If your expecting partner is constantly crying, remember it will pass. Honestly. I was an au pair in France and my pregnant employer was always in tears. 'What on earth is wrong with the woman?' I remember thinking, bewildered. She'd lie in bed watching re-runs of Dallas weeping for days on end. I really thought she was a complete headcase.
The scary thing is that I am now that woman. The slightest thing sets me off and merely watching the evening news just sends me off into convulsions. A defenceless baby story or a picture of a tearful tot leaves me distraught. And don't even get me started on ads with children starving in the third world. They make you feel guilty because you know your own child will never starve, regardless of the recession.
Watching such TV footage makes you feel helpless, but actually there is something you can do now. Pampers and Unicef Ireland are working together to help eliminate a disease that kills one baby every three minutes and 30,000 mothers each year. Every special pack of Pampers purchased before December 31, will provide a vaccine to protect mothers and babies in the developing world.
This is a wonderful idea. After all, all new mothers need to buy nappies, and at least this way you feel a percentage of your hard earned cash will save lives. Every bit counts.
This year Pampers has also created special fundraising packs for parents to host their own fundraising events. From a baby bring and buy sale, to a mother and toddler coffee morning or a special sponsored crawl, there are many ways to give additional support. The Pampers Unicef Ireland Fundraising Line is 01 618 8411 or you can log on to www.unicef.ie
Of course, Christmas is a crazy time financially for parents, but I think a baby bring and buy sale could be great fun. You might even sneak in a glass of mulled wine to add to the festive fun. Children's toys and clothes don't come cheap, but your toddlers won't mind receiving second-hand gifts as long as they're in good nick. Put them in a big box, wrapped and under the tree. Your darling child will probably like playing with the empty box anyway!
Likewise, if friends offer to pass on outgrown kids' clothes, accept them. Your kids won't know the difference, but savings made now will make for a happier new year.