Hayley Matthews: Girls’ night with Grant Stott will benefit sick kids

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children has been treating poorly kids in the city for decades
The Royal Hospital for Sick Children has been treating poorly kids in the city for decades
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I was recently asked to be an ambassador for the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and jumped for joy. Anything to help our children.

Ironically, we were just in the Sick Kids A & E department a few days ago when my son took a tumble after ­going to pick something up at the top of a friend’s staircase.

He lost his balance and fell backwards. He was screaming for ages and was very upset for hours. He’d cut his side and I was concerned he was ­suffering from concussion. We were in, checked and everything was fine. A couple of days off school was ­ordered by the doc, as well as some hot baths to help with the stiffness, and lots of movies in bed. His timing is impeccable, because we were in bed watching a movie when the delivery man delivered a box I’d been expecting which, among some great ­essentials, included a Clevamama pregnancy ­pillow and foot muff.

Here’s me waddling about the flat feeling like a baby elephant whilst my six-year-old lies in bed like a king with his feet in the fleecy foot muff, ­supported by the biggest, comfiest pregnancy pillow ever. Not to mention Netflix and a huge bowl of popcorn.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way – I was just so pleased that we were home from the hospital and that he was comfortable, with nothing broken.

How incredibly grateful and lucky I felt to only have been in the hospital for two hours. I genuinely thought when I heard his scream and shouts for help that he’d broken something.

When we got home, all I could think about was the girl who was seen just before us, who was getting kept in for the night for tests. She seemed to be in a lot of pain and the poor thing seemed so sad. How many other kids were in for the night? How many were in for the week? In regularly, or in for long term?

I also thought about how much the care costs and how lucky we are that we don’t have to pay thousands of pounds for a transplant, or only seen if we have medical insurance. I feel very grateful – when it comes to the kids, there are so many other things that are needed when they are in hospital. Beds for parents, distraction items to help keep their minds off the pain, books – and that’s not to even mention the equipment, staff and medicine used.

I really feel it’s important to ­support the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (formerly known as the Sick Kids’ Friends Foundation), so they can continue to do their best to help children who are receiving ­medical care. That’s why I’m going along ­tonight to a fundraiser for the hospital.

They’re having a ‘Girly Get Together’ this evening to raise some money for children who are staying in ­hospital. Last year their flagship event raised £80,000 to help transform the lives of children and young people in hospital and I’m hoping tonight’s event will bring an even greater ­success for the night! The event is hosted by the wonderful Grant Stott, who I adore and have worked with before briefly at STV.

I can’t imagine a better personality to host such an event. He’s a parent, he’s funny and he’s well liked with the ­ladies, so it’s sure to be a great night.

If you’re coming along I’ll see you there and here’s to making that time spent in hospital, a more pleasant one for the children.

There’s an app for that – bye bye baby blues

I spoke last week about my experience with pre-natal depression and how I want to do everything I can to avoid post-natal depression (yep – I’ve got that T-shirt too).

After my article was published, a lovely girl who I filmed during my STV days, Sarah Wheatley (a perinatal psychotherapist and mother) contacted me about an app she’s developed after her own experience with PND and thought it would be helpful.

She started her own counselling for pregnancy and motherhood service, Birth and Beyond, and after her own experience with post-natal depression, developed a new web application called Parent Kind, which enables women to look after their mental wellbeing in pregnancy and afterwards.

The basic premise behind Parent Kind is that it enables women to improve their emotional experience of becoming a mother and reduce their likelihood of getting post-natal depression. Prevention rather than cure.

She realised that there are known factors that can increase women’s chances of getting PND and the app questions are objective, rather than subjective, so it can give women more concrete guidance. I think it sounds great and I’m definitely signing up in the hope that doing this, along with not putting too much pressure on myself to be Wonder Woman, along with asking for help, will hopefully reduce my chances of going through a post-natal depressive episode.

The last one was not fun and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Sarah’s ultimate aim is to make the app free, and so different funding streams are being investigated in order for that to happen. In the meantime, Parent Kind is available to buy from www.parentkind.info for £19.99.

Is it a smart move to give a six-year-old his own phone?

A lot of my son’s friends have been asking for a phone. I didn’t think we’d be having this conversation at six. However, peer pressure has reared its ugly wee heid!

Is six years old too young to have a smart phone? I think so. But when is the right time? Do we need to embrace technology and give our children the tools to communicate, or do we encourage them to converse face-to-face before we forget how?

I don’t feel completely comfortable with the thought of him having access to the internet, albeit with a safeguard. However, the other half of me thinks it’s always good to have in an emergency. I’m so conflicted on the matter and asked other parents for their thoughts. Some think age six or seven is too soon to have a phone But others are saying a phone is on the list to Santa. I think I’m going to hold off on the phone just now until I really get my head round the pros and cons.

In the meantime I’m happy to have my six-year-old texting friends’ mums to relay a message to their kids. I just need to remember to delete the texts I’ve sent with swear words in them so I don’t get a row. Oops!