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Read our posts about Family

Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

The media impress upon us the often horrifying results of inappropriate touch. As increasing numbers of celebrities have come under investigatation, media coverage has been innundated with examples of inappropriate touch.  The fact that Rolf Harris is now serving five years for using his celebrity status to control young women is a case in point.  Are we  fearful of touch?  We now struggle to decipher what is appropriate and what isn't.  At this years sports day, I was surprised to discover that primary school teachers are no longer allowed to put suntan lotion onto...
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Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

When my triplet daughters went to university in 2005 my household switched overnight from one in which I, as a female, was in a 4:2 majority, to one in which I was outnumbered. Suddenly it was just me, my then three-year old son, and his dad. The shift in dynamic is one I'm still getting used to as my son grows up. I confess I miss my daughters, and I miss female company. People assume I'm an old hand at this parenting lark, but the truth is that raising one boy is very different to raising a trio of girls, and is providing just as much of a learning curve. Parenting...
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Losing My Twins at 23 Weeks

Losing My Twins at 23 Weeks

Grief never really goes away completely. The best we can do is live at peace with the memories of our loss, or maybe even be lucky enough to derive nourishment and pleasure from them. But even if you reach such a hazy resolution in this way, it can re-emerge at full force when you least expect it to knock you down again. Or at least that's my experience of losing my two babies 12 years ago, born too early to survive in the world outside my womb. I'd had a time of it getting pregnant in the first place, with irregular menstrual cycles from polycystic ovary syndrome,...
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Why We Shouldn't Try to be Perfect Mothers

Why We Shouldn't Try to be Perfect Mothers

‘Dear Sebastian,’ the letter began in a childish script. ‘Thank you very much for my Birthday Present. I love ‘Angelina Ballerina’ books. Love Yore God Daughter Eleanor’. I laughed. As any mother reading this will know, the likelihood that my husband Sebastian would have a) known it was his god-daughter’s birthday b) sent her a present and c) known that she liked Angelina Ballerina would have been as likely as me going six rounds at the pub. For the truth is, while women have made huge strides in the workplace, many men have not made commensurate progress at...
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Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Imagine yourself in hospital, aged and unable to articulate what you need and when. Think of the dejection, loneliness, and knowledge that your wellbeing lies in the hands of someone who sees you only as a blank and wrinkled canvas, who sees you only in the context of your dementia. I have, and I find it frightening. Dementia visits the elderly with a cloak of confusion and uncertainty, its prey usually unaware of its early presence, manifested by occasional illogical behaviour. A friend witnessed her 75 year-old mother trying to pay for groceries with cigarettes,...
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