28th March 2015

8 Things I Need To Accept About Being A Mother of Boys

11024129_806138882773382_1536842509_n1. Farts and burps will always be hilarious. I am totally outnumbered in my house with three males around me, so need to accept that when someone in the family releases bodily gases, most of my family members will start rolling around on the floor laughing (or even worse, copy like a echo). Even the dog (a female) seems to be in the farty camp, so I really can’t win.

2. I will spend a lot of time diffusing scraps. According to scientists, the fact that boys are more physical and more prone to scrapping from an early age is down to prenatal testosterone. So when one of my boys snatches a toy from the other boy’s hands and they start rolling around on the floor attached to each other, I am simply getting a taster of what is to come. I simply can’t wait.

3. People will always wonder whether I wanted a girl. This one makes me sad, but I don’t think it can be avoided. Fill your house with happy, healthy boys and people will wonder ‘did she want a girl?” Decide to have another baby and they will think ‘I bet she’s hoping it’s a girl this time!” I need to accept this, knowing in my heart that I always wanted boys and high-fived the sonographer when he confirmed the sex of my children.

4. I will spend all my time watching sport. Of course, not all boys enjoy sport – but the more you add to your family, the higher the chance of spending hours every week stood on the sidelines in every weather imaginable / sat in front of the TV watching various matches at the weekend / driving them around to various sporting events. Life will be a lot more enjoyable if I just accept this is the law of boys and start supporting the same teams as they do.

5. One day, they won’t be my ‘little boys’ anymore. At 5”3, they are going to shoot past me at some point soon – and when it happens, I will have to get used to looking up at them, rather than down at them.

6. My washing machine will never stop turning. With a one-year-old and nearly three-year-old I already have a taste of this. Everything is grubby, dirty, and dusty at the end of the day. And as they get older and take up various sports (no doubt involving mud, if we are back in the UK), this is only going to get worse. I gave up buying white T-shirts a long time ago. And I can only imagine the frustration of little boys in white school shirts – whoever came up with that uniform rule was having some kind of sick joke with mothers of boys.

7. You will live amongst a species obsessed with willies. From the moment they first discover it in the bath as a baby, right through to adulthood, every mother of the male species knows the part they play. Having a sense of humour helps.

8. There will probably come a day that they spend more time with another woman. I don’t want to think about this one too much, as it just feels strange. Give me 20 years and maybe I will have got my head around it. AT LEAST 20 – you hear that boys? I’m not ready to hand you over just yet.



26th February 2015

10 Things No-one Tells You About Having Your Second Child

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 19.33.111 – That you will excitedly retrieve toys, gyms, walkers and ride-ons from their storage place for your new addition – but when you reveal them, the older child will look delighted with themselves and barely let their younger sibling touch them.

2 – That when you take your new baby home from hospital, your first one will have morphed into a giant.

3 – That the tiredness doesn’t just come from lack of sleep, but from the physical exhaustion of lifting two little people, heaving car seats and children into the car, trying to steer double buggies with a mind of their own, and then working out how to collapse them and lift it into the boot. It feels like you always have a person to lift, carry or push. And it’s true. You do.

4 – That if you own an iPad, there will be war.

5  – That there is absolutely no point trying to give your children different foodstuffs. And that you should practice cutting sandwiches into identical shapes, counting out blueberries, and carefully dividing snacks into half portions while you still have the time.

6 – That despite looking and acting nothing like your own siblings, you will be constantly amazed that your second is not a carbon copy of your first.

7 – That you will feel fiercely protective of your new cub from the moment they are born. And that this may include rugby tackling your own (precious first born) child when they launch themselves at the baby with a large toy tipper truck.

8 – That your youngest child will grow up so much quicker, mastering the art of a crayon months before their older sibling, wanting to eat the same food when he spots his siblings plate (baby food? pah that’s for babies) and getting the most enjoyment out of toys designed for children twice his age. And that baby toys will therefore gather dust and be completely pointless.

9 – That heading outside with both children on your own for the first time is as big a milestone as the first tooth or first steps – and that you will never forget the day you did it. And that the fear of doing it is almost always worse than the reality.

10 – That despite the constant chatter, laughing, whining and screams, you won’t realise quite how noisy the house has got until the children aren’t there – and then that silence sounds and feels very odd indeed.



18th December 2014

Things I Do When The Kids Are Not Around

photoToday is our 4th Wedding Anniversary and we have two days in a beautiful hotel in the Cotswolds on our own without the kids. This never happens. So it’s kind of a big deal.

I’m enjoying every single second. However, it has to be noted that since leaving the boys, I have done the following:

1 – Woke up at 5am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Took me several minutes to realise that it was a pillow between us and not the baby.

2 –  Thought about the boys 3,000 times. Thought about calling the grandparents 3,000 times. Actually called them 3 times.

3 –  Parked the car and immediately went to open to the back doors and get the boys out. Turned it into a ‘oh yes, I needed this empty crisp packet from the back seat’ move, with several members of the public in the vicinity.

4 – Walked out the hotel and experienced a sudden moment of panic when I realised we did not have the children, nor the baby monitor. Did a little hop, skip and jump at the realisation, before immediately feeling guilty and adopting a poker face.

5 – Looked at photos and videos on my phone of the boys at least every 5 minutes. Had full conversations with the husband about how squishy the baby’s thighs are and how funny the toddler’s chat is, before realising ourselves and changing the conversation to the weather (it’s cold, much colder than Dubai).

6 – Looked at my watch and totally ignored the numbers, reading ‘it’s tea time’, ‘it’s bath time’, or ‘it’s bedtime’ instead.

7 – Looked at my glass of wine, and automatically thought ‘this is going to be painful in the morning’.

8 – Went Christmas shopping for family members. Ended up with nothing for the family and everything for the children.

9 – Experienced another moment of panic when I couldn’t see my children in the shop. The children that are over a hundred miles away.

10 –  Heard the baby cry at least 10 times. In my mind.



16th September 2014

10 Things I Appreciate More Now I Have Kids

1 – 7pm. Before I had kids, 7pm was just a time. It was no more significant than any other time in a 24-hour period. But now it is the time the kids are both down, I head into the living room after tidying up, and flop onto the sofa (usually with a glass of wine in hand). I love you, 7pm. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you fully until now.

2 – Breakfast. In the days before kids, my breakfast consisted of a banana on the way to the station, a hastily spread bit of toast (usually with holes, thanks to the haste), or a bowl of porridge in front of late morning TV. Now it is my favourite meal of the day – whether we are dining in an otherwise empty restaurant or I’m cooking pancakes on the stove at home. I have totally rediscovered the joy of breakfast (and in fact early mornings), which goes some way to making up for the lack of sleep. Some way, you understand.

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3 – Alone Time. I’ve always liked a bit of quiet time on my own, but now these moments are so few and far between that they have become truly precious. If I head out on my own, I want hop, skip and jump my way there (and of course tell everyone I meet that I have kids, as it feels like I have lost one of my legs and nobody has noticed).

4 – Christmas. I admit I am quite obsessed with Christmas anyway, but suddenly this time of year has got even more magical. I can’t wait for this year especially, as it’s the first time my oldest will experience excitement in the build-up. I’m already planning – and only this morning I announced to the husband that I was planning to start buying a few gifts and he gave me a look that said ‘Good God Woman, it’s September’. You just wait husband, you just wait.

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5 – Sleep. I never climbed into my bed, burrowed under the duvet, and shut my eyes with the same feeling of joy before I had kids. Oh yes, I liked my bed before, but it is absolutely my best friend now. Knowing that I have a few hours ahead of me (and probably just that; a few hours) has made the time I spend under the duvet even more precious. And if I ever allow myself a nap at the weekend while the boys sleep, that is even sweeter.

6 – My Own Childhood. The most important thing in the world is that my boys have a happy childhood, which makes me reflect on quite how happy my own childhood was. I am so appreciative of everything my parents did to ensure we had magical childhoods – and now I’m a parent too, I understand there would’ve been moments when they were pulling their hair out and surviving on endless mugs of coffee (and, I suspect, a lot of wine too).

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7 – My Health. We absolutely rely on my health to function as a family. Nobody likes being poorly and it’s tough when you are holding down a job – but there are no sick days when you are a Mum. I have fed my children between bouts of vomiting, sung nursery rhymes when my throat felt like cut glass, and cried through bath-time with a migraine. So I am thankful for my health. Let’s face it; this motherhood lark is hard enough as it is.

8 – The Days Before Kids. I don’t think I fully appreciated everything I did before my boys came along – but now that life has a whole new spin, I am thankful that I did so much before they arrived. I snorkelled in caves in Mexico, I assisted on fashion shoots in New York City, I took a yoga class overlooking mountains on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, and I sat in the front row of London Fashion Week (when my ticket was for four rows back and I risked public humiliation if caught). And whilst I know there is time to get back into all that jazz when the boys are older, it’s nice to have those things to remember as I tackle these exhausting days of tandem nappy changing, broken nights, and toddler tantrums.

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9 – My Husband. Of course I have always loved him, but did I full appreciate him before we had kids? I’m not sure I would’ve sat down and ticked off reasons in my head, despite knowing I was a lucky girl. Now I do count my blessings regularly; that he’s a great Dad, that he does everything he can for the boys whenever he is at home (more than me, if the truth be known), and that he works hard so we can have a comfortable lifestyle (nb: he’s rubbish at the night shift, but everyone sucks at something).

10 – My Body. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t love my body. I certainly don’t feel confident in a bikini and I often have moments where I stand on the bathroom scales and shudder. But I appreciate my body in a way I have never done before. I only have to look at two little faces to appreciate what it did for me. So I don’t love you body, but will go as far as to say that I like you.

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What do you appreciate more now you are a parent? I would love to hear!