We all enter parenthood without a manual, and no matter how many parenting books we read while expecting, nothing truly prepares us for the onslaught of real life parenting once our little ones arrive. Most of us can admit to having had preconceived notions on what kind of parents we will be before we have kids – how our kids will behave, what food we’ll feed them, how much screen time they will be allowed, whether we will breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or sleep train…and yet it’s only when we are in the thick of real life parenting that we realise how unrealistic our ideas of parenting really were.
I can still clearly remember an evening when my husband and I, newly engaged and yet to have kids, were having dinner out in a restaurant with some friends who had a 2.5 year old – their little one couldn’t sit still, was noisy, clambering on and off his seat and under the table in between bites of food. I remember thinking that I would never allow MY future child to do that and scoffed silently when the dad said “ah he’s such a boy” and that he didn’t believe in raising his voice to children. Looking back, I can now see that this little one was in fact being extremely well behaved for a boy of his age and that his parents were doing an amazing job taking him out with them, staying calm and collected throughout the entire meal.
I thought that by reading a ton of parenting books I’d be more than prepared for parenthood.
I read SO many books while I was pregnant. I thought my kids wouldn’t watch any screens until they were 3, that breastfeeding would be a breeze and that I’d sleep when the baby slept. I thought I had it all nailed. Then I had a baby who woke up every 45 mins. Every single night, all night long. Breastfeeding took months to establish and I’d never imagined how painful it would be! I had a group of friends with babies of the same age, and we were all floundering in this new world, relying on each other for support. I remember scouring the internet about sleep regressions and sleep training whilst being incredibly sleep deprived myself – there was SO MUCH information and parenting advice out there, but it was hard to take it all in or know which article to read, or which expert to listen to.
Now as my kids grow older, new challenges and transitions surface.
My eldest is 7 and the online searches revolve around topics like how to help him learn gratitude or dealing with bullies and screen time. Whilst my youngest who is 4 has had me do many searches on trying to be a calm parent and dealing with meltdowns! Most nights I end up going to bed way too late, endlessly scrolling on my phone and reading parenting advice when I’m supposed to be having me-time…something I’m sure many mums would relate to!
As time poor Mums, we could all benefit from a quick and easy way to access up to date expert parenting advice and information.
I recently connected with Sam Jockel, mum of three and founder of ParentTV, a new and exciting online platform for parents. As someone who is passionate about helping mums navigate the early years of motherhood, I’m always thrilled to link up with others who are wanting to do the same thing, especially other mums! Sam has spent years running huge parenting communities such as School Mum and she saw a real need from her followers for expert information on a wide range of parenting topics – her main inspiration behind creating ParentTV.
I’ve been trying out ParentTV this past month and I am super excited to share it with you! In a nutshell, it’s a subscription based online platform where parents can access expert parenting advice delivered via video streams from parenting experts that is up to date, relevant and researched based, on a wide range of topics. And the best bit is that you can personalise the content to your own family! All the content comes in quick, easy to digest videos, eliminating the need to endlessly search articles for the most up to date information.
Using ParentTV – expert parenting advice at your fingertips!
The first thing I had to do was set up my profile for my family, including all the areas of information I was interested in, how old my kids were and their gender, which was super easy to set up. Now when I log in, all the videos are curated to my profile, and I can click on icons for each of my kids to view video content that is relevant to their own age and profile. There are also courses I can access (again delivered in bite sized videos) and an area where I can submit my own questions to the ParentTV expert panel. I also LOVE that there are no ads to skip or sit through when viewing the videos! There are over 300 videos currently on the platform and more being added all the time. The team of experts at Parent TV include paediatricians, dieticians, psychologists, counsellors, therapists and consultants including Maggie Dent, Dr Justin Coulson, Pinky McKay, Dr Vanessa Lapointe and Dr Kaylene Henderson to name but a few.
ParentTV – Our verdict
I think what I love most about this platform is how it brings so much information into one place and delivers it in just the right format. As parents, we are all stretched for time, so being able to get relevant, accurate and to the point content in quick 2-5 minute videos is just brilliant. I love that technology now allows us to access such incredible experts and advice in the comfort of our own homes, and without having to spend a fortune. You might be wondering how much ParentTV costs, and I can tell you that it is way less than you are probably imagining. Sam is passionate about sharing this platform and the wonderful content it contains with as many parents as possible and has a limited offer of only $29 for a yearly membership – that’s less than the cost of one coffee per month!
There’s no need to go it alone.
So, whilst becoming a parent doesn’t come with a how-to-manual, at least living in this day and age of technology we are lucky enough as parents to be able to access websites and online support groups to help us navigate our way through the crazy journey that is parenthood. Whether you’re up late at night searching for answers on what to feed your picky toddler, how to keep your tween safe online or how much sleep your baby needs, I’d encourage you to give new platforms like ParentTV a try. We don’t need to go on this journey alone, and we can get the help and information we need on our own couch, with a cuppa or glass of wine in hand too! You can’t get much better than that.
Catherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.