Twenty-eighteen. There is so much that I hope for this year; the year that will close with my thirtieth birthday. I have so many beautiful, wild dreams. Some of them are quite big – I want quite desperately to take my waterbabies overseas this year, to watch them play on gentle sands – and some are smaller, little hopes that sit plumply within grasping distance if I just find the courage to reach out for them. A most important one for me is that I want to learn to mother better; I love these babies of mine so fiercely that sometimes I am afraid that it will crack me, that one day I will be sat in the office and I will feel myself snap and shatter, pieces of myself strewn across the desk that is never quite tidy. Sometimes I don’t know where to direct it, the waves of emotion, the sudden overwhelming longing to hold them when they are at home or nursery and I am so far away that it could be a different world. I place so much meaning on our weekends together that when it doesn’t go to plan, as it sometimes goes with two three-year-olds, I feel so angry – which isn’t fair on them because three years old is such a baby, really, and I want them to believe that the world in which they are growing is a just world and to believe, for now at least, that their parents always hold… View Post

I want to love Christmas. I do. Mulled wine and Mama kissing Santa Claus, decorated trees and tinsel, and tinsel, and tinsel. Every year I promise myself that I will immerse myself in it, face-first, that I will breathe Father Christmas in so deeply that if you cut my wrists I’ll bleed in candy cane stripes. And every year, by the end of the first week of December I am ready to take three Vallium and politely request that somebody wake me up on the first of January. The only part of the traditional Christmas that I’ve ever managed to get fully behind is mulled wine. I thought that this year would be my turning point; this year is the first year that it is more about them than it is about me, the first year in which my little boys know the songs, address every fat, elderly man as Father Christmas, love our little tree with a Druid-like passion and are so excited for presents that sometimes their throats catch and their eyes brim with tears.  This year, they reminded me whenever they saw me that ‘my Christmas is coming soon’ and I hugged them to me and thought yes, it is your Christmas. A few months ago, the Alex and Alexa team invited me to their Mayfair office for a coffee.  We have collaborated previously on content for their blog and for mine, and separately for an instagram feature or two, and over the course of our cup of coffee the subject of Christmas arose… View Post

She is sixteen months old. She loves her rabbit snuggie – Bunny Wiggles – strawberries, row-row-row-your-boat, throwing toys out of the bath, telephones and shoes. She is the firstborn daughter and the oldest of the girl-twins but the smallest of the four; she wields her tiny stature like a weapon.  She is her mama’s girl, her sister’s best friend, the boys’ most precious sibling.  Embla is the height of a nine-month-old, weighs the same as the average twelve-month-old, she is tiny and loud and the child is so, so loved. It started with a wound in her mouth.  I was in the office when Kirsty sent me the photo; it was black and cavernous, like nothing I had seen before.  The doctor’s surgery offered us a 5pm appointment that evening, and my boss kindly allowed me to leave early to take the baby to her appointment.  She laughed and chattered nonsense on the bus, held my hand around the supermarket, we bought strawberries to snack on in the waiting room.  And I remember feeling sheepish because my baby with a facial injury could eat, was laughing, it surely wasn’t so serious as to waste the doctor’s time. But there was the bruising.  By the time that I had made it home from the office, the bruises were coming out on her face.  We rationalised that she had fallen and hit her head, bruising her face and biting the inside of her cheek.  I remember that the GP was visibly shocked… View Post

Sixteen months old, and these two are delightful chatterbox magpies.  Every weekend they surprise me with something new; between last weekend and this one, Emmy has learnt to say cuddle, night-night, nana, mummy and baby.  Olympia communicates in a symbiotic way; it’s suddenly possible to hold a little conversation with her about her toys, her movements, her wellbeing.  When we walk around the supermarket, she holds my hand. When my sons were the same age, I was five months pregnant with these little ladies.  In retrospect that seems so strange to me; we still think of these girls as our babies and whilst we are definitely thinking of beginning to embark on the process for another, I can’t imagine being halfway along with one right now.  Crazy.  Embla especially feels like she still is a baby; they are definitely not ready for a small brother or sister yet!  This time next year, though… La Coqueta Kids sent the girls these beautiful merino bonnets in exchange for a feature on the blog.  I feel like we’re finally finding our feet with dressing the girls at last; everything about the way that they were dressed today made me grin from ear to ear.  These bonnets fit true-to-size and are so incredibly soft, they feel completely luxurious to touch and really elevate an outfit to the next level.  I can’t believe that we waited almost eighteen months to start accessorising our daughters! I do feel that we will probably purchase a couple more of these in… View Post

“Mummy Work.” He is a dissheveled bedhead, two-foot-nine-inches of pyjama-clad little boy standing between me and the front door. “You no going to work today. It Saturday.” It’s Tuesday. He wants me home with him all of the time and I can never understand it; by the time that the weekend rolls around I feel so thinly-spread that I’m almost transparent, like I never get the chance to be the best Amber that I can be, the best mother that I can be. But I always try to ensure that their weekends are packed full of adventure, that we go out and DO things (I can either be exhausted in the house or go out and be exhausted at Winter Wonderland or on a nice amble through the woods), that we make time to play and to laugh a lot. I feel very strongly that at the weekend, Kirsty should get some time off from mothering and I should have my chance to shine; it is so good for my relationship with these little people to have them see me as The Mummy for a little while. Still, I know that I would be a better mother if I slept more, if exhaustion and anxiety didn’t sit like a constant leaden weight on my chest. But last night, walking home in the dark, the rain-soaked pavements and flashing headlights gave the world a dream-like quality and I thought to myself that these are probably the best years of my life,… View Post