Is it OK to discipline someone else’s child?

Last week, my nine-year-old son came home from the park sporting a huge shiner. Pushed over by another child, he’d let it go (the other boy was younger, the “grown-ups in charge” hadn’t seen) but I was outraged. “If I’d seen that kid,” I blustered, “I’d have…” Done what exactly? Truth is, we’ve all moved a long way from the days when children played in … Continue reading Is it OK to discipline someone else’s child?

Help, my husband and I are financially incompatible

Your marriage may be a meeting of minds – but that counts for nothing if you’re not fiscally compatible. Last month, a YouGov survey revealed the biggest root of relationship rows was money. For a ­whopping 26 per cent of couples it’s the key source of tension – above issues of compatibility, child-rearing or even cheating. These days it’s financial infidelity we seem to fear: … Continue reading Help, my husband and I are financially incompatible

3 kids and 34 miles of travel

Mum loves a country walk. Her iPad-obsessed offspring are less keen. How would they cope with four days on the trail? The Easter holidays were approaching. After a busy term at school, our children were worn out, wan-faced and slumped over the iPad. “The sun’s shining,” I moaned to their dad. “Why aren’t we out there?” Mat and I love hiking. Well, loved hiking. We’ve … Continue reading 3 kids and 34 miles of travel

Is it time to stop sleeping with your partner?

The other night, I was roused from sleep, not by an amorous husband, but my six-year-old daughter weeing on me. It wasn’t her fault – she was under the weather – more pertinently, I was in her bed again. Driven from the marital bed by my husband’s snoring – and my own fitful insomnia – I frequently shack up in the spare room, and when … Continue reading Is it time to stop sleeping with your partner?

Brangelina – que pasa?

What is wrong with me? Why am I so excited by the Brangelina split? They don’t seem bad people – Brad has freely shared his chest with the world for thirty years, while Angelina’s campaigned tirelessly for wronged women (and even got William Hague off the streets for a bit). Together, they seemed so happy with their French chateau and 200 children. Now it’s all … Continue reading Brangelina – que pasa?

Is it time you gave yourself a marriage audit?

Every month, we scan our bank statement; every year we scrabble to file our tax returns – but isn’t there a far more important audit we’re missing? In any long-term relationship, there is an unspoken list of checks and balances. If too many grievances start to land in the debit column, a marriage can start to go under. Why not mine? On paper, granted, things … Continue reading Is it time you gave yourself a marriage audit?

The January Blues – a few reasons it’s not so bad

Statisticians have identified mid-January as Britain’s Annual Low-Point – our spirits communally crushed by a mix of post-Christmas detox, debt and dismal weather. Boo-bloody-hoo, I say.  Most of us have food, shelter and a choice of towels. What’s to fret about? The January Blues, that’s what.  They’re mean critters, who clutch your soul, twist your spleen, and then make you do stupid things like read … Continue reading The January Blues – a few reasons it’s not so bad