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 Jocelyn who blogs over at The Reading Residence. Jocelyn describes herself as a “Mum to 2 little ones, family & lifestyle blogger, bookworm, novice gardener, stationery addict, history enthusiast and snail mailer”.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I’m happily married to the Husband, and we were together for just over a decade before deciding to start a family. We now have our beautiful daughter Boo, aged 5 and in her first year at school, and our gorgeous Little Man, aged 2 and still at home with me. Fortunately for us, the kids get on well together!
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
Oh, how I would love to say easy-going and consistent. But nope, not really. We’re still figuring it all out, I suppose. There are a few things that we’re pretty hot on, such as The Husband and I always agreeing with each other and backing each other up, a stable and happy bedtime routine, family mealtimes together, and the kids being told how much we love them both every day. We want the kids to have plenty of fun adventures, enjoying the outdoors, gardening, playgrounds, scooters, whatever makes them happy. I somehow seem to have two risk-taking kids (I was a cautious child, the Husband was not!) and they’re very active, so we take care not to curb their enthusiasm and help them to understand their limitations. Books and literacy are important to us, so we’re cultivating a love of reading, along with games, and plenty of imaginative play. They’re creative, so we go with that, and though I do like clean and neat, I’ve learned to embrace messy play, with the kids adore. I try to be more fun than shouty and strict, though I have to say it depends on the day and my own workload, so that tends to be where the inconsistency comes in. I’ll nail it all one day!
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
I delight in my children. Even on the days when it’s tough-going and I’ve been irritable, they’ll manage to make me smile. They’re both happy little souls and they make me proud in so many little ways. I think the best part must be the cuddles and laughter.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
Trust your instincts. You know your children, you know what they need, so go with that. People can be so quick with an opinion or judgement, and there are always the issues such as breast over bottle, whether to use dummies, co-sleeping and so forth. Just go with what works for you and your child.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Acceptance. Once you accept that your life will not be the same again, that you will always be second, third, fourth in line and that it will take longer to get everyday things done, if at all, a weight is lifted. You do come last now, fact. Accept it and roll with it. Children change your lives for the better, but there will be days when you get frustrated, so let go and accept. OK, the washing isn’t getting done, dinner may be late, but sit and enjoy those cuddles that your little one is desperately crying for. The other things will get done eventually and one day you’ll look back and wish you’d spent more time enjoying those moments rather than working through a to-do list.
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
I’d probably have to choose an ordinary moment, I think. Just before bath and bedtime, all four of us lie on our bed as the bath is filling up and tickle, talk and cuddle. Just a little moment each day, but definitely a favourite.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
Parenthood and guilt seem to go hand in hand. You beat yourself up over so many things, big and small, and I’m not a worrier by nature. So when you’re having those bad days, wondering whether you’re even doing a good job as a parent, I’d say ask the ones that matter, ask your children. I did, and it keeps me going through the guilty moments: What Makes a Good Mum?
You can connect with Jocelyn on the following social networks: