Real parenting advice from parents to parents.
We love celebrating parents. The individuals out there dedicating themselves daily to their little ones. Beyond the expert advice and the learning we do as we go, sometimes you just need to go with your gut and take a ‘you’ve got this’ approach to parenting. Here’s what entrepreneurial mother of six, Rebeka, and full-time teacher and father, Michael, have to say on their personal parenting approach, the importance of their support base, and their take on parental instincts.
Michael, father to a one-year-old, gave his parenting advice on the importance of sharing the load with your other half. He believes the support he receives from his partner is integral to their success as a parental unit.
Michael: I am grateful every single day for my wife and everything she does for our family. She prioritises our boy first amongst all other things, always there to step in when I need her. Usually, I start the bedtime routine, but when I’ve been studying part-time, she takes it on. In my opinion, she’s the most significant support in my life and well, a living legend.
Rebeka, an entrepreneurial mother of three, has watched her little ones grow alongside her quickly expanding company Build Her Collective. Her three, six, and one-year-old definitely keep her busy, yet she spoke about how great it’s been having her own mother there to support her and the difference this relationship has made to her daily life.
Rebeka: I think when you have a baby, particularly your first baby, it’s your mum and her journey that comes to the front of mind. It’s like a little insight into how she must have been feeling when she had you. And I am lucky to have my mum close; she’s an amazing help!
Having experienced people supporting you on your parenting journey—whether experts, your partner or your own parents—is essential, but sometimes you just need to go with your gut and trust in your own parenting advice. Michael spoke to us about how as a new parent, he’s learnt to trust his gut and just go with it.
Michael: Humans are designed to have children and survive. It’s been a pretty natural process. You roll with it, do what you think is right, keep them warm, safe, dry and fed–and everything else will fall into place.
Similarly, Rebeka spoke about the importance of sometimes just treading the parenting path as you feel and trying not to worry too much about what everyone else is doing.
Rebeka: Every family is unique and has its own hurdles. As long as the kids know they are loved more than anything in the world I think you are off to a great start.
When going with your gut and making those more difficult parenting calls, it’s important to back yourself and have confidence in your decisions.
Rebeka: We have older kids, nineteen and sixteen, as well as little ones aged three, six and one, so when looking at the older boys and their journey into becoming the strapping, thoughtful, hilarious, amazing young men that they have become definitely gives me a ‘you got this’ feeling when worrying about the younger ones!
Beyond the confidence hindsight gives her, starting her day with some ‘me time’ is Rebeka’s other secret to seizing the day and feeling confident.
Rebeka: It takes organisation and strategy to run my day. Otherwise, the day runs me. I tend to find if I go for a walk in the morning, I give myself the gift of that time and headspace needed to seize the rest of the day. And I love that feeling.
When we asked Michael what parental advice he would give to other parents, he emphasised the importance of not being too hard on yourself and just trying your best.
Michael: Try your best, and be there for them. When they start walking and hurt themselves, don’t freak out, just help them out! And if you’re ever unsure about a cough, a cold, fever or whatever, refer back to the professional such as your GP or local expert.
Rebeka took some sound advice from a book she’d recently read by Brene Brown about the importance of connecting with your children through expression.
Rebeka: I am consciously trying to show my children whenever I see them, just how much I want to see them and how much I love them through the expression on my face. It is so easy to see them and immediately want to give them advice or say, ‘take your shoes off’ or ‘wipe your nose’. I know I have slipped into this mode time and time again. But I love the sheer joy they express when they see me (I wish I could bottle it or stay in those moments forever) and I want them to feel the pure joy I experience when I see them in return!