MAKAWA MAKANDA It strengthens you, if you let it.

AGE   29

HOMETOWN   Hertfordshire, UK

@TWITTER   @mamalubs

ON THE WEB   Mamalubs.blogspot.com

NUMBER OF CHILDREN   Two

DAY JOB   Retail Manager (currently on maternity leave)

RELATIONSHIP STATUS   Engaged

FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK   We have two firm favourites. The Gruffalo is a classic book for children and adults and was my oldest child’s favourite bedtime tale for a long while (he knew it off by heart at 2yrs old). Dogger is also a favourite in our household as Mum and Dad both had this story read to them when they were little, many moons ago.

HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?

Working and childcare is difficult to balance. Working would be an impossibility if it were not for the help of our families who have often looked after our eldest son whilst I was working. Going forward I am hoping to start working from home, as childcare for two young children is prohibitively expensive in the UK. I don’t feel it would be financially viable to return to my old job.

HOW HAS PARENTING CHANGED YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

Parenting has made me question my beliefs and myself. It strengthens you, if you let it, and changes your outlook on life and other people like nothing else can. I believe for a woman it also knocks your self-confidence as your focus is shifted from you to another being and that takes some getting used to.

WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AS A PARENT AND WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?

I think I am fair and firm. I hope I allow my children to become their own person but teach them manners and respect. My weaknesses occur if I don’t get a lot of sleep, I get very ratty and snappy, which is why two kids is my max!

WHAT ARE YOUR PARTNER’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?

My partner is a sensitive and loving father and he goes above and beyond for his children, he would do anything for them. Sometimes his advice, for example ‘its ok to hit them if they hit you first’, is a little dodgy.

WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?

My eldest goes to a state nursery 15hrs a week and my parents have him one night a week most weeks.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?

In terms of my lowest ebb, I would say it was when my youngest was around 4mths old. He was sleeping very badly and this impacted my eldest child because I had no energy in the day and couldn’t commit to the busy schedule we had pre-second baby. I felt like a bad Mum and I felt emotionally spent, it made me question myself on a different level. I was very hard on myself, thinking I would never juggle two kids successfully. Now, I’m sleeping more and I realize I was unnecessarily tough on myself and I need to lighten up.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?

When my first child told me he loved me. I burst into tears, it was magical.

Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan is the Founder and CEO of The Modern Village, and publisher of TheParentduJour.com and TheMotherHoodBlog.com.

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