Parenting can be tricky. Just when you think you’ve cracked one little stage, along comes another one to flummox you all over again. The same could be said for children, as every one is different with their own set of quirks, issues and needs to be met. Which is why it’s always good to ask for advice, to throw your hands up in the air and say ‘how do you do it‘? And so, we decided to do just that with our new irregular series 5 things I’ve learned about parenting. First up is the lovely Courtney Adamo, mother of four beautiful children (Easton (10), Quin (8), Ivy (5) and Marlow (2), co-founder of fab shopping portal Babyccino Kids and all-round inspiring woman. Here’s the five things she’s learned along her personal parenting journey (I’m so with her on number 3)…
1. Everyone does it a little bit differently, and that’s okay.
One of my closest friends, also a mother of four, just sleep-trained her 6-week-old baby to sleep through the night. My first instinct was to judge her as one of those crazy, straight-laced mothers with a tight schedule, but then I reminded myself that it works for her and that her children are all happy and healthy. My babies all slept in our bed and nursed on demand for the first six months of their lives, and I’m sure she would think I’m a crazy, hippie mother with no routine! What works for one family might not work for the other, and that’s okay.
2. I’ve learned to take the parenting books with a grain of salt and listen to my instincts (and my children).
There is so much advice and so many books targeted at new mothers, and it can all seem overwhelming and confusing. I think we often forget to listen to our gut and trust that we can make the right decisions for our family. Sometimes the best thing I can do is to slow down, tune in and listen, really listen to my children to truly understand their needs.
3. Kids don’t have to be bathed every day – they’ll survive without being squeaky clean!
I’ve become way more relaxed about baths over the years, and I’ve realised that my kids are just as healthy and happy as before, even if they’re only bathed twice a week.
4. Despite coming from the same mould and being raised the same way, each of my children is unique and individual.
I’m constantly surprised by how different my children are from one another and even how different they can be from me. They are little individuals with their own ways of doing things, and I really find it fascinating to observe this nature versus nurture phenomenon.
5. It’s addictive!
I love having babies; I loved being pregnant (apart from the first few months), I even loved giving birth, and I especially loved those first few months of sleepy newborn magic. I’ve now gotten to a point where our baby is two and we are pretty sure we won’t have any more babies, and yet I still don’t want to close that baby chapter. I guess I always assumed it would be an easy decision to reach, that I would just feel finished. I had no idea it would be so difficult to close that chapter.