Welcome to part two of Interviewing my parents about being parents. I asked my parents separately the same questions and have created this series to share what they said. If you missed the first post then you missed the interview I did with my dad! You can go back and read it here.
I really enjoyed this process and hearing two both different perspectives on parenting. It’s interesting to see the differences in answers from a fathers and mothers point of view. At the end of this post I’ll do a short re-cap of both of the posts and see what differences and similarities there have been between both my moms and dads responses.
1. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING A PARENT?
Watching personalities emerge from your children, it doesn’t seem to matter your parenting style it is just watching individual personalities come out. And seeing you grow into adults.
2. DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED KIDS?
I didn’t want children. *My response* What?? So you didn’t want any children and you ended up with three?!
3. HOW HAS YOUR PARENTING STYLE CHANGED SINCE ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN HAVE GROWN UP?
Your parenting style changes because you have less influence and interaction and you are not in control. So when your children are little, you spend your life making sure they are safe, they are fed, they are educated, they have fun, that they’re looked after because thats in your control. But when your children get older and they get independent they need less of that. Therefore you have to take a step back.
4. DO YOU HAVE ANY PARENTING REGRETS? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?
I can’t think of any, I think it’s more that if my children told me that what I did impacted on them in a negative way, then that would be my regret. Because as a parent you want to let your children know by your actions and words that you love them and that they are accepted, and that they are precious individuals. And if your behaviour, actions or words has not let that message go through then thats a regret.
5. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE FACED BEING A PARENT?
Stepping back and watching your children either suffer or make mistakes. It’s hard allowing you to learn for yourselves, because we cant protect you 100% of the time.
6. HOW DID YOU FIND TIME FOR YOURSELF WHEN ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN WERE YOUNGER?
I didn’t really, bath time was my escape and I think thats probably why I love a bubble bath because it was the time I could shut the door and the children couldn’t get into me. The other thing was taking an occasional day to visit friends without children, and as you have got older I think me and dad going on holiday on our own. And now I think it’s me going on my own.
7. IS IT HARD WATCHING YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEAVE HOME?
Yes it is, its difficult because you love them and you want them to be part of your day to day life. But actually the whole thing about being a parent is loving them enough to let them go. And let them grow away from you. The way you can workout if you have done a decent job is if they turn into responsible and caring adults.
8. WHATS THE BEST PART OF BEING A GRAND-PARENT?
Because you get to give them back, they’re not fully your responsibility and you get to do all of the fun stuff. And actually you have more patience and tolerance and life doesn’t interfere with your time with them. Whereas when its your own children you have got other things you have to do like feeding them, clothing them, getting the homework done and all that kind of stuff. Whereas when its your grandchild you stop all of the other stuff and focus totally on them, whereas you cant do that as a parent all of the time.
9. WHATS ONE PIECE OF PARENTING ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO ME FOR WHEN I HAVE CHILDREN?
Don’t stress over the small stuff. To relax and to enjoy your children, don’t wish their lives away is what I’d say, because time passes too quickly. Like when they’re babies you say I cant wait till they walk, and then when they’re walking its I cant wait till they talk and then I cant wait till they go to school. By wishing their life away you’re missing all of the joy thats there.
10. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILD?
My favourite child? I haven’t got a favourite!! *laughs*
If you’re a parent, what advice could you give to other people who are becoming parents or aren’t parents yet?
I for sure found some things out about my parents during this. First of all, I didn’t know my mom didn’t ever want children, isn’t that so funny to think about? She didn’t want any and then ended up with three. This blog wouldn’t be here if she kept to that decision! It’s funny how life works. I also found it interesting how they both had their little escape each week to get some me time amongst the chaos, I think thats so important! Parents need self-care too. Also interesting that they both couldn’t think of any parenting regrets they had. That just shows there how chilled and laid back they are, and thats where I get it from. We have this “it is what it is” attitude, and it definitely runs in our family.
They both for sure lied on the favourite child question, because its me and we all know it. haha!