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 Sam who blogs at Mouse, Moo & Me Too. Over to you, Sam!
I’m Sam, aka Me Too from Mouse, Moo & Me Too. I live in Southampton with my husband and my two daughters, Mouse and Moo. We also have a cat but he’s been literally catnapped by a neighbour and only pops his head in every few days to check we’re still alive.
I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, but I already feel hooked. I write about my experiences as a mummy to two rather “lively” girls and the slightly odd situations I seem to get into. I’m a bit of a fitness freak but I’m also mad on chocolate so the two balance each other out. I did give up caffeine throughout my entire first pregnancy and for about a year afterwards, but this time around I’m going at the coffee, hard. If you want to read more of my quite clever words, you can find me over at http://mousemoometoo.com
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I originally come from East Sussex, but I moved to Southampton for Uni quite a few years ago, met my husband, and stayed put. We now have two little girls, aged 3 and 5 months. My family are still all based 90 miles down the road so we don’t get to see them all that often, but luckily my husband’s family are local so we get a day of free childcare a week and the occasional roast dinner. Plus, whenever my mother in law has to wash some of Mouse’s clobber, they return neatly pressed and ironed, which inspires me toward eventual greatness.
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
Er, in my head I’m a very calm, patient and nurturing mother. In reality at the moment I’m a bit of a fishwife – while I’m being calm, nurturing and patient to one child, the other is invariably driving me bonkers so I struggle to find a level ground. I mean well! I’m trying to shout a little less and let them “be” a bit more, especially my eldest.
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
It has to be watching their little personalities develop and knowing that your weird and wonderful gene pool has combined to make them. I love the independence of Mouse and how you can have fantastic conversations with her. I also adore it when she tells me that she loves me, or that she thinks I look pretty, entirely without prompting.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
It’s an oldie but a goodie – “this too shall pass”. There are so many relentlessly hard stages to the early years and at times you can feel absolutely ball deep in frustration and helplessness, but truly 9 times out of 10 it’s a phase and it gives way to something else. That something else may not be any easier, but gradually you realise that you’ve become adept at coping with the horrible stuff because you know that good stuff is on the way soon enough.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Some days, you need to settle for just being good enough, and that’s absolutely fine. You might feel like a failure, but in the grand scheme of things a couple of shonky days aren’t going to kill you, or have an adverse effect on your child. Get out to groups as much as you can – in the first few months your child will get very little from them but they’ll be invaluable to you as they force you out of the house, and engage you into society, which can sometimes feel like a challenge.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
Moo was a VBAC baby (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and pushing her out is hands down the proudest moment of my life. It will never detract from Mouse’s birth, as she made me a mummy, but Moo’s birth was the most empowering experience and it was so important to me to deliver her that way. I was euphoric for weeks afterwards and thinking about it still gives me lovely jitters.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
Well, skipping ahead from the newborn part, I can heartily recommended the Baby Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley. I say this because we’re not far off weaning Moo and I’ve been dusting the cobwebs off this book in preparation. The concept is that rather than starting your baby on puréed foods and spoon feeding them, you just begin at 6 months by offering “whole” foods and letting them choose what they eat. It’s great fun, very liberating, and saves you the irritation of watching your own meal get cold while you try and administer a spoon of gloop into your baby. Messy as hell, though.
Also, check out Sketchy Muma. She draws the most beautiful simplistic pictures of life with a baby and captions them perfectly – if you’re having a really crappy day, her words can be uplifting and reassuring and remind you just how much you love your baby. On the complete flip side though, I adore Hurrah for Gin because children can be absolute swines and she so often hits the nail on the head with just how swiney they are!
Thank you Sam for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Sam 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.