What does parenting mean to you?
There are so many so many ways to answer that question. You sacrifice your life for them to protect them and give them what they need. To show them unconditional love. It’s a minefield. When you have your first child you go into it all blind, to the idea of being a parent – you’re winging it. Now with three, they’re all so individual – you do the best you can for them every day.
I will always support you don’t ever be afraid to talk to me, you know there’s nothing that you can say which will upset me. I’m here to support you 100%
In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding bit of being a parent is?
The affection you get from them, knowing that you’ve created this little person. You see how much they love you and rely on you. Even the smallest things, like cooking their favourite dinner (which is anything pasta!) makes them so happy. this little person you’ve created is so amazing.
How do you think your parents have shaped how you’ve bought your kids up?
I was fostered as a child so I’ve always known that when I want to be the best parent I can possibly be. Particularly because of my background, going from foster home to foster home, I’ve always wanted to show them that no matter what you do wrong I will always back and support you. I want them to know that there’s nothing you can do which will upset me, I’m here to support you 100%.
The kids know quite a bit about my upbringing and they took it quite well – it doesn’t phase them that we haven’t got a massive family network. I think everything happens for a reason. I think they enjoy the fact we are a small unit. We’re such a tight knit family – it’s just us, my partner and they have a stepsister. We’re all here to support each other. It’s nice having a small unit, we go out for adventures on weekends and all kinds of fun activities.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
We’ve recently moved. About a year ago we moved to Cornwall. For us, that’s what we chose for a better life for them. Where we used to live there was a lot of bullying and we were insecure about letting them go out to play. We’d worry about what would happen to them, you can’t be with them all the time and you have to let them have them have their freedom. But where we are here, we can let them play out the front friends that they’ve made there’s not a constant worry about how they are.
Now we’re about a 15 minute drive from the beach and things are so different. People don’t have the same priorities. The silly things like having the right shoes and brands just aren’t there anymore, we can worry about the bigger things in life!
Now is your chance to embarrass your kid – tell me an embarrassing story!
I don’t know if this is ultimately embarrasing but we were walking in a little village. I took my kids to feed the ducks – have a picnic, that kind of thing. I gave my daughter, who’s 6 some bread to feed the ducks. I made sure I told her to steer well clear of the water and don’t chuck the whole loaf in. But the next thing I know – I look round and she’s in the water with the ducks!! My boys found it hilarious and even started filming it! I just hope the other people nearby weren’t watching too closely…
What annoys you the most about parenting?
The most annoying, and I’m going to be completely real here, is how untidy and messy they can be! I’m not a complete neat freak – things have a place! It’s when they take their school clothes off and just throw them on the floor. I’m like “you know where they go!”. They might have a packet of crisps but leave the cupboard open – but I don’t think I’m alone in this battle!
What’s the one most important thing about parenting?
Don’t follow other people – it’s good to be different. Now with Instagram and so on, people show what they want you to see, but it’s not real life! They post just the good bits and not the reality. Filters or not, do it how you feel comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with asking for advice, don’t feel like you need to follow the crowd!
Documenting your memories is another thing I think is so important. I’d reccomend taking a picture a day of your kids. It could be in any format you like but it creates a lovely record of how your kids so you can see how they’ve grown. When your mother in law comments on how much they’ve grown, you have the proof!
So above all, use your time wisely, make the most of you children while they are young because before long they grow up and don’t want mummy cuddles or to go out with you because their lives develop more as they grow.
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