I more than anything wish I was always there at your beck and call. Reading when you wanted me to. And not washing up. Always willing to watch Peppa with you. And not tidying up Lego. Saying "OK!" to every chocolate bar and every time you begged to stay up late?
My baby is one in a couple of weeks and all of a sudden it just feels so milestoney. Much to my surprise I've gone all knobheadish and smushy about it. I feel like I want to sniff his hair and drink in his babyness before he starts lobbing lightsabers at my head and asking me to pull his finger.
Support for children with mental health issues is actually decreasing at alarming speed. £80m has been cut from the NHS mental health budget for children and adolescents in the past four years, including £35m in the last year alone. Without access to help and treatment, children's issues will only continue into adulthood - all the time developing into more serious conditions.
The uniform has been carefully purchased, washed and ironed to an inch of its life and the painful task of labelling the whole flipping thing is finally done.The time has come at last time for the new school year and the kids are FINALLY back at school! I can feel your excitement from here.
Fathers may experience witnessing they're loved ones and baby in distress in the labour room and sometimes witnessing even more blood loss than the mother. The father feels so unhelpful as he watches the trauma of unfold in front of him.
We know that many parents are digitally capable and a significant number of them are confident in parenting online - however the online world changes fast and it can be hard for parents to feel like they are keeping up.
Right now feeding your infant would be like sticking a giant gin nipple in their face and syphoning off last night's post-3am Jaeger-Bombs... You've thrown up in your own hair and made the decision just to 'brush it in', and for the first hour you were awake this morning you couldn't remember how many children you actually had...
We need to break the taboo - and the only way to break a taboo is by talking about any 'challenging issue' openly. We need bereaved parents to feel able to talk openly about their babies if they so wish.
I have blamed myself for not being 'healthy enough', for not losing enough weight before I became pregnant, for lifting heavy items, for having a glass of wine (before I found out). The list is endless.
I've made it! Three kids have learned to eat, walk, use a toilet, quote Princess Bride, and talk in thick Boston accents (R's are hawd to say, ok?) under my tutelage. But now they are someone else's responsibility from 9am until 3pm.
Despite reaching your limits entertaining the kids day in and day out for six straight weeks (and feeling great comfort in knowing that this period is finally coming to an end), you realise that you have no idea whatsoever when school actually starts back. You know that it's sometime in early September... but that's about it.
Christ alive I've never known a rollercoaster of emotions quite like the last three and a half years. Gone are the 'good days' and 'bad days'. Days are less easy to emotionally rank now. Sometimes I encounter the full spectrum of emotions in the same day.
Enforcing this tough policy has resulted in surprisingly pleasant outcomes. The main one is that my children learned to engage themselves actively, either with pen and paper, make-belief dolls from corn stalks, paper costumes, pet circus and a whole myriad of creative past times that became the hallmark of their materially poor but spiritually rich childhood.
We grabbed a budget rental car and headed to the laid back beaches of Fort Myers, compared to the more hedonistic Miami where an overnight stay at Loews hotel gave us a glam glimpse of city, with a super safe family swimming pool and Nikki Beach's famous brunch just a stone's throw away.
As the surgeon who did my caesarean explained why I should have an emergency caesarian she looked almost like an angel to me. Within twenty minutes, my son was born.
When we first made a decision to home educate, only a handful of our friends were supportive. For the most part, we were met with either mild bafflement at us suddenly turning hippie-like, or rather rude comments labelling us irresponsible parents who will surely ruin our child's future, because school is the best thing ever since sliced bread, and isn't school compulsory anyway?
This is it now, you know what's coming; you need to dig deep and find the strength within you to get through the night. But to help you, here are a few little reminders/tips on how to cope when the chips are down.
Hands up who's read Lord of the Flies? (Hand down, Dad, I read your school copy of the book: two pages of the whole book were annotated.) Those who did read the whole book: has anyone noticed their house has gone just a little bit Lord of the Flies since having a toddler?