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 Single Mum Speaks, a 35-year-old single mother by choice. Former wild child, terminally single, lives with her mother.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I was born into a very conventional family; semi-detached house in the suburbs, a mum and dad who were married (to each other. Would you even believe it?), and two brothers. My mother is now mildly surprised, and not a little bit frustrated that over thirty years later I am now living back in that same semi-detached house where I grew up, with my toddler son in tow. I never thought I would be one to do things the conventional way, which is just as well because I haven’t. My son was conceived via sperm donation, and I am a single mother by choice.
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
Well, first of all let me make it abundantly clear that I make no claim to have any kind of expertise whatsoever in the field of parenting, particularly as I am fairly new to the job and a bit wet behind the ears. I would describe my parenting style, such as I have one, as liberal. In the sense of “hoping my liberal Guardian-reading, feminist, left-leaning credentials will rub off on my son and he won’t end up as a gun-toting, right-wing conservative from the Midwest of America.”
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
As you may have guessed, being a parent was something that I had wanted, increasingly desperately, for a number of years, so I feel grateful that it was able to happen at all. By sheer accident of birth, if I had been born in 1850, or even 1950, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the benefits of modern technology and modern attitudes. That aside, my favourite thing about being a parent is being woken up in the morning by a tiny person launching himself at my head and squealing loudly, which is something I never could have imagined I would find myself revelling in on a Sunday morning, but there you go. One door (sleep) closes, and another one (the sheer unbridled joy of bouncing on the bed) opens.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
“It gets easier,” about breastfeeding. That phrase was the only thing that kept me going.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
“It gets easier,” about breastfeeding.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
It’s difficult to think of one specific moment, so I’m going to pick the moment my son finally let go and walked independently. He had been walking perfectly whilst holding onto a hand for over a month, and it was starting to feel as though he would never have the confidence to let go and just got for it. When he finally did, the joy on his face was priceless.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
As I wrote in my post Dear Mum-to-be, here is my rubbish advice , I have very little experience or expertise in the field of parenting. So my advice would be: trust your instincts and relax. And don’t read Gina Ford. Or any other parenting books. They’re all a load of codswallop.
Thank you Single Mum Speaks for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
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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.