This is my first blog post as a new mum and I can honestly say that it has changed my life!  I expected my day-to-day routines to change significantly (as well as my priorities) however my whole world has literally been turned upside down with the arrival of our first son, Thomas. Things that used to be very important are suddenly easily forgotten and my husband and I can spend hours just cooing and cuddling our little man.

With the arrival of Tom it has really made me challenge my priorities as well as what I value in life. It has also made me take a long hard look in the mirror and think about the important qualities that I want to foster and/or pass on to Tom. The topic for this month’s blog post is ‘Creative Families’ and for me this rings particularly true as I believe fostering creativity is such an important part of child development.

When I began thinking of this topic I thought to myself “what the heck am I going to write – I’m not even creative!”  However, when I take some time to think about it, I realise that I have always been quite a creative person – but not necessarily in what might be considered ‘creative’ in the traditional sense.

I was brought up in a family with a father who loves music and who taught me to play the guitar and sing (although I must admit that I am not really a song bird… or a budding Santana!). However, to this day I sing at the top of my voice while driving in our car and my husband and I constantly make up little songs or lyrics that we sing to Tom (and before him, to our cats).  The Au Pair Link team will tell you that I am the first person to break out into song in the office and even do a little dance – I even introduced ABBA Friday (which I think hasn’t been maintained while I have been on maternity leave).

Another creative passion that I have is cooking. My mum and dad were excellent cooks and fostered a love of food and cooking in me. I remember being as young as 8 or 9 and dashing home from school to cook dinner for our family – admittedly it was tomato soup for the 5th time that week (as that was the only thing I knew how to cook) but almost 20 years on I still have a real passion and love for food (I’ve even moved on from tomato soup). It is my favourite way to wind down after a busy day and each night I look forward to having a relaxing meal with my husband (Tom is usually fed and dozing off by the time we eat!).

I think parents sometimes think of creativity within strict parameters and in particular focus on arts and crafts – but there are so many different ways of fostering your child’s creativity and to teach them about the key things that you loved as a child. I think that the key to fostering creativity is teaching your child about something that you love to do which doesn’t only make it fun for your child – but for you too (rather than drawing a dinosaur for the 100th time – not saying that’s a bad thing)!  It is really about engaging their mind and inspiring a ‘sense of creativity’ – which can often lead to some amazing strides in their development!

For me, there is no doubt that I am going to foster a love of cooking with Tom. I want him to grow up to be a healthy man who can look after himself and through giving him the tools to learn how to cook – I am not only challenging him to be creative but also giving him an excellent skill. James and I will also continue singing to him and being silly around our home – I can’t wait for the day when he says ‘mum your embarrassing me’!

Well, I’d better get back to our gorgeous boy – isn’t it funny how you look forward to putting them down for a nap to get some time to do the chores but as soon as you do – you just want to pick them back up and cuddle them again!

See you all next month,

Cecilia

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Cecilia Robinson, founder of My Food Bag, and Au Pair Link, is one of New Zealand's most successful female CEOs. Cecilia's business awards include: 'Her Business Best New Business award' in 2009, 'Businesswoman of the Year 2012’, ‘Best SME 2012’ and 'Supreme Winner of the Woman of Influence Programme' in 2017.

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Nat C-W

Great blog Cecilia! So true about a massive shift on what you deem ‘important’ when bubba arrives. Look forward to reading more!

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