Parenting Pep Talk is a fortnightly 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 comes from the lovely Sarah who blogs over at Run, Jump, Scrap.
My name is Sarah and I blog over at www.runjumpscrap.com. My blog is my ramblings as I stumble along as a Mummy. I’m usually quite tongue in cheek and always up for some fun. I also chat about my love for fitness and always want to inspire others to exercise. I also showcase my scrapbook projects.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I am a 30 year old dietitian, married to Chris who works in IT. We have a 21 month old daughter who is affectionately known as the gremlin on my blog. I am happy for people to know she is called Arianna though! I love my family and our day to day life. I work 3 days and Chris works from home mainly and travels a bit. We all spend a lot of time together and are very close.
I’m not a softy at all. I’m probably the opposite of attachment parenting. I breastfed but never “wore” my baby unless we went out for a walk. She went in the Bjorn and hated facing my chest; always face out. She was in her in own room at 8 weeks and could self-settle. I am quite relaxed in the respect that I want her to be independent and do her own thing, so I try and respect her wishes within reason. However, I really don’t take any rubbish from her and can be quite strict. Hubby is a bit calmer with her and I am still trying to keep my cool when she starts testing us. Believe me, this is a lot at the moment.
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
Just having her! My daughter. My little friend who can talk to me, follow me around and completely brighten my day. I can’t imagine a time when she wasn’t here (miss the lie-ins though!) You don’t know how you are going to feel at all until children come along but I hate to say the cliché is true; your life completely changes.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
Routine, routine, routine. This was the biggest thing my Mum always said to me. Children like routine and it is so true; they thrive on it. I tried to instil that in Arianna from when she was around 6 weeks old; only with her bedtime mind, and it did work. We got our evenings back as she would go to bed. She always has a bath every night and hubby or I get in with her too. She has her milk, sometimes a story and goes into her cot for some time to herself. Of course there are cons to this. If you deign to take them out of this routine, my golly you will pay for it. Arianna is just plain exhausted when she misses nap or has late nights. This is getting easier as she gets older though.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
This too will pass. It feels like you will never sleep again. Never eat a meal without feeding. Never go out for a date night with your partner. But you will! Like everything, time passes and the one thing you can always depend on happens; things change. Things get better. So always bear that in mind when you have a cracked nipple, or the baby is screaming as the bottle heats or they have woken for the sixth time that night. It WILL pass.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
This is so hard as there are so many of them. I’ll share a couple. Picking up my gremlin from nursery is amazing when she runs to my legs and grabs them and reaches up, asking for a cuddle. At first when she would see us arrive she would ignore us for a bit. Sometimes she would even be naughty and throw something. So the change is great. The second moment is the few recent parties we have taken her to. She is always a bit shy at first but she comes around and makes us so proud. She chats away, goes for cuddles and is just generally gorgeous. My heart just wants to burst (she may scream all the way home with exhaustion but hey ho!).
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
I used the Jo Tantum book called Baby Secrets. This is good if you are the type who wants to get your baby into a routine and it helped me teach Arianna to self-settle early on, without much distress. If you prefer the “go with the flow” approach this may not be for you.
My final words of encouragement would be: ask for help, enjoy every second where you can, don’t worry if you can’t breastfeed (formula is fine) and ignore the cleaning. Your baby wants you, you need to sleep and nothing else matters apart from those first few weeks and months as you get to know each other.
You can connect with Sarah on the following social networks:
Thank you Sarah for sharing your words of encouragement, advice and happy parenting moments.