Fearne Cotton opens up about the problems with parenting advice and maternal mental health.
In our eyes, Fearne Cotton is up there with the likes of Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé, and the velour tracksuit-clad mum off of Mean Girls when it comes to being a cool mom. We’re (half) joking, but there’s no denying she’s a bit of a mega babe. A TV presenter, radio DJ, author and podcast extraordinaire, Fearne’s also recently designed a new kids clothing range promoting positivity and kindness. Didn’t we tell you she was pretty darn cool?
Ahead of the launch of her latest Boots Mini Club collaboration, we caught up with Fearne to chat all things kids, family, and life at home.
Speaking candidly about maternal mental health and the realities of parenting, mum-of-two Fearne revealed why she’s boycotting the parenting experts.
Fearne Cotton on Parenting
“Parenting is a very bespoke practice,” Fearne told Baby. “It shouldn’t be judged upon, it shouldn’t be something to pick on, or for other people to worry about.”
She added: “We’re all so different and that has to be absolutely respected, no matter who you are.”
Fearne – who is mum to 6-year-old Rex and Honey, 3 – went on to explain why she doesn’t subscribe to the idea of following perfect parenting guidelines.
“I don’t think it’s valuable,” she revealed.
“Everything I’ve learned has been stuff that I’ve experienced. We can’t underestimate our intuition and shouldn’t be bullied into things.
“Every kid is different, every parent is different, and I just feel there’s too much pressure on you to be doing this sleeping technique, or this weaning technique. Many of our parents didn’t give it a second thought. This whole over-though out parenting thing is quite new.”
Opening up about her own experience as a parent to young children, Fearne admitted she’s still learning the hard way.
“I still f*** up all the time. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done
“I’ll do the wrong thing, sometimes I shout and I wish I hadn’t. We beat ourselves up sometimes and we shouldn’t. I think we just have to be kinder to ourselves. We do our best, we’re all knackered, we all strung out and spread too thinly, but we’re trying.”
However, Fearne did go on to reveal the one parenting tip she does like follow, courtesy of psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry.
“Less advice and more a notion to grab hold of in life, the one thing I really listened to was [the idea of] validating your children’s feelings.”
Fearne admits she noticed a great change in her own children after heading this advice.
“Rather than saying ‘calm down and stop being ridiculous’, recognise their feelings and be like, ‘I can see that you’re really upset.’ [I saw] just how much quicker they get out of that state, because they’re being heard. And that is something that has really been valuable in how I parent.”
Fearne Cotton on Maternal Mental Health
When it comes to maternal mental health and the pressures of parenting, founder of the Happy Place podcast Fearne had some wise words for new mums.
“We make assumptions from social media, and that shows just a millimeter of the truth.
“Stop comparing yourself to anyone else, you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.”
She continued: “Everyone has problems with their kids. Every child acts up at some point, every kid has problems getting to sleep. Any parent who says their kids don’t, they are lying.
“We all have to remember that, I get drawn into it sometimes too.
“Just go with what feels right for you, it’s the healthiest thing for you and your mind.”
Fearne by Fearne Cotton Boots Mini Club Collection
Speaking to Fearne about life at home with her kids, we also delved into the very important message behind her collaboration with Boots Mini Club.
Inspired by her children’s love of the sea and the new collection pays homage to the ocean and spreads an important message.
“I’ve been working with Boots for the last couple of years now, and I’ve done various collections with them. But I think this one has the strongest theme we’ve focused on so far,” Fearne explained.
“It’s all about, looking after the ocean and being aware of sea creatures and recycling and I think that this generation is going to be much more on it than we ever were.”
Opening up about the importance of spreading a message of consciousness and being kind to the environment (and each other), Fearn stated: “I don’t think it has to be shoved down their throats every minute of every day.”
She added: “But I do I think, even without our generation’s help, the younger generations just weirdly knows there’s a shift in consciousness.
“Whether it’s games you create or even just the way you talk about things around your house, it’s all about just talk to them about this stuff, like you would to other adults, so they have that understanding and knowledge.”
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