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 Angela who blogs at Life, Motherhood and Everything.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
My name is Angela and I am married to Sam. We have a daughter called Little H who will be 2 in January 2017. We live in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire which is lovely spacious and green town, a great place for a little person! I work part-time in London and Little H enjoys going to nursery on those days. Then we have 2 fab days together going on excursions / playing and then 2 family days when Sam is at home!
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
I’ve always been a rather ‘particular’ person (some would say neurotic!) but I’m actually a fairly relaxed parent. I try to just go with the flow. From birth I’ve always just taken the lead from Little H and it’s worked. On the few occasions I’ve tried to force her to do something or conform to a routine set by me, it has generally backfired; The result has always been stress and upset on both our parts! In a strange way, I actually think parenting has made me more relaxed in life!
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
Wow, this is a tough one because there are so many things which I love about being a mum. But if I have to pick just one thing then it would be the cuddles. They happen less now my daughter is a toddler and needs to ‘run free’ but when they do happen they are actually even more special. When she needs a bit attention in the night she will often snuggle into my shoulder for a cuddle. Then if we’re sitting on the sofa having a snack and watching ‘Frozen’, she’ll put her arm round me and snuggle into my side. That’s only for as long as the snack lasts (which isn’t very long) but I do enjoy those intimate moments!
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
Hmm, I would go with ‘Ask for help’. That still doesn’t come naturally to me. But I’ve learnt that if you don’t ask then you don’t get. After my daughter was born I felt really awkward asking people to do chores for me. Coupled with the fact I was feeling really helpless, it meant visitors often ended up just creating us more work. Over the last couple of years I have started to realise that if I want something done then I need to just ask directly. Hoping or hinting won’t get you the help you need; But 10 minutes of someone doing your washing-up or hoovering the floor isn’t much time for them but makes a massive difference to you.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Your way will always be the right way for your child. It’s easy to get into a state of worry by reading all the milestone emails you can sign-up to. But my advice is to ignore them. Or just sign-up to one and use it as a ‘rough guide’. Also, avoid comparing your children to your friend’s children as each child is different. Comparing to other children or milestones will only make you doubt yourself.
And on that note, when people tell you their child has been sleeping through since they were 3 days old and you’re 20 months in and still up every other night, get-up and walk away (or failing that, zone out to your happy place!). Half the time they are probably lying or exaggerating anyway!
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
My daughter was about 14 months old and had been cruising or walking holding our hand for a while. But she was always too scared to let go and walk freely. One day after collecting her from nursery we were in the lounge with Sam and my Dad. We were all chatting when H suddenly let go of the sofa and did 3 laps of the lounge! She looked at us all, smiled and then carried on doing it. We were all speechless…until I came to my senses and got my phone out to capture the big moment!
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
The only other advice I would give is to cut yourself some slack. Not just when you have a newborn but at all stages of parenting. Sure at some point you need to get back on top of daily life but parenting is tough work; If it’s a toss up between washing up or getting 10 minutes to sit down with a cuppa during nap time, it’s perfectly okay to do the latter!
I didn’t buy many books really but the one I did find useful to dip in-and-out of: First-Time Parent by Lucy Atkins. It covers all the basics but a mainly impartial way. I didn’t buy it until H was about a month old but I wish I’d had it before hand.
A couple of posts I wrote which new parents might find helpful are:
Thank you Angela for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Angela on the following social networks: