day whirls by in haze of toddler negotiations, baby feeding frenzies and a whole heap of nappies, and all of a sudden I'm clocking in for the night shift again.
For the first time he will have a whole life away from me. New friends and new experiences that I won't be able to directly share with him. Of course it will be good for him. I know that, but my Mummy heart wants to scoop him up and hold him close. I want to be the one that knows his every mood or whimsical thought. Each night I spend a little longer with him, as time marches on into September.
There's nothing about the job that is better suited to men. The days are long gone when the driver was also expected to roll up their sleeves and fix mechanical problems. There are team of technicians for that.
Is there a way of readying your little ones, or not so little ones, for the festival world, or should you just let them experience it for themselves, warts-and-all? Is it as much about educating yourself, as your children? Whatever the answer, here's how you can prepare:
When I became pregnant with my first son I was both filled with joy and terror because I just had no idea how I was going to be able to labour and give birth in a hospital. That was without any doubt my worst nightmare! My husband and I decided to look for alternatives and came across home birth.
Prizing kids apart from technology can be like tearing barnacles from rocks fused together. I must stay strong. We will have fun and we will have fun together. So, I inflict a temporary gadget embargo. Reminiscing back to my favourite days as a lad
There rarely seems to be today a teenage girl who posts a photo where she looks the age she is ... or happy with the age she is and the body shape she has been given ... and who can blame them? The culture that is out there is not short of vulgar but we have to, as parents of daughters, try to raise them to have some self-worth and to understand why they shouldn't be posting such provocative shots.
The childcare issue is extremely complicated. While it is clear that Britain has a childcare 'gap', successive governments have failed to understand that for high quality childcare to be generally available, it is impossible for such a system to be self-sustaining; that is to run on a cost per child that is substantially less than the average wage.
Bailey summed it all up for me one day in the car.. "Mummy we are so lucky to have Kai, just think some people never get to experience someone like him. We are very lucky." With that sentence I felt my job was done, Kai has brought more joy into your life's than I could ever imagine.
But let's be honest here, the coolest in the school playground have never viewed chess success as anything other than compensation for not being cool. You either get to be cool, or to be a chess champion, the two can never be compatible. Or so the thinking goes.
Maternity leave can give you the time and space to assess your priorities, develop new or existing skill-sets, and boost your profile. If you change your mindset about maternity leave, it can become an opportunity to make yourself stand out.
His drive and focus is what keeps him going and we know that whenever he goes away, whether it is for a few days or a few weeks, he'll always be back to make up for lost time. In reality, we're just like any other family where one parent has to have time away with work. It's just that ours involves a little bit more risk and adventure.
I want my daughter to grow up in a society that doesn't send mothers to war over bottles and breasts, but one that celebrates families and encourages them to support each other, and gives us the courage to look for and find support when we need it...
I believe every parent has the right to have access to their health visitor. The right to ask questions; The right to be reassured; The right to be heard.
Sometimes it really is the little things that can make a difference, and for the parents of premature babies it is hoped that a new "Preemie Proud" sticker initiative will make a big difference.
I'll always remember this one time in the supermarket. A mother had her toddler in the trolley and he was extremely verbal and she told him "I wish you would be quiet for one minute" and I remember thinking: "I wish my son would talk for one minute".