Hey emmab. Thanks for sharing that with us. Before I comment, I have to say that while I write a bit and read a lot, I have never had anything published so I’m certainly no expert in the field.
I think that you have gone all out to create a really strong character in this first chapter. It’s also a very modern character and one that a lot of women will identify with. Your descriptions of place are good, but maybe on occasions, you could be a little more economical with them and demonstrate the point with an observation. For example, instead of actually saying the baby was sick in the car you could just mention in passing her wiping away the mess (with a sigh). That way you get the information across via the character expressing her feelings. I think I can get a sense of what’s coming but would like this to be stronger as in a hook. I want something in that first chapter that is going to worry me until I know the answer. That, along with your strong character will make me want to read on. I also want some names! Is there a secret reason why none of three figures have been named?
In a nutshell, describe what’s happening via what the character does and put a hook – or two – in there to make the reader want more. Using a present tense is just fine.
Hope that helps!