How I got my kids to actually LISTEN!

It seems like a good idea at the time. I’m not in the mood for being late again. But my 2 year old isn’t in the mood for wearing trousers. Or clothes of any variety. No chocolate button bribe is going to convince her otherwise.

And then I see Willy, the haggard old stuffed dog, so loved by my kids. I do what any parent might do in this situation, and I give Willy a voice. In my haste (we’re very late now), I introduce Willy as some sort of Yoda impersonator. This wasn’t planned. It just sort of happened like that.

He (Willy) explains to my delighted, wide eyed girl, that people who don’t wear trousers get cold legs (he’s pretty wise). She clings on to his every word and within 3 minutes she is dressed, happy and ready to leave the house.

Naturally I milk this trick for all its worth. Some days I’d ‘be’ Willy more than I would be my actual self. My husband would return from work at the end of the day to discover the kids pissing themselves laughing at a stuffed dog, and a frazzled wife whose voice suggested she’d spent the day chain smoking Benson and Hedges. Try doing a Yoda impression for more than one minute and you will see my point. (I don’t even like Yoda).

It doesn’t end there of course. The crocodile bath mat talks the children into brushing their teeth. The bear on the nursery sign reminds them, in a fairly creepy tone, of how much fun they will all have together at nursery that day.

The list goes on. The cows we pass. The car when the windscreen washers are on (“WHY ARE YOU CRYING, CAR? MUMMY BE THE CAR!”). Birds; flies; snails.. Each one as manipulative as the next, often tricking my kids into doing practical everyday tasks that they’d otherwise fight against doing. Words spoken by a manky old fly or indeed a bath mat are seemingly more superior than that of the lady who birthed them and kept them alive for this long (you’re welcome kids).

It isn’t always inanimate objects and animals though. One day it all inevitably kicked off when I attempted to apply suncream to both the children. At this very moment, ‘Debs’ was born. She has an extremely strong bristolian accent and is Chief Sunscreen Applicator. As soon as I put on the appropriate voice, the kids moods actually lift as they merrily present their tummies to me for sun-creaming. “Debs!!” they cry as they throw their arms around me (Debs). They appear to bloody love Debs. So much so that when I ‘turn back into’ myself they would be visibly disappointed. Once, one of them actually cried. ‘Be Debs again. We don’t want mummy. We love Debs. Where’s Debs?’ Needless to say, Debs will be off on her travels soon far far away. Sun cream season is nearly over after all (yeh, screw you Debs and your great ways with kids).

It was the day I found myself doing the voice of the kitchen bin (“BE THE BIN MUMMY!! BE THE BIN! HELLO BIN ARE YOU HUNGRY?”) that I decided enough was enough. I’d had a measly 4 hours of sleep the night before thanks to a chatty 2 year old, and was feeling extremely low on patience and energy. My throat sore. Yet there I was chatting away, a tired, angry expression on my face, doing my best Brian Blessed style bin voice.

I’m a 34 year old grown up. I had a decent job once. I interacted daily with adults. I went to meetings. I attended conference calls. I composed emails to important people. I made grown up decisions. Look at me now. Impersonating bins.

The voices haven’t stopped completely – the power of ‘Crocky’ the bath mat is too useful to lose – but they have definitely become less of a regular feature in our lives. You might argue that this decision makes me a dull parent. But when does it end if I don’t stop now?? I’m thinking it’s probably best to try and gain a bit of respect for my own voice. I don’t want to find myself in a situation when I’m dropping one of the kids at university with bloody Willy under my arm, poised for service should I need it.

But occasionally, at very testing, trouser-avoiding times, I’ll still let Debs pop back for a spot of gentle persuasion (she’s been promoted). I just make sure she doesn’t stick around for too long.

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Are you having a kid life crisis?

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It’s Monday morning and this happened:

“And THAT girls, is what we call ‘BEAT BOXING!’”.

The very moment these words leave my lips, I stop. My smile fades. I step slowly away from the plastic cash register with built in microphone. My two preschoolers stare at me, an expression of confusion and anticipation on their faces. Something hits me. Who IS this full grown woman with her Fisher Price products and her “beatboxing”? Where has the other person gone? The one who didn’t wear porridge splashed clothes. The one who didn’t do her make up whilst frazzled in the taxi on the way out, but in the comfort of her own home with a glass of wine? The one who spent her days having uninterrupted adult conversations about adult (ish) subjects?

Later that same morning, I am reluctantly (it’s still early) jumping on a trampoline with the two year old’s hands in mine. The four year old is happily making Octonaut noises nearby. My friend arrives, eyes squinting as though a bright torch is being shone directly into them (we are in a dimly lit, windowless trampolining gym). She practically feels her way towards us with a sort of happy yet pained expression on her more tanned than normal face. Her own two preschoolers in tow. She has this kind of wonky ‘broken but content’ look about her. And this is why:

Last week she kissed her husband and kids goodbye, skipped to the airport and boarded a flight with a group of her finest friends. After four days of wine, laughter, shots, snowboarding, more shots, she returns. It’s her first trip away without kids in four years.

And, it turns out, it’s the first time in four years she has got to BE the person she was before she had children. And to say this is therapeutic for her would be an understatement.

When we are away from our children, there is no planning an entire day around naps, no pasta prep, no daily complicated bag inventory, no wiping of any bums that don’t belong to us, no toddler refereeing, negotiating, sending to the step-ing, no extremely unreasonable behaviour to deal with, no being woken in the middle of the night and/or at crazy o’clock in the morning.

Our brains are full to the brim (to the BRIM!) with this stuff on a daily basis, leaving little to no room for much else. Leave the kids for a few days (not on their own, ideally) and, as my friend was delighted to discover, out pops the original ‘you’. The person that existed before babies entered the equation. The person who was hiding inside somewhere, trying to get a bloody word in edgeways for the last four years. But still in there.

And it’s that realisation that leads me to The Kid Life Crisis. The point at which one, not so much misses, more, fancies a drink with the person they were before having children. Just to check they are still in there.

My kids are everything to me and I can barely believe how lucky I am to have them. I love them so much it feels like I could pop (when not clawing out own hair during meltdowns, whinging, arguments, screaming, bumping, crying, carpet soiling etc). But occasionally it would be nice to have something (anything) else, completely unrelated to children, to occupy my brain.

Sometimes I wonder whether the ‘Mum’ part of my brain has gone all Pac Man and greedily eaten my ‘real me’ brain cells. This leaves me with some sort of a mega ‘Mum’ brain programmed only to think/discuss kids food, faeces, school places, snot, nappies, tantrums, time out, reward charts, sharing, playing nicely, Elsa, Simba, rub it better, pick it up, stop playing with your bottom, type subjects.

That and box sets.

Often when I talk, I actually bore my own self. It has gotten to the point where, when asked expectantly, ‘what are you up to this week?’ I simply respond with a strange grunt. I can’t be bothered to explain my ‘soft play, farm animal, peeling kids off floor’ filled week to people because, well, it’s not very interesting a tale. Not for them.

My aforementioned friend has already booked her next trip away, entirely with her other half’s blessing. He saw what a positive effect this break had on her. And this, I truly believe, is an essential action to take in order to get through the Kid Life Crisis. Booking some quality time with yourself, or even better, with mates who make you laugh.

Then the next time you start embarrassing yourself/the children/anyone who knows you with a Fisher Price till mic, you’ll be able to relax, safe in the knowledge that just because you’re behaving like a twat in front of the kids, it doesn’t mean you’re really a twat. (Can I get that quote framed please? It’s quite profound).

The day the police knocked on my door

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It was an interesting end to the week. It is Eclipse Day, it is early, the kids have eaten breakfast. The baby is eating Shreddies off the floor while the three year old repeatedly shouts ‘OHH MYY GOD!!’ before eagerly awaiting a reaction.

There is a loud knock at the front door. It’s the police. Two officers in total and they invite themselves in. They know our names. My initial thought: ‘They must be here to warn us about the dangers of looking at the sun during the eclipse’. But, upon realising the absurdity of this idea (what is WRONG with me?), the worry sets in. Fuck, actually. What’s about to happen?

Turns out my 1 year old has called them. Of course she has. During the call, babbling was heard, followed by lots of crying. So they rushed over. The baby in question clutches my husbands leg as she looks on, amused, sporting a small bump on her head which must have occurred during her phone call. Her phone call to the police.

‘I think we have found our little suspect’, the officer says. He chuckles. We make our apologies and say our goodbyes. I’m amazed we didn’t get more of a bollocking from them. They must get calls like this all the time. We learn that you don’t even need to dial the numbers 999 to get them on the other end. Just smacking random keys a few times will do it. We enter the front room to discover the phone is off the hook. The police still on the line. We hang up. Said phone is now unplugged.

It’s quite something, calling the police and have them turn up at your house. Does this count as a milestone? Does it go in the red book? Eats solids – tick. Takes first steps – tick. Calls police…. Should she receive some sort of certificate? I wonder if she’s got a little record now down at the station. They didn’t take prints which is reassuring.

I hope it’s not a sign of things to come. Maybe we shouldn’t remind her of this until we’re certain that she’s not going to be the type to get into trouble with the cops. I don’t want to give her any ideas.

From here, I am naturally led to reminisce about my own teenage years. This is made very easy by digging out the old diary. The diary which I haven’t yet burned. I see it as my guide, my manual, my insight into a teenage brain. Surely a massive bonus when destined to have not one but TWO teenage girls living in my home (Jesus Christ).

The level of cringe that occurs during the reading of said diary is vomit inducing. The poems. The poems about boys. Because when you get dumped, you write a poem. Or worse, a 6 page handwritten letter to boy(s) in question. The painfully detailed descriptions of the fondlings. The smoking, the drinking, the tears, the drama. I would go on but I’m too busy throwing up.

A large part of that nausea comes from fear. Fear that my girls will follow in my teenage footsteps and make the same mistakes I made. And they’re probably not going to tell me about it, about the boys, the parties, the dramas. That’s the worst bit. And even if they did tell me about that stuff, they’re not going to listen to my advice. They’re going to assume I have no idea what I’m talking about.

No longer will I be a celebrity in my own home. No longer will I get a cheer, a smile, a loving and grateful embrace when I walk into the room. No, they will be too busy stubbing their fags out on their bedroom windowsill to the sound of Shakespeare’s Sister while eating Monster Munch before grunting at me on their way to the undoubtedly empty fridge. I know the drill.

But there I will stand, diary in hand, taking it all on the chin. ‘That’s how down with the kids I am’ I’ll say. Because I was one once and here’s my evidence! *Smugly waves diary in air.

My 1 year old however, will have to knock this ‘phoning police’ game on the head, because I have no experience in that area. There are no police dramas in the diary to refer back to for guidance. Not really. There was the odd chase through the park on a Friday night, the occasional questioning about events leading to various stomachs being pumped. Nothing big. My worst crime was the poem entitled, ‘My Bleeding Heart’ (1996). So hopefully this personal lack of major police drama is in some way hereditary, and that will be the end of it.

The 10 most infuriating things preschoolers do

When I was six, I kicked a girl in the shin in John Lewis. I have a very clear memory of it. It was quite out of character for me which is perhaps why I remember it so well. The reason I kicked her was because she was whining very loudly. I’d been watching her from behind my mum’s skirt and I was getting irritated. Really irritated. So I kicked her! The girl cried and I didn’t even feel bad. I just stared at her for ten seconds and then walked away, satisfied that I now felt less irritated. I’m not proud of it. I certainly didn’t make a habit of it.

27 years later and I still get that same feeling of irritation when I hear whining, particularly if it’s coming from my own offspring. And unfortunately for me, the three year old is currently at it a lot. As kicking kids is generally frowned upon these days, I have to just take a deep breath and do my best not to implode.

It’s hard though. Because when you team that awful, incessant sound with other really irritating things that happen when looking after small people, it becomes difficult to behave in a respectable, grown up manner.

For instance, just yesterday, while I had two sobbing children clinging onto my legs as I whisked eggs at the speed of sound, I had an overwhelming urge to repeatedly jab a fork into my eye while saying this: fuckssakefuckssakefuckssakeaaararrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A friend once described to me how, when at home with her two kids, she briefly left the room to quietly kick a wall with all her might. You’d never guess in a million years this beautiful, calm, even tempered lady would have it in her to behave in such a thuggish manner. But that’s what children have done to us.

I remember when my eldest was going through a hitting phase when she was about two. I braved taking her and her brand new sister to a cafe for lunch. She decided she wanted to run off through the automatic doors towards the harbour outside. I ran after her and picked her up. She angrily screamed as loud as she possibly could before slapping me across the face, hard, no less than three times. Big slapping sounds echo through the cafe. Stares from other diners. Relief that their kids didn’t just do that to them. At that moment it took everything in me to not smack her. I will never smack her. It’s not for me. I’d rather jab a fork in my own eye than harm her. But it really took everything.

Afterwards, after ditching the uneaten food I’d paid for, forcing said child into the buggy using my knee, flinging overpacked, crumb, raisin and litter laden bag onto my shoulder, I huffed and I puffed back to the car at 100mph. SO. ANGRY.

I can confidently say my kids do AT LEAST two infuriating, blood pressure raising, ‘fork in eye’ inducing things each and every day. Come 7pm, when they are in their beds, I join most parents in a communal glass of wine and massive sigh of relief. ‘Thank fuck for that’ we all say.

But before the evening is done, there I am, beaming away at images, videos even, of my kids’ little heads on my phone, reliving events from the day through actual choice. My husband gets a detailed presentation. We coo and marvel at their hilarious anecdotes and cute faces. As though an Instagram filter has been applied to my memory.

I suppose this is a reassuring indicator of how much I love those little bastards.

Until the next day. When they will do most of the following:

1. They practically sit on your feet when you are at the most dangerous point of food preparation e.g. when pouring boiling water over pasta, carrying large knife to sink. There’s a whole house they could play in.

2. “Mummy? Mummy? Mummyyyy? MUMMMMYYYYY?????”

“YES?! WHATISIT??!!”

Total silence.

3. The later you are, the slower they become. Sometimes, when you are at last poised to leave the house, they will stand completely still, blocking the front door, and won’t move. You stand, red faced behind them, carrying at least three bags, one scooter, one helmet, one stuffed animal, a human being, keys, phone and one stinking, heavy nappy bag that you’ve been meaning to chuck out all day. But didn’t. So your front room smells of shit too.

4. The kids have been really hard work all day. Your other half arrives through the front door. They immediately become little angels.

5. You decide you’re going to make more effort with their lunch. You spend ages preparing a meal. They won’t even try it. They complain. They even get upset. If you’re really lucky they’ll chuck it straight on the floor.

6. They act like a total brat every time you meet one particular person. That person believes you have a bratty child.

7. You make the mistake of letting your child choose their own outfit on a day when you’d like them to look nice. They discover the hideous sparkly ‘daddy’s little princess’ tee shirt that mysteriously turned up in their nursery bag and you’ve been meaning to return.

8. They make unreasonable requests when you’re running late and about to get out of the door. It leaves you with a difficult choice – ‘do I say no and we’ll miss our appointment due to time taken to unpeel child from the floor, or do I just let her wear daddy’s boots?’

9. You attempt to quickly slap on some make up. Make up becomes the most fascinating toy in the house. Little fingers rummage. Compacts are dropped. Blushers are stolen. Mascaras are unscrewed and dropped on the carpet.

10. You run off to use the loo, thinking about how much you’ll enjoy that 30 seconds of peace. The second you sit down, everyone turns up at your feet. It’s the tiniest room in the house. You might even get a ‘well done mummy!’ when you’re finished.

10 signs you are dangerously close to being Mumsy

This morning I received a message from an excellent friend of mine who also happens to own a baby. She was distressed. She explained how she had just been lying in bed feeling very smug, thinking about all of the Hoover bags she will be able to purchase with her salary when she returns to work.

Hoover bags. This is the girl who always wears shoes you wish you owned. The girl whose nail colour you copy and whose bag you borrow. The girl who, as students, after a big night, I would witness quietly and elegantly (in a wobbly kind of a way) exit a bus on our way home from a club, 12 stops early, so she could puke privately down a side street.

One baby later and look at her. Fantasising about Hoover bags. Getting one step closer to becoming, dare I say it, Mumsy.

This really struck a chord for me.

Last week I honestly typed these words into Google:

‘Where to buy seamless pants that are comfortable too.’

Suddenly I’m being bombarded with ads on Google for beige trousers and Stannah stairlifts. I deserve nothing more. What the hell has happened to me?

Each day I get about 30 minutes in total when the kids are occupied in some way. Extremely valuable ‘take a breath and drink a hot coffee’ time. Sometimes I might even push the boat out and sit down for five minutes. The other day I chose to spend this precious time writing a very serious email to Ocado. ‘Two bags of potatoes have arrived with my delivery’, I typed, ‘when actually I ordered only ONE bag’. A few lines later and I hit send with a flamboyant and harder than necessary finger tap as if to say ha! Now tell me what you’re gonna do, Ocado! *Pulls smug face.

And right then it hit me. This awful, dreaded feeling. I had just spent some of my life writing to a supermarket about fucking potatoes. Potatoes. I could have spent that 10 valuable minutes ordering a much needed new outfit off Asos. Booking a holiday. Planning a trip away with the girls so we can get pissed and wobble off some more busses. It was my ‘Hoover bag’ moment. Am I officially Mumsy now?? When did I become such a bore?

The day I gave birth is when.

But there is still hope. My advice to my friend was that we should be very grateful that we can recognise our uncoolness. It means it is not too late for us. We simply have to do something drastic to balance things up. A new tattoo perhaps? Do we take up wrestling? And next time Ocado send me more potatoes than I ordered, I’m just gonna fuckin’ EAT them all up yeh you heard me right.

I don’t think we’re alone here. And so was born the ’10 signs you are dangerously close to being Mumsy’ list. Read and take action immediately if any sound familiar. You are welcome.

1. You read household product reviews on Ocado before purchase.

2. You WRITE household product reviews on Ocado after purchase.
(64 reviews on Waitrose Essential Toilet Roll at last count, I mean wtf?!)

3. You have a secret board on Pinterest entitled, ‘organised cupboards’

4. You announce that you have just been for ‘a poo in the toilet’ and hold up your hand as if awaiting a high five.

5. You have had at least three lengthy conversations about steam mops and how great they are.

6. You have Frozen songs in your head at all times, even when you are up during the night.

7. When asked to arrange a night out with the girls, you have no idea where to go.

8. You haven’t had a pedicure since the summer and the polish from that is still on your toes. Just.

9. Putting on a statement necklace feels like a big deal. As does wearing heels.

10. You shout ‘look! Sheep! BAAAA!!’ when you drive past a field. No children in the car.

The day I said sorry to my three year old

I’m having a bad week. The other morning, while getting dressed as Husband gave the kids their breakfast, I hear shouting coming from the kitchen. I speed downstairs to discover Husband, running around, stressed, topless, while juggling pots and pans of varying sizes. The kids looking on excitedly with wide eyes and Weetabix smiles. It was raining in our kitchen. Raining. In our kitchen. And no amount of pans, towels or tubtrugs were going to catch all of the drips. Not good. I call the roof guy who assures me that he will be over that very same morning. Still waiting. Five whole days have passed. Curious crawling babies and kitchen puddles are a bad combination. That roofer can do one. I mean, not even a text!

After all the excitement, I eventually manage to catch the baby, change nappy, remove faeces from her feet, my arms, both our hands and floor, apply eczema cream to the eldest WHILE she jumps up and down on the sofa laughing , teeth brushed, shoes found, shoes on, hair brushed (sort of), zips up and the children are out the door, both in mismatching socks AND gloves but out the door nonetheless, before 8:30am which is what we in this business call ‘an achievement’.

There was a moment during the getting ready madness where my eldest kicks off because I won’t let her do up her cardigan buttons. At this point, my patience gives up on me and I really shout at her. I feel bad about the shouting. She tells me it has made her feel sad.

We reach the car and it immediately becomes apparent that someone had issues with our wing mirror. Again. There it sprawls, all broken and useless across the pavement and road. £250 gone quicker than you can say ‘overdraft’. Fucks sake.

In the car, I apologise to my 3 year old for the shouting. She reminds me that the shouting made her feel sad. I remind her that her not doing as she’s told when running late makes me feel sad (what is this crap coming out of my mouth?!) and we made a deal to never do our bad things again. Until the next morning of course.

I drop the kids off at nursery. More tears. I think I’ve done it this time. They hate me. As I leave, I spot a kid quite literally SKIPPING into the room without even looking back. His dad chuckles and merrily strolls off to his day of having grown up conversations and hot coffee,  guilt free.

The following day, the kids are both ill. The baby resembles Uncle Fester complete with double whammy eye infection, while the other one has bright red cheeks and a temperature. I run upstairs to fetch the Calpol and, in my hasty return, fall down the stairs. The stair gate at the bottom really adds to the drama. Eyes prickle. Deep breaths.

I limp to the kitchen and make veggie burgers for the first time. The kids will love these, I think to myself. Various vegetables are peeled, boiled and mashed, bread crumbs are made, seasonings are added, the food processor is whizzed. 40 minutes later, the completed burgers are proudly and lovingly placed before the children before being quickly pushed to one side, untouched. Two pairs of eyes look at me, hungry, wondering where their real lunch is.

I, like many other parents, regularly feel as though I am being tested. Not sure by what/whom exactly. But I occasionally daydream about a moment. A moment where I hear the sound of a buzzer, the scenery changes as though a curtain has been lifted, and I am presented with some sort of consolation prize. It’s good, but it’s not right they’d say.

But then today at nursery drop off time, something happened. I saw the skipping boy again only this time he wasn’t skipping. He was crying. And this time it was his mum who was dropping him off and he really didn’t want to let her go. And it was a nice reminder (apologies, sad crying boy), that actually my kids are crying when I drop them because they think I’m, well, pretty awesome. Because I’m their Mum. And that kind of makes it all ok.

That and wine.

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What happened when I was left to my own devices…

As of this week, I am no longer a full time mum. I am a ‘five day a week’ mum. This morning I dropped my 1 and (nearly) 3 year old off at nursery. The youngest is doing her first ever full day. The eldest was continuing her time there after a 2 week break. The youngest was passed to her key worker and I walked away, at which point she looked at me as though I’d, well, just handed her to a stranger and walked away. The eldest went all ‘koala’ on me and had to literally be prised from my leg by another adult. Tears. Reaching out arms. Dramatic shouting. From both of them.

And off I went on my not so merry way, not to work, but to find work. The screams echo down the corridor as I leave. I am drenched in guilt. Two days per week without the kids. But I am doing the right thing. I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING (trying to convince self)

My situation is this – my original salary doesn’t even come close to covering the childcare costs required to allow me to do my job. All £18,000 of it, and that’s just for 3 days childcare per week. I’d actually be paying nearly £3000 per year just to work. Stupid. So I need to get better paid work. I could stay at home and look after the kids full time until they go to school, but I personally don’t think this would do me, or most importantly, them, much good. We are all happier together when we have scenery changes. And my eldest thrived at nursery. During her first week there as a 1 year old, her language skills had noticeably improved and she started to walk. Now aged (nearly) 3, she knows her alphabet, her squares from her circles, can count to 20 odd and sings me songs I’ve never heard of on a daily basis. I’m not showing off (I am). I’m saying that I personally do not believe I could have brought so much to her learning and development at home. So I’m not going to feel guilty about sending them to nursery. (I am).

In order to prevent said guilt increasing further, I have obsessed about how I must achieve lots of practical tasks that go towards figuring out getting an income during my 2 ‘me’ days. I’m talking CV editing, calls to companies selling my services, course investigations. And writing – but more on that later. I am not about to use these days to paint my nails or, God forbid, watch daytime TV. If I’m going to miss out on time with my kids, then it has to be for a very good reason.

That said, procrastination has already hit a whole new level before I’ve even started. Since returning home from dropping the kids off, I have mopped the kitchen floor; spent 10 minutes walking around the house, deciding on where to set up laptop; moved large furniture around to make chosen space feel ‘right’; decided to sit at large chest of drawers and have removed a single drawer for knees to go in comfortably, taken a photo of said space and sent it to husband; husband marvelled at the way I had removed drawer for knees so then took photo of knees in drawer hole. There was even a ‘knee hole upgrade’ which involved a cushion. Husband was updated with the changes. Shit, it’s 10:30 already.

My dream situation would be that I write a successful kids book. A common goal I shall admit and most people love to remind me of this. But if Rowling can do it then why the hell can’t I?! (because she can actually write well, perhaps) I now have a trick where, when people ask me how I plan to get an income, I avoid telling them that part. Eye rolling generally doesn’t help with the old confidence.

One small hurdle, and I hate to be a cliché, but it genuinely feels as though a large part of my brain, seemingly the important part designed to make simple decisions, spell, string words together to form whole sentences, has vanished. Famously this happens, they say, when one gives birth. It does seem to be the case sadly. But hear this…I plan to find it again. And I plan to conquer the world of writing GODAMMIT!!!!!!!!! (God that was tiring. Is it 7 o’clock yet?)

I’m simply going to write something, anything, every day in the hope that said missing brain returns from wherever it has been (hopefully some kind of brain spa so it returns buffed, polished and good as new). Not everything will appear on here, but I will endeavour to post something, anything, once a week. The main challenge will be actually finding the time. As I type I am looking around me and realising that we may have to sacrifice general hygiene to allow me to do this. Sorry kids.

As my days currently revolve around small children, I’ll probably end up harping on about them. Or maybe I’ll discuss new ways to make knees comfortable when using desk alternatives. You are most definitely hooked now, I can tell. Whatever ends up on the page, I hope you’ll join me.