Today I welcome Jo Macdonald of The Red Box Company to share her parenting insights. You can read more about Jo and the amazing work she is doing with women and girls at the end of this post!
Tell us a little about your family:
I’m married to a gorgeous Kiwi who I first met when I was 17 and we were both living in Hong Kong. We have 1 lovely son who is about to turn 13 and 2 beautiful girls aged 10 & 6. The final members of our family are a crazy Springer Spaniel called Milo and a fish called Douglas!
Describe as best you can what kind of parenting style you use:
I like to think I keep the balance between telling my kids what to do and letting them figure things out on their own as I think it’s important to let them learn from their mistakes as much as possible. However, my son has just read that over my shoulder and said ‘mum, seriously, you’re way bossier than that!’ so maybe the balance is not quite right yet!!! All 3 kids agree that I use a lot of humour, laugh a lot and am very in touch with my inner child which I think is a good thing!
What do you see your role is as a parent?
To enable them to fulfill their dreams and potential, become independent capable people who can bring more beauty into the world, and to help them become a caring, supportive husband/wife/parent in the future.
What has been the most difficult part of parenting for you and what helped you through this?
Probably the most difficult thing was when my eldest daughter was 18 months old and was rushed to hospital with epiglotitus & croup whilst we were in Australia. When the doctor told us to prepare ourselves for the fact that she may die the feeling of helplessness was unbearable, realising that even as a parent you can’t solve or fix everything is very frightening. Luckily the doctors were amazing and thanks to my mother-in-law who flew in from NZ to help care for my son, and the support of friends, family and each other, we made it through a horrible time. What we learnt though was to make the most of everyday, to never take anyone or anything for granted and to tell your children you love them every single day.
What has been the most rewarding part of parenting?
So many things! Learning how to love unconditionally, seeing them grow into beautiful young people who care for others, seeing the world through their eyes and wanting to be the best person I can be so that they are as proud of me as I am of them are just some of the rewards.
Twenty years from now, looking back at yourself as a younger parent, what helpful message would you share with yourself?
What might you say to other parents?
Don’t try to be perfect just do your best, parenting is not a competition. Be as willing to forgive yourself as you are to forgive others – children forgive an awful lot if they know you really love them. Never forget that a hug and a mug of hot chocolate can cure everything from a bumped knee to a broken heart!
In her own words…
I’m a mother, creator, writer, blogger, women’s circle leader and menstruation coach with a huge weakness for books, peppermint tea and chocolate (preferably enjoying all three together whilst curled up in front of a log fire). I don’t believe in perfectionism, making life complicated or meditating for hours in a cave by myself (although there are days when this does sound appealing!). I am not a saint or a guru but have a very real life with a husband, 3 kids, and a crazy dog and I absolutely love it – 99% of the time! I think women are amazing, I think you are amazing, and I think we can all learn to live our best lives by embracing our menstrual cycle and remembering to slow down, breathe and simplify.
As well as working with women I am the creative director and founder of The Red Box Company which aims to make periods, and puberty, something for girls to celebrate through education, workshops and my first Period celebration Red Boxes.
Here’s where you can find Jo:
Editors note: Check out Jo’s parent pages where she has a wonderful FREE e-book ‘7 tips for Talking to your Daughter about Periods and Puberty’
If you like this post and think other parents would benefit from hearing different parenting voices please use the share buttons below! Be sure to join us next Thursday for another inspiring glimpse into parenting on the Listen to the Beat Within Guest Parenting Series!