If you have a blog and children, you know Nicole from Planning with Kids. She runs one of the most popular blogs in Australia and is a well known speaker on all things blogging and raising children. Nicole is also lovely in person and is passionate about helping others. I admire her organisational skills and mother heart. She is the mother of five children. Here is how Nicole cherishes her cherubs....
1. Tell us a little about yourself as a mother.
I had my first child when I was 26. We always thought we would have a few children and I was pretty sure I would like motherhood, but I was totally surprised by how much I loved being a mum. I had planned to go back to work after three months with my first child, but the minute our son was born, I knew that I would not want to leave him so soon. I ended up going back to work when he was nine months old. We went on to have four more children, so we now have five beautiful children aged 13 to 3.
2.What is your favourite part about being a mother?
Being a mother has made me a better person. Through my kids, I have grown, matured and become more conscious about the way I live my life. That is such a powerful gift my kids have given to me. And nothing beats feeling the warmth of a good morning hug from little people straight out of bed!
3. Who inspires you as a mother?
I don’t really have one individual who inspires me as a mother, but I observe, learn and am motivated by many women like author Celia Lashlie and her respect for boys, my friend Katie who has eight gorgeous kids and parents them with grace and currently my youngest sister who has had her first baby six months ago. It is inspiring to see someone love being a mum and doing everything possible to make sure they take on this role the best they can.
4. Why do you think it is important to cherish your children?
I see my kids as a gift which I am incredibly privileged to have. I want them to know that. I want my children to grow up to be well rounded, kind, independent and respectful adults. For them to have a chance at being that, I think they need to know they are cherished.
5. What do you do to show your children you cherish them?
For me cherishing involves all the senses. It is hugging them, holding their hand or resting my hand on them. It is talking to them and letting them know how I feel about them, it is listening to their stories with interest, even if it is not really at all interesting! It is cooking food they love and nourishing them.
6. What do you hope your children feel or learn from you cherishing them?
Children learn so much more from actions than they do words. I hope through my behaviour they learn how to treat people they love – with kindness, respect and generosity.
7. What is your favourite activity to do with your children and how does it help you to cherish them?
Outdoor games where we run, chase and wrestle. Four out of our five children are boys. They love this sort of physical touch and love it even more if it is with mum and dad. My daughter also loves this and it is something we can easily do all together. It is very much an active gesture to my kids that I am prepared to meet on their terms and take part in their favourite activity where they make the rules. I am showing them I am interested in what they like and am prepared to have fun with them.
8. How do you make time for your children in your schedule?
I work from home and am lucky enough to fit my work around my kids’ schedule the majority of the time. I go to the gym in the early mornings before they are awake. When I am cooking and cleaning, I give them opportunities to be involved if they wish. I also make sure that through out the week there is time for each child to have individual time with me.
9. How does it make you feel as a mother when you know you are cherishing your children?
I was once told that a mother is only as happy as her saddest child. I completely agree with that. Cherishing my kids and seeing them happy and confident in themselves, makes me feel that I am doing a good job as a mum.
10. What advice would you give to other Mums about cherishing children?
There is no right way to cherish your kids. All families are unique and you need to do what feels natural and comfortable to you. Kids can sense when they are being appeased or placated in an instant. Cherishing your kids doesn’t mean you are absolutely devoted to them. It means that you have found a way to express your love for them and to appreciate the wonder they are.