Well, we’re bang in the middle of the Olympics and we all love an awards ceremony right? So what a great time to talk about the Real Parenting Awards. For all of the parents out there who want to say a special thank you to a ‘champion’ or ‘superstar’ who has supported them, please read on…
You can never really prepare yourself for being a parent. Yes you can buy all of the latest kit and read lots of well-known baby bibles but NO-ONE including yourself will know what you will be like as a parent and what your baby will be like. You also don’t know how you will actually adapt to becoming a parent. It’s one of the most life-changing things and you learn so much about yourself when you become a mummy or daddy. Becoming a parent can also be extremely tough as well as exciting when you share the special moments with your new little one. Both men and women can suffer from baby blues or post-birth depression. Sometimes we need to get a helping hand if everything isn’t OK or going to plan. That’s why having support in many different forms and from different people in our lives is so important.
Looking back at our IVF journey and our first few years as parents, there are so many people I would love to nominate for the Real Parenting Awards. Of course, my closest family members have played a key supportive role in many ways. But sometimes it’s the brief moments of support from others around you that also stand out. Here are some moments of precious support I’ll always remember (you know who you are guys, so sending a huge Olympic-gold high-five!)
- My colleague who said “why can’t you be in the 10%” when we were told our IVF natural cycle could only have a 10% chance of working
- My NCT friend Samara (now back in Oz) who helped me with my toddler’s dinner time and bedtime most nights when I was at a critical stage of the IVF process
- The lovely midwife at the Royal Free Hospital who spent time with me in the middle of the night showing me how to feed my baby (when others on the ward didn’t make time to help me despite my request for advice).
- My friend Jo B who was my mummy mentor. She was always there to answer my silly questions about looking after a baby. She also loaned me heaps of baby kit when we though we were only able to have one little one.
- My sis-in-law Gem who came to visit with my mom-in-law from Devon at short notice in the early days of both babies arriving. She’s a fountain of knowledge when it comes to looking after kids and keeping them entertained!
- My new local mummy buddy Rose who was there for me during the baby blues last Summer and when my family was going through some tough times. Her listening skills are incredible! May be something to do with the fact she’s a teacher.
- The pharmacist Bina in my old neighbourhood who helped to arrange my IVF medicine to save me trekking to Kings Cross to collect my valuable injections!
- My yoga teacher Karina who also encouraged me to start a blog and gave me an excuse to get out to her weekly mummy-baby yoga classes (amidst dealing with the baby blues and juggling two little ones)
- My yoga teacher pal Sunnah who knew I was worried about lookingafter two little ones and enouraged me to just get out and about with both of the girls in tow.
The list is endless, I wish I could nominate them all! I only heard about these amazing awards a few days ago, so to be honest I need to have a good think about my official nominations over the next few days.
The Real Parenting Awards focus on celebrating all kinds of everyday people who support new mums and dads. This could be a relative, friend, neighbour, baby group leader or yoga teacher who did something you’ll always appreciate. You can also nominate a health visitor, health professional or midwife who really helped you with the any aspect of the diverse world of parenting.
The Real World Parenting Awards was launched in July and you have until 31 August 2016 to email your nominations to email@example.com. So, there’s still time to celebrate someone who provided some great support (however big or small).
The Real Parenting Awards team would love to hear your nominations for both or either of the below two categories:
- For health professionals, which has been created by the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology (PCSG). The health professional category will recognise the commitment, understanding and hard work of health professionals across the UK. It could be a health professional who helped you look after your baby on the maternity ward, a health visitor who supported you through the early newborn days or a GP or pharmacist who have always been there to provide helpful advice.
- For supportive family and friends (‘real people category’). This category celebrates the things we sometimes take for granted when our close ones are there for us during the unpredictable parenting journey. This can recognise the ad hoc or regular support people have provided us that we will never forget.
It’s fantastic that both awards are supported by PSCG and Infacol (I’m not sure what we would have done without the help of Infacol in the first few months of babydom). The winning health professional will receive an educational grant of £1000 from the PCSG to further their career or chosen area of research. There will also be a prize draw for the chance to win a short break at Knoll House, Britain’s original family friendly hotel (T&Cs apply to this prize).
One of the judges is Dr Hilary Jones (of GMTV fame!) As Dr-Hilary says, “Having a baby is a life changing experience and an incredible one, but it can be stressful…If you’re lucky enough to have a wonderful family around you, or great friends, it can make a huge difference.”
So over to you, as Real World Parenting Awards will be open to nominations from appreciative parents, colleagues or the individuals themselves. Everyone loves a thank you, a bit of recognition or a nomination for an award! Just mention their name (and workplace if nominating a health professional) and why you want to nominate them by sending a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations can just be a few lines or paragraphs! The most important thing is getting across how they helped you as a parent.
Entries will then be reviewed by the judges panel featuring PCSG Chair Dr. Richard Stevens, GP Dr. Hilary Jones and Native Media/Mumii online magazine founder and mum-of-three Jo Studholme.
I hope you manage to email off your nomination(s) soon. I’ll have my fingers crossed for your nominations too!
Information for this post was kindly sent to me by Satellite PR. The opinions expressed in this post about Infacol are my own and are not those of the above health professionals on the judging panel.
A little bit more info on the PCSG…
Founded in 1985, the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology has since provided consultations on gastroenterological subjects to bodies such as the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Royal College of Physicians, NICE and the RCGP so that policies and guidelines can be influenced by primary care. The mission of the PCSG is to promote primary care gastroenterology. The society believes that education, clinical excellence and research are essential, and the opportunities to contribute to health care immense.