Sleep deprivation will twist your feelings and muddy your thoughts like nothing else. I figured I forced her existence by having IVF and that my selfish need to be a mum was being punished. But it wasn't just me being punished, it was Paul too but mostly and worst of all, it was Elin. They were categorically the worst few months of my life.
For you, half an hour seems like an eternity. You can't imagine the day where your baby might play on his own for half an hour while you tend to chores and cook - one less thing you'd have to do in the evening. But he won't play on his own. He needs his mummy to be near. He needs to feel you.
I long to relax the way you do, to take my eyes off my child without the fear of him picking up something he shouldn't and placing it into his mouth. I dream of looking over and smiling the way you do as he plays with other children, instead of anxiously moving closer in case the other child decides to share their snack.
And we're off! Charging down the street with the wind in our hair, a walk-sprint with a waddle. Toddler finally in the buggy and baby in the carrier, merrily rolling along the pavement. I'll admit that we've left the house a little late, but it's a miracle that we've made it out the door
The report stated 40% of children in the UK's most deprived areas were overweight or obese compared to 27% in most affluent areas. The health of children in Scotland was declared the worst in Europe.
"What do you think pretty is?" This was the question a teacher at my daughter's school asked during a PSHE lesson last week. The responses from the group of 13 year olds were varied but the one that provoked the greatest reaction was "Blonde hair, clear skin, a thigh gap and a flat stomach!"
Joseph, not a day passes without me contemplating your future and what life will ultimately hold for you. I know you need me to help you understand, what is very much an alien world to yours.
I find it funny that I spend so much time researching how to get my baby to sleep through the night (or even more than one hour at a time), how to entertain my bored toddler, how to get them to eat more than bread and cheese, and how to stop breastfeeding. But so much of my parenting expectations are set by society.
She didn't mind that I didn't cook her dinner every night. She was happy to eat grilled cheese every night of the week. And sneak in lots of chocolate and snackies and wine after (hence the reason we both put on some weight!).
Getting ready to go out to the sounds of Whitney Houston, Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson (even had his poster on my wall when he looked like he should) all on vinyl, to name but a few. It was a time when hair would survive any hurricane, rock hard from a can of cheap extra hold hairspray.
For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you will be aware that one of my daughters is in the world of modelling and acting. This, of course, fills me with immense pride but no more than my other daughter's achievements, or my son's.
You wait years for your children to start speaking, imagining all the wonderful conversations you'll have when they can finally communicate in words rather than just pointing and saying 'ba!' How you will have intelligent discussions over the breakfast table, rather than spending the time dodging flying Weetabix and wiping the jam off your jeans.
To me (in the words of Winnicot) it's about being a 'good enough' parent and recognising that it's ok not to get it right all of the time. In fact, not only is it ok not to be perfect, it will actually give your child benefits in their journey through life.
My daughter recently finished a topic on chemical bonding in school. It was a relatively simple topic and I was shocked that she did badly in the test, given that she aces all her other subjects effortlessly.
I had slumped down in a chair and was unaware of the commotion, as a swarm of doctors and midwives surrounded me and hoisted me up onto a bed. A short time later, I opened my eyes to find myself breathing through an oxygen mask and shaking uncontrollably. All I could hear repeatedly were the words, 'We need blood!'
To an extent this was true, although the music festivals now tend to be of the kid friendly variety, as do the restaurants and the holidays. I am happy about the changes but I would lie if I said it was an easy transition into parenthood. It is more like a seismic overnight shift.
With the half-term holidays over and most children going back to school this week, it's time to get back into the routine of the dreaded school run. You might think that the trick of getting your child out the door and into school should be relatively easy right?
Six years ago my youngest son was diagnosed with autism and in the blink of an eye all things accessed so easily were tragically snatched away. The simple task of booking a family holiday soon became something drifting quickly out of my reach.