Saturday, 5 August 2017

Where do Babies Come From Mummy?... Ask Bridget Jones Darling!


I don’t remember the first time, but I do remember the most awkward time…
We were stood in a queue at the supermarket checkout, Millie lay in her pram chewing and slobbering on her Sophie Giraffe and Leo, who was five, was chatting away to her in his very best ‘grown up speaking to a baby’ voice, explaining to his little sister what the family plans were for the evening.
The store was busy and so were the queues for the checkout, it came to my turn and I started to load the convey belt with the shopping essentials I had in my basket, bread, milk, wine, juice, wine…. When it happened….
   “Mummy?”
   “Yes mate?”
    “How did Millie get here?”
   “Erm… She came out of my tummy,” I said, making eye contact and exchanging smiles with the lady on the checkout.
   “How?”
   “We will talk about it later mate.”
   “You said that last time.”
    “Did you have a nice day at school?”
    “She’s too big to crawl through your belly button, so….”
I knew there were smirks on every single face behind me, at least ten people waiting to see how I would deal with this notable parenting moment.
What would I do?
I could explain that Millie came into the world through my vagina but because of her big head she got stuck and the doctor pulled her out with a pair of massive pliers.
Or
I could say that she was delivered to the hospital on a cloud by a big bird.
Neither of which, I imagine would have my supermarket audience nominating me for the Sainsbury's Mum of the year award. So, I did what any jittery parent, with sweaty hands and a loathing of their child does. I pointed out the sweet counter and told him to go and choose whatever he wanted.
After that incident, I promised myself I would always be honest with my children about everything babies, pregnancy, puberty related and all that jazz. I would explain it all in an honest, ‘age appropriate way’ (the way the perfect parent brigade explains everything to their little shits.) and never divert from any questions they have. And I always have done, not so long ago I had a conversation with Leo as we sat in traffic, he started to discuss puberty with me after a prompt from the radio, we had a fantastic conversation……. Until I did my best Gruffalo impression and told him that’s how he might start sounding over the next couple of years! - I laughed my socks off, my nine-year-old rolled his eyes at me, I cleared my throat and then composed myself.
So, I was on the ball, this mummy was on the ball with sex education…. Until earlier this week that is. Leo and Millie were watching that film, The Incredibles, when I went upstairs to clean (piss about for a couple of hours). I came back down to them watching Bridget Jones’s Baby as I walked through the door Bridget Jones’s doctor was making some comment to Bridget about the baby coming out of her vagina. (Leo obviously knew, Millie didn’t!)
 By now I was thinking ‘shit, I’m a terrible mother’, I should have had a code on that bloody box, I should have made sure that I explained to Millie where babies come from before she had even heard of Bridget Jones and way before she was watching her give birth in her third film. But been a parent, as well as the usual crap, there is also a lot about damage limitation involved. So, I put on my damage limitation hat and decided to tell her the truth and answer her questions in ‘an age appropriate’ way.
Millie looked up at me,
   “Did I come out of your vagina, mummy?”
   “Yes, yes, out of my vagina” I was telling the truth, this was going well.
    “So, I just grow in your belly and slide out of your vagina?”
    “Erm yes that’s it!” I’m fucking lying, there is no way in the world you could call it sliding out.
    “Is your vagina big?”
     “Errrmmm” .........No fucking lying!
     “Do the daddies slide the babies into the vaginas?”
      “Errrmmmm………..”
**** Hyperventilates and look for the remote***** "Who wants cake??????"
The damage limitation didn’t go well! In fact, it was shocking! But having spent years, not worrying,
but certainly thinking about how and when I would talk about where babies come from to my kids, and not quite sure that I said the right things to Leo. Watching Millie’s reaction was reassuring and taught me again something I already knew, kids don’t give a shit they like the facts and that’s about it, they’re not hung up on the details of everything like us adults are. And although, I now have a four-year-old who knows more about child birth than me thanks to Bridget Jones and a nine-year-old who has figured out he only needs to mention certain words and I will be offering up cakes and sweets like I’m Willy Wonka. I’m pretty sure I’m still winning this parenting game, babies, sex talks and all.
 
So, what am I going to do when Max and Bobby start asking where they came from, I hear you ask.
Bring out Bridget of course!
 
 
 
  
 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Ten Years Since I escaped the Hands of a Narcissitic Sociopath


It has been ten years this year....

Ten years since I first discovered I was pregnant.

Ten years since I first became a mother.

Ten years since I gave birth to a little boy that would go on to change the path of my existence.

Ten years since I last saw my baby’s biological father.

Ten years since I was last kicked, punched, beaten and mentally tortured.

It’s been ten years……



 

This time ten years ago – July 2007 – I was five months pregnant with my first child – a baby boy. I was grieving for a life that was no longer available to me, I was trying to come to terms with the realisation that I was going to be the sole parent of this little man who was growing inside of me. And I was attempting to heal mentally, heal from the devastation of the mental and physical abuse that had been inflicted on me by a Narcissistic Sociopath (NS)

 

It was at the beginning of January that year when I got into a relationship with NS, I had known him for a while through mutual friends and started seen him at Christmas. I was not in a very good place at that time, my Dad had passed away in the November and I had recently split from my long-term boyfriend. I’ve questioned myself many times, wondering why I started a relationship with him, he wasn’t good looking, he wasn’t funny, he didn’t make me laugh, but he did know what to say, he told me things I wanted to hear. Before long I was hooked, I replaced the two men I had recently lost in my life with a monster.

 

Our relationship gained speed quickly, by the end of January I had seen him every single day, he met my family and friends and was eager to make a good impression, but ridiculed them when we were alone and convinced me that they viewed me as a ‘nobody’. He started commenting on the things I wore, and I would get changed numerous times before we left the house. He encouraged me to take time off work and spend my days with him. The beginning of the end came when he asked me to take another day off work and I refused, that was the first time he was physically violent to me, he pushed me away from the front door, I tripped over and he held my head down, my face squashed onto the floor, he spat at me telling me I was an ungrateful bitch and the least I could do was spend time with him, I could see his disgusting teeth and gums, his mouth like the jaw of a violent dog. Afterwards, he was sorry.  That day I went to the doctors and got signed off work so I could spend more time with him.

 

It was only a matter of weeks after that incident that I completely lost control of my own life, I fell out with my wonderful Mum who had attempted everything in her power to stop me seen NS when she quickly realised the physical and mental abuse he was inflicting on me. I had distanced myself from my family and friends and I had completely stopped going to work. I left home and went to live with him but within days he was evicted from his flat for non-payment of rent. We spent weeks living in hotels using my savings, overdraft and credit cards, and it was around this time that I discovered his serious addiction to crack cocaine. I would spend my days drinking and ordering room service and he would be out scoring drugs, I started to spend more days alone while he would be in the pub with his friends and I felt like I needed him more than ever, I would cry and scream down the phone begging him to come back to me, I was scared and lonely, I honestly believed he was the only person I had in the world and I needed him. The nights would end with us fighting, sometimes the hotel staff called the police, he would be locked up for the evening and I would wait for him to come back the next morning.

 

We eventually moved into a rented house that he had found and I paid for with my dwindling finances -  It was miles away from anywhere, a little house in the country, I suppose it might have been idyllic under different circumstances, but with NS having control of my car keys and me having no phone (he smashed it), I felt more isolated than ever.

 

The physical and mental abuse switched up a gear, he would physically kick me out of bed in the morning, he would call me names – ‘you stupid cunt’ was his favourite – he would tell me I was thick, he would talk about successful people he knew and explain to me why I would never be like them. My torso, arms and legs were covered in bruises. He literally stripped the life from me and battered my soul.

 

He never bruised my face though, not until the day I found out I was pregnant. I remember that day with so much clarity, I had been feeling sick for a couple of weeks, I hadn’t missed a period but I just knew and a test confirmed it. NS was so calm when I told him, ‘you can’t have a baby’ he told me. ‘You can’t look after yourself.’ But I was so happy, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was convinced that the little blue cross in front of me was a new beginning.

 

That night he punched me in the face before smashing my head onto the stone tiles of the bathroom floor, the taste of blood in my mouth made me throw-up. I was left with two black eyes and a lump on my head the size of an Easter egg.

 

I was only with him for four months, it felt like four years but it was only four months. One night at the beginning of May, we were in the car when it broke down, he was so angry, he started to push me and shove me. I opened the passenger door and I ran and if you know me you will know that running is not my thing! But I ran as fast as I could, he was following me so I went into the first place I came to, a kebab shop. There were two men behind the counter and two guys eating, I started to scream and begged them to call the police, NS followed me into the shop, he looked so composed, he told them not too, that I had a mental illness and we were on our way to the hospital. I was convinced they were going to believe him but thankfully they didn’t, they chased him away and called the police.

 

That evening I sat in the back of a police car, I had no home, no job, no car, no phone, the only clothes I had were the ones I was wearing, I believed I had no family and no friends and I was pregnant. I wasn’t relieved because I was safely away from him, I was devastated because I couldn’t see a future. I had nothing! ……. But I was so wrong.

 

I went home to live with my Mum, I managed to get a job by concealing my pregnancy and managed to keep it when they found out by telling more lies. I had become an expert at telling lies and concealing the truth, I was ashamed of the truth. I had concluded that NS was a bit of a twat but I was still convinced I had drove him to do what he had done to me. I thought if people found out they would tell me it was my own fault. In fact, I’m sure that there are many people still, today that I have never fully revealed the truth too.

 

So, in December of 2007, I gave birth to 7lb 11.5 ounces, of pure perfection and I would love to say we lived happily ever after, but we didn’t not straight away at least.

 

After giving birth to Leo I really struggled with Motherhood, I struggled with life and finding my place in the world and it took years for me to build my confidence and become truly happy but I did it eventually.

 

When I look back now at my twenty-four-year-old self, the girl who was scared, vulnerable and broken, I’m not ashamed of her! And I know that none of it, not one tiny bit was her fault. I’m so proud of her, I’m proud that she found the courage to leave that awful hell that she was living despite been scared and believing there was nothing better anywhere else. I’m proud that she never gave up on life despite wanting to a thousand times and I’m proud of the single mother she was to her baby. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be who I am now, I wouldn’t be head over heels in love, with four beautiful children. I wouldn’t be following my dreams, living my life and having such wonderful adventures and I wouldn’t wake up every morning without an ounce of fear in my heart…. And when we celebrate Leos tenth birthday this year, I will also quietly celebrate ten years of living fear free.

 

I was lucky, I left, I only suffered at the hands of this NS for just over four months, some women and men experience years of suffering at the hands of their abusers. To anyone suffering from domestic violence please seek help, phone the domestic violence hotline, reach out to a friend, a colleague or a relative, just don’t do nothing. Life will be better I promise.

 

24-hour National Domestic Violence
Freephone Helpline

0808 2000 247

 



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

To My Friend Who is Trying to Conceive.


To my friend who is trying to conceive,
 
The hardest and most tear provoking words I have ever had to utter were ‘I’m pregnant’ not because I was upset about been pregnant and I was breaking the news to my partner or not because I was sixteen and terrified; but because I was telling my good news, to you, my friend who is struggling to conceive.


I already had two children when I fell pregnant with the twins, we weren’t trying for a baby and yet there we were, pregnant with two of them. I could almost hear your thoughts – ‘It’s not fair, It’s not fair’. I could see the tears in your eyes, when you said, ‘Congratulations I’m really pleased for you all’. I could feel the hurt, the ache, in your arms as you hugged me. I could feel your pain but I couldn’t do anything about it, I couldn’t even tell you I knew how you felt – I didn’t. I couldn’t tell you that I knew everything was going to be ok – I didn’t know that. I could only say I am sorry. I am sorry for your heartache.


I don’t know how devastating it is for your dreams of tiny cotton vests, cot building and nappy changing, to seem further and further away with each month that passes.


I don’t know how much you hate visiting the doctor, each time leaving with a new set of life rules – Lose weight, gain weight, exercise less, exercise more, don’t drink, don’t eat that, eat more of that, worry less, have sex more. I can only imagine how much you hate that.


I can’t imagine how panic stricken you were as you lay on a table waiting for invasive medical examinations. I don’t know how you coped with the dread and the embarrassment you felt, or how you gather all your strength to carry on because you knew that all those procedures are part of your journey towards motherhood.


I don’t know how you put on a brave face every time someone else announces their pregnancy. I don’t know how you continue to smile on the outside every time a birth is announced or every time another baby shower invite lands on your door mat. I Just don’t know.


But what I do know is this….


I know that you feel guilty, I know that you feel guilty about avoiding your pregnant friends, and only visiting the new baby for five minutes because you can’t possibly hold the tears back any longer. I know that you feel guilty about the resentment and the jealousy you feel when a new pregnancy is announced. I know that you miss christenings and first birthday parties and you feel guilty about that too, and I know that you shouldn’t.


You shouldn’t feel guilty, not one bit. Do what you need to, cry when you want and avoid everyone you must. Don’t try and stay strong for everyone else, let else be strong for you. Love and be kind to yourself. This is your journey and no one can tell you or judge how you handle it.


I pray that one day, you can utter those two words to me.


For now, I love you.

 

From your friend who struggles to know what to say. X X X

 

 

 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dear Leo... I'm Struggling


Dear Leo,

I’m struggling…

I’m struggling to parent you at this point in your life.

I’m struggling to answer your questions when you read the intriguing headlines of glossy magazines at the supermarket checkout.

I’m struggling with how much information about the world I should burden your growing mind with.

I’m struggling to keep my cool, when another football comes flying through the patio doors or you refuse to hear my requests when your eyes are focussed on a screen.

I don’t know if I’m doing everything right in the decisions I make raising you.

I’m not sure if I’m giving you the right advice when you tell me about your school friends who have been mean to you.

I’m not sure if you have a healthy balance between down time and physical activities.

I’m not sure if you have too many material things or too little of our time.

I’m struggling to be confident in every decision I make.

I’m struggling just as much as when you were a new born baby, changing those first nappies, attempting to swap them over before you weed in my face.

I struggled to be sure your milk was at the right temperature even after tipping it on my arm in a thousand different places to check.

I struggled with the sleepless nights, with bathing you and dressing you and as you grew I struggled to hold it together when you threw the biggest tantrum in the aisle of Boots.

The truth is I don’t know how to parent a nine-year-old, let alone a nine-year-old with so much soul, ambition and passion.

I’m more confident raising your sister and brothers, I’ve parented a four-year-old and a two-year-old before – you.

But with you I’m learning as I go, that’s how it’s always been and that’s how it always will be. 

So, bear with me mate, if I shout and you don’t deserve it.

Bear with me if I give you the wrong advice or I make the wrong decision.

Bear with me please?

Because even though I’m struggling, I promise to carry on until I’m the best parent you could possible wish for.

I promise that - for you - my oldest child, the one who taught me how to be a mum, I will struggle trying to be my best, for you.

 
I love you mate,

 

Love Mummy x x x

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Why Breakfast is Bad For You....


It is often said by many health gurus and health fanatics, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That sitting down to a wholesome and nutritious bowl of porridge or indulging in an ample bowl of exotic fruit salad and yoghurt, will set you up, physically and mentally for the day ahead.

And I agree, although I am no expert, I imagine that eating breakfast has many physical and mental health benefits ….... If you don’t have any children sharing your breakfast table that is.

If like many of us you have little toads at your breakfast table, then breakfast time takes on a whole new meaning. If you looked up the term ‘Breakfast Time’ in a manual written by mums, the following definition would be given: The unimaginable depths of hell where you will be trapped by roaring fires and you will serve a selection of sugary cereal to raging lions.

Because of the sheer battering my mental health has taken recently due to ‘breakfast time’ I thought I would share with you all my top tips at keeping them lions tamed at the breakfast table.
 
 


All cups, spoons, plates and cutlery must be the same.

If you have more than one child, in order to avoid, body slamming, feet kicking, hand swinging and physical acts of violence between children, you will need to make sure that every beaker, plate and bowl are exactly the same, with no variation of colour or pattern. If you happen to have (like me) a selection of multi coloured bowels and beakers in your cupboard and the odd character plate or beaker that came from McDonalds or attached to an Easter egg…. You’re fucked…. Add at least an extra two hours onto breakfast time to referee arguments that will erupt because of said character beaker.


Never offer a choice of cereal….

Never! It will take the average four-year-old approximately five hours and nine minutes to make a decision between Rice Krispies and cornflakes, there is no way you will be getting them through those school gates on time. Offering them a selection of cereals also gives them the opportunity to declare “This isn’t what I asked for!!!!!!” Yes, cereal choices will turn your children into patrons of the Ritz and you into the waiter.

 
Never change the brand or flavour of the breakfast juice.

You might not be able to tell one brand of fruit juice from the next but you can bet your life on it that your nine-year-old will, and they will have a whole mornings worth of conspiracy theories as to why the juice tastes strange…. “I’m not drinking that it tastes funny”…. “what's wrong with it Mum??”…. “I bet someone's poisoned it!” …. “Is it wine??”… “Is it out of date”….. You tell them that nothing is wrong with it, as you discard of the Tesco basic carton that has replaced your usual premium brand, whilst making a mental note that a saving of eighty-two pence isn’t worth the interrogation.

 
Never serve Weetabix or porridge.

They may seem like a healthy breakfast option for your little ones, but if any should end up on the table or floor and you don’t clean it up within a second , you are likely to give yourself an aneurysm attempting to remove the dried Weetabix with a hammer and chisel.

 
The most important rule to remember……

Never sit down at breakfast while your children our eating because if they see you attempt to sit down, its game over. Before your bum has even made contact with the dining chair someone will spill a cup of juice, a child will tip their breakfast onto their lap, someone will whack someone else with a spoon or a bowl, someone will need a poo and someone else will have already done a poo!!!..... Do not, I repeat do not sit down!!!

 
So there you have it, if you’re a parent it's best to avoid eating breakfast with the kids at all costs. In order to stay healthy mentally and physically, I suggest picking up a muffin or some other sort of cake on the go and consuming more wine to make up for your breakfast calories…. Happy Feasting!

 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My children aren't first anymore .....


Ok, I know what you’re thinking…. But hear me out.

I remember the first time I was left alone with Leo after he was born – well I wasn’t alone, I was on a ward with other women and crying babies, and nurses, cleaners, receptionists and Doctors – but to me it fell like there was just me and him, my tiny newborn baby-boy, I was the only one there to protect him. I felt exhausted it was five in the morning, I had given birth to him just after one o’clock, and I so desperately wanted to sleep, but I was too scared; I was too scared to take my eyes away from him, he looked so tiny and vulnerable, I was sure he would stop breathing, if I wasn’t awake to watch his little tummy go up and down, or I was convinced someone would take him from me if I closed my eyes for just a minute.

Later on that day, Leo and I were waiting to be discharged, when one of the nurses told me to go and get lunch, it was been served in the next ward meaning I would have had to leave Leo ‘on his own’. I was horrified by the suggestion, if that had happened now, I would be skipping across that hospital room shouting out for ‘someone to watch the baby’ but that day I went without lunch and it was then that I realised that this tiny little human – who had made me a mother less than twenty-four hours before – was the focal point of my entire world. I vowed then, that I would always put Leo’s needs before my own. He would come first no matter what.

I attempted to fulfil my promise and be a selfless mother throughout the early years of Leos life… but did I always get it right and put Leo’s needs before my own? Probably not, not all the time, anyway. As my brood grew and I became a mummy of two and then four, so did the conviction of my promise, putting the needs of my children before my own became second nature. I told the world and his dog that my children’s needs were greater than mine or anyone’s for that matter, and they came first, and I wasn’t shy about saying it to my boss when I needed to take a morning off work to watch Leo run the relay race on sports day, or when I had a phone call from nursery asking me to collect one of the babies because they had been sick…

“I’m sorry,” I would say, “but they are my children and they come before my responsibilities at work.”

I’m a mummy to four little ones, what do they expect me to do?  I would think to myself as I ignored the sideway glances of my co-workers and shuffled as quickly as possible through the office doors.

I would come home and cry as I cradled a sleeping, sick child, I felt guilty for leaving work early to care for them. I would stand on the side-lines of a sports field attempting to ignore the pangs of guilt that were born from anxiety, anxiety because I had let down my co-workers, my friends. I had cancelled more nights out with friends because my kids ‘needed me’ than, glasses of wine I had drunk in my twenties.

I made a promise to Leo, Millie, Max and Bobby the day they were born, I promised them that they would come first, they were my number one priority and if they ever needed me I would be there, and that’s what I was doing I was putting them first.

I started university in September….

One Monday in November last year Bobby was sick, he needed me…. My Mum looked after him so I could go to my lecture.

One Friday in January, Leo had a doctor’s appointment, he needed me…. My sister took him so I could go to my lecture.

One Tuesday morning in March Max and Bobby had a ‘stay and play’ at nursery, they needed me…. Mr S took the day off work and went along so I could go to my lecture.  

One Friday before Easter, Millie was sick, she needed me… My mum collected her from school so I could go to my lecture.

Since September there have been numerous times when my children needed me to be there for them and I chose not to be, I decided that it was more important to be at a lecture or writing an assignment. I passed my responsibility for them onto their Dad, their Auntie or their Nannar. There have been lectures I have missed of course, for Bobby’s hospital appointments and when someone has been very sick but most the time I have got someone to cover my role – as Mum.

You maybe expecting me to tell you now that I feel guilty about putting them second occasionally…. But I don’t feel guilty, and none of us should feel guilty, if we occasionally don’t put our children ‘first’. We do it to feed them, to clothe them and to ensure we have the headspace to preserve our own mental health to be a good parent.

I don’t feel guilty because I truly believe that I am working towards this degree as much for them as I am for me. I don’t feel guilty because I have successfully (nearly) completed my first year at Uni and everyone is still happy and healthy. I don’t feel guilty because, if university has taught me anything, other than how much I love writing (even if it is crap and waffle) it’s that the reason I felt like a failure and unable to juggle my life, work, friends…. before is because I wasn’t juggling, I was cradling the kids in my arms and was stepping over the rest of the balls that represented the different parts of my life as they lay on the floor. And for some Mums stepping over those balls and picking them up only when they want to, works for them, and that’s great, that’s what they want to do and there is nothing wrong with that, I’m a little bit envious of those Mums. Maybe one day I will give up juggling … I don’t know, but for now, I’m getting pretty good at it, so will carry on until the end of my degree at least……...

………. I’m a liar…. I still feel guilty!


Friday, 24 February 2017

Why 'Fat' is better...

Sausage sandwiches, topped with hash browns and tomato ketchup for breakfast; chips and beans or a Big Mac for lunch; Dinner? Whatever my mum had left in the oven for me - my late teens were far from healthy. Add in the copious amounts of alcopops that I would consume on a Friday night and I could have been considered for one of the channel four 'fat shows'.

But a fat show contestant I was not, I was a size fourteen, nineteen-year-old, call-centre worker. I was chubby, unhealthy, completely unaware and I think I was happy. It was when I turned twenty and surrounded myself with a new group of gym-going friends, that I looked at myself and saw my body the way society would have viewed it - okay, but plenty of room for improvement. So that's what I did, I 'improved' it. I adapted a healthy (ish)  lifestyle and before I reached twenty-one, my skinny arse was fitting comfortably into a pair of size ten, Bootcut jeans. I was far from happy with my new body though, I was throwing around the word fat more than I was smoking. I closely monitored everything I ate and would feel guilty if so much as a jelly bean passed my lips.

Over the years I would sometimes relax and put on a few pounds and then limit my calorie intake and do a bit of exercise to lose them again - which is what most of us do, right? In order to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle, we have to adopt a nutritious diet and indulge our limbs in some sort of physical activity? Following this way of living kept my weight at just over nine stone, in fact after giving birth to the twins, limiting my calorie intake got me down to nine stone, which was fantastic!?? I had four children and a virtually flat stomach, I welcomed the comments and congratulations from people telling me how good I looked after carrying four babies. But I still wasn't happy with my body, I wasn't happy with the lifestyle I had to live in order to maintain the body I wasn't happy with, I barely had enough time to sleep so going to the gym was out of the question. I hated not joining in with weekend pizza nights; I missed out on fish and chips when we took trips to the seaside; and summer barbeques just weren't the same when eating a green salad - so I stopped. I stopped watching everything I put in my mouth and as a result I have put on a few pounds over the last several months, and although I am not happy with my weight as a whole - I never will be happy with my weight - I am happy to carry around a few extra pounds, and this is why:

These extra pounds are Sunday roasts at my mums house with my family, me and my sister laughing and eye rolling at my mum's unorganised attempt to dish out dinner for so many people.

They're movie nights with the kids, watching Home Alone with compulsory popcorn and big bowls of ice-cream and strawberry sauce.

They're an Indian take-away to go with  the laughs and story telling while sharing a bottle of wine with my best friends.

They're fish and chips by the sea, watching the twins dig for gold in the sand.

They're having a sneaky bite of Millie's candyfloss, while I hold it as she waves and giggles from the carousel.

They're taking the kids for pizza as a treat, to say we're proud of you!

These extra pounds represent my life, and I love it.

I am not suggesting everyone goes out and stuffs their faces until we are shipping in our clothes from West Virginia, but what I am saying is lets all be a little bit kinder to ourselves, eat the delicious food and embrace everything we do with our children, sweetshop visits and all. Life is just to short to cut out the things we enjoy. Yes we need to teach our children the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, but that's the  keyword - balance. We need to show them how to enjoy life, with no hang ups about food, we need to free our little people from the food obsession that has taken over our generation.
 

So this weekend let's order the pizza, bake a cake and eat the sweets. Let's embrace the wonderful joy of sharing delicious meals with our family and friends, and if you do feel a tad guilty about your expanding waistline, just neck a bottle of wine to ease the guilt.

I think it was Kate Moss who said "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"
I say "Kate, has obviously never had a chicken tikka Balti from Jalfrezi Express"