People are no longer leaving love down to serendipitous encounters.  Instead they are actively looking for it.  Dating apps abound.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all provide opportunities to find ‘love’.  But has social media killed romance ? All information about a prospective date is laid out before us.  Name, age, height, occupation, an inspirational quote and a few posed photos make up a typical dating profile.  Once swiped off the screen, our prospective date is replaced by another, and…

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Keep calm and carry on and the good old British stiff upper lip have their place place.  But when it comes to tragedy and terrorism, a stiff upper lip is not good enough.  We cannot just keep calm and carry on.  We need to talk. For the sake of the mental health of a generation, we need to share our feelings. News of the Manchester attack appeared in my Twitter feed before it broke on BBC breaking news.  I guess that’s…

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The mother of all Feminists, Simone de Beauvoir, famously wrote “one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”.  In The Second Sex she describes how society conditions us to be become women at every stage in the journey of life.  Becoming a mother is also a journey.  We are conditioned to become mothers, but our conditioning is not just a societal one.  Becoming a mother is a physical, physiological, psychological, neurological, hormonal, emotional and societal experience. We are not…

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Solitude, isolation and loneliness mean many things to many people.  It was not until I became a single mother that I fully understood what they mean for me.  I have experienced solitude, isolation and loneliness as a single mother. I know that my loneliness feels most acute when I am with people who don’t or can’t really see me.  Loneliness is a book that is flicked through but never read.  Loneliness is like music that plays in the background but is…

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Cygnet had spent the day with his father and I was due to collect him from his father’s house at 6pm.  I arrived at 6pm on the dot and I knocked on the door.  There was no answer.  I knocked again. Still no answer.  I called his mobile phone.  There was no answer.  I called again.  Still no answer.  I called a third time and left a message.  I was starting to panic.  I was starting to think that he…

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I’ve been a single mother for over two years now and I think I’ve learned a few things.  I’ve learned that single motherhood comes with a stigma and within that stigma there is a hierarchy.  There is a hierarchy of single mothers. Before I start, I want you to know that I don’t believe in any of these stereotypes.  Below are my reflections on how, in my experience, single mothers are perceived in society.  This is not how I want…

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This is the rush hour of our lives.  We have children who need our focus and attention.  We have careers that need our energy, initiative and drive to really take off.  We have social commitments aplenty (hen and stag dos, weddings, divorce parties!) and we have the constant background hum of admin, chores, bills, mortgages and appointments. I feel as though I am driving at high speed in the fast lane of the motorway.  All I really want to do…

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Let me share some intimate truths.  Pregnancy and child birth left me with piles.  I fart more often.  After a three course meal, I look like I am three months pregnant again because my stomach muscles aren’t what they were before I carried a baby. I am pleased to say that my pelvic floor is still in very good shape.  I can happily bounce around on a trampoline and keep all of my urine in my body.  That’s an achievement. …

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I have been reading, watching and listening to a lot about mental health issues recently. I read Bryony Gordon’s Mad Girl in which she talks about her OCD, her depression, her bulimia and her anxiety.  Her style of writing is incredibly comical and it is not until you put the book down that you pause to consider the crippling effects of mental health issues.  Bryony Gordon describes her relationship with a violent boyfriend and how her low self-esteem, caused by…

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I’ve been feeling frazzled lately. What with a work/childcare schedule with no give or flexibility in it, a busy full time job and a whole heap of other things weighing on my mind there have been a few occasions recently when I have felt that it is all just too much. I have been feeling frazzled and needed to treat myself. Co-parenting, for all its drawbacks and believe me there are many, does give me the occasional time out. This weekend…

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