The next inspiring lady in my cherish your cherubs interview series is Kelly Exeter. A woman after my own heart, who is striving to live a beautiful, happy life. A less frantic life. Sounds delightful doesn't it! She is also the very creative designer of the wonderful manifesto's you may have been seeing around the place and she is also currently writing a book that you can read the first chapter of here. Kelly has one son and is currently pregnant with her second child. She is running inspiration to me, a great writer and a great friend that I have met through blogging. I am excited to share with you how Kelly cherishes her cherub...
1. Tell us a little about yourself as a mother.
I was one of those rare women who never had the deep craving to be a mother - I loved my life and was always off chasing new challenges and also worried a bit that becoming a mum would mean the loss of my identity. My husband was very keen to get going with having kids however so I cut a deal. I would run the Paris marathon and we would do a European holiday and then come home and have babies. So that is what we did and at the age of 32 I became mum to Jaden. And let me just say, I was floored by how much I loved it. My little man is now three and I cannot believe I have now been a mum for three years!
2. What is your favourite part about being a mother?
Funnily enough it is just the whole being ‘Jaden’s Mum’ thing. Which is ironic because pre-motherhood I never wanted to be known as ‘someone’s mum’. But when I pick Jaden up from day-care and his friends yell out ‘JAAAAAADEN. YOUR MUM IS HERE’ – I just love that! I also love the kisses and cuddles and the fact that I am number 1 in his world.
3. Who inspires you as a mother?
So many people – my own mum, my friends and siblings, fellow bloggers. I love seeing how a huge variety of different parenting styles can result in simply delightful children who are encouraged to embrace their individuality. I also love the people who don’t feel they need to pretend that parenting is all sunshine and lollipops and acknowledge that there are challenging days where you want to curl up in the foetal position and just sob!
4. Why do you think it is important to cherish your children?
I think that we all parent differently but something we should all have in common is the love we have for our kids. To me cherishing them takes this a step further to mean that we embrace the individuality of each child and nourish that individuality accordingly.
5. What do you do to show your child you cherish them?
Mostly I just try to be really present when I am doing something with Jaden. I don’t always get this right but I try!
6. What do you hope your child feel's or learn's from you cherishing them?
Unconditional love, as this is one of the greatest gifts we can give another person. I think unconditional love is the strongest foundation we have for our sense of self and is a crucial anchor to have when life gets rough.
7. What is your favourite activity to do with your child and how does it help you to cherish them?
I just like sitting with Jaden as he plays. He is quite bossy and particular and I need to follow his instructions quite carefully in order to be able to play with him and this cracks me up no end. I also love seeing a bit of myself and a bit of my husband come through in the role playing he does. It is pretty special.
8. How do you make time for your child in your schedule?
I work full time and Jaden is at day-care every day so I try to ensure we get quality time each weekday afternoon to just hang out and on the weekends, it is rare that I schedule something that doesn’t involve him. I love the weekends because that is our time to spend together as a little family unit.
9. How does it make you feel as a mother when you know you are cherishing your child?
It makes me feel like I am doing a good job!! I think cherishing our children is one of the most underrated things we can do for our little ones.
10. What advice would you give to other Mums about cherishing children?
Keep it simple! Our kids don’t need fancy toys or expensive stuff from us – all they want is our time and undivided attention. It’s not always easy to give them this, especially when you have more than one child – but it’s really the littlest things that they love and appreciate the most.
Kelly is a writer, blogger, designer and owner of several businesses. She believes that a busy life need not be a frantic life however and blogs about this at A Life Less Frantic (http://www.kellyexeter.com.au). She also combines her two creative loves – writing and designing – at The Smile Collective (http://www.thesmilecollective.com.au where she has recently taken on the challenge to create a new inspirational manifesto every week for the rest of 2012!
Thanks so much Kelly x