The Real Night Before Christmas

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house,

No one was sleeping..because, IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE AND THEY NEVER BLOODY DO.

On the night before Christmas, so it is said,

Children should nestle, snug in their beds.

On the night before Christmas, so I have heard

No one should be stirring or saying a word…

On the night before Christmas, so they say,

Mummy gets a winter’s nap at the end of the day.


Well, I call CRAP. There is no nap.

Just tidying up and presents to wrap.

Then children telling countless lies

About why they can’t close their eyes,

“Mummy, mummy I can’t go to bed.

 There’s sugarplums dancing in my head.”


On the night before Christmas, finally I’m in bed

With the Mr Tumble song stuck in my head.

When all I once I heard such a clatter,

I ran into the hall to see what was the matter.


Is it too late to ask him to bring a pet?

Does he do dogs? Or perhaps a cat?

Can you ring him now and ask him that?”


On the night before Christmas, kids back in bed

Once again, I lay down my heavy head.

When all at once I heard an almighty crash

So out of my bedroom I flew like a flash.

“FOR F**KS SAKE,” I whisper. “WHAT IS WRONG?”

“Mummy, will Santa be very long?

Because I really need a poo,

Will Santa come while I’m on the loo?”


On the night before Christmas, I need some sleep!

Back into my bed I wearily creep,

Then just as my eyes begin to close

Out on the lawn a noise arose.

“What now”’ I cry and to the window I dash,

I open the curtain and throw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear?

Actual Father Christmas and his reindeer!


On the night before Christmas, I saw St Nick!

Or is sleep-deprivation playing a trick?

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Excuse me,” I yelled at the man in red.

“But I’ve just got my children back into bed,

I know you have to deliver all those toys

But do have to make so much bloody noise?”


On the night before Christmas, I watched in glee

As Santa put presents under the tree

“Excuse me,” I call over to the jolly old elf,

“Could I please get a photo of you and myself?”

A quick selfie later Santa nodded his head.

And I knew it was time to go back to bed.


Up the chimney he rose, than sprang to his sleigh

Where his reindeers were ready to fly him away.

Then I heard him whisper as he flew out of sight

“Happy Christmas to you, may you get sleep tonight!”


Check out my new book that contains no baby sleep advice whatsoever… Just lots of laughs and tips on surviving the sleepless nights from someone who has been there!

Sleep Is For The Weak: How To Survive When Your Baby Won’t Go The FzZk To Sleep at book shops or on Amazon now!!

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SATs strikes: Stop throwing books at our children’s heads…

MbookY heart is beating fast and I feel sick. I force myself to eat some chocolate because someone said it might help. I take a deep breath and open the door…

The hall is silent except for the occasional cough and the shuffling of chairs. The stench of nervous sweat lingers in the air.

“Turn over your papers, you may begin.”

I look at the clock and I am filled with panic. I feel like I might pass out. I pick up my pen but my palms are so sweaty it is hard to grip it properly. I want to cry. I want to scream, and I really need the toilet.

This was how I felt before every GCSE exam I took. I was 16. This was also how I felt before taking my driving test, aged 22, and my journalism training (NCTJ) exams when I was 24.

Being tested makes us feel anxious. Even the most academic of adults find being in an exam situation stressful, so it’s not hard to imagine how a young child about to sit their Year 2 SATs must feel….

Read more about my thoughts on the impact of testing young children over at The New Statesman!





I also wrote about all the weird and wonderful words for Vagina at Metro UK. YES. Discussing SATs and vaginas in the same week.  I LOVE my job.


How to survive a holiday when your baby won’t sleep

yuck pebbles“You need a holiday,” people would tell me.

I was the mother of two children under two who did not sleep. I was tired, stressed and felt like I hadn’t sat down in years. Of course I needed a holiday. But when you are so sleep-deprived that even a trip to the Big Tesco is a major operation, the mere thought of a holiday can be terrifying.

“The sea air will help the baby sleep,” they said.

“All the excitement will tire the kids out,”’ people assured me.


Continue reading

New motherhood is a bit of a dick

motherdick‘How are you finding motherhood?’ People would ask shortly after the arrival of my first baby.

‘So great,’ I lied, fighting back the tears. ‘Best thing ever.’

The truth is, I felt like crap.

But I had seen the smiling new mums on Facebook holding tiny babies in their arms. I had read the glossy parenting magazines. I knew how I should be feeling. I should be glowing with happiness at the arrival of a beautiful, healthy child. So why wasn’t I? Continue reading

26 lies tired parents tell

baby won't sleepI have a confession to make.

Since having babies I have become a big fat liar.

I am not proud of myself, but sometimes lying (and coffee, so much coffee) is the only way to survive  The truth would simply hurt too much (or make you look like a miserable twat) so telling the odd fib is a necessary evil.

If you are a tired parent, then here are a few untruths that you might recognise (or maybe I am  just a miserable twat): Continue reading

The 10 stages of getting a baby to go the f**k to sleep

ARE you looking for a way to get your baby to go to sleep and stay asleep when they do not want to be asleep?

You probably won’t find one.

At worst, they will stay awake all night. At best, you may be able to get them to stay in bed long enough for you to enjoy (neck) a glass of wine. Continue reading

Three Things I Am Glad My Mother Never Taught Me

Baby Em with Mum 2 copyHOW TO BE PRETTY

My mother never wore make up.

She didn’t spend hours putting her face on, straightening her hair or painting her nails.

She never dressed me up in frilly clothes that I had to ‘keep clean’ or threw me a mini-makeover party.

My mum may not have known how to to do a French plait but she showed me how to splash in puddles and make mud pies. Continue reading