Mother Profile: Lauren Green
|The Green Family - Image courtesy of Photography by Linda|
Introduce yourself My name is Lauren and I’m a regional journalist, mum to two gorgeous boys and my likes include reading, writing, performing (singing, dancing, acting) and spending time with my family and friends.
Introduce your family There’s me, of course, and my sons James, 3, and Nicholas, 1, and my wonderful hubby Craig. 3.
Before having children, did you discuss with your husband how you would parent? If so, what was important? Not officially. We didn’t sit down at the dining table to talk about it, if you know what I mean. We discussed parenting styles as we observed them in public and we read a few books beforehand which brought up some matters for discussion. It was pretty sporadic though. It was important for me to breastfeed our kids, we agreed we weren’t keen on the whole controlled crying thing, and that we wanted to set certain boundaries and be consistent with any discipline. Most importantly though we wanted our kids to feel loved, to give them lots of hugs and kisses, play with them and tell them we love them daily.
How have your parents influenced the way you parent? I’ve never really thought about that but on reflection I probably think my parenting style is quite like what I experienced at home. There was a lot of love and support when I was growing up and my parents aimed to give us as many opportunities as they could. That’s definitely what I want to do!
What other influences shape the way you parent eg: theories, media, peer group? I have read a lot about parenting in books, online and in the media and talk about it with my mum’s group a lot. I take it all in but at the end of the day I know what works for me so I’ve learnt to take the things that I think will benefit me and my family and disregard things that I don’t agree with. Being confident in my decisions has taken a long time though.
Do you have a ‘go to’ book or resource to help you navigate motherhood? Not really – but I’ve got plenty here! I probably referred to Baby Love and Kidwrangling the most when it came to developmental things but I don’t worry so much anymore. I read LOTS of books about sleep early on and some of it helped and some of it didn’t. In the end I read way too much and while having the information is good, it added to my confusion because everyone had a different opinion. Once I stopped reading books, I became a much more relaxed parent. Go figure!
What have been the greatest challenges for you as a mother? In the early days when the boys were newborns it was definitely sleep. Both weren’t real great at it in the beginning and both were daytime catnappers for quite some time. First time around it was a huge adjustment going from full-time work to being a stay-at-home mum with a little baby. Breastfeeding was a huge challenge and both my boys experienced reflux so that was also distressing at times. Also, there’s the feeling of always being disorganised and trying to keep up with everything – and finding time for myself!
What has helped you overcome these challenges? Going to bed earlier (I’m good sometimes J), getting rest when I could, and letting go of the desire for everything to be perfect all the time (but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t drive me up the wall sometimes). I persevered with breastfeeding and saw the doctor about the boys’ reflux and had medication which meant their dining experience was much more pleasant for everyone. I also developed a routine so all the important jobs get taken care of. I’m still working on perfecting this routine. I’ve only been back at work a few months since maternity leave for my second child and it’s definitely been another learning curve.
What do you enjoy most about being a mother? I absolutely adore watching my boys grow up, seeing their personalities develop, watching their curiosity and excitement for the world and the enthusiasm they have for learning. They have a tremendous love for each other too and it’s so beautiful to see. I’m so proud of everything about them.
What advice do you have for new mothers? Trust yourself. It’s so much easier said than done, I know. But I honestly think that the moment I started listening to myself and what I felt was the right thing to do, things started falling into place. Lots of people will give you their opinions but they are not you and they don’t know your child like you do. Oh, and get as much rest as you can. I always found I am much more patient about things when I’ve had enough rest.
Labels: Mother Profiles