Why Adults and Toddlers All Hate Waiting

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On a daily basis from themoment she wakes to the moment she goes to sleep my 2 year old makes constant demands. From, “I want milk!” being screamed at 6am to “I want to watch Peppa Pig,” and “I want pasta for tea,” there is an unlimited series of requests which if aren’t met in precisely 2 seconds, can often result in a full face in carpet melt-down kicking and screaming until she gets her way or is somehow carefully distracted.

 I Want It NOW!

It occurred to me the other day that whilst most of us learn to control our outbursts a bit better than a 2 year old, we are still not very good at waiting for anything. A recent trip to the doctor with the toddler, I was annoyed to be kept waiting for 45 minutes. And although I knew it wasn’t the receptionist or anyone else’s fault, I kept looking at my watch thinking of the all the stuff I still had to do – cook the kids’ tea, get them into the bath and bed before doing some work. Didn’t anyone realise that all this waiting around was cutting into my List of Things To Do?

Likewise, my husband refuses to watch any new TV series “live” anymore, preferring to watch stuff from the planner so that he doesn’t have to wait for any adverts and then jump straight to the next episode rather than wait a full week should we become so engrossed, (as demonstrated recently with our marathon watching of The Bridge).

More people than ever are now in debt up to their eyeballs because they want things Right This Minute! We are no longer prepared to wait to save up for the expensive holiday, the obligatory 4×4 car, or the latest clothes. So it all goes on the Never Never in order to gratify us. This Instant.

Have a Little Patience

I’m no different from anyone else. I find myself getting impatient and irritated if I’m kept waiting for the smallest things, from waiting 5 minutes in a queue for the public toilet to waiting our turn at the supermarket checkout.

It seems as soon as we are forced to stop, we notice it more. We get so used to being instantly gratified that we get upset whenever there’s a gap. The anticipation of wanting something and the actual achievement of that desire can affect everything from the little waits like waiting for a train or waiting for a meal to the lifelong waits of waiting for a job promotion and waiting for a baby.

Of course, I get it. I get that the real reason why we are all so against waiting for something is because our time is so precious. Most of us are so busy juggling the demands of kids, work, house and husbands that if we have to wait for anything even as inane as queueing in a shop, we start to think about the other more important things that we could be doing instead.

I’d love to be able to say we should all try and look at those irritating waiting times as a moment to pause, reflect, or have a breather. Maybe we should stop the clock-watching, stop the tutting and the sighing when we are forced to wait for something.

But in reality, I’m afraid that whilst my To Do List is sky high, that’s not going to happen.

Maybe we’re not really that different from toddlers after all.

 

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

 

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Running Scared

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When a family member asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I flippantly emailed a list comprising 2 items – 1) pyjamas and 2) running clothes with a note that said “In case I ever get my arse moving in 2016.”

I didn’t get the pyjamas.

All The Gear, No Idea

Faced with all the gear and literally no idea, I thought I’d go for a “quick jog” a couple of days after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, congratulating myself that I’d be ahead of the game before all the New Year Resolution runners got started. I completely forgot about the large amounts of chocolate, cheese and red wine that were floating around in my belly, congealing from the holiday season. “Just go down to the park and back” said my husband as he cooked himself a fry-up.

The thought of the neighbours in our very cosy cul-de-sac seeing me in my new skin tight running leggings spurred me on to sprint past their houses before the curtains could start twitching. After that, I won’t lie, the next five minutes were hell.

Although I wasn’t in any physical pain, I couldn’t get my breathing under control. Scrap that, I couldn’t even breathe. My body was screaming out “WHAT on earth are you doing? You’re 40 years old woman! The last time you ran was in the school sports day. Go back home and drink some tea!”

Somebody Help Me

As I lumbered along, I remembered someone once saying that you should keep going as you’ll soon find a “rhythm”. But listening to the rasping noises coming out of my mouth was only putting me off and making me feel weird. I wasn’t sure what I should be doing with my arms and my main concern was to determine if there were any sane looking people around who might take me to hospital should I be found collapsed on the floor.

Luckily there were plenty of other people about, mostly dog walkers and other runners. But to my amazement, they tried to engage me in conversation. “Nice day for it,” “Morning!” and even “Happy New Year.” I couldn’t even raise a smile let alone respond; could they not see that I was on the verge of having a heart attack?

Despite stopping twice, I managed to make it back to the house in one piece (sprinting past the neighbours again). “How long was I gone for?” I panted to my husband as I fell into the nearest chair and the children jumped on me with eager concern. “Err… 13 minutes,” came the reply.

Keeping it Going

Today, I completed my 5th run / walk. I’ve managed to make it a bit further and pushed myself a little bit harder to keep going before I have to stop and walk. I’m still struggling with the breathing and am nowhere near the stage where I might consider enjoying it.

But I’m pleased with myself. I’m pleased that since the 30th December (OK I realise that’s barely a week), I’ve managed to do a tiny bit of exercise every other day that fits flexibly into my routine. I’m pleased that I managed to keep it going on the week that everyone went back to work and school. I’m pleased that I haven’t as yet ended up in hospital. Will I keep it up? Who knows, I hope so.

I think I’m pleased that I didn’t get the pyjamas.

Any tips for beginners from runners out there, gratefully received!

 

Mummascribbles

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Why 2016 Has Got to Be Better Than 2015

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At the start of 2016 I love the feeling that anything is possible, that anything might happen this year. I have a few goals and hopefully won’t fail at the first hurdle. The main thing is that I feel extra positive about 2016. As a family we had such a traumatic 2015, things surely can only get better this year.

In July we lost my father-in-law after a horrible year-long illness. The summer was a horrendous time, and things didn’t really improve for the rest of the year. For the majority of 2015 we all had a range of illnesses from minor coughs and colds through to tonsillitis and with me suffering from pneumonia. When your defences are down and you feel low, you tend to pick up any germ and bug going, this was certainly the case with us. On top of all this, we had to deal with the shock of our eldest daughter not gaining a primary school place at any of our 4 choice of schools. The upset, intense preparation and failure to win the school appeal was incredibly wearing and emotional.

The Only Way is Up

On a more positive note, we had a lovely Christmas break. It was fantastic to spend some quality family time together again without having to worry or stress about anything. I really noticed a positive change in my eldest daughter’s behaviour as a result.

I don’t really like setting New Year’s resolutions as I think it only sets you up for a fall, but I have a few goals that I’m aiming for this year:

  • Less Booze. I love my red wine, it helps me unwind and relax especially after particularly stressful days. I can’t give it up completely, but I am aware that our relationship last year got completely out of hand. I was drinking most, if not every night and more than one glass. I kept telling myself that this was understandable given our awful year, but it’s time to stop now. I want to cut back and aim to have more nights off than on the wine.
  • More Writing. I want to get back into doing more writing in all capacities. More blogging, more freelance writing for clients and I want to get more articles out into publications if I can.
  • Less Time on the Phone. I say this a lot, but I am determined to spend less time on the phone when I’m with my kids. I often catch myself looking at meaningless rubbish on Facebook or checking emails and berate myself about it, but still continue to do it! I am determined to put my phone out of sight when I’m with the girls so that I can’t be tempted to look at nonsense or check emails; that can all wait. I want to appreciate the time spent with my children more.
  • More Running. This is probably the hardest one for me. In a bid to try and get fitter and healthier, I started running at the end of 2015. Unlike gym or yoga classes, running fits flexibly into my day and I can go at my own pace (extremely slow with lots of walking). The bad thing is that it feels like it might kill me. I hope to keep it up. I hope that I begin to enjoy it or at least be able to breathe and cope with it better!

More than anything, I hope that 2016 brings us more joy, health and happiness. After such a stressful, insular time last year, I want to spend more quality time together with friends and family. I’m feeling positive. I think this will be a good year. I hope it will be for you too!

 

You Baby Me Mummy

 

What Mums Really Want for Christmas

When I was little, my two sisters and I used to ask our mum what she wanted for Christmas and she always replied “three nice girls and breakfast in bed.” At the time, I found it infuriating. But now, as a mum of two young girls, I’m beginning to understand what she was getting at. There’s not much on my present wish list this year, but here’s what I could really do with this Christmas:

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More sleep. The baby days are gone, but what I wouldn’t do for a lie in. Is it too much to ask to sleep until 8am? OK 7.30am? Yes I appreciate that is never going to happen on Christmas Day, but for just one day over the Christmas holidays, I’ll take anything that is after 6am.

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  • World peace would be amazing. Failing that, I’d love it if there was no fighting or arguing on Christmas Day, and that’s just among the adults. Would it be too much to ask if the kids could refrain from squabbling? At the very least, I’ll settle for no meltdowns from the 2 year old.
  • A Little Rest. I’d love to have half an hour of sitting down with a little glass of something not being bothered by the kids or anyone else for just half an hour.
  • No Grumpiness. If all the moans and groans about the awful TV, rubbish weather, useless presents and state of the world in general could be put on hold until say the 28th that would be marvellous.
  • No illnesses. It might sound cliché, but in a year where our family has had tonsillitis, pneumonia, chest infections and other nasties, I would love for us all to be fit and well over the Christmas break.
  • Christmas Dinner. Is it unreasonable to have one or  two days where the entire family can eat together without picking at or moving food around the plate with no comments like “What’s this?” or “I don’t like this?” or “Do I have to eat this?”

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  • Some Family Time. Every year we try and cram in seeing everyone we know into the space of a few days off work. This year I’d like a few days at home on our own please.
  • Did I Mention Wine? A glass or two preferably of Prosecco or Red will definitely make my Christmas a bit more relaxing and enjoyable.

Red Wine

Clothes? Jewellery? Spa break? All lovely presents which I’ll gladly accept thank you. Failing that, if I get anywhere near receiving most of the things from this list for Christmas I’ll be happy!

What about you? Is there anything I’ve missed? Let me know what it is that you’d really like this Christmas.

Pink Pear Bear
Mummuddlingthrough
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Mumzilla

7 Reasons To Love a Nativity

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We’ve had 2 Christmas nativity performances in 2 weeks. Both girls were angels; a tad ironic as I’ve just witnessed the worst week of behaviour in both children with tears and tantrums galore.

Putting all that aside, it has been lovely to see both girls perform. Alice had her first ever “big school” nativity where all the Reception kids sang and acted out a vague version of the nativity. It all went well despite a slight upset with a rogue elf. Eva had her first ever pre-school nativity; an eclectic mix of The Lion King, Bob The Builder and the original nativity story.

Who doesn’t love watching a school nativity? It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside:

  1. Watching a school nativity makes you feel incredibly festive. It made me realise with a jolt that Christmas is suddenly upon us.
  1. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the singing or seeing your children all dressed up, but I definitely had a lump in my throat at both performances.
  1. The Teachers. Christmas nativities makes you appreciate the hard work and dedication of the teachers. The pre-school teachers have a hell of a job trying to control, coax and cuddle the 2 and 3 year olds. And I can’t appreciate enough how hard it must have been for the primary school teachers to direct and inspire the 4 and 5 year olds to practise their songs and their lines.
  1. The Spirit of Christmas. There’s nothing like a nativity scene to make you remember the real reason and story of Christmas.
  1. I’ve been fondly remembering mine and my sisters’ nativities and relaying these to my children. I once played Mary whilst my younger sister was the donkey! The old style home made costumes complete with headdresses made of tea-towels and old curtains were definitely the best, I can’t help but be a little bit nostalgic for them in amongst all the current shop bought outfits!
  1. There always seems to be some little moment in the school nativity that makes everyone laugh whether it’s a slight glitch or an over confident child. At Alice’s school nativity there was a confident donkey who started performing more elaborate dancing moves when he realised he was getting more laughs. Eva’s nativity had a technical hitch as the CD got stuck but it still made everyone laugh.
  1. Over the last month both girls have come home from their respective schools practising their “Christmas songs.” It’s been great to hear them singing their heads off and has given me a little bit of an insight into their lives at school. We were intrigued by Eva who has confidently been singing “Hump The Celebration” at the top of her voice every day. We eventually discovered at the nativity that the real words were “Come the Celebration.”

I’m sure these past few weeks have seen plenty of school nativity plays. What roles have your kids been playing and have  you enjoyed them?

 

 

The List

 

5 Reasons I’m Grateful This Week

 

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I’ve read somewhere recently a mindfulness tip. Apparently speaking out loud every day three things that you are grateful for will train your brain to focus on the things that are important and improve your happiness. When I remember, I’m trying to do this every day!  In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you 5 things I’m grateful for this week:

  1. Alice has had her school nativity play this week and despite an incident with a rogue elf in the play, it went off very well. She looked so cute in her angel costume!
  2. I’ve made a big dent on the Christmas shopping! I’ve still got a fair way to go, but I’m pleased that I’ve made a big start on it. I hate going to the shops at this time of year so I’m trying to get the majority of it done online.
  3. I no longer commute into London but my husband does. In the last couple of weeks there have been ongoing issues with the trains. Delay after delay. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to do that daily battle with the train and tube anymore. I love that I can do my freelance writing work from home and that it flexibly fits in with my family.
  4. We’ve had the best school run this week since September. Whilst there have been a few bad moments, Alice seems to have really settled down and enjoying ‘Big School’ this week. I’ve had far less tears and tantrums than we’ve seen in previous weeks. It’s surprising how much happier and easier my day becomes on a good school run and for that I’m hugely grateful.
  5. Tonsillitis, upset stomachs, colds. We seem to have to have had a real run of illness in this house. After weeks of everyone in our household being ill, we are all finally on the road to recovery.

This time of year is normally really busy for most people. We get stressed out about shopping and Christmas on top of the usual every day strains of work and juggling life. I think it’s a good tip to take time out of each day to pause and reflect on what we are all thankful for. It seems to genuinely make us more thankful and a little happier.

 

The List

 

13 Questions Freelance Writers Need to ask New Clients

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I love working as a freelancer. My job is varied and I get to work with lots of different people from a range of industries. I’ve worked with property developers, plumbers, beauticians, marketing agencies and most recently a groundwater company. I inevitably end up learning quite a bit about the most random things.

I sometimes get asked how I can write about so many different types of industries when I don’t specialise in any of them (with the exception of marketing).

Research

I’m naturally inquisitive (OK nosey) and this helps me. Before I even attempt to write copy for a client, I do a lot of research. I immerse myself in the subject and find out as much as I can.

I also ask a lot of questions. In order to write copy that really helps to sell and market a business, I always try to find out the answers to these vital questions:

Background Info. This information helps me to really get to grips with what the business does on a day to day basis and essentially, understand the main points of difference from competitors.

1. How old is the business?

2. Who formed the company and why?

3.  How many people work for you?

4.  Do you have other offices / sites? Where?

5.  In plain English – What does your company actually do?

6.  Who are your major competitors and how are you different?

7.  What are your Unique Selling Points?

Customers and Target Audience. The main job of a marketing copywriter is to appeal to customers and get them to take action. So it is essential to understand who the customers are and how to appeal to them. This will help me understand the tone I should be using in the copy too.

8. Who exactly are your customers? What are their demographics? Are there different markets e.g. business and end user? Contractors and commercial?

9.What would you say are the biggest problems facing your audience?

10. How does your company help your customers’ problems I.E What benefit does your company bring them?

11. What are your core values that you want me to convey about your business? E.G. Professional? Friendly? Quirky?

Goals for The Project

12. What action do you want your customer to take? I.E. Do you want them to buy? Sign up to an email?

13. What are your core metrics for measuring a success of a project? E.G. Increase in sales? Increase in visitors to a website? Increase in customer interaction?

I could go on! There are more questions that I could add that freelancers need to ask that relate to payment and working conditions but ultimately these 13 questions all really help me to get under the skin of the client and help me to understand and ultimately write for their customers better.

Are you a copywriter? Are there any other vital questions that I’ve missed from my list?

Banish The Black from Friday

rsz_black-friday-1042311_1280So tomorrow Black Friday is going live with countless retailers and with great anticipation from many customers. I know some people love a bargain and are excited by the prospect of getting a good deal on this one day, but I absolutely hate it.

Ugly Scenes from 2014

Remembering those scenes from last year where people were trampling on others to try and get a discounted widescreen television makes me feel sick. Many people were injured, and the level of violence towards shoppers and staff was astonishing. One of the comments that sticks out most for me from last year was from a man who said he found himself fighting over a kettle that he didn’t even need or particularly want. Can you believe that a few discounted items could make people suddenly turn so brutal and so primal? If it didn’t fill me with complete disbelief, I’d find it comical that a discounted kettle could send so many people camping outside a shop from the early hours and then running round the aisles fighting like warriors.

What’s It All About?

Black Friday was the name given to the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday in The States and coincides with the last payday before Christmas. It signals the real start of Christmas shopping.

Imported from The States through stores like Walmart (Asda) and Amazon, the effect over here has been less than civilised. Certain discounts from retailers are genuinely good, but others jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon are poor. A quick look through my inbox shows retailers jostling loudly for attention. “50% off Everything” is one of the better looking deals. “Up to 60% Off All Toys” sounds enticing until you realise that the “up to” is actually a measly 10% discount on most items.

All of these promotions send some sort of signal to our brains that if everyone is sending emails we too must act. This combined with a slight worry about Christmas shopping and “the need to get things done” sends many of us into full on panic mode. It instils some sort of fear in us that we must buy as much as we can on this one particular Friday at a reduced rate or the world will end. My sister who is normally a level-headed sort of girl even rang me asking what my kids want for Christmas as she wants to buy as much as she can on Friday.

Oh The Irony

I find it ironic that Asda (part of the Walmart group) are this year refusing to take part in Black Friday. As one of the early adopters to this retailing trend, it’s interesting to see that they have now decided to U-Turn on the whole event and are refusing to take part.

I also find it ironic that the entire concept of Black Friday goes completely against the values between the two celebrations of which it is sandwiched: Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas and whilst I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, both traditions value spending time with friends and family and being thankful for what we have. Nothing about a 50% discounted flat screen TV.

I’ve already made a start on my Christmas shopping. I’ve got a fair way to go but there is no way I’m going anywhere near the shops tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll even have time to shop online. And that’s OK. I really don’t care if I have to get the bulk of my shopping for 10 or 30% extra in price. I’d rather pay extra than end up in a fist fight with others.

Banish The Black

So what will we see at the end of tomorrow? I really hope that the news this year will be more positive; that there will be no more ridiculous scenes of people fighting over toasters, there will be no more stories of people being injured in the commotion of Christmas shopping. I really hope that tomorrow the “Black” will be gone forever from Friday.

Are you looking forward to the sales tomorrow or like me avoiding it all? I’d love to know your views!

Applying For Primary School? Read This First!

Applying For Primary School

This post is a bit of a warning blog to all those mums that have 3 or 4 year olds who are due to start primary school September 2016. You might be casually looking at primary schools before you have to submit your application in January. You might not be giving it much thought at all. I’m here to say “WAKE UP!”

The warning is this: You cannot make assumptions about receiving a place at primary schools anymore. Gone are the days when in the 80s as a child like me, you just “went to your local school.” Primary schools now have a legal limit on the amount of children they can take in Reception classes. As most parents investigating school applications know, “the rules” of who is given priority varies ever so slightly according to different county councils. Most non-church schools follow the similar process of our council (Essex) –

1) “Looked after children” are given top priority – this covers all adopted as well as fostered and children with special needs.

2) Siblings of children who are already at the school are prioritised next.

3) Finally you and your eldest child are considered, and all on the basis of who lives nearest to the school.

The reason for the warning is that there are now a higher rate of competition for school places. Higher rates of immigration, higher birth rates and the on-going housing crisis, means that there are now more families and children than there are places in schools.

Our Situation

This time last year, I was excitedly considering the school application for my eldest daughter. We live 0.3 miles and less than a 10 minute walk from our local school. All of our friends and neighbours go to this school and to be honest I was very complacent about the entire process. I naively assumed that we would get into our local school. I visited just one other school as a possible back up but didn’t give it much thought at all.

That’s why it was such a complete and utter shock when on the 16th April, the results were announced we discovered that not only had we not got into the local school but we hadn’t secured a place at any of the other 3 choices either.

I can look back now and realise that I spent the following weeks in utter shock and disbelief. I’d been severely ill just weeks before that fateful April date and to receive this news on the back of it really did hit me hard. I spent the entire summer planning the appeal and worrying about what to do but in the end nothing could be done. We’d been out-foxed by the huge number of siblings that were applying to the school that year as well as a few “looked after” children. What really affected us though was the number of new housing that had been built in our village which immediately took priority in those families gaining places to the school, as they were deemed nearer as the crow flies. The small local Victorian school was just overwhelmed by the number of people who had applied and we had to accept our unlucky fate that for the first time ever despite living so close to the school we would be allocated to a different school 2 miles away. I am now one of those mums on a school run, driving 4 times a day which I never wanted to be.

What Can You Do

  • As I’ve mentioned, a lot of this entire process is already pre-determined by factors outside of your control. I guess my warning to you is to be prepared. Go out there and look at as many schools as you can even if you THINK you have a good chance of being accepted into a certain school. Ask lots of questions including what the sibling rate of the new intake should be. Schools have a good idea about who at their school has siblings and should be able to give you a fair percentage rate. I realise now that I was never given a proper answer to this question from my preferred school. Check out this comprehensive list of other questions you can ask primary schools by Sian at The Mama Story.
  • Get a good feel for back up schools even if you do have your heart set on one particular favourite. Religious schools often have an extra set of criteria in their admission procedure. Some of them frequently take church-goers from their nearby area over siblings or distance of house to school. Is this something you would consider?
  • Find out from your local council which school is accepting the “bulge” for your intake year. We were not accepted by any of our 4 choices of school and was allocated to the school assigned for the “bulge” of which I was barely aware. Be prepared to find out what your bulge school is and investigate them as a possibility.
  • Keep your ears and eyes open. Listen to what other local people are doing and where they are going. You never know when you might rely on this information. I spent months preparing my appeal case and counted on local information to determine whether the local school had made any mistakes. (They had. Unfortunately, whilst it helped one of my neighbours in a similar position, it didn’t help me to win a place).

I hope this post hasn’t scared you off to much! As the statistics mention, over 90% of parents do gain a place at one of their 4 choice of primary schools so I think we were definitely in the minority.  7 months on from that fateful April day, I am gradually coming to terms with what has happened despite still feeling a bit rejected by our community. Whilst our eldest has had some issues with settling into “big” school, this is nothing to do with which the actual school, it’s more about her anxiety about the transition. If nothing else, I’ve been really impressed with the level of teaching and the way that the staff have eased and continue to help my daughter settle in.  Good luck!

When is The Right Age to Have a Baby?

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This week new figures released from the Office for National Statistics show that for the first time, there are more women giving birth over the age of 35 than aged under 25.  59% of all births are still within the 25-34 year age group, but the increase in the over 35s is noticeable.

No sooner had the statistics been released, then the inevitable outcry from the medical professionals as well as self-important reporters and general busy bodies solemnly reminded us that fertility declines from the mid- thirties onwards and that there’s a greater risk of miscarriage and problems in childbirth.

Nothing New

I wasn’t at all shocked at all by the statistics.  In fact, I’m surprised that this trend hasn’t happened sooner. Most of the people with kids I know have had their children in their 30s with the majority being over 35. I also know of more people who have had children in their 40s than in their 20s.

Similarly, the outcry is nothing new. We’ve heard all of the tales of doom and gloom before. Yes, there are risks to be aware of about having children later in life, but as I’ve witnessed from several friends, there can be risks during pregnancy and with childbirth at any age.

The point is that the experts and scare mongers are all assuming that women have a choice about when they have their children.  Yes, many women are delaying becoming a mum because of work or for financial reasons, but sometimes there just isn’t a choice. What happens if you haven’t met the right man in your 20s or 30s? If a couple get together in their 40s shouldn’t they be entitled to have a child?

Is there a “right” age for having a baby? I don’t think so. My mum was 25 when she had me, the eldest of 3. I was 36 when I had my first daughter and 2 weeks away from being 38 with my youngest. As I’ve often discussed with my mum, there are advantages and disadvantages of both.

Here are My 5 Positives on Being Classed as an “Older” Mum:

  1. I’ve done a lot before having kids. From travelling the world to establishing a career to staying out partying and getting drunk a lot.
  2. A lot of these life experiences including all the highs and lows will hopefully help in my parenting skills in the future. (Not the getting drunk stuff).
  3. I’ve gained a lot more confidence with age. My outlook has changed as I’ve got older, I still worry about things but not nearly as much as I did when I was younger.
  4. More financially stable – we are not rich, but we have a home and can support ourselves and our family much more than we ever could have done 10 years ago let alone 15 or 20 years ago.
  5. More emotionally mature. What can I say, I’m a late developer, I can’t contemplate having a child at the age my mum did. I was just too immature.

Is 40 a better age to have a baby than 20?  There’s simply no right or wrong answer. Yes, I believe that this trend of older mothers will continue to rise as women carry on delaying motherhood either through personal choice or purely because there is no choice.

Whatever the age of the parents, having a baby is a gift. It’s the most exhausting, exciting, hopeful, excruciating and magical thing ever.