HOW'S YOUR DIARY LOOKING?

Have you signed up for baby music? Baby French? How about baby yoga, then?

Caffeine-fuelled new mothers bring their babes-in-arms along to little clubs, just for the sake of their sanity (I know I did) and sit with a glazed look in their eyes as their babies drool along to the music. 

Swimming lessons  - oh my!  - the competition to get signed up with the best teacher can sometimes be a military operation. Dads are sent out at dawn, armed with a flask full of hot coffee, to queue up before the gym even opens, in order to get the toddler's name on the list for the Ducklings club.

We are not talking Olympic swimming here, just splashing about with water wings, but if your name isn't down, you're not coming in.

By the time we get to schools, a child's busy diary could make the CEO of a major national corporation blush.

After school activities, weekend sports fixtures and clubs and - let's be honest  - tutors too. Yes, I know people who started tutoring their children aged five, admittedly in the private schools system in London, but that was seen as the norm. Then they wondered why the kids were so tired they were badly behaved at bed time.

Weekends see parents charging off in different directions, with kids going to music lessons, riding lessons, karate club and the rest, with just time to shove a quick sandwich down for lunch.

Our children seem to have so many opportunities now, it is just fantastic. But on the other hand, do they ever get any down time with their parents?

Just hanging about the house together, going for a walk - doing something which doesn't require a termly fee and a large overdraft, perhaps? How about  - gasp  - watching the telly together! 

Board game anyone?

As my kids get older, I worry about them getting to the weekend exhausted from school and then not having enough time to just, well, do nothing. Sometimes making a window in our diary to flop on the sofa is what is needed most, for us and our children.