Parenting Pep Talk #41 – Volcano Mama

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 Rachel, who is a Montessori teacher, mama and writer. She blogs about the Montessori philosophy, educational activities and parenting at


1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.

I’m Rachel and I’m a US American. My husband is Guatemalan and we have 2 kids, a boy (also known as Peanut on the blog) born in 2013 and baby girl born in 2015. We live in Guatemala in a valley surrounded by 3 volcanoes. I stay at home and my husband splits his time between home and coffee farming. We enjoy spending lots of time with extended family and volunteering at a library we helped begin.

Rachel from Volcano Mama's two children on the swings


2) How would you describe your parenting style?

I’m a trained Montessori teacher, so I’d say we run a mix of Montessori inspired parenting, positive parenting and rolling with it. We’re very flexible and relaxed. We try very hard to follow our kids lead to see what they need, but we also set limits very firmly.


3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?

Oh so many things! It’s an amazing experience. One of the best things is the extra laughter in the home. Also, it gives me an excuse to do lots of crafts!


4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?

I’d have to say that you know best. Each parent knows their child best and should have confidence in what they’re doing. That doesn’t mean you never have to ask for help, but you should feel secure knowing that you’re doing your best and there’s no better parent for you kids than you!


5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?

Similar to the last question. Trust yourself. You can do it! Also, the rough patches are just patches and when you think you can’t take anymore, your kid will move on to a new phase.


6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?

Aside from giving birth, I’d have to say some of my favourite moments have been:

  • Enjoying picnics on the roof of our house (don’t worry it’s flat and surrounded by a tall, secure fence!)
  • Reading with my kids
  • Hearing them say “I love you”
  • Watching my eldest learn the letters in his name


7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?

Parenting is an amazing journey. Enjoy it! Each child is different and has something special to offer. I think some things most parents struggle with today are good communication and setting boundaries. I try very hard to use descriptive praise which I think makes a huge difference:


I use these strategies for setting limits:


Finally, as Montessori said “Never help a child with a task at which (s)he feels (s)he can succeed.” This is one of my mantras to help my kids grow up independent and capable.


Thank you Rachel for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.


You can connect with Rachel  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.
Parenting Pep Talk - a series of posts sharing encouragment, advice and the positive moments of parenting

10 thoughts on “Parenting Pep Talk #41 – Volcano Mama

  1. I totally agree with this – you most certainly know best and you really do just have to trust yourself. Great guest post and thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub lovely xx

    1. Thanks Talya – trusting yourself and your instincts is great advice – not always easy to do though! Lovely to link up to #coolmumclub again, thank you for hosting 🙂

  2. I totally agree with parents knowing their child best. The last three years has been a real rollercoaster journey with getting my son assessed for autism and also concerns about my daughter. I was the first to notice that something wasn’t right with them and it took a while for others to see what I was seeing. It’s so easy to doubt yourself when other people are saying that you’re reading too much into things but always trust yourself as a parent as it has because blatantly obvious over the last 3 years that I was indeed right about both of them. Great adevice from Rachel.


    1. So sorry to hear that you had a rollercoaster journey trying to get your son assessed for autism and getting others to listen to your concerns about your daughter too. As you say, you know your child best and know when something’s not quite right – getting other people to listen to that can be so difficult though x

  3. Glad to be here! Thanks to Louise for having me and to all the readers who agree with my advice. I think every mom has to find her own way to trusting her instincts and if we all encourage each other, it just makes it easier.

    1. Thank you so much for taking part Rachel – I do love that reminder about trusting your instincts and more encouragement between mums/moms can only be a good thing.

  4. Oh this was a fascinating interview, a very different place to bring up children! I’ve always been interested in Montessori, my eldest in particular is so independent I think it would really suit her learning style.

    1. Thank you Nat – it’s always so interesting to read about how other parents approach parenting and the differences in our parenting approach and lifestyles as well as the similarities x

    1. Thanks Helena – so glad you enjoy reading the series. Would be lovely to have you join in if you are ever tempted to take part! x

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