Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.



Being a parent is the most exhausting, terrifying, frustrating, infuriating, incredible thing I have ever done.
It can be hard to feel like you’re getting it right, so here is mostly where I got it wrong.

Royally ‘Real’

Another royal baby! I for one love it, I’m a big fan of the young royals, it’s bloody lovely.

If you’ve been outside/online/alive for the past 24 hours you will have heard all about the new little prince. You’ll also probably have seen photos of William, Kate and their new bundle on the steps of the Lindo Wing. And you’ll almost certainly have read the opinions.

This post isn’t about the royal family. It’s not about Kate. It’s not about the baby. It’s about the judgemental language being thrown around the internet. And no, not by the Daily Mail.

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Motherhood Misery

There’s always been competition in parenting. I remember when TI was born it was all about who’s babies were hitting the milestones first. Baby Tommy might have crawled first but did you know baby Lucy could already speak three languages by nine months?!

When parenting blogs first started taking off they became the antithesis to this, they served as a big middle finger to the competitive mums. They reminded us that there’s so much more to life than trying to convince the rest of your NCT group that your baby is the best. They all walk eventually, who gives a shit who was first (if you ask me the longer they can’t move, the better)?

Recently the competition seems to have shifted, it’s no longer about who’s baby is best, it’s who’s baby is worse…

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Kawasaki Disease awareness

Today is Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day.

I hadn’t heard of Kawasaki Disease until Lucy from The Kawasaki Kid contacted me a while back, and I’m really glad she did. Recognising the symptoms could be the difference between life and death for your child and if caught early enough the affect it has on your child can hopefully be reduced.

I asked Lucy if she would share her and her gorgeous son Stanley’s story here, so more of us can understand what to look out for and what living with Kawasaki looks like for the children who have it.

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The Question Not to Ask

There’s one question that will always rile me up regarding babies. It’s one that is thrown at you constantly, especially by women of a certain age. It seems to be the go-to question when people don’t know what to ask.

‘Is he a good baby?’

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Equal Siblings

Some people say that once you have one child adding another isn’t all that different. Those people are liars.

Having your family grow from three to four is a massive change and affects all of you, physically and emotionally, in endless ways. It’s a steep learning curve for everyone and any rhythm or routine that you had previously perfected gets rather dramatically flung out of the window.

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Breastfeeding – a second try

When I was pregnant I wrote about my previous experience of breastfeeding and how it had left me terrified to try again. I had a huge response to that post with so many women telling me they felt the exact same way, which was in equal parts comforting (to know I’m not alone) and depressing (to realise so many of us had had such similar, difficult experiences).

I was always going to try again, yet I was determined to put less pressure on myself this time. Turns out that lack of pressure was exactly what we both needed to find our feet with this feeding malarky.

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Water Birth, Danny Devito, and still no stitches: My Second Birth Story

If you follow me on any form of social media you might have figured out I was more than a little bit done with being pregnant by the end…I had tried everything. And nothing was working. I had accepted that I was just going to be pregnant forever and welcomed the cankles as just a part of who I was now.

We’d had weeks of false starts, days of contractions leading to nothing.

Turns out watching the Foos destroy Glastonbury was the key.

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A Fox Cub!

Not just because it means I’m not pregnant anymore…we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our tiny little addition to the family!

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‘If You Can’t Afford to Feed Your Child…’

The days leading up to and following an election are always strange, tense, and full of arguments. This time is no different, in fact this time nobody is really sure whether to celebrate, mourn, or just keep drinking.

Today I was asked on a Facebook discussion about benefits, food banks, and tax brackets ‘why did you have a child if you can’t afford to feed it?’. Obviously the lovely Max Off Of Facebook did say ‘not to cause offence’ first. So I’m not offended…

Well, Max Off Of Facebook, do you want to know how I found myself two years ago crying in a doctor’s office as he signed a piece of paper that meant I was entitled to a food bank voucher two years ago?

Continue reading “‘If You Can’t Afford to Feed Your Child…’”

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