Parent24 chats to Cath Jenkin


Real parents have been chatting to Parent24 about their experiences, which range from side-splittingly funny to deeply moving. Why not find out more about these moms and dads, who are, very often, just like you.

Who is Cath Jenkin?

I am most importantly known as Mama. If I could, I'd be a stand-up comedian. I'd have to be. Nobody would see me sitting down. Proud mum of 1 primary school-goer, who also happens to be the planet's prettiest citizen.

What would you do over, if you had the chance?

Honestly, nearly seven years down the line, I'd have worried less. I'd have worried less about whether or not she'd pooped enough every day, or whether she'd eaten enough/drunk enough/played enough. I'd have worried less about Baby Einstein and let her loose in my tupperware cupboard more often. I'd have worked less and played more. But then, we all wish that!

Any tips you have for new parents, based on your own experiences?

Ignore everything anyone says until they can prove they have raised a child themselves. No, really. I mean it. I still get "parenting advice" from people I don't know, and often from people who have never raised a kid. Ever. I wish I'd taken heed of that from the moment I fell pregnant. I spent most of my pregnancy and the first two years of my kid's life feeling like I was a failure. Seriously. Ignore everyone and trust your instinct, unless there is a medical reason. For that, you have doctors.

How do you think your kid would describe you?

Hah. That's easy. I'll tell you verbatim: "Mama, you're a very good mom. That must've been a good mommy school you went to. You're very pretty too, mom, but I think you need to have your wrinkles fixed". :P

What characterises a "good parent" and would you call yourself one?

I believe that a good parent is one that does their best to put their child before everything else. That means social life, work and me-time. That's difficult in today's world but, all we are ever asked to do is try in life. I also believe that a good parent needn't be a biological one. A parent, to me, is defined as someone who cares for and loves a child as their own. And I have quite a few examples of that in my life, both from growing up and in my life now. I had a wonderful set of quasi-parents growing up, who are now grandparents to my own daughter. A good parent is someone who commits and follows through on their promises to their kids, to the best of their ability. Following through on promises to go to the park, or threats about the naughty corner, instils trust in a child. I hope I am a good parent. The only person who will ever be able to judge me on it yet is nearly seven years old. Let's ask her when she's twenty-five?

Do you feel you have enough support?

I went through a long period in my life where I thought I didn't. And now, I have more support than I could ever have asked for. Be it family, extended family, wonderful friends, supportive colleagues and wonderful bosses, yes, I feel my daughter and I are very well-supported. Thank goodness.

Your craziest parenting moment?

Oh, we've had a few. I've never been one for strict rules at home. Yes, we all know about washing our hands and good manners but, my kid and I have been known to bend the rules a bit. We like to eat dinner backwards sometimes (dessert first, dinner after!) and have gone shopping in our pyjamas, or taken a walk around the neighbourhood in our finest princess outfits, tiaras included. I see nothing wrong with a little imaginative fun! And yes, we do dance around the house quite often. I think every day is another opportunity to be a little crazy!

Follow Cath on Twitter and take a look at her other thoughts on Parent24

Do you know any awesome parents with a story to tell? Drop us a line at You can also chat to us on Twitter and Facebook.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 507 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 6220 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 814 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.