I was ready for my empty nest years – instead I’m raising my three grandchildren.

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Janellen, 48, was just beginning to enjoy the freedom that comes when your children grow up when her eldest son, Adam, dropped a bombshell: he’d got a girl pregnant. Adam has Asperger’s and his then girlfriend has learning disabilities. When baby Finley was born, it became clear they couldn’t look after him. So Janellen and her husband Hugh offered to raise Finley as their own son. A year later, Adam became a father again – to twins. Janellen told Charlotte how it feels to be a grandmother left holding not one but three babies.

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What do children really learn from books?

Rapunzel coverAs children clamour to dress up as their favourite fictional characters for World Book Day, should we care about their choices? Will our daughters never strive to be leaders if they spend their childhoods emulating long-haired princesses who can’t even use the stairs? (Yes, I’m talking about YOU Rapunzel!) Emma tells Still You why what we read really can change who we are.

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10 ideas… be your own Valentine!

be your own valentineAre you utterly nonplussed by the consumerist slushfest that is Valentine’s Day? Rachel is too. She thinks that mums should secretly reclaim February 14th as an annual reminder to give ourselves some much deserved love and attention. Here she is with a bit of #mumspiration: 10 ways to be your own Valentine…

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Make a simple but personal card in 20 minutes

ValentinesDo you resent paying £2.75 for a piece of shiny, red card that doesn’t even have an apostrophe in “Valentine’s”?  Depending on how many lovers you have, this saccharine festival of singleton-shaming can get pricey. But hoorah! Charlotte’s here to show the skint among you how to make a nice card for pennies; and to offer all you romantics a little it’s-the-thought-that-counts inspiration.

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To the parents who want us to sleep train our kids

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As the mum of two chronically sleep-shy children – who’d both dropped what passed for a daytime nap before they were a year old – Charlotte is ready to bite the next person to say (or strongly hint): ‘you’ve brought this on yourself’. She begs sleep-training evangelists to stop treating the parents of wakeful children like the Victorian ‘Undeserving Poor’. Unless you’re asked for advice, she says, keep your ‘expert’ opinions to yourself and remember that what’s right for one family might wreak havoc on another.

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