Parenting Pep Talk is a weekly series of guest posts all about encouraging other parents by sharing some of our happy moments, the advice that has worked for us and some positive words of encouragement.
Today’s post is from Halina who blogs at Vie Choufleur and describes herself as follows:
“I’m a rather too-truthful mum of one who adores food, beauty, books, and of course, my son. I’m an avid crocheter and am working towards turning this hobby into a fledgling business. I blog at Vie Choufleur where I talk about all of the above plus extra!”
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I’m a 30-year-old mum of one. I returned to full time work after maternity leave however my husband and I recently made the decision that all of our lives would be richer if I left work, which so far is working out beautifully. Our son is 4 in December, and has just started pre-school. He’s the world’s Most Active Child, a trait which he DEFINITELY gets from his dad!
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
If I had to put a label on it I guess it would be “Let Him Learn”. We have always encouraged our son to rise to new challenges and solve them himself. Sometimes that’s great, as he quickly learns not to do the things that can result in him being hurt, and picks up new skills very quickly. Sometimes it’s a little heart-in-mouth such as when my husband encouraged him to learn how to climb the stairs at 9 months old!!
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
It’s so selfish, but knowing that (for the moment) I HAVE a child. I would never think that I own him, or that he could be owned by anyone (he’s his own person, after all), but he is a part of me and I am most definitely HIS. Being the person he wants around, the person he wants to see first thing every morning and last thing at night, the person he wants to spend his time with…that is amazing. I get to spend those reams of time with my absolute favourite person in the world, who thinks the exact same way about me, and that is wonderful.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
DO WHAT WORKS! I had rather bad PND after giving birth, and struggled immensely with a child who never slept (unless it was on me) and fed ALL THE TIME. So much advice is shot at you from everyone – health visitors, doctors, family, friends, random people in the street (yup), and it becomes overwhelming. I could kiss the person who first said to me “Do whatever works, whatever makes you happy, because a happy mum will equal a happy baby”. I still follow this now – if it works for us, and we’re happy, then it’s fine.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Don’t be afraid to spend time bonding. Not everyone gets that rush of love and attachment as soon as that tiny human is placed on your chest. It can take time to build the love, especially as your world WILL be turned upside down. Stay in bed with your baby, cuddle your baby as much as you want. You’re all going to be fine, I promise.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
This one happened very recently. It was a week or so after I had given up work to spend more time with my son. I took him to Legoland and he played happily in the Splash Pad for a while. When I took him to the changing room to get dried, he literally LEAPT into my arms and yelled “MUMMY I’M SO HAPPY I DON’T GO TO NURSERY ANYMORE AND SPEND TIME WITH YOU INSTEAD!!”. I couldn’t help but have a little sob. That one sentence confirmed more than anything that I had made the right decision, and I totally agreed with him.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
I think this post of mine is incredibly important for parents. You will hear and see a LOT of positivity-pushing – “Think positively! At least you’re not in Syria / childless / in a cage of spiders! Don’t be a negative nelly! Think about sunshine!!” – and whilst it IS always good to remember your privileges, forcing yourself to think positively is NOT. Don’t lie to yourself, because you’ll feel even worse. Go to your support network, let out those feelings to a close friend, have a read of The Unmumsy Mum. But don’t deny your feelings. Don’t be unkind to yourself.
Thank you Halina for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Halina on the following social networks:
If you’d like to share some of your positive parenting moments on the Parenting Pep Talk, then let me know in the comments below and I’ll email you with more details.