I’m a mum who learned the hard way. We are a family of four – Nancy, Simon, Lyle (19) and Ethan (15) – who have lived in a suburb of Glasgow for the last 20 years with very little help from family, separated by distance, or in the case of my own parents their untimely death.

I have worked full-time throughout most of Lyle and Ethan’s formative years; currently combining part-time work as PR & Media Manager at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park with freelance PR and copywriting, and for the first time really having a chance to appreciate how fleeting time with your children can be.

The three and a half year age difference between the boys gave us a chance to catch our breath in the early days, but time seems to be speeding up in their teens with Lyle no sooner getting used to the notion of university than Ethan is embarking on one of the toughest years – fifth year in secondary school – of his young life with all its attendant decisions. They couldn’t be more different in terms of looks and interests with one a fantastic musician and the other a great athlete.

In my “spare” time I read a lot, swim and practise yoga. Simon is a brilliant, dad whose influence subtly extends over the boys’ interests, whether it’s their eclectic taste in music, or their healthy attitude to fitness.