There are so many tags doing the rounds however I haven’t seen any specifically aimed at parenting bloggers. I was therefore thrilled when Emma made contact asking me if I would like to be one of the first to take part in the newly created Childhood Tag and I jumped at the chance to be involved.
What were you not expecting/not prepared for before becoming a parent?
There is nothing that can prepare you for becoming a parent, it is the hardest, most worthwhile job in the world. You can read every book, attend every class and practice by looking after other people’s children, but you will never be fully prepared! For me the depths of sleep deprivation was much worse than I had imagined it to be. In my youth I spent nights partying and barely getting any sleep yet still making it to work on time. I realised quickly that it was nothing in comparison to being woken numerous times a night by a crying baby!
What is your main piece of advice for new parents?
Take each day at a time – there will be highs and lows along the way., Unfortunately babies don’t come with an instruction booklet and on-job training is required so remember parenthood is one massive learning curve. Don’t spend your time comparing yourself or your child to anyone else’s situation, every parent has their own struggles along the way we are all in the same boat!
How do you encourage family time at home?
We have two teenagers and a four-year-old so it is often difficult to get everyone together for family time and even when we do trying to organise something to suit everyone is a nightmare! At home our family time together is often a movie afternoon with snacks as it’s something everyone loves to do.
We do try and have as many days out together as we can, especially as we know before long the girls are older won’t be interested in going on family days out.
How do you balance being a blogger with parental duties?
When I first started to blog I didn’t realise just how time consuming it can be! In the last few months I have managed to get myself into a much better routine meaning that blogging time doesn’t encroach on family time. I mainly write when the kids are at school and nursery and have a few set evenings for blog related work. Saturday night is my night off to chill out with the family!
What was your favourite toy growing up?
My favourite toy had to be my Fisher Price A La Carte Kitchen! I loved role play of any kind and my kitchen was my favourite by far. I remember the year I received it for Christmas it was the must-have toy and hearing years later how my Grandad had braved the stores to ensure I had it! It remained in my bedroom for many years beyond me playing with it and I was very sad to eventually say goodbye to it!
Have you kept any of your toys from childhood?
My Mum was a bit of a hoarder when it comes to toys and books and the vast majority of mine were kept and survived a number of house moves before being passed onto my younger siblings. They were then packed away safely and all three of my children have used and played with many toys that used to belong to me. I have of course kept my favourite soft toy, Trevor, who I received when I was born. He is called Trevor in honour of Trevor Brooking thanks to his claret and blue West Ham colouring, plus that is where my Mum grew up.
What are your children’s favourite toys?
When they were younger the girls really loved Sylvanian Families – not sure I did as all the little pieces went everywhere and my nerves seemed to be on edge all the time, especially when they decided to undress them!
My youngest loves Lego and building blocks of any sort plus has been a massive fan of jigsaws from a very young age. He also really enjoys playing games, one of his favourites is The Shopping List game – his sisters are quite often roped into playing them with him and even though they have a moan I’m sure they love it really!
Do you actively limit the amount of screen time your kids have?
I do try to limit the amount of screen time the kids have, easier said than done with the teenagers though as it seems their whole life revolves around social media nowadays. With the little one I ensure there is always something on the go to play with to avoid too much TV time and we like to get out in the fresh air when the weather allows!
How do you reduce plastic waste in your home? – Reusable bottles, buying wooden toys, avoiding excessive food packaging, etc.?
As a family we recycle everything possible as we are lucky enough to have an excellent kerbside recycling service in our area. Apart from being environmentally friendly if we didn’t recycle we would never fit everything in our bin – we are a family of 5 and our bins are collected fortnightly!
What advice would you give to parents who want to start blogging?
As a reasonably new blogger I would say just go for it, I wish I had started blogging years ago, although to be aware of how time consuming it can be. It is impossible to be a parent and not have a story or advice to share so if you have a passion for writing share it with the world!
Join in and share around – you’re it!