Thursday, 8 August 2013

What's My Password?

Well, it has been a while.  Months.  Never before has a blogging break lasted so long (well for me).  I guess it is like any hobby, you get out of the habit of doing it, longer you leave it - the harder it is to return to it.  You wonder where you can start?  Then it becomes a task.  So you put it off again.
Then, two things happened to make me realise that my writing is worth putting the effort into.  I read a quote recently and it stuck with me :
"My biggest reason for not giving up: No matter how hard it is to keep going, it is nothing compared to how hard it is to start over."
( - "Momma In Training")
How true is that quote?  I have already put so many hours and dedication into making my blog flourish, was I prepared to let a few months break put me off of my stride?  Put me off of writing?  The one thing I have craved to do my whole life, that I was starting to make a reality? 
The second thing that has been instrumental in me picking up the laptop is the fantastic writers and bloggers group that was born after the brilliant 2013 BritMums Live.  In particular thanks go out to Older Mum in a Muddle.  Her enthusiasm and commitment to supporting the group and encouraging aspiring writers to sit and actually (shock, horror) WRITE! and report back has been such a positive thing to see everyday, it made me once again want to sit and tap away at the keyboard.  
So, a quick sum up of why the break happened.  I think it was clear from my, few and far between, blog posts after March this year that life was stressful for me and my family.  Infact 2013, months one through six, were some of the most stressful we have encountered.  This was devastating given I started that January 1st so optimistic.  I think we all wondered if we would make it through the economic hit, but our crux was definitely this period.
Then came our Florida dream holiday.  Already committed to at a time when we thought things were going to be fine.  It was something that came around quickly and I found myself both looking forward too, we were going to accomplish a dream I had held for J1, and yet dreading - wondering what life I would return home too.
I think a guardian angel must have finally picked up on our pleas.  July saw a turnaround for our family life. Slowly but surely we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and worked our tails off making sure that we do not find ourselves in such a vulnerable position (ever) again.
Day by day, my mind is starting to settle a little.  Room for creativeness is starting to creep back in.  Things that we had planned, that had to be shelved are slowly starting to take shape.  Things are getting done.  We can start to move forward again instead of gasping for air just trying to survive.  As the stress levels come down, the children are not feeding off of the negative air and behaviour is improving.  Time is returning bit by bit and gradually my head is starting to venture into the territory that yes, maybe I will be in a position to write once more.
Bit by bit.  Step by step.  Word by word.
Lynsey The Mother Duck is back.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Lynsey The Mother Duck is Going to Brit Mums Live 2013

I am not one for doing things last minute, but for some reason I have not pulled myself together very quickly for the epic Brit Mums Live event which will be here at the end of this week.  So today I got up early to start sorting for it and now I am feeling a little more organised.

So without further ado, here is my introduction post ...

Name : Lynsey

Blog: Lynsey The Mother Duck

Twitter ID: @lynseymummaduck

Height: 5'5" (but wearing heels so about 5'7" - until they hurt then back to 5'5")

Hair: Long and blonde.  Technically it should be straight but with the sniff of humidity it goes a bit like Monica's out of Friends when they go to Barbados...

Eyes: Mostly tired.  Oh, and blue.

Is this your first blogging conference? No I came along to Brit Mums Live last year and it was fab.

Are you attending both days? Yes, some time to focus solely on writing can not be missed

What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013? Catching up with friends made at last years conference and meeting even more amazing bloggers.  The WRITE sessions.

What are you wearing? Lemon skinny jeans, black top, black jacket (Friday).  Dark blue skinny jeans, USA Flag top (Saturday)

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013? Well last year I gained weight as the food was so yummy, so apart from that - some mojo inspiration which has been lacking of late.

Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows. My guilty pleasure is watching the Biggest Loser shows - I find them very motivational!

Me :

Friday, 14 June 2013

Coming Soon...

A series of Disability Diaries posts looking at travelling to Florida, USA with a disabled child.

Featuring.... This cool dude

This little monster

These awesome guys

And...this crazy lady!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Lost - One MoJo

It seems strange to me, that I am struggling to find the inspiration to sit down and write.  Through all tough or hard times before I have found that writing has stayed a constant source of comfort.  I suppose sometimes things get so stressful, the flame to do anything gets put out.

That is the scary thing.  When you get that feeling that you can't be bothered to do anything.  Go to the shops; take the children to the park; take any exercise; write.  I have been there before and have no desire to visit again, so I am finding it unnerving that I seem to be on that very train to that undesirable destination.

The shining light.  That feeling isn't all day, everyday.  Like today for instant.  I have been out with one of my oldest friends for her wedding dress fitting.  And for a couple of hours everything seemed 'normal'.  My heart didn't feel heavy in my body.  My eyes didn't feel tired in their sockets.

I know life is hard for many people right now.  It is sad to know, but also comforting - to know I am not the only one feeling like they are drowning in the hum drum of life as an adult.  I have many precious gifts, my Husband, my children, my family.  In that respect I am blessed.  But we are blighted by the economy and have been hit hard to the point of every piece of security we have ever had being a hares breath away from being ripped from under us.

That is hard to live with on a daily basis.  It starts to make you feel anxious.  This leads to a whole host of rather unwanted side effects but I suppose it is a blessing that I was aware they were happening and could take steps to try and tackle them.  But it is a slow process.  Some days are more productive than others.  I crave the productive days.  The ones where I see a glimmer of the person I used to be.  I can feel myself reaching out my arms and screaming for her to take back over - but at the moment she seems just out of reach and I am struggling to find the energy to fight for her.

I want to feel the passion to sit down and write.

I want to feel the desire to push a career in writing.

I want to feel the pride of keeping a lovely home.

I want to feel the joy of entertaining the children.

I want to be a good wife - the women who used to laugh.

But it is a struggle at the moment.  My head is so full of stress and confusion sometimes I feel I can not string a sentence together.  I always had moments like that before, but moments was all they were.  Now I would like to open the top of my head and shake out the excess, so I can think straight.

I guess that is what counsellors are for.

So what is the point of this post?  I remembered that when I used to write, I did it to clear my head.  I think there is too much going on in it at the moment for that to work but you know, nothing ventured and all of that.  I used to fit blogging into my routine.  Now I don't feel I have a routine.  A search for clarity.  Most certainly.  I have been searching for that since I have been MIA from the blogging world.  Maybe I will find it here.  I can tell myself that everything will work out.  And almost believe it.

I can apologise to The Hubby and my children for being such a snappy mardi-arse.  I can say I am sorry and I am trying to work my way through it.

I can continue the search for me.

I can try and resume normal service.

I can hope.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Stress : How do you channel it?

Stress is a funny old thing.  It's by no means funny in the ha-ha, laugh a minute or any kind of 'fun' way but it is interesting to see how stress works so differently on people.

I suppose it depends on your level of stress at any one time.  Mild bouts of stress may cause irritable and snappy days.  A day here or there were you think you are not coping as best as you could that results in a good old cry to feel better.  Feeling a bit frustrated - maybe something you wish you could control is just out of your grasp.

A big piece of surprise stress may be dealt with well at the time, but then result in a delayed reaction.  When I gave birth eight weeks early to J1, about five weeks later I broke out in Shingles, a reaction to the shock and stress of the situation I had been involved in - so I was told.

But the worst kind, I think, are those stressful things, that on their own may not seem too condemning, but piled up, one on top of the other again and again starts to make you feel buried.  The light at the end of the tunnel becomes dimmer, the weight on your shoulders heavy.  You try and claw your way through it and some days you may think that you are edging your way to dispelling of some of those pieces of sticking tape to the waste bin for good, then a whole load more gets stuck on top. 

Then all of a sudden you have got so much to deal with you don't know which to start with first.  Some of them you can't tackle at all.  But instead of having a public display of two year old temper tantrum to release you just try and get on with it.  Bury it away.  Put on a smile.  Even though the idea of how to deal with each one starts to seem insurmountable you try and stay calm and sane.  But in you brain it is all building up and at that point, your brain says

"OK I am filled to the brim on my stress level quota, it's starting to spill over, this will result in odd consequences."

Some people go off of their food.

Some people turn to food.

Some people turn to drink.

Some people don't do any of those things but find that all of a sudden they start to have a few medical issues that they don't, at first relate to the stress, but if they thought about it would be pretty clear.

I remember when my dad was made redundant.  It was a few months in and no other job prospect had come to fruition.  He got up one day had a - what looked like a huge blister - the size of a small fist right in the middle of his forehead and this had caused both of his eyelids to swell.  He looked liked Simba out of the Lion King.

This was a very clear physical reaction to the stress.  We hadn't got the slightest inclination that he was feeling that stressed, although in hindsight it was a given really, being the main bread winner of the family.

Our build up of stress has built slowly over the last three years in particular, with a significant increase I would say in the last 12 months.  In that time I have probably been back and forth to the doctor with little annoying ailments more than I ever have.  I can only put it down to a stress reaction and I am pretty sure I can say the same about some of the issues The Hubby has found himself suffering.

These are negative reactions to stress.  Are there any positives?  Could it be that some people have used stress in a productive way?  I have been thinking about this a lot lately, being a generally positive person I do not like it when I can not see the silver lining (or the light at the end of the tunnel) so I started to think about people that have propelled their dreams into reality due to the stress of real life. 

JK Rowling, was a young single Mother when she penned Harry Potter.  We all know the stresses of a small child, but on your own and trying to make a life for you and your child on benefits income must have been an extremely intense and stressful period.
Michelle Mone left school with no qualifications and felt compelled to find work to help her mother financially when illness left her father in a wheelchair.  Taking on modelling, she gave it up when she fell pregnant with her first child but instead found work in Marketing.  Being made redundant from that role, she took a leap of faith to start the Ultimo brand which took some time to make it to recognition.  But Michelle channelled her energy into staying determined, working hard and pushing her dream.  Trying to do that and be a mother must have taken every drain of energy she had.
Oprah Winfrey - need I say more?  If you don't know Oprah's background a short synopsis is here
I guess there are some key ingredients to being successful.  An idea; hard work; trial and error and the determination to get through all the 'error' parts and of course usually somewhere along the line a bit of luck. 
But I wonder - and hope - did these three women (and the many others who have changed their own lives) take the stress of their current situation to help fuel their desire to better their own world? 
Did their overwhelming desire to see light at the end of the tunnel make them overcome a fear of offering up their writing skills for the world to critic?  Did it make them become a better marketer and not afraid to pitch with gusto for contracts on an unknown product?  Did it make them research harder and practise public speaking into a mirror until the early hours of the morning?
What it has made me see is that there is always hope.  There is always a chance to try and make things better.  Some people are unlucky with the chance they take.  I am positive there are many people who deserve to have made their dream come true, that have tried, hard, but not succeeded.
But at least they tried.  And nothing should stop them taking a new dream and running with it.  The sadder situation is the ones where the effort isn't made.  Maybe they don't have quite enough stress to propel them to take that leap or they just can't see past that pile of sticking tape.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

An Evening with Sandi Toksvig (Essex Book Festival)

Last year I was lucky enough to attend two amazing evenings, organised by Essex Book Festival (Alexander McCall Smith and Jodi Picoult). They were fantastic events and I could not wait for the March 2013 listings to be announce.  I was not disappointed. 
My mother and I once again decided to chose one evening each.  My mum chose, the hugely talented Sandi Toksvig.  I have many childhood memories of Sandi T being on our television screens and related to her more for the comedy and presenting accolades she has built up over the years.  What I did not know was she is author of 25 books as well.
Unsurprisingly there was not a spare seat in the auditorium and she made her entrance with her trade mark 'Heloo' to riotous applause that took some time to quite down.  The evening was loosely based on a question and answer format with a host but was still free flowing and fluid.  Even when she was trying not to be funny she had the audience chortling away just with the natural way she delivered her answers.
Along with her incredible ability to make people laugh, was the thoughtful and eloquent way she described the research for her new book; Valentine Grey.  She openly admits that she did far too much research than required but my gosh, she remembers every detail.
When the floor was thrown open to questions many were raised in relation to the historical period in which Valentine Grey is set (1897 - British Victorian and The Boer War) and she could answer absolutely everyone.  Even one about Bicycle Brigades role in the War!
It was really quite a marvel to be in the presence of someone who was so funny and yet so sensitive.  It makes me dislike the 'comedians' who can only seemingly tap in on those that are 'different' or try to make fun of people by being crude.
The final thing Sandi left the audience with was the answer to the question 'Do you find writing lonely?' Answer : No far from it, I am in the company of my fabulous characters!  And 'Do you like Twitter?' Answer : No, if I want to leave a short message for anyone that gives a crap I leave a post it on the fridge!
On Monday 18 March we will be attending our second evening, which again this year will be quite different from our first.  Jo Wheatley, winner of The Great British Bake Off 2011, will be talking about her book and whipping up something scrumptious from it.  I will let you know what it is in my next 'An Evening With...' post.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Trying to Catch a Break

On the whole most people know, I try to stay positive.  I really do.  I can not see the point in too much moping and expending precious energy on griping over what can't be changed.

But lately things have been tough and I have to ask the question:

When are we going to catch a break?
And it isn't just us.  A myriad of my friends are all struggling the same.  Bills are stock piling, jobs are scarce.  Positive attitude waning.
People say every generation goes through this stressful economic period at sometime or other in their life.  How do they get through it?
I like to think that we can say, there are more important things than money.  There are.  But money, more to the point, lack of it is the biggest cause of stress.  
Good health, people say, we should be grateful for.  But with a son with severe Cerebral Palsy and husband with various on going ailments, I can do without stress causing me to feel ill.
I know this is a bad day.  I have a bug and am feeling low.  I can hear the wind howling past the windows and I am inclined to think this long, cold winter may never end.
But I do have to ask :
Are things going to pick up?  For anyone?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What Has Made Me Cheerful This Week?

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

Last week I missed my Reasons to be Cheerful post as I was featuring guest posts all week and I did really 'miss' it.  So without further ado, I am once again linking up with the #R2BC blog hop (this week hosted by Seasider in the City).
This week has been a bit of a tough one, for reasons out of our control and this results in a lot of frustration.  But as everyone who knows me, and or reads the blog, when this happens I like to try and channel that negative energy into something more positive.  I admit at times it is a struggle, but generally I get there.  What has been lovely is that my beautiful network of friends have been really supportive and that has made me feel really thankful for having the group of people around me that I do.  It has also pointed out that my husband and I really do have a strong relationship because my, we have been thrown some cr*p over the last 36 months, financially and health wise.
The week long series of guest posts on Appreciating Motherhood received a fantastic response.  I really enjoyed hosting the week and getting to know some wonderful bloggers and writers.  All the posts were so touching and heartfelt.  I felt most honoured to be publishing them on my blog.
Mother Sunday is always a lovely treat in the midst of what seems like the longest winter ever.  Although The Hubby wasn't well on Sunday so I didn't get a break from my everyday duties of Motherhood, I didn't have to cook and we spent a pleasant afternoon indulging in cake at my parents house.  I received some very sweet trinkets from the children and the most well worded card from The Hubby.
I also received the most fantastic email from one of my best friends.  We do not get to see each other as much as we would like as she lives in-a-whole-other-country : Wales.  However, my annual visit is next week and not only am I looking forward to a few days change of scenery and routine but my spa day that she bought me for my birthday last year.  The email was details of the package and wow, what a package.  A day at the Spa with 120 minutes of treatments of my choice.  H.E.A.V.E.N.  A whole day of relaxing, reading, eating and being pampered.  And at this precise point in the year, it couldn't be coming at a better time.  I do have to admit, I feel in need of it.
If you want to think about the best bits of your week you should jot them down and link up with Reasons to be Cheerful.  Read other posts and be inspired!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Healthy Eating Challenge : Week 2 & 3

Due to my week long dedication to Motherhood last week I didn't get to undertake my normal posts, so I find myself now trying to recall the last two weeks with regard to my Healthy Eating Challenge.
Week two is one I like to remember.  I stuck studiously to my calorie allowance.  I carefully selected meals packed full of vegetables and lower on carbs.  I got out running.  The result, at my Friday morning weigh in, I had lost 4lb.  Thrilled was the order of the day.
Week three however has been what I can only class as an epic fail.  Starting with Duckling No.2 birthday cake and ending up with Pringles being eaten half a pot at a time and raisin club biscuits devoured mid-afternoon.  The arctic style weather has seen me hibernating indoors with not a running date in sight. My weigh in isn't until Friday but I am expecting to have regained the 4lb lost last week.
However, I am going to remember that I did lose that 4lb, so I am more than capable and falling off the wagon means you hop right back on.  In fairness it has been a tough week in general and my energies have been spent elsewhere rather than focusing on what I should and shouldn't be eating however I realise that I do have the ability to take back control and that is what I intend to do.
What have I learnt from this.  Do NOT stop using My Fitness Pal - it definitely was keeping me on the straight and narrow! 
I am linking this post up with Kate at The Naked Mum for #Wobbles Wednesday.  A linky supporting all those on a weight loss journey.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Guest Post : Stiches in Time

This week I have been dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday's arrival I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we have been hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is fellow blogger  and friend Mummy Plum, who writes over at   All contact details for Mummy Plum can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.
My mother has always been good with a needle and thread. Lack of money was the incentive that prompted her to learn to sew. She made most of my baby clothes; mop hats to shield my hairless head from the summer sun, sundresses, sleep suits. Fabrics were sourced for next to nothing from second hand stores and jumble sales. As a young girl everything I wore was created by her, made with love, either at her sewing machine or sewn by hand. The family photo album charts her creations; primary school dresses in purple and white gingham check with cute peter pan collars and hipster pockets, a deep purple dress with pink rosebuds, a copper coloured cord dress for my youngest brother’s christening, a checked full skirted number for everyday, a high collared blue blouse with contrasting floral skirt for ‘Sunday best’, and once, matching sundresses for me and for her, white with a sprinkling of tiny red roses.

The kitchen table was often spread with patterns, pins, cotton reels. As I got older, she would sometimes let me cut the fabric with her special dressmaking shears or use her special dressmaking chalk. ‘Follow the line of the pattern’, she’d say. Dressmaking wasn’t her only skill; she could turn her hand to tapestry and embroidery too. There was no end to her talents. Whilst she was working on her projects, we would talk. Words entwined with wool. It was an opportunity to have her to myself whilst my brothers usually played outside, slinging mud around the garden. Sometimes she would encourage me to try some of the less complicated sections of whatever it was she was working on; the night sky of a landscape, the grassy green of a field. Tapestry engaged me, I found it satisfying, but more so, the luxury of being alone in her presence, sharing secrets, talking together as we sewed.

Her box of embroidery silks was enchanting, almost exotic; bright and vibrant in colour. I used to love opening it and staring at the kaleidoscope within, rearranging the coloured silks to make different patterns. She’d show me the easier stitches; chain stitch, cross stitch, as she created pictures from the silken, shimmering thread. Patience, tenacity, listening, observing; all skills I learnt through sewing with my mother. The Christmas I was seven, the last parcel under the tree was a ‘special’ one, she said. Inside, two handmade nightdresses, the bodices of which had been embroidered; one with a small girl, the other with a posy of flowers. She must have spent hours stitching them late into the night in order to surprise me. I thought they were wonderful.

It was a hot dusty summer’s day when I first sought to test her skills in a different way. Riding over the hose pipe in the back yard, my bike slipped on the gravel and the handle of the brake inserted itself under my chin. My dress, patterned with delicate blue daisies, became a sheet of blood red. As I ran into the house wailing, I remember the shock on my parent’s faces and then my escalating hysteria as I heard them discuss ‘taking me to the Doctors.’ In the end, my mother didn't take me to the Doctors that day, instead I was cradled inside the safety of the spindles of the old Windsor chair in the kitchen, wrapped in an oversized cardigan whilst she pieced together the underside of my neck. ‘Butterfly stitches’, that’s what she called them.

Mum’s needle and thread have been present at every juncture in my life. Her stitches have been markers in time, present at significant turning points. Many of my happy memories are filtered with images of fabrics, be it the sumptuous purple velvet of a homemade Tudor fancy dress costume or the sweet pink floral of my bedroom curtains. In my teenage years I cared little for her homemade efforts. I wanted brands; the high street, not to wear clothes from home cut cloth. It was then that she made the patchwork quilt. Off cuts, remnants, she’d kept them all, fabric pieces from every dress, every outfit she’d ever made. Painstakingly, they were sown onto hundreds of hexagonal cardboard templates, before being joined together, by hand, until they resembled a giant piece of colourful honeycomb. Sometimes I would sit and help her, we would talk about the stories behind the fabrics, when I had worn it, or what it had made, I liked to listen to her reminisce about my earlier years. The finished masterpiece covered my single bed, a visual memoir, each fabric patch with it’s own tale to tell. A symbolic rite of passage, a parting gift from my mother, to mark the end of my early childhood years as I began my journey into adulthood.

Sewing has been a language for my mother, stitches her way of saying; I love you. She herself grew up without a mother and had no blueprint to work from when she had children of her own. At times I think she has found it easier to show her emotions wordlessly, through making and creating. A blue ribbon sewn inside the petticoats of my wedding dress, the names of my boys embroidered beautifully next to those of my brothers on the family christening gown. Most recently, an appliqued play mat for EB featuring bright and playful farmyard animals.

As we prepared to move house recently and she helped us pack, she gathered up small green and pink pompoms from various locations around my house. Once part of a fringe on my favourite scarf, but helpfully detached by my son's incessant tugging, I had kept them, optimistic that one day I would find the time to sew them back on again. After she had Ieft, I noticed they had all been restored to their rightful place, that my scarf was now fringed again. Every time I wear it, I think of her and feel loved.

Over the years my mother has stitched, unpicked, pinned and restitched me together again countless times. Becoming a mother myself has allowed me to appreciate how much. Quiet words in shared moments; small but significant stitches in time, carefully placed, delivered with deft and grace, shaping who I am today. Even though I say so myself, I think she's done a magnificent job. I'm writing it here, so I know I've said it; thanks Mum. x

About Mummy Plum

I live in London with my husband and two boys, Pip (3) and EB (3 months). Part memoir, part sanity saver, my blog charts my reflections on life, motherhood and whatever else takes my fancy. My philosophy is to celebrate the little things often. I believe a good cup of tea can make the world seem a brighter place, especially when accompanied by cake.
I blog at and you can also find me on twitter @mummy_plum.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Guest Post : Warrior Mother

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is fellow Special Needs Mum and blogger Donna, who writes over at All contact details for Donna can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.


So I'm sat here on a lazy Saturday night watching "the matrix". I'm watching the female character, Trinity, kick the ass of the agents ably accompanied by Keanu Reeves and my mind starts it does!
I've always had a childish infatuation with warrior women...strong confident kick ass females like Lara Croft inspire me! I once trekked through Guatemala for charity and back packed round Thailand inspired by this Xbox boy’s fantasy. Posing non-stop with fake gun in my hand whilst scaling volcanoes and dossing on beaches!
A lot can be achieved through role models. Whether they are fictitious or human? Whether they are empowered artefact hunters or Jane Austen heroines we all have to have someone we look up to. Someone we can take strength from. 
There’s a modern day phenomenon called the "warrior mother". An army of women who have chosen to follow the strength of their inspirations and "kick ass" for their families. These women fight tirelessly on a daily basis for what is right. Not politically. Not a feminist movement. Not lobbying the government or staging protests. They are ordinary mothers living extraordinary lives within their own homes, every day. And what they fight for is their kids. And what’s right for their kids.
I've written before in wise words from..rocky balboa? about the habit people have once you get a diagnosis of following that with the words "get ready for a fight" and they are right but perhaps not just in the way they mean it. You see every day you fight and battle. With professionals. With schools. With ignorance and with bureaucracy. Even this week I've had my request for Jesse's assessment for sensory processing disorder turned down because she is autistic and therefore hard to assess. But I won’t give up. I will fight. Not necessarily with the professionals though. I will research private assessments and I will continue to make a nuisance of myself at the OT departments but most of all I will battle with the autism.
If the professionals won’t help me and if ignorance is rife. If people won’t listen then I must do it. All of it. And I will. If I can’t get the understanding and the assistance from an OT to help Jesse with her sensory issues then i must battle like a warrior and gather that knowledge myself. I must dedicate time and money into sensory play, give my time to her to help and assist her. Find out what she likes and don't like so she can calm down and find some peace from time to time.
If Cody needs a photograph taken of every item in the house that he may ask for to improve his communication then I'll do that too. If he needs patience and empathy whilst he’s kicking and slapping me then it’s my duty to give him that.
You see every day I soldier on for my children to do what’s right and in doing so I stand alongside mothers everywhere and declare ourselves warrior mothers. We may not have changed government legislation, we may not re write diagnosis journals or burn our bras in the street but behind closed doors every day we are fighting the disabilities that live alongside our children to make life better for them.
I don't have to change the world to be a warrior. I don't have to carry weapons tucked in my hot pants to be in battle. If every day I accomplish something within my own four walls that improves the quality of life for my kids even only for a minute then I'm as kick ass as Lara...I am a warrior mother. 
About Donna
My names Donna and I'm a mother of two children. I'm a mother of two autistic children. There's a difference and there always will be which is why I write a blog about my experiences, thoughts and emotions of being the mother to Cody (4) and Jesse-Leigh (3). In every other way we're your normal, average family..husband, kids, dog but once a week i unburden my soul at and give people a glimpse into the life of a "special needs parent".

Friday, 8 March 2013

Guest Post : Meaning of Motherhood

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is fellow blogger, Mummy is a Gadget Geek, who writes over at  All contact details for Mummy is a Gadget Geek can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.


Motherhood is a funny thing. The impending nature of it came as somewhat of a surprise to me, since the Wee Man was a happy accident – I certainly hadn’t had children on my immediate horizon, more as a far off fuzzy idea. But from the moment I learned he was growing inside me; despite, as my family and friends would say ‘not having a maternal bone in my body’ (I’ve never been one to go gooey eyed over babies and children always seemed to me like strange incomprehensible aliens) I suddenly felt fiercely protective of my invisible bump, my wriggly little peanut, and finally – my son.
I never imagined how much of an impact such a tiny little person could have on my life, but I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to find out.
He arrived in a rush at 11 past midnight on a Sunday morning, and once the shock of his rapid birth had worn off, I’d eaten the egg sandwich and chocolate mousse provided by the midwives, and the Other Half had been dispatched home for what was likely to be his last decent sleep for a while, I was left alone on the ward to get to know my son. The midwives told me he should sleep in his plastic cot at my side, but he was happy on my chest…and since all my instincts were telling me to keep him there, contented and sleepy, that is what I did. I will never forget that night of overwhelming awe as I looked down at his tiny restful form and realised that this amazing little boy had grown inside me, and was now outside and dependent on me for his every need.
If any other person had dared deprive me of my sleep for weeks on end, they’d have felt the force of my wrath.
If any other person had howled and screamed at me for protracted periods I might have walked away.
If any other person had poo’d, puked and drooled on me repeatedly, I might have felt disgust*.
But – despite the odd crying spell, the odd tired snap at the Other Half, the occasional overwhelming need for two minutes to myself (I am only human, after all) – what I mainly felt was a need, a desire to make sure that he was happy. Even if that did mean my clothes were crumpled and crusty and my hair looked like a birds nest. My motherhood instincts had kicked in, and although I’ve often felt I’ve had no clue what I’m doing, read conflicting advice from books and the net, and been given advice both good and bad, in general I’ve followed them and muddled through.
Even more surprising to me, just over a year after he had changed our lives for ever, I kind of felt I might be ready to do it all over again…and nine months after that our lives changed again as our daughter was welcomed into the world. Just like her brother, she had a speedy entry, but this time I was prepared and able to take in more of the birth experience. And although I’d wondered how I could ever possibly feel about someone else the way I felt about my son, when she emerged I felt the same overwhelming awe as she nuzzled my chest and latched herself on for her first feed, before snuggling in my arms contentedly all night.
As they’ve grown, their needs have changed, and I’ve had to change too. I can no longer be selfish as I once was, laying in til midday because I want to or sitting around playing computer games or reading a book. I do of course sometimes still do these things when given the chance (well, apart from the lying in – thanks to over three years of early starts I don’t seem to be able to stay asleep that long any more!) because I think it’s important to retain a sense of my adult self. But having children has also reminded me of how much fun the little things in life can bring, and although I think fondly of my pre-children days I don’t wish myself back to them.
For instance, before, a ladybird was just a ladybird. A potentially unremarkable observation as part of an unremarkable day. But my children have reminded me how exciting it can be to see a small red thing with spots when you’re least expecting it, and even better, watch the red-and-black-spotted small thing magically make wings appear and fly away.
Walking along the street singing vaguely remembered silly songs from my own childhood, I realise they’ve given me the confidence to embrace my inner child that previously sometimes hid away in fear of public embarrassment. (Although there is no denying that I was in fact fairly silly on occasion prior to my children arriving).
I’ve learnt to appreciate life more, to live in the present and not the past or the future, and enjoy each minute whilst we are in it rather than wishing the time away. Whilst with the Wee Man I was – like most new mothers – eager for him to reach his milestones, and fiercely proud each time he mastered a new skill, with Bubby D I have been much more relaxed and we take things as they come. She has just this week learned to walk, and although the sight of her beaming pleased-with-myself smile lights up my day, I also have a feeling of sadness that her independence is growing and with every day that passes she is becoming more of an independent toddler and less of a baby.
But if my introduction to motherhood was exciting, then watching my children grow and learn is more so. Every day the Wee Man tells me something I didn’t know he knew, and reminds me of things that I’d forgotten I knew too. Every day Bubby D learns a new word, and I remember how exciting the simple things in life can be. We may not have much money, we may have a messy house (although I can’t necessarily blame that on having kids…), I may have a baby tattoo where once my stomach was (reasonably) firm and (kind of) flat, and I may have permanent panda eyes - but every day I feel glad that four and a bit years ago, an action that took a matter of seconds has irretrievably changed our lives for ever**.
*I never before understood the ‘sniffing a baby’s bottom thing, and I was sure I would never do it. Now I do understand, and I hold my hand up guilty as charged…
**and just to clarify and save the Other Half from possible shame, I’m talking about the moment of conception there, not the actions leading up to it ;)
About Mummy is a Gadget Geek
I am a 31 year old mother of the Wee Man and Bubby D, who enjoys whizzing down shiny slides in the sun, finding hairy caterpillars, and kitting unidentifiable objects that were originally intended to be jumpers. If you'd like to hear more about us and what we've been up to, you can find us at, on twitter at @mummygadgetgeek and on facebook

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Guest Posts : Parent With Your Heart

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is fellow blogger the Harrovian Mama who writes over at . All contact details for the Harrovian Mama can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.


It doesn't matter how you become a mother.  Whether it has been a long held dream or startling surprise, from the moment you see that '+' on the pregnancy test, your life changes.  Like many mothers, the moment I discovered I was pregnant, I set about preparing myself for motherhood as if it were an exam I needed to pass.  I bought books on pregnancy, on babies, on parenting and read them with scholarly fervour.  I learned about breast-feeding, swaddling and pain-relief for labour.  By the time my daughter was due, I was convinced I was prepared.  But motherhood doesn't work like that.  Sometimes, even if you do just as that baby guru advises, your baby just won't sleep.  And as your child gets older, you learn that there is no parenting book on earth that can help you stop a two-year-old tantrum mid-flow.
Everything in the media and world around us reinforces our fear that 'motherhood is an exam'.  That it is something we can fail or be graded at.  The way newspapers swing between damning working mothers and criticising the lack of ambition of stay-at-homers.  Everything from how we give birth to the way we wean our child is judged and critiqued.  Somehow, amongst all the conflicting data, we are supposed to make the correct choice.  A hundred years ago, parents were being told to rub whiskey on teething gums and I dread to think what historians will say about some of the current advice for parents.  There is not always a 'right' way and the experts don't have all the answers.  All these books, articles and magazines that tell us how to do 'it' - how to be a mother - we should use these as guides, not bibles.  Because at the end of the day, if you only ever act out of love, you can't go too wrong.

Being a mother can be tough at times, but in return for those parenting dilemmas, sleepless nights and nappy with truly unspeakable contents, you get to experience a wonderful, unique and all consuming love.  And no book on earth can prepare you for that.
About Harrovian Mama
Hi, I am the Harrovian Mama, a proud mummy of two babies aged two and under; the gorgeous Leila (2) and Harry (9 months).  Even though I am supposed to be teaching them, they have taught me so much about myself and my capacity for love.  I blog at and you can find me on twitter @HarrovianMama.  Always feel free to say hi!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Guest Post : Motherhood from Around the World

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is C. Lee Reed who runs the website Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad in the USA. All contact details for C. Lee Reed can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.
I was thrilled to be asked to write for Lynsey The Mother Duck particularly as they celebrate Moms everywhere on their Mothering Day.  I love the UK's version of USA's Mother's Day.  It warms my heart to thinking of 'mothering' my child; celebrating the act and not only the person.  During this time of year, we Moms get a lot of acknowledgement [and flowers] from our children and that always feels good.  We relish this day dedicated to our roles in life and shamelessly soak in the gratitude; while it lasts.  We have come to accept that the other 364 days of the year we are back to being 'plain old' Mom instead of 'fantastic' or 'superb' or 'outstanding' Mom.  Truth be told, even if the holiday tradition didn't exist, we proudly wear our motherhood badge as we dutifully care for our children.  It's never been about the recognition.

As the mother of a teenage girl, I find that my celebration becomes less and less each year.  As a youngster, she would proudly present her school-made crafts in the prettiest wrapping paper.  She would give homemade macaroni necklaces and play-doh vases that declared her unending love for me.  I now sustain on a quickly written card with four simple words; I love you Mom.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  You see, I've come to realize that as our children grow, they prepare for life away from us out in the big open world.  Part of this separation is knowing that love always exists between a mother and a daughter, but that it has to move to the background in both our lives.  If not, we'd never to the next step.  So regardless of the lack of pomp and circumstance surrounding its delivery, that hastily scribbled card means so much.

Yes, I still long for her beaming smile as she hands me that Mother's Day poster, awkwardly drawn and colored, seen through her beautiful blue eyes.  I am wearing an orange dress, my huge eyes don't quite fit on my giant round head and I'm taller than our house.  The picture boldly states 'I love my Mom because she's the best!'  I don't think I've ever looked more beautiful. I vividly remember wondering how'd I ever find one more empty place for the layers upon layers of artwork adorning my refrigerator.  Now just a few small photos and magnets decorate the doors.  Friends warned me that the day would come when I'd wish I still got these funny drawings and homemade gifts... I didn't think it would arrive so soon.  I realize that this time in our life has passed and I will no longer receive such expressions.

Luckily for me, I can quietly slip into the attic, pull down that special box I've been hoarding, open it and revisit my daughter's love as shown through an incredibly large stack of oddities.  Buttons, paperclips, beans and feathers have all played an important part in my daughter's love language.  Each card expresses her now silent feelings for the mother she loves more than life.  Each object holds a special place in my box of precious treasures.

As we prepare for this years Mother's Day dinner, I find my thoughts are taken to a new place.  I have watched my daughter grow into a beautiful young women and I can't help thinking ahead to a day when she becomes a mother herself.  Oh, how I want time to stop so that I can preserve this moment together, but alas, it presses on.  I am also keenly aware of the love my own mother must have felt when she was in this same situation.

On this special day, I intend to hold my daughter close, kiss my hubby for his part in my joy and then call my Mom to tell her how much I love her.  I also have to ask if she still has her box of memories stashed away too!  Happy Mother's Day!  Happy Mothering Day!
About C. Lee Reed
C. Lee Reed hopes to change the world's perception of helicopter parenting by proving that no harm comes to children whose parents hover.  You can stay highly involved in your children's lives and still maintain a happy, healthy, loving connection.
Visit :

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Guest Post : Appreciation and Inspiration!

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is business women Lauren Watson. All contact details for Lauren can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.


Well here goes ... My first ever post about one of my favourite topics : Motherhood.

Motherhood isn't just about the present for me but motherhood over the decades.  My mum, her mum (a crazy lady called Bezza), my dads mum, my hubby's mum.  All have had an amazing impact on my life from the teachings about the world, simply down to making my life that bit easier by being my child carer.  We know mothers are very inspirational people; they're knowledgeable, caring, nurturing and supportive.  They're a breed of their own.

These credit crunch years are hard for us all and who have we called of need - our mums!  They buy the kids clothes, they look after our children when we need to increase our hours at work and they're there when we need a moan.

Becoming a mother has been the pinnacle of my life so far, I am sure many of you will say the same.  I am a better person.  More patient, more giving, more relaxed.  But, on the contrary it has motivated me to get things done.  Change my life for the better, for my children.

There are thousands of mums grabbing the bull by the horns and doing the same.  Three of my top inspirations are some of the business worlds most prominent entrepreneurs, they also happen to be mums.  Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx (every mum needs control wear).  Ariane Goldman, founder of Hatch maternity wear range - it is revolutionary and Michelle Mone, founder of Ultimo bras (thank goodness for Ultimo, I thought my boobs would never look the same again after breastfeeding).  She was awarded an OBE from the Queen in 2010 in recognition of her services to UK business.  All these women have worked tirelessly to provide women with feel good products which we all need to transform us from slummy mummy to yummy mummy.  But not only are they making us feel better about ourselves they are inspiring us to reach our goals in life, business and in our roles as inspirational mums.

These women have been famous from their success but the most inspirational women I know is MY MUM.  She juggled a career and setting up a new business with looking after me and my brother when we were knee high.  My memories of this - fabulous - I was oblivious because my mum always made sure we can first, she worked 24 hours a day on call but there was always time for fun and games. 

My appreciation of motherhood is for the inspiration it has given me to stand up and be counted, just like my own mum.  So I am going to do the same!  I want my children to be inspired in the same way that I was.
About Lauren Watson
Yummy Mummy wanna be, fashion follower and style blogger at  My mission : rescue all maternity mummies from the fashion disasters that lay ahead in their pregnancy!  Full of tips and tricks to help mums look great in pregnancy.  I hanker after anything beauty and find painting my nails therapeutic.  I love making pizzas with my hubby (Big M - he's tall) and my kids, Liccle G and Flossie B in our log cabin at the bottom of the garden.  Weekdays are mad.  Weekends are all about gardening, butterflies and fresh air.
Check out Laurens website at 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Guest Post : The Miracle of Motherhood

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood.  With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises.  In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers.  Our guest writer today is fellow blogger Amanda who blogs over at The Family Patch.  All contact details for Amanda can be found at the end of the article.  Enjoy.


When I was a child, there was one thing I knew for certain and that was that when I grew up I wanted to be a mum. I think I was probably born with a fully intact and activated maternal instinct, but it really kicked into overdrive when my own mother began childminding when I was 9. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to grow up and one day have kids of my own.

As I grew older, however, I began to realise that it might not be as easy as all that. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 21 and knew that this could cause fertility troubles. I was even told that the twisting of one of my fallopian tubes could put me at risk of ectopic pregnancies. And when treatments for it became incredibly harsh during my mid-twenties there was even a point when TJ and I considered never having children.

But about a year before we were to be married, that maternal drive kicked in full force and I knew without a doubt that I wanted children. It didn't matter that practical issues might get in the way, this was something I felt far too deeply to ignore. And so a month after our wedding we began trying to conceive, and two months after that I found myself pregnant. What a shock!

At first we were blown away by how incredibly lucky we had been to fall pregnant so quickly. We had beaten the odds and were blessed beyond measure. But then the sickness kicked in. Badly. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and spent a large percentage of my pregnancy in bed wishing I had never fallen pregnant in the first place. The one thing that kept me going above all else was the knowledge that I was expecting a child, the thing I had longed for my entire life and it would all be worth it in the end.

And it was. It was more than worth it. All the sickness and pain and worry, all the anxiety and depression and trauma... all of it was worth going through to meet our beautiful boy.

It was far from easy. Becoming a mother was so much harder than I ever imagined it could be. I never got to bloom and enjoy pregnancy, breastfeeding was a nightmare, and the sleep deprivation felt like it was going to send us insane some days. And what about that guilt? It feels like I find something new to feel guilty about every single day. But it's worth it... oh so worth it!

Because here I am, mother to a beautiful boy who astounds me with his love, his joy and his sheer enthusiasm for everything in life. Watching him grow and explore the world reminds me to see everything as new once more. I can find joy in the simplest things these days: a hug, a smile, even a cardboard box...

But more than that, being a mother makes me want to be the best I can be. It makes me want to face my demons and reach my potential, so that through example I can help my son reach his. It makes me want to do more for others whilst remembering that to do this I have to look after myself too. Gone are the days of burning the candle at both ends for something meaningless... these days I do it for my family and no one else. Or at least I try!

This is what I like to call 'The Miracle of Motherhood'. It is so much more than I can express in words. It is everything I have just written and much, much more. It is greater than anything I have ever experienced and something I wish everyone could enjoy. Being a mother is the hardest thing in the world, and yet it is the most beautiful and therein lies the miracle.
Mummy and Oscar Yellow 2.jpg

I wouldn't change it for the world (although I wouldn't mind a bit more sleep once in a while, if you're asking).

About Amanda

The Family Patch is written by Amanda. It includes all aspects of family life, from the everyday mundane tasks, through balancing work and family, to the things that inspire the entire family. Amanda blogs about everything including her health, the home, the garden and her love of photography (amateur) and crochet. Pretty much anything goes here, just like in life itself.  You can find Amanda on Twitter @amandaspatch

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Guest Post : A Tribute to My Mother

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is author Anne Coates. All contact details for Anne can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.

A Tribute to my Mother
Perhaps it's only when a daughter becomes a parent herself that she truly realises just how much her mother has always loved her.  This was certainly true for me.  Mum was with me when my daughter, Olivia, was born and as she has been growing up, each and every stage has made me think of mum - even little things, like plaiting Olivia's hair would remind me of mum doing my plaits and now, of course, I understand why she couldn't get to sleep before I came in from an evening out as a teenager.
One of the many wonderful things about my mother was the way she attracted people to her.  She was like a second mum to many of my sister's and my friends and she was always interested in those she might not have met but had heard so much about.  I must admit to feeling a little jealous sometimes until I had matured enough to understand love isn't finite.
I am so fortunate to have thousands of happy memories: mum drawing me a bride; reading Alice in Wonderland to me; introducing me to books and libraries; choosing a dress for a special occasion and saying "Oh have them both!" when we had so little money.  I remember the fun we had the day we went to buy my books for college and a few years later she flirted with my tutors at my graduation.
When she visited the magazine where I worked, she was treated like a queen and loved every moment.  She was always so encouraging and read everything I wrote but I think my first article on my attempts at tap-dancing (she had trained as a dancer at the Italia Conti stage school) made her laugh the most.
Whenever I think of her now I see her laughing at something.  Even though her life was severely restricted by rheumatoid arthritis, she rarely complained or lost her sense of fun.  She never thought of herself as old, or disabled but I don't think she ever realised how much other people valued her wisdom and company.  Her legacy is the love she had for her family and friends and her courage.
My grandmother died when mum was only 37 and many years later she told me that not a day went by without her thinking about her mum and telling her something in silent conversation - I think that has been the same for me.  Shopping for presents the Christmas after she died, I was dithering over which earrings to buy my daughter.  I heard her voice so clearly : "Don't be mean.  Buy them both!"  Needless to say I followed her advice.
My mother loved Mothering Sunday - in fact she loved celebrations of all kinds - but one year she told us not to bother giving her anything.  We didn't get her cards but we did buy her a rubber plant.  We hadn't realised how disappointed she would be - she adored receiving cards.  However she did love and cherish the rubber plant which seemed to last forever - a constant reminder that written declarations of love were needed too!
Joan + Olivia Coates.jpeg 
Mum, Joan, with Olivia
About Anne Coates

Anne Coates is the founder of and the author of seven non-fiction titles, the last two being Parenting Without Tears Living with Teenagers and Parenting Without Tears Guide to Loving Discipline both published by Endeavour Press.
    Anne also writes fiction and has recently published: Cheque-Mate & Other Tales of the Unexpected and A Tale of Two Sisters. She is currently working on a full length crime novel.
Twitter: @Anne_Coates1 and @ParentingWT

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Guest Post : The Mummy Kindness Manifesto

This week I am dedicating my blog to Motherhood. With Mothering Sunday fast approaching I wanted to spend a week enveloped in Appreciation for Motherhood, in all it's guises. In a series of amazing guest posts we are hearing what Motherhood means to an array of writers. Our guest writer today is fellow blogger Mummy Kindness. All contact details for Mummy Kindness can be found at the end of the article. Enjoy.

The Mummy Kindness Manifesto
I hope my blog will encourage mums to stop competing and comparing and start practicing more kindness to themselves and each other.
1. I will trust my own instincts.
2. I wil feed my baby however it suits me, my baby and my family.  I will never judge another mother for how she chooses to feed her baby.
3. I will always tell pregnant women they look amazing.  No other comments on her appearance or size are necessary.
4. I will accept that other willdo things differently to me.  This doesn't mean that they're wrong, I am wrong or that they think I am wrong.
5. I will only offer advice when it is asked for.  I will do so with love and without judgement.
6. I will remember I am entitled to be proud of my child.  But non-one likes a show off.
7. I will not be defined by the number on a scale.  It is not my worth.
8. I accept I will make mistakes.  I will learn from them and move on.
9. I will be true and authentic and not pretend all is perfect at all times.  This helps no-one.
10. I will not compare my insides with everyone elses outsides.
11. I will remember that my kind words, compliments or smile could make someone elses day.
12. I will accept compliments gracefully and I will believe them.
13. I will always remember that I am the best mum for my children, that I know them better than anyone else.  I will discount any thoughts or comments that suggest otherwise.
14. I will remember that it is OK, to not be OK sometimes.
15. I will be kind to others and kind to myself.  In doing so remember that is is not a competition.  All mummies are on the same team.


About Mummy Kindness

I'm a married mum of two little ones from Essex. Two babies in two years taught me a great deal about both parenthood and myself! In my new blog Mummy Kindness, I recently "came out" about suffering from PND. The response has been overwhelming and inspiring. I hope my blog will encourage mums to stop competing and comparing and start practicing more kindness to themselves and each other. Visit my site: or find me on twitter @mummykindness.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Appreciation of Motherhood Week

A few weeks ago I decided to really take the opportunity to celebrate the fact that Mothering Sunday is approaching.  I put out a request for guest posts, on the theme of Motherhood and had an amazing response.  The only specification I made was that the posts be upbeat in their tone.

There is a real variety of posts, from Tributes to Finding the Meaning of Motherhood - we even have a Manifesto!  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the pieces and chatting with the authors.

The week kickstarts tomorrow and articles will be published daily.  I really hope you enjoy them as much as I have, and they make you think about and remember how amazing Motherhood really is.