What were you not expecting/not prepared for before becoming a parent?
I wasn’t prepared for the exhaustion. It’s a completely different level to anything I’ve experienced. You know you’ll be tired and you know that babies wake for night feeds, but I don’t think I had any concept of how long the lack of sleep goes on for. My son is two and I don’t think I’ve slept for more than four hours at a time since he was born.
What is your main piece of advice for new parents?
Trust your instinct and go with what’s right for you and your family, not anyone else. If you want your child to sleep in your room until they’re sleeping through the night, then do it. If you want to breastfeed till they’re a toddler do it. If you only want people to visit between set hours then enforce that too. That’s not to say don’t accept help or be rude, but do what’s right for you and shame the devil! Oh, and ask for sensible gifts or practical help, rather than people turning up and expecting to be entertained and coo of baby.
How do you encourage family time at home?
We have to schedule activities to get out together. As both my husband and I have the ability to work from home, it’s too easy to pick up emails or do some work on a project because “it will only take 5 minutes”…. only you’re there an hour later. We go to a toddler football class on a Saturday morning and to soft play as a family on Sunday mornings. It means we all get time together which is fun without being distracted by chores, the TV, iPhones or anything else.
How do you balance being a blogger with parental duties?
It’s not easy as I also work thirty hours in a job in communications and media. It can certainly be pretty full-on but I’m fortunate to work on a flexible basis meaning I can rejig my hours during my day job to fit in parental duties like the nursery run. I tend to fit in blogging where I can, so I tend to have one or two days a month where I write a lot of draft content, then tweak over time. I’ll spend my lunch hours doing most of it, or late nights if both husband and Small Boy are in bed. I’m not a great sleeper so that creates a few extra hours for me.
What was your favourite toy growing up?
I’m not sure I had one. I was very attached to one particular teddy bear, but I was mostly into writing and drawing and make believe activities, which didn’t necessarily require toys or much kit.
Have you kept any of your toys from childhood?
I am not at all sentimental so the short answer is no. I have a pink toy elephant but I have absolutely no recollection of it because it was when I was a baby. My mum gave it to me when she was having a clear out and it just felt awkward saying “no thanks”.
What are your children’s favourite toys?
Small Boy’s favourites are his stacking cups. There were incredibly cheap but even now he loves them. I often find them in weird places in the house. I found some in the bathroom this morning, stacked on the toilet seat.
Do you actively limit the amount of screen time your kids have?
Not in the least. I know lots of people do, but I don’t see that much of an issue with it. We live in a very different world to when we grew up and they can learn so much from the games and activities on a tablet. Besides, Small Boy is in nursery three full days a week and is so active and interested in other things, I don’t think it’s a big deal if he likes to watch CBeebies when he’s having his breakfast, or when he’s just lounging around before bed. The Bedtime Hour is our saviour as it helps provide a natural countdown to bedtime which Small Boy likes. I tend to feel that if you demonise something too much, it can become a bit of an obsession.
How do you reduce plastic waste in your home?
I recycle everything I can but of course the best way to reduce plastic waste is to bring less of it into your home in the first place. I don’t buy a lot of ready meals or processed foods as a rule so that cuts out a lot of packaging. I say not to plastic when out and take a reusable coffee cup with me if I think I’ll be picking up a coffee to go. I never buy bottled water either.
Since Mulberry Bush created the Childhood Tag and Jacki passed it on to me, I am going to continue the game by tagging:
Mackenzie from Reflections From Me
and Laura from Can We Bring Our Kid?
Join in, answer the questions and share around – you’re it!