Cherish time with young children

Selfies are often the only way mums can get themselves in the photo. Debbie pictured here with Laura (7) left, and Grace (10). Photos: Supplied
Selfies are often the only way mums can get themselves in the photo. Debbie pictured here with Laura (7) left, and Grace (10). Photos: Supplied
Each issue Southern Rural Life catches up with a local mum to find out what it means to bring kids up the ‘‘Southern way’’.

Debbie Paterson

Family: James (husband), Grace
(10) and Laura (7).

Lives: Gimmerburn, Ranfurly on a sheep and beef farm.

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Q My most memorable moment when I first became a mum:

Was having those precious newborn snuggles and seeing my girls smile or giggle for the first time. It just lights you up.

Q Something we like to do together as a family:

Go tiki-touring and exploring new places or just relaxing together watching a movie.

Q Children do/say the darndest things:

Going back a few years to when Frozen was the most popular kids' movie out. It was a favourite in this house. Grace was on the toilet singing ''Let it Go ....

I was talking on the phone early one morning during pre-lamb shearing ... I couldn't find Laura . . . [then] here she is running down the drive heading to the sheepyards in her pink pyjamas, wee blond pigtails and wee red band gumboots. I caught up with her and asked her what she was doing? ''Going to the Shee-ards!'' ''But you're in your pyjamas!'' This seemed quite a surprise to her. It was very muddy at the time also. It was very cute and I do have a video of this.

The Paterson family enjoy exploring new places, watching movies together and the odd homemade...
The Paterson family enjoy exploring new places, watching movies together and the odd homemade pizza.
Q A favourite meal in our house is:

Homemade pizza.

Q A name I loved but didn't use was:

Fraser.

Q My husband is a great dad because:

He is funny and makes the girls laugh. James takes the time to take them out on the farm and teaches them all sorts. What has been precious is him reading to the girls every night since they were babies.

Q I find it hardest being a parent:

When I'm tired or sick!

Q When I get time to myself:

I love to read!

Q A great parenting tip I have learnt:

Just do what is right for you and your kids - you know your kids best. Take on board advice given and store it up.

Oh, and one other is that it takes three days to break the habit ... i.e. bad sleeping. This actually worked for us; it was tough but it definitely helped after three years of battling!

Q I used to say, when I have kids I will never:

Lick my finger and wipe their face!

Another one I will never make them do is eat food they really don't like! I just hated liver and Brussels sprouts!

Q My advice for a new mum:

Treasure those early years, make the most of those baby snuggles. Take the time to just be with your baby. They are only little for a short time. Those jobs can wait. Just do what's really important.

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