I don’t see him so much any more. Years ago, when the boys were small and made up more of biology than their own individual personalities, I looked for – and found – him all of the time. Anything unfamiliar was attributed to our donor and I would feel this pull of gratitude around my heart that somebody helped us and now, here we were, a family, with his blue-eyed boy laughing up at us, a tiny tribe of me and him. These days, when I look at my children I see themselves, their own quirks and personality, their mother’s expressions fleeting across their own small faces. I don’t see him. I barely think of him. That’s how I knew that I was ready. I don’t believe in karma.  I don’t believe in balance.  And yet sometimes I look around myself these days, at my beautiful partner and my perfect gaggle of children and I think yes, that’s what it was all for.  And now I have you.  And I wanted to give something back.  Don’t get me wrong, quite often I find myself closing my eyes and mouthing silent thanks to all of the gods in whom I don’t believe.  And I hope very much that the doctors and nurses who helped to make my babies still read my blog, as they used to, and they feel a sense of pride and satisfaction every time they happen upon a photograph of us radiating joy, a modern love story personified.  But he doesn’t… View Post

Today you turned three.  We had one of those magical days that are made all the more special by not doing much of anything at all, by taking the day at a three-year-old’s pace.  We walked to the bakery for breakfast and you demanded the smiley-faced shortbread biscuits that you always request, albeit usually at a more civilised hour.  You know the sort – with the iced-on smile and the Smarties for eyes?  I would have given you anything and we tried to persuade you toward something spectacular, but it was your birthday and you wanted the faces. The rest of the day was taken up with playing with your new toys – you particularly liked a singing recycling van – and with a trip to your favourite park on the bus.  You love being chased, rough-housed and tickled and I always have so much fun playing with you.  I am so proud of your confidence, of the way that you will climb anything like little monkeys and chat to anybody.  You are so sweet and funny, so innocently loveable, that I am a little disbelieving that you came from me. You came into my life and you changed it.  We were twenty-four and still finding our feet, so sure of everything, and you took everything that I thought I knew about myself and about motherhood and you made it into so much more.  It took me some time to find the path through the woods of mothering you, but now… View Post

Sometimes, the cosy stay-indoors days are the best.  Some days, it’s ok to just say no, I’ve done enough for this week, to pull a duvet day, to pull the curtains and to lock the door and boil the kettle for hot chocolate.  Today was one of those days for us.  We had grand plans for today.  There is a place just far enough from here to feel like an adventure, a woodland of sorts that I visited when I was small and was so magical that I thought for years that I had dreamt it.  I’ve never been back since, but when I heard that this place was hosting a Halloween party for little ones, I couldn’t resist buying tickets. Anyway – as you’ve probably guessed, we didn’t go.  It wasn’t the day and that’s ok; we’ll visit another time. We decided to have some fun in the house instead. And isn’t it so LOVELY when the bends in the road lead to patches of unexpected beauty in strange meadows. Mothering these four is my favourite thing.  

You may recall that when I accidentally dressed Kirsty and Josephine-dog in matchy sweaters for a local art festival, she refused to stand near the dog for almost the entire day. So you can imagine how it went down when I told her that Bonnie Mob, one of my favourite childrenswear brands, were sending us identical jumpers to wear for a photoshoot to help promote their collaboration with Selfish Mother. This limited edition collaboration is raising money for refugee families in Europe via Refugee Support, a charity that aims to ‘put dignity first and act quickly to improve refugees’ health, wellbeing and opportunities. And by spending locally, we also support local communities’. She couldn’t argue with that now, could she? Admittedly, we did both get the giggles walking down the street together dressed like this. How could we not?  By the time that we reached the woods, we had tears streaming down our faces as we were laughing so hard. These jumpers are so soft and they fit beautifully; the material sits just right and isn’t clingy at all.  It comes in two colourways, this striking grey and coral and a gorgeous black and gold.  I adore the motif on the front.  It’s become one of my favourite lightweight jumpers for this season, but Kirsty is right – we probably won’t wear them again at the same time! And you wouldn’t believe what Bonnie Mob sent for Balthazar, Lysander, Embla and Olympia…    You can shop the whole tiger collection… View Post

It’s been a bit of a funny old weekend for us.  We were due to take a review trip to the coast, but Storm Brian cancelled all of the trains in that direction and we had to turn around at Waterloo Station and lug our suitcase, pram and four children back home.  We were so disappointed, especially the boys, who have been bemoaning the broken trains and the ‘stone castles’ that they were going to make ever since.  Thanks, Brian.   We found ourselves with an unexpected, completely clear weekend at home.  I’m not a stay-at-home sort of person, particularly now that we have children; I find that they are so much easier to manage outside of the house, and bonus, our home stays tidy!  So even as we travelled back, I found myself on my iPhone, googling ways to keep them entertained this weekend.  Of course, we didn’t get back home until gone midday and then they wanted to eat the picnic that we had bought for the train and watch the little DVD player that we had bought to keep them entertained on the long journey, so we didn’t manage to get out of the house until quite a bit later.  I had dropped Josephine-dog to my mother-in-law’s house after work the day before, in preparation for our going away, so we didn’t have to worry about finding somewhere to go that is dog-friendly.  With that in mind, I suggested that we take a bus ride to Well Hall… View Post