I am a stay-at-home mum with three boys under three and I haven’t slept in four years.
On a good day I have enough time to maybe sob quietly into my lukewarm cup of tea while my kids – Charlie, three, and identical twins Tommy and Henry, – are momentarily distracted by one of our two cats coming inside to vomit on the rug.
But whatever happens, writing, and words, are never far from my thoughts.
It has been, however, a while since I tapped away at the old keyboard so please forgive my rustiness.
It wasn’t always like this.
The daughter of two journalists, I grew up in the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, surrounded by newspapers and books and magazines. Home was where I stayed up late to watch election night results, where I was encouraged to write short stories and poetry and, no matter how awful it was, I was heaped with praise during my living room recitals.
When I graduated high school in 1998 I got my first job on my town’s local paper. Before long I had moved onto a bigger paper in a neighbouring town, and then another, until I landed a job at the Fairfax-owned Sun-Herald.
In 2011 I moved to New Zealand, to a North Island called Hamilton, where my late father Harold Cuming had grown up. I took a job on the local daily paper, the Waikato Times, and became the fourth generation Cuming to write for the venerable masthead.
My father, his father, his uncle and grandfather had all worked there, and I was thrilled to discover I would be working alongside reporters who had worked with my father.
But life, as Mr Lennon said, is what happens when you are busy making plans and 2013 I became engaged, fell pregnant, postponed my wedding, had the baby, moved to Northern Ireland, got married, fell pregnant with the twins, moved house, had the babies, and and then moved back to New Zealand with my little family.
I’ve kept one foot in the journalism pool by working as a sort of overseas-correspondent at large for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio service, phoning in once a week to its ABC Overnights programme to bring my home country news from Northern Ireland and now New Zealand.
It’s unpaid work, but I do it because one day my three boys will be able to sit down and listen to their mum talking in a funny accent about what was in the headlines when they were growing up.
And now the writing that was put on hold is now tugging on my sleeve like a hungry toddler and it’s time to start again.
If it’s only ever my children that read all of this, then so be it. It will be worth all the late nights and thumpings of the desk when the computer screen freezes and stiff necks and sore fingers.
Because they may be only words, but it’s the only thing I will ever be able to leave behind.