Note from Naomi: Today's post is an interview with Filipa from Gourmet Mum about her experience of being a mum to three boys and an angel. This 36 year old mummy blogger lives at home with her husband and three sons. She has been blogging for about 6 years. Make sure you check out her blog over at Gourmet Mum.
Have you always wanted to be a mom?
How many children do you have and how old are they?
Joshua is 7, Daniel is 5 and Isaac is 6 months old.
We also had a little girl two years ago, Annaliesa, who was sadly stillborn.
Did you always want a big family? If so, why?
My husband Rich and I always knew that we wanted three.
Not sure why, I think two just didn't feel enough but four seems a step too far!
Have you found that you parenting style has changed with each child?
Yes for sure. I have become more relaxed and more confident with each child.
With Joshua I did everything 'by the book' so to speak. I was definitely more chilled out with Daniel, and with Isaac I've learned to really trust my instincts.
You have three boys, has that made it easier each time as you 'know what you're doing'?
For sure - I'm used to boys!
I have friends with girls and they get changed three times a day! That doesn't happen in our house. Everything becomes a weapon instead.
Is your husband hands on or do you do most of the parenting?
Rich is very hands on - he's such an amazing dad!
He works long hours but if he's back before bath time he'll just take off his jacket and put the kids in the bath. If he's not travelling with work, he always puts the big boys to bed, reading them stories and taking time to lie with each of them before they go to sleep asking them questions about their day.
No matter how busy the weekends are he will always make time to take the boys out on their bikes or scooters for a couple of hours. He is such a devoted father.
Did you / are you find/ing that the development of your second and third sons has been quicker than your first as they watch their older brother(s)?
I have found that every child is so different.
Joshua walked at 10 months, but Daniel was 14 months despite having an older brother. However, Isaac is almost sitting unaided at 6 months, far earlier than his big brothers.
I think having siblings can influence development but at the end of the day they will hit those milestones when they are ready.
I have found it difficult at times to get out of the house, and I only have one child! Do you still manage to have a life outside of parenting?
Believe it or not I'm more punctual and organised with three than I was with one!
I think your capacity grows with each child - plus you get your priorities straight, which frees up time. You learn to do what's important rather than what's urgent.
My life is really my family, but it's great to have some time out with friends. I also have my food blog, which is a combined hobby and job.
How does having more than one child affect your relationship with your husband?
Rich and I have been married for 12 years this year and we have a great relationship - I actually think its better than ever.
We have been through so much together - good times and tough times. We make a choice to enjoy our lives and enjoy each day, because each day is precious.
We are busier than we ever have been before but we are happier than we ever have been before because we truly know what is important. We have learned to be patient with one another and do everything you can to help one another; and listen to each other!
What do you think of when you hear the term, 'natural parenting'?
Erm... that makes me think of hessian! Doing things 'naturally' I guess? While wearing hessian?! That would be itchy...
Do you use cloth or disposable nappies, and why?
Disposable all the way. I admire 'cloth bum mums' but I just can't go there. Are they made of hessian?
Do you baby wear with Isaac, and did you with your older boys?
I only just learned what 'baby wear' means recently!
I didn't with my older two as I didn't have a good enough sling. I put Isaac in the sling all the time when I take the boys to the park or on their scooters.
My sister let me borrow her 'Kari Me' sling which is brilliant. So comfy for Isaac and for me.
Do you co-sleep / bed share with Isaac, and did you with your older boys?
My mum bought this wonderful thing called a 'Sleepyhead' for Isaac, which is a bit like a dingy for the baby to sleep in. It meant we could co-sleep without the risk of rolling on him.
I have to say though - the health visitor did not approve of it!
I love it though!
He was in our room until six months, and he now sleeps in the sleepyhead inside his cot. He loves it too.
I used a moses basket with the older two. No sleepyheads in those days!
I know my girl loves to join us in bed in the morning, or if she wakes up due to illness or nightmares at night, do you have the same? If so, does it bother you?
The two older boys are always in our bed for one reason or another! They are getting quite big now - and there's not much space - so one of us will go sleep in the bunk bed.
I don't mind them coming in our bed, I think it's more important they feel loved and secure at this stage.
I would like more sleep though at some point...
Do you breast or formula feed?
I breastfed them all. I was really lucky it worked out.
What age did you wean each of your boys?
Joshua was 5 months - he was enormous and super hungry. Daniel and Isaac were 6 months.
Did you baby-led wean, or use purées and other baby foods?
I did cubes of puree for Joshua - that was 7 years ago and baby-led weaning was a relatively new so I didn't try it.
I also weaned Daniel with purees.
Isaac is having a mixture of purees and baby-led. I'm much more relaxed, just giving him bits of what I have as well as his dinner. I just use pouches when I'm out and about!
Was is easier to wean your second and third sons as they saw their older brother(s) eating solid foods?
Absolutely not! Joshua was a dream to wean - he loves his food!
Daniel was super fussy with food and weaning him onto solids was a nightmare.
I have found that Isaac eats better when he's watching his brothers though, so I try to feed them altogether at the table.
What's the strangest piece of advice you were ever given before becoming a mum?
Use a toothbrush on your nipples to toughen them up ready for breastfeeding.
What's your favourite thing about being a mum?
The funny things that the kids say and do just makes life so brilliant.
Daniel picked up some cress at the super market yesterday and said, "Oh look mummy, it's so beautiful!" as if he was admiring some flowers.
Joshua asks questions all the time like, "How many grains of sand are in the whole world?"
Isaac laughs his little head off at his big brothers being crazy all around him. This stuff is just priceless.
Would you change anything about how you have chosen to parent?
Just to avoid stress.
It's so much more important to be relaxed and enjoy your kids instead of trying to do things perfectly all the time. If that means they eat ready made food and skip baths from time to time so be it.
They won't remember the homemade chickpea risotto, they will remember their mum doing a puzzle with them.
Would you like any more children?
No - unless God has other plans for me!
Would you do anything differently next time?
Not each so much McDonalds while pregnant! It's a nightmare trying to shift it afterwards!