Parent24 chats to Cams
Real parent Cams shares her parenting experiences, and tickles our funny bones with "Tashisms".

Real parents have been chatting to Parent24 about their experiences, which range from side-splittingly funny to deeply moving. Why not find out more about these moms and dads, who are, very often, just like you.

Who is Cams?

Wannabe-Supermom and avid blogger, raising a Millennium Kid without a compass or map. Prone to embarrassing her Tween by singing in the car; afflicted with bouts of WMG [working-mother’s-guilt] & healthy doses of Mommy Pride. Tash is 12-years-old.

What have you enjoyed most about being a parent so far?

There are many things I haven’t quite mastered, even mothering is a work-in-progress, however, looking at my Kid I marvel how I got it so right.  She’s kind, loving and generous and I experience this every day in many ways.  She’s taught me so much about myself.  I often see my behaviour mirrored in her and I can see what I need to continue and what I need to change about myself. It’s humbling at times.  Other times it just freaks me out.

Are there any challenges you’ve found which have been particularly tough?

There have been many challenges in our journey together but if I had to choose one overriding one it would be Tough Love.  Is there anything tougher?  Having to say No because it’s the right thing to do.  Letting your Kidlet get into trouble at school because they didn’t pack a certain book, even though you could have gone home to fetch it? That.
Or rationalising with a 3 year old that they can’t eat sweets for dinner, or stay up with the grown ups even though it would be so easy to give in. (And I often have)

Or the correct posture nag “Sit up straight.” “Knees together.” “Pull your tummy in.”  Sometimes I wish I’d just recorded my mother so I could play her on repeat instead. 

A close second would be a sick kid, when not even mommy love can comfort them. That sucks.

What would you do over, if you had the chance?

I have no parenting regrets.  It’s not like Tash popped out with a manual showing me the way.  It’s been trial and error, lots of good days with a few down ones for good measure.  I think these ones help us to notice when the great ones come along.  If anything, I wish I had discovered blogging earlier.  Or at least written a journal when she was younger.  Writing about our everyday adventures not only allows me a chance to reflect, it’s also a wonderful memento I hope to give her one day.

Any tips you have for new parents, based on your own experiences?

Children are not textbooks and milestones are only a guide.  No one looks back at your life and says “You only walked at 12 months or talked at 15 months.”  Most kids get there in their own time.  Trust your instinct.
Let them be kids as long as possible, let them play.  Get them outdoors - a lot.  Get your hands dirty with them.  Draw chalk pictures on the driveway. Splash in puddles. Teach them life-skills.

Instead of telling them what behaviour you don’t want, tell them what you do want.  Label undesirable behaviour, not the child.  We are multi-facetted beings - school reports only show one aspect of your child – remember to celebrate the rest.
Tell them the truth. Age appropriately. Let them see your emotions.  How else will the learn how to handle their own? Be the kind of adult you want them to grow up to be. 

Tips for Moms

To me, being a Supermom is realising you can’t do it all. Seriously.  There’s that Proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  We need to remember that.  We need to take me-time out for ourselves without guilt.  It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to accept help. Build a support structure for yourself.

If laughter is all that’s keeping you sane, what makes you smile?

‘Tashisms’ – These are pearls of wisdom and wit and faux pas that my Kidlet pulls out the hat.  Whenever I remember one I try to write a blog post about it.  Some are too situational to even capture in words.  They keep me sane.   As does a well timed cup of tea or iced gin.  Not together of course.
One of my all time favourites:  Me: He's just a bit stressed and out of sorts.  Tash: Has he got his man-period?  And  "Mom I'm so cold I'm shivering on the inside."
Some of my other favourites:

Romeo, where for art thou Romeo?

Tahism: On periods

A classic: On break-ups

The Big "C"

30-second Tashism

How do you think your kids would describe you?

As Tash is 12 I thought I’d ask her to answer “How would you describe your mom?”
“She’s very creative. That’s the main thing. And she pushes me to do things but not enough that it makes me upset - just enough for me to try things I might not try or do things that need to be done.  She’s kind like every other mom but in her own special way. You know that series No Ordinary Family?  Well’s she no ordinary mom, undescribable (sic).  I love that she always helps me with my projects and takes an interest in what I do.  She loves me and is always there for me.”
I asked then, “What don’t you like?” and she replied, “She can be naggy (sic), no offense mom, but all moms are.”

What characterises a “good parent”, and would you call yourself one?

One that gets enough sleep.  I’m quite possessed without it.  With it I’m a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious parent! 
My wish for Tash: I want to raise a kind, resilient, independent, loving, happy and confident young woman so that she has an internal toolkit to help her when she embarks on her adult journey.
I like to think I’m on the right track, even though the path has had stumbling blocks along the way.  There is no map for this terrain, just my instinct.

Do you feel you have enough support?

I feel very blessed. I have an amazing mom and friends that support me emotionally not only in real life but in Blog Land and on Twitter.  I’m also very fortunate that my work has flexi hours within reason, which helps a ton! Financially its tough being a single mom, however, we always find a way to make it work.  I even get ‘Mom’s Night Off’ when Tash has a sleep out, then I reciprocate and have my friend’s kids over.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

Your craziest parenting moment? Why not share it with us?

Not sure if this is the craziest but it’s the most blush worthy recent event that I haven’t even had the courage to blog about yet….
We were packing for Tash’s annual school camp and I sent her to my room to collect her travel toothbrush from my toiletry bag.  She returned to her room where I was packing her bag, closed the door and kept her hands behind her back. Sheepishly she pulled out a pack of Government Issue condoms I’d got from some work HIV drive.
“Mom! “, she gushed, “What. Are. You. Doing. With. These?”
In my best matter-of-fact-voice:
Tash.  Every adult has to have condoms.”
“Why?!” she wanted to know. 
"For safe sex.” I managed, wanting to laugh and blush and gulp.
But Mom!  You’re 40!?”

And so my daughter learnt that night that even ‘older’ and ‘old’ people have sex.

“Even Granny?” 
"Yes darling, until her hip gives out.” 

Follow Cams on Twitter, or check out her blog, Honey Kids.

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