We chatted to Jessica about what parenting and the environment mean to her and her family. Her honesty is so brave and bold, and it’s good for other parents to not feel alone in their struggles!
Here is what she had to say:
My name is Jessica Stokes, and I live In Margate, Kent with my fiancée Luke and my beautiful 10-month-old boy Jack. We live in a lovely little house right by the sea and enjoy going to the beach and taking our Cockapoo, Rory, on long walks. Jack is currently teething (we have two bottom ones) and going through the weaning journey which I am enjoying. Me and Luke have been together 9 years (we are both 27) and plan to get married in the summer of 2020. Maybe another little one by then as well!
I think the hardest thing about being a parent is sleep deprivation. Jack really has never slept well at all! His normal routine is bottle, bath and bed by 8 o’clock which we have stuck to since day 5, but he is still up three or four times in the night. I also suffer with anxiety, and since Jack has come along my worry levels have gone through the roof! I have started taking Jack to baby yoga which is helping me relax and I’m hoping eventually it will help Jack with sleep. However, I love the way Jack looks at me. I love watching him grow everyday into an amazing little person. I feel I have a real purpose in helping him grow, and shaping his future.
Luke and I are trying to bring Jack up to think about the environment and how certain actions will have certain impacts. This is when parenting and the environment are interlocked. I worry about the impact of social media on our children and I also worry massively about the environment, and what our generation is currently doing to the planet. I find a lot of eco-friendly products can be very expensive, but we do our best where we can. We recycle regularly, give old clothes to clothes banks, use bamboo toothbrushes, cloth nappies, and we even have a milkman to cut down on our plastic! I think reusable nappies are amazing but there is not enough information out there about them to sway new parents to use them.
Is there a safe space for parents to talk openly and honestly on the internet?
I would say no. A lot of forums can either become overwhelmed with ‘mummy warriors’ or with perfect mums who can do no wrong. In general, I would say the internet makes you feel nothing but bad and like you’re failing at certain things.
Do you think there is enough emotional support for parents in the UK?
I would say yes. In the first two weeks of Jacks life I really struggled emotionally to adjust to becoming a parent. I had a shoulder to cry on in my lovely midwife, and my GP gave me some amazing advice. I think help is readily available to new mums, just don’t be afraid to ask!
If you had a parent superpower what would it be and why?
To be able to click my fingers, a clean house, all my work done, and a healthy happy baby all in one go.
My top tips for parenting?
- Sleep when baby sleeps! I know its cliché but if your baby is not sleeping through the night catch all the sleep you can!
- Try and spend lots of time outside, go for walks or to your local park, it’s good for baby and for mum too.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! You are the most important person in the world to your baby and you’re doing great!
Follow The Conscious Parent on Instagram! Jessica’s Instagram handle is @jessica.and.jack
How do you find parenting and the environment? The world is changing fast! We would love to hear from you. Contact us with your story.