What I hope for for my son


My dad has today told me that the main thing he wanted for me in life was that I’d “not be a wimp”. I don’t really know what that means, but since I was bullied through school and am still occasionally paralysed by shyness, I’m not sure it worked out. Either way, it’s not something that had ever occurred to me as a priority for bringing up a child.

So I’ve been thinking about characteristics and behaviours that I’d like to support in my boy. (These may or may not be influenced by my own experiences).

I want him to be emotionally secure enough to recognise happiness in the everyday things.

I want to help him to be naturally kind, with no emotional obligations attached.

I want to encourage him to look for the best in people, not be instantly critical, snobbish or suspicious. To have empathy.

I want for him to not consider it normal to drive for short distances, so that fitness comes naturally to him and is not an effort.

I want to help him have the confidence to try things and not worry about failing. Not feel he has to be a perfectionist.

I don’t want him to be paralysed in social situations by feeling he has to have a “best behaviour”.

I want to show him that it isn’t lazy or irresponsible to think that work isn’t the most important thing in life.

I want to help him to be curious and interested and love life. Most of all, want him to be happy and bring happiness to others. Of course, I hope he is secure and confident in himself, but not being a wimp doesn’t come into it.


4 days late and 2 neg tests


The waiting is just so dull.

I didn’t really expect to get pregnant this month. I won’t be hugely upset if I’m not (just quite upset). I just want to know. I want to trust in the tests, but I can’t, because something is certainly going on in my body, just not sure what.

I’m very tired. That must be a sign. Every ache and pain and spot a sign. I wish my brain would just shut up. Stop looking for signs, stop thinking about March birthdays and what the implications of leaving work then might be. Shut up, brain, you are boring.

If I am not, I will drink a large glass of white wine and buy some soft cheese. Treat myself. I’m probably not. I am not, the tests say so. They are 99% accurate from four days ago. I am not and I must tell myself this. Except I might be.

It’s so boring, I haven’t told my husband. Don’t want to get his hopes up for my hormones just being a bit rubbish. No one knows. Just me and you.

Boring boring boring boring boring.

Ultimate chocolate cake | BBC Good Food


I just made this cake

 photo 6FFE6E0E-DA2D-44B5-93D4-E47F4E56931D_zpseceb8kda.jpg” alt=”Ultimate chocolate cake | BBC Good Food” />


Very easy to make. Contains buttermilk – bit of a pain to find, but should be in big supermarkets. The recipe says cut into three. I think two would do, or making in two tins. The cake is moist so doesn’t need two lots of filling. My layers fell apart on reassembling them. Hopefully the ganache will keep them together. Oh, the ganache needs chilling before use. I over chilled mine as I had to go out, but a quick go in the microwave and it was fine. I put chopped raspberries between layers and on top. It’s very chocolatey and moist, so I think it should go down well. Ultimate chocolate cake | BBC Good Food.

A letter to my ex


Hi D,

You were in my dream again. I’m staying in a hotel at the moment and the breakfast reminded me of you too. So many things do, all the time. Do you ever remember me? Are the memories all awful?

Sorry, I meant to keep this light, as you’d have said. But we did have some good times, didn’t we? We must have done. I wish we could reminisce like any other old friends. We had 12 years. It’s an awful lot to feel I’ve had to banish from my mind.

Sorry, I’m no good at this. Out of practice. We used to write letters to each other, before email. Do you remember those holidays when we were both in different countries? Your letters and the excitement of getting them was so wonderful. Irreplaceable. Oh dear, I need a moment.

Sorry. Anyway, 6 years now since I saw you! How did that happen? I never would have imagined it. I looked forward to getting together with you when older, to talk about how young and foolish we were in that past age. I don’t suppose we will now. I miss you so much. I miss the boy you were and I’d love to know the adult you are now.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy now. I’m happy that you’re happy. It doesn’t hurt when I see your wife and son all over Facebook. I just wish we were friends. Just friends. I miss you so much.

I’m sorry, I’m not trying to make you feel bad. I have no right to make emotional demands on you. I’m sorry if you’re angry with me. There’s so much I’m sorry for. But it wasn’t all my fault. I’ve grown up a lot now, I wish I could show you. I thought I was grown up then. But we were so very young.

Oh, my darling boy. I can’t say any of this to you. I might send a breezy “Hi! How are you?” But the emptiness of those communications is getting more painful than avoiding it all together.

But I miss you. I will always love the boy you were. So many wonderful memories. I just wish I felt permitted to remember them.

I hope you’re well and happy.

Love, me.

Finding my meditation


This evening I went to a classical music concert by mistake. At first I wondered if I might escape. Then I watched the violinist and felt guilty for having wasted all my lessons. Then I wrote a to do list. And then I closed my eyes and listened and yet did not listen and lost myself.

I only realised when a thought of my son came into my mind and it was a surprise. I’d meditated. Got away from my internal chitter chatter.

I’ve tried to meditate before. They say it’s so good for you. A fundamental human need. Makes you live longer. I suppose that’s part of what we seek in drink and drugs, the getting away from ourselves. But I’ve just found meditation stressful. I can’t just concentrate on my breathing. Is another thing to add to my list of what I’m rubbish at.

I’ll try again. I must be able to find a few minutes every day to empty my mind. Better to do that than just distract it with stupid games on my phone.

A few minutes peace to get away from all the noise and stress I create for myself. A few minutes for me.

My working mother moan


I was always going to go back to work. I couldn’t imagine not working. It mostly works for us. My job involves travel. I decide the allocations and I’ve managed to avoid going abroad for a year. But now I am preparing to go abroad for a few days.

I know it will be fine, but in a very animal way, I want to hide away with my boy and snarl at anyone who comes near us. My work isn’t important in the grand scheme of things. How dare it take me away from my little creation, the most important thing in my world?

He will want breastfeeding before bed. He will shout mum (still quite new for him). I will not be there, nor tomorrow, nor the next day. How can this be a good thing?

But I do care about my work responsibilities. This is an important thing I am doing. It could make great differences.

I am horribly torn, but I have chosen work over my boy.

Does this make me a terrible mother? I know he’ll be fine. My husband is brilliant at coping with any upset. He’s been away for several long work trips. We coped. But it feels worse for me.

We are very much joint parents. In fact, he does more. This is the way we wanted it. I am the main earner. I like that we’re not obliged to follow the traditional roles and that I can work. So why does it feel worse for me?

I am lucky to have a job. I am incredibly lucky to not have to go away for months or years to support my family. I know this. I know they’ll be fine and in a few days, I’ll be home, safe and together.

But for now, it is hard.