This week I had the pleasure of talking to Emma Mathews who is a freelance journalist and blogger. Emma is mum to one little boy and she shares her insight into parenting as a young mum, discussing the PPP – Perfect Pinterest Parent and following your child’s lead. Her positivity and love for her son is beautiful and I think we can all take a leaf out of Emma’s book.
How many children do you have?
One. A three year old boy.
You are a freelance journalist and blogger. How do you manage your writing career and your family life?
The wonderful thing about being freelance is I can work whenever, wherever and as much as I want. Last week I was working whilst my son was running around the splash park. He attends nursery a few morning a week so I try to mostly work only when he is there or asleep, leaving me time to be fully present when he is around.
Do you think its easier being a parent now than when you were being raised?
I don’t think it is easier as such just the difficulties have shifted. There is a lot of pressure now to be the perfect Pinterest parent and this is unrealistic. Social media and the internet were not an influence when I was a a child and therefore my parents were not bombarded with advice and expectations. However, I do feel it is more acceptable to parent in different ways now and with behavioural disorders and learning disabilities being more widely accepted more help is available.
What is your biggest fear as a Mum?
My biggest fear is being in a position where I am not able to protect my son. I fear him being in danger and it being out of my control. I realise that I am not super woman but I would give anything to have the power to prevent him from harm.
What is the one thing you would have done differently as a new Mum?
As I was a teenager mother I was fighting against a negative stereotype. Looking back I did the best for myself and my son but if I could restart I would do it with confidence. I stopped exclusively breastfeeding when I started at university and I wish I had had the confidence to continue despite my fears of alienation and being too timid to demand the facilities I need to express and store breast milk.
What advice would you give other women about pregnancy and parenting?
Do not fear labour. I would rather give birth than be pregnant. Obviously this is not the same for every woman but fearing it does not help. By the time the due date comes you will be more than ready to just get that baby into the world and be able to fit into normal clothes. My number one parenting advice is to follow your child’s lead. Be it sleep training, weaning, potty training or beginning to read – let your child show you when they are ready.
What are your hopes and dreams for your children?
I hope he will grow up to be respectful, challenging and enthusiastic. If anything I just want him to be comfortable with who he is and to unapologetically follow his own dreams (I may live to regret this when he has left his poor old Mom to travel the most remote parts of the world).
What is your favourite way to relax when the kids are in bed and sound asleep?
I love a bubble bath with a good novel, glass of wine and a ludicrously expensive bath bomb.
You are a self-confessed nerd so I have to ask: Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star what? I am absolutely a nerd in the sense that I love learning, politics and reading but when it comes to popular culture I haven’t a clue!
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