Parenting Pep Talk is an occasional 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 Claire, a working single parent of a soon to be four-year-old boy. She is an Independent Social Worker, Blogger and Journalist and single parenting is all she knows. She writes Confessions of a Single Parent Pessimist and Tall, Curvy Mumma.
1) Tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I am 31 and live with my soon to be four-year-old son and our two guinea pigs. I have been a single parent since he was six weeks old and his father has just started having contact with him since last summer.
I am an independent social worker meaning I can do my work when my son is at nursery or asleep, which is great but also means I never get a break or have much time to earn much for us!
2) How would you describe your parenting style?
Not at all like I imagined! I was going to take him swimming every week, share yoga and do lots of arts and crafts and languages to make him super amazingly clever but the reality of parenting for me is I’m lucky if I even manage to coordinate his socks and get us out to the park every once in a while.
I like to think I’m firm but fair, but I guess it depends on the day you ask me and the amount of sleep I’ve managed to have the night before.
3) What’s your favourite thing about being a parent?
Being able to watch a person go through their developmental stages and seeing every little milestone they achieve each day.
4) What piece of advice have you been given that you found especially helpful?
Don’t take it personally as there is usually an emotion or reason they are behaving the way that they are and it is very rarely due to you.
5) What one piece of encouraging advice would you give to a new parent?
Stop assuming other parents are doing it better than you and are more natural at it, some parents are just much better at hiding their insecurities! The parents that brag about how amazing parenting is and how they never get angry at their children are the ones you have to watch, never trust them as it’s likely they lose it way more than you so don’t let them make you feel inadequate!
6) Can you share one of your favourite parenting moments?
The first time he called me Mummy, the first time he told me he loved me and those first few steps. Priceless.
7) Anything else that you would like to share to encourage other parents?
It helps me to read other single parents’ experiences, especially their most difficult times, because it makes me realise that I’m not the only one going through this and that a lot of the issues I face are not personal, they happen to most single parents. I interview many working single parents often on my blog in a section called Single Parent Spotlight and I also feature many single parent bloggers and their brilliant posts on my Single Parent Linky and these interviews have taught me so much about the pros and cons of single parenting and they have helped me when I’ve doubted my parenting abilities!
Thank you Claire for sharing your positive parenting moments and the advice you have found helpful.
You can connect with Claire 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.