Are you too excited for Christmas? Do you want to dial your enthusiasm down a notch? Then buy your pet an advent calendar and forget to get your children one. Now you have 24 days of “that’s not fair, why does the cat get one” and “all my friends get to eat chocolate at breakfast” to look forward to. If that doesn’t knock the fun right out of Christmas I don’t know what will.

After the “no chocolate at breakfast” debacle, my Mum Guilt took over and I made Nutella on toast to go along with breakfast. There’s your chocolate. Now shut your face.

There are very few things I miss about my life pre-children but number one is all the free time I MUST have had. I include alone time in this. Just being alone. Eating alone, going to the toilet alone, taking a bath alone, walking into any room without a tiny, needy shadow following me really. I don’t remember having so much free time but I must have had it. Why wasn’t my house spotless all the freaking time? Why was I not super fit? Why was my life not like a fabulous Sex and the city episode?

Number two is having SPARE money. Like actually just having money to buy what you wanted. When you do finally save up money to treat yourself – Mum, I need new shoes, Mum, I ripped my trousers, Mum, I lost my coat on the incredibly short journey from school to home.

Number three is the biggie for me. Not having Mum Guilt. Oh to live recklessly and selfishly, those were the days. When my daughter was born I was a single mother. I felt guilty because I couldn’t afford to buy her the things I wanted to get her, I felt guilty because she didn’t have a large family, damn it I felt guilty just because I birthed a female and I knew she would have to put up with so much crap growing up. But I didnt go back to work until she was over a year old. We bonded, we played, we spent quality time together. When my son was born I went back to work when he was 3 months old. I was able to do this thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law but cue the guilt of being a working mum with a baby. I feel guilty everyday. Guilty for being tired, guilty for being snappy, guilty if I give my kids treats, guilty if I don’t. I feel guilty because my son is such a handful and my daughter doesn’t get enough attention. Guilty that I have a fantastic laugh with her and share private jokes (ok, I don’t feel guilty about that – she’s hilarious). You cant escape the guilt that appears out of nowhere and usually over nothing when you have kids but I try to tell myself its just because you care so much and these two infuriating wee buggers are your everything. And that’s ok. Don’t be so hard on yourself, they are doing just fine.