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 Susie who blogs at This Is Me Now. Over to you, Susie!
I’m a stay at home mum and write over at This Is Me Now. I’m a former journalist and press officer, and I decided to start a blog because I wanted to keep my writing skills up whilst at home. I blog about our life as a new family and being a stay at home mum, with a bit of travel and foodie-ness thrown in.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I’m 31 and married to my husband Matt. We’ve got one daughter, Miss Belle who will be 2 in January. I’m from York originally but we live in Norfolk. I love the countryside, the city of Norwich and the coast, and the weather is always sunnier and warmer down here! It’s a great county to bring children up in.
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
Before I had my baby I expected to be a parent that used a routine. I was always a bit of a stress head and I thought having a routine would help. But my closest friends know that actually since having a baby I’ve chilled out quite a bit! We don’t really have a routine other than bedtime. I like to make sure she gets to bed at roughly the same time every night (7ish). I have always tried to make sure she had a bit of a routine for naps but she’s always moving the goal posts so there’s not a set nap time, despite me trying to fix it for after lunch. Some days if we’re in the car of pram she’ll nap before lunch, other days after lunch and the other day she didn’t nap til gone 4pm! I am learning that I often have to wing it!
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
Just being a little family really. Sometimes I watch her play and laugh with her Daddy and I have to remind myself to soak it up and appreciate how lucky we are. Not all moments are like that, but when you get them, it’s wonderful. It’s also lovely to see her becoming more and more affectionate now she’s getting older. If I ask for a cuddle she will come and lie her head on me and say “awwww” – it’s so sweet.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
I can’t remember if I was told it or read it online, but we took one bit of advice to start a bed time routine from when our baby was about six weeks old. So every night when she’d wake for her next feed anywhere between about 7-9pm we would then take her upstairs and change her sleepsuit, be quiet, with dim lighting, and put her back down in the Moses basket in our room. I’ve no idea if it helped or not, (it probably didn’t, all babies are different,) but we were blessed with her sleeping well from a young age. To start with I’d often go to bed at the same time, but eventually we started putting the monitor on and getting a few hours to ourselves downstairs.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Just do what works for you. Don’t apologise for being the way you are. It doesn’t matter if you like to have routine or if you don’t, if you are happy to give your baby a biscuit, or would rather not – just do what you think is best. Try not to judge or patronise someone who does things a different way to you. Lots of new mums I’ve come into contact with didn’t have routines to start with, and that’s fine, but they almost made me feel weird for having a loose one. Judgement works both ways.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
Hmm this is hard as there have been so many. One of my recent favourite moments was when she took her first steps. She’s a late walker, only just taking her first steps at 20 months old, but the pride I had when she did, was immense. Seeing her little face and watching her laugh at her own amazement was brilliant. It’s like she was thinking “wow look what I can do!”
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
I breastfed my daughter until she was nearly 18 months old and I wouldn’t have got there without support that I had to seek out myself. Breastfeeding is not for everyone and I’m not saying you have to do it. But if it’s important to you to try, don’t be surprised how hard you might find it. I found it so awful to start with, but with support from our NCT breastfeeding counselor, midwives, a breastfeeding cafe, Kellymom and Jack Newman websites and a book by La Leche League, I got there. That’s a LOT of help! Oh and ask them to check for tongue tie – it’s so common and was the route of our problems!
Get help if you need it. There’s no shame in asking for help. Actually, that’s a good motto for every part of parenting, I find.
Thank you Susie for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Susie 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.