[We were offered tickets to attend Diggerland in exchange for a review, but we were not financially compensated for providing this publicity.] As with most four-year-old children, my sons adore anything with an engine.  In fact, probably one of my most devastating moments in parenthood was their fourth birthday when they were finally, finally old enough to come horse riding, and after the lesson Balthazar slid off of his pony (approximately 10hh of sheer adorableness) and, pointing at the tractor, remarked rather wistfully that he wished that they had been allowed to ride that instead. So when we were invited to Diggerland last month, I knew that they would be in their element.  We were offered four tickets and I considered paying for an additional ticket in order to bring my daughters (also big fans of anything construction-related) along as well, but a quick browse of the Diggerland website suggested… View Post

Dear Andrea Leadsom, As a mother to two sweet little boys who are due to start school in September, I have to confess that I am afraid. Until now I have been able to protect them from people who think that their family is less of a family because they are being raised by two mums. They will chat away happily to anyone, family and friends and strangers, about their mummies whilst I find myself tensing, hoping that the sweet elderly lady or the kind taxi driver doesn’t mind families like ours. I am aware that when Kirsty and I are out with our children, unless we choose to hold hands or to kiss, we pass as close friends or sisters enjoying a day out with our children, and I am grateful for that fact – I know that one day, in the wrong area, at the wrong time, it… View Post

I found out that we had lost our home on the way to the Mini Rodini store launch. And given that I’ve enjoyed almost thirty years of shopping my feelings, I think it’s a testament to my growth as an adult and as a mother that I didn’t blow the entire house deposit there and then. I don’t think that I can bring myself to write about how awful it is to be called three days after a home is sold to you, subject to contract, to be told that the vendor had changed his mind. Needless to say I’ve learnt a valuable lesson about witholding information from the children going forward – Balthazar cried when we told him that we wouldn’t be moving into the house after all and I feel thoroughly culpable.  People tell me that this happens, and better now than after paying thousands of pounds in fees… View Post

They say that buying a house is one of the most stressful things that you can do in life; above getting married, getting divorced or planning a new baby. But for the first while, finding a house is simply fun. I join a whatsapp group for parents in our intended hometown, and find myself creating a tangent group to discuss properties. We make friends and we pool our knowledge, cheering each other through viewing successes and offering consolation when offers are declined. We take trips to our intended hometown. I feel as though I know it; I start to take shortcuts, to smile at familiar vendors in favourite cafes, to know what I will order and where. People stop us in the street to say hello. When the boys come with me to property viewings, they rate houses according to what toys are in the bedrooms, how big the gardens are… View Post

Dear Baby Vita, You have been a part of our family for three months now and it has only just occurred to me that I have never written to you. It seems a little surreal that the fourth trimester of your little life has already passed us by and gone; you were surely born only yesterday, the slippery solidity of you upon my chest, your howl a strange punctuation between labour and birth. The memory of your arrival tastes of salt: tears and blood. And yet, it feels also like a lifetime ago, a distant mythology – the time before Vita. Because surely, little girl, you have always been with us. Your brothers and your sisters love you very much and are fiercely protective of you. Whenever we so much as leave a room, they check to make sure that you are coming with us and you can’t even whimper… View Post