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
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