posted on: Tuesday, August 7, 2012
"We had just moved to France and had been renovating our house when I became a mum. Luckily my parents-in-law had a holiday home nearby that we could stay in, as breathing in dust and paint fumes was a little worrying when pregnant.
Now Sam is 5 and his sister Isabella is 2. At the moment it’s the summer school holidays. We’re enjoying the relaxed routine -- but not Scott my husband, who works as a carpenter. I try to get house chores done in the morning and afternoons are for play and activities. The Limousin region where we live is full of swimming lakes and beaches, so we are taking full advantage whilst the weather is good.
Sam and Bella don’t play with their toys often. Instead they love to paint, draw and play make believe. I have a 1970’s children’s craft book which Sam loves to make things from. They love to bake too. Though, Bella at 2 years old is happy with a bowl, egg and flour and a wooden spoon.
I didn't realise how full on it and tiring being a mum would be. Or how I could love two people so much. I was worried I wouldn't be able to love Bella as much as Sam but it really has no boundaries and just keeps growing and growing.
Before I was pregnant I wish I’d know about all the blogs out there! Being pregnant in France, not knowing anyone and not speaking the language fluently, I was pretty lost. I didn't realise all the information and help that was out there in blog land. I had a text book and a French dictionary. Luckily, it was a good experience on the whole.
The hardest part of being a mama is that I never feel confident in following my beliefs where kids are concerned. Am I doing this job well? Am I showing them how to behave properly, to eat properly? So many parents do their routine differently and I sometimes feel torn in various directions. It’s also hard not to wrap them in cotton wool. I am far too protective and scared they will harm themselves. But, I know I should let them be kids too.
My favourite part of being a mum is seeing them have fun in this country life we lead. They can open the front door and run free. We live in such a safe place and being at home I can hopefully teach them about growing their own food, how to live simply and generally be there for them.
Blogs help me parent well. Reading about others experiences -- good and bad. Knowing that I am human after all. Being inspired about living spaces and kids crafts gets me motivated to be an active parent. Also, looking forward to the future. Knowing that as long as my children are happy and healthy then I did a good job bringing them up and giving them solid roots.
The best parenting advice I've been given is 'love life' -- a friend of my husband said this to him once. If you love life it will provide a good basis for everything else.
If I were to give advice to new mamas it would be don’t be pressured into anything when it comes to children. All children are different. You need to feel you are doing the right thing. Listen to advice by all means but don’t be told how you should bring up your own children."
You can follow Andrea's country life in France at Little Buckles and shop at her store, Petit Bonhomme Vintage on Etsy.