I’m glad this little section of Chat with Mums and Dads is getting a bit of attention from my fellow-bloggers. I especially feel really honoured when bloggers I read actually want to participate in our little chats.
When I first started this little section, it was really just a means for me to reach out to other mothers, maybe get a few tips on how they manage this whole parenting business which can be really tough. Like I’ve mentioned I started it with people I personally know before reaching out to bloggers. I love what these little chats have taught me about being a mother/parent and I hope you get some good insights too.
For this month’s chat with a mum, meet Suzanne, the lovely mother behind the very-much-read blog:
Tell us something about yourself and your little ones (age & sex).
My husband and I have 3 children – 2 girls and a boy. The girls are 13 and 12, the boy is 9.
I was a SAHM when my children were little, mainly because we chose to have 3 very close together (my eldest was 4.5 when the youngest was born). I always knew that this is what I wanted to do but often struggled with being at home and just having children (and CBeebies!) for company.
When my eldest two children were both in full-time school and the youngest started nursery, I began a part-time job, joined the school PTA and got my brain working again – it took a while!
What was your little ones birth stories like?
The first one was horrendous and a very long story which I won’t bore you with. In short, I was induced after going 2 weeks overdue, was in labour for 23 hours and ended up having an emergency c-section when they realized that she wasn’t budging. It was traumatic at the time but 9 months later I found myself pregnant again, so it can’t have been all bad!
Early on in my second pregnancy, I was advised to go for an elective section if the baby was likely to weigh anything more than 7 lbs. Thankfully I took the advice as she was 8lb 2ozs, born 10 days early!
My last baby was a surprise boy. We had chosen not to find out the sex, knowing that the likelihood was, another little girl. We were obviously thrilled when a little boy was born by elective caesarean 1 week early, weighing in at 7lb 8ozs – my smallest!
What do you wish you knew about being a mother, before becoming one?
That ‘free’ time will be a thing of the past, so make the most of it now!
How do you manage your “me-time”?
Now that my children are older and all at school, I feel that my ‘me time’ is during the day. I work two days but even then, driving to the office with my own music playing is a treat and I savour every moment!
After school and at weekends, my time is really dedicated to driving the children around to their activities and various social events.
Do you have a favourite anecdote of your little one?
Having 3 children, this question is a little tricky for me. I also find it incredibly difficult to remember things from the early days (see my blog post about my lack of memory, here!). However, I do remember more about my son’s early years (he is now 9) than the girls, as so much of that was a blur! When he started nursery school at the age of 2.5, I found it difficult to let go. He was my last one and always such great company to have around, being so placid. I asked him one day what he liked to do at playtime (assuming he would talk about the see saw or the sandpit) and he replied: “I like to play with my friend Holly”. Sounds fairly standard but his “friend” was actually his 5 year old sister who was allowed to play with the nursery children at break time! That really did warm my heart, knowing that of all the children there, he chose his sister to play with. Cute.
What is it about Motherhood you absolutely love?
I won’t lie to you, I find parenting a baffling minefield much of the time! But being someone who loves a challenge, I still decided to have 3 of them! I love watching my children change and grow into their own personalities, knowing that I’ve had a part to play in the person that they are becoming. As they get older and you begin to see the fruits of your labour, it’s incredibly rewarding.
If there is anything about Motherhood you dislike, what would it be?
The worry. Oh my days, this never stops! And I know people with adult children who say that the worrying doesn’t stop then, either.
What’s a typical day like for you and your little ones?
The alarm goes off at 6.40am. No little ones to wake me up any more, it’s all about me dragging them out of bed! We try to have breakfast together (one child in particular is not a morning person so this is very hit and miss!) then my husband drops the girls at Secondary School on his way to work and I take our youngest to his Primary School.
Once they are at school, on days when I am not working, I walk the dog straight after drop off and the rest of the day is for me! Obviously there are always jobs to be done around the home but being someone who thrives on the company of others, I try to make sure that I book in at least once ‘catch up’ with a friend per week.
The post school hours are usually pretty hectic for us. I have limited their activities to 3 per week each (despite pleas for more!). I think it’s important to explore hobbies and attend groups such as Guides and Cubs but it is difficult to get the balance right. I wrote a blog post on this subject a little while back.
When they were young, I was a stickler for bed times, with everyone being in bed by 7pm. Now I am lucky if I have them all quiet at 9.30pm and by then I’m pretty pooped!
Best advice you’ve ever received about Motherhood?
Pick your battles. I have control-freak tendencies which if I don’t keep in check, could send our home life into a frenzy! That’s why choosing which battles to pick and being purposeful about this, is something that I try to do on a daily basis. Does it really matter if their bedroom is a tip during the week? No, they can tidy it at the weekend and I will count to 10 on entering Monday-Friday!
If you could give yourself advice about motherhood before becoming one, what would it be?
Treasure each moment when they are young. I know that parents with older children told me this when I had babies/toddlers and I always just thought “yeah, yeah, you’ve just forgotten what hard work they are” – now I know it’s true!
How do you manage your time or blogging between work and your little ones?
Ok this is tricky. Blogging isn’t just about writing a post and then hoping someone reads it (not if you want to progress anyway). I have realized that it’s vital to spend time developing a community of readers, communicating via Social Media and socializing (virtually and in real life sometimes!) with other bloggers.
I try to spend my daytime doing this but it does sometimes encroach into the afternoon/early evening if I have a deadline or commitment. I tend not to blog or spend very much time on Social Media at weekends, especially on Sundays. For me, that time is for the family and I need to be strict on myself – it’s very addictive!
Thank you so much Suzanne!
Click here to visit 3 Children and It.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!