Louise Pentland is not one to shy away from being open and honest about the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
Finding internet fame through her parenting Youtube channel, she has an impressive audience of 8 million viewers, who watch as she captures her daily life as a mother to her two daughters, Darcy and Pearl.
The Sunday Times bestselling author chats to Female First about the struggles of single parenting and how her blended family has made her the happiest she’s been.
You share your life on social media, and you are very authentic with your followers – why do you think this works so well?
Some people use social media for information, some entertainment, and some company (that’s what I use it for!). I love having conversations with my audience. They message me and it feels more of a conversation than standing on my soap box and I love that.
The last two years have been a roller coaster for most families with Covid-19 – how have you found parenting in a pandemic?
Parenting in a pandemic is something I never thought I’d have to do. It’s been a rollercoaster indeed! I call it the roller-corona of highs and lows. I’ve really enjoyed the extra time I’ve spent with my daughters (Darcy and Pearl), especially Darcy who I have split custody of. I’ve had more time with her than I ever thought I would.
The pandemic has taught me that I rely heavily on outside activities like soft play and playgrounds. It’s forced me to dig deep and find activities to keep morale high. It’s also given me a renewed appreciation of teachers and people who work in the childcare industry. They are heroes!
Have you ever questioned or doubted sharing elements of your life to the public?
I don’t doubt or question anything anymore because I’ve been doing this for such a long time that I’m comfortable with what my boundaries and limits are. I do think you have to have an element of private life and public life for your own wellbeing and for everyone else around you. I think it’s important to be sensitive to what your audience wants to see too. Something for example that you might think is interesting or funny, they might not. Always put your audience first.
You shared an honest account of your time as a single mother – how did you find solo parenting?
To be blunt, I found solo parenting hard. I tip my cap to all single parents. It can be very lonely and exhausting, however, if you dig deep, you find the strength to do it. You learn a lot about yourself and develop a strong bond with your children. I now appreciate family life more than I ever did.
Did you find it difficult to date having a child? And what advice would you give to single parents who are wanting to get back on the dating scene?
I found it quite intimidating dating as a single parent. I wasn’t looking at somebody thinking ‘would they be a nice partner?’, I was thinking ‘would I be comfortable having you around my child at some point?’ and that has a deeper layer.
In terms of getting back out there, organization is key! I would only book in a date when I knew I wasn’t looking after Darcy. Also, have a bit of faith in yourself! When you become a mum, you often lose some of your personality and sparkle because you’re pouring so much into your child. Now is your chance to put yourself out there and have fun!
You talk with your followers about being in a blended family – do you have any advice for parents who may be struggling to deal with their own blended family?
I come from a blended family and now live in a blended family. To me, this is the norm! My biggest piece of advice is patience and time. You can’t rush love, children or relationships so however long you think something is going to take for everything to settle down, times it by about five! Be consistent with whatever it is you’re doing and give it plenty of time to slot in naturally rather than forcing something.
You openly talk about mum guilt – why do you think us mums are so tough on ourselves?
Mum guilt is terrible, I feel it every single day! We feel it because we love so hard, and it is almost a currency of our love. We want the best for our children and to give them everything we possibly can. That little guilty voice in your head kicks in and whispers to you, ‘you’re not doing enough’ but chances are, if you’re feeling guilty, it’s because you love them so much!
You have an impressive array of books to your name – where does your inspiration come from for each novel?
My inspiration for all my books comes from an element of things I have experienced or would like to experience. ‘Mum Life’ is completely based on my own life, but the Wilde series have a lot of similarities to me, a single mum for example. My new book (which is out this summer) has a lot of mother daughter relationships but not in the way you would expect.
What does the future hold for you and your family?
I don’t know but I very much hope the future is bright. If we could stay as we are right now then I would be thrilled, we are so happy. Darcy loves dance so I hope she goes as far as she wants to with that. Pearl is a little gem too! I would like to see my career continue and merge into TV, we will see!
Written by Laura, who you can collect on Twitter, LauraJadeC20
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by Laura Cummins for www.femalefirst.co.uk