Time for another chat with a fellow Mammy, this time we pick the brain of blogger, author, and super mum of seven Jen Hogan!
Her debut book The Real Mum's Guide to Surviving Parenthood is on shelves in most good book shops now such as Eason, Dubray, Hodges Figgis, as well as Amazon and don’t forget to visit her blog Mama-Tude where you can find her musings on all things motherhood.
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1. As A Busy Mum of 7 How Did You Find Time To Sit Down And Write Your New Book, The Real Mum's Guide to (Surviving) Parenthood?
‘I think as a mum you learn to take advantage of any window of time opportunities that come your way! A lot can be achieved in ten minutes here and ten minutes there when the children are distracted. So even if it was just scribbling down a few ideas for the next chapter, I made sure to never miss an opportunity. Most of the book was actually written during the night to be honest, when the children were asleep - or at least the older six were. There were many nights that I sat up writing until the sun rose, having become so focused on what I was doing. And without constant interruptions from smallies, I didn't even notice time passing. It was hard work but I had a deadline and that helped me to keep focused on the task in hand. The fact that I care so much about the topic kept me motivated.’
2. If You Could Give New Mums Just One Piece Of Advice, What Would It Be?
‘It would be to trust your instincts and to respond to your baby's needs as feels natural to you. Feeding and sleeping schedules are not for new babies. Feed your baby on demand, even if sometimes that's only twenty mins after the last feed. Hold and cuddle your baby as often as you and your little one wants and needs - you cannot spoil a baby this way. And don't try to force a sleeping schedule on a young baby - babies are meant to wake frequently, and it really isn't forever.’
3. Having 7 Children Is A Little Rarer These Days, Did You Always Want A Big Family?
‘Yes I did actually - always. I come from a family of four, so not huge for my generation but I always knew that I wanted a large family, if I was lucky enough, of course, to be able. The funny thing is, I had never even held a baby until my daughter was born so I'm not sure why I was so certain that having lots of kids was for me. It's a LOT more work than I ever imagined and, contrary to what some people say, they definitely don't rear each other, but there aren't words to describe how lucky I feel. I joke that I must be a glutton for punishment but really I feel I have won the lotto - except on the days that they're killing each other, then I just want to drink a bottle of wine with a straw!’
4. If You Could Take Off Your Mummy Hat For An Entire Day And Just Be You Again, What Would You Do?
‘Mostly the things that I imagine the majority of us miss being able to freely do once kids come on the scene. A full night's sleep sounds like bliss as does a little bit of child-free retail therapy. Going out for dinner with my hubby and then going on somewhere with a group of friends that has dancing or karaoke. The sort of things that were easier to do B.C (before children)’
5. Finally Describe Motherhood In 5 Words.
Exhausting, exhilarating, emotional, educational, exceptional.