Dr Preeya’s refreshing professional take on parenting has captured Australian audiences. She tells it like it is, and isn’t afraid to! Her blog and Instagram account @thewholesomedoctor gives parenting, medical and life advice. She shared some parenting insights for her journey thus far with Joolz.
Please give us a few sentences about yourself.
I’m a mother to a delicious, occasionally testing toddler. I’m also a GP. I love being both of these things and like a lot of parents find it tricky getting the balance right. My husband, daughter and I live in Melbourne and spend our time between the city and a family farm on the Mornington Peninsula. I love my vegetable patch and cooking with things from it (you’ll often hear me telling my husband and toddler that the spinach, parsley and spring onion in the meal are from the garden – just a tiny bit proud!). I also love seeing people enjoy meals I’ve cooked, particularly my toddler. I’m a chardonnay and shiraz lover (preferably paired with a cheese and salami plate!). One of my favourite “me time” moments is going for a long walk on my own with my headphones blaring some old school tunes
When did you become a parent? Tell us a little bit about your bub/s.
Nearly 2.5 years ago! Our daughter is wonderful (do I sound like a completely biased parent yet?) – she is an interesting mix of Will and I and every day I’m shocked when I see little parts of her personality develop. She is articulate and already has epic negotiation skills. She can play by herself, she has an amazing degree of empathy for a toddler, she can give one hell of a hug and also has a dramatic flair that she puts to great use in her tantrums.
What has been the best thing about having children?
It’s tough to pick one! But these are the BEST things:
- Seeing spontaneous happiness in our daughter – when she starts singing, dancing, giggling spontaneously it’s literally the best thing -it’s proof that our little family’s love is rubbing off on her, that she’s content.
- Seeing my husband as a father. There’s something very special about seeing your partner become a parent I think. I’ve loved watching their bond grow.
- Watching your child grow, develop and learn. I can’t think of anything better than seeing our daughter learn that a hug can make someone feel better, that watering a plant will help it grow. It’s amazing watching them develop in front of your eyes!
What is your favourite thing about your Joolz?
It’s sturdiness and the basket size! Didn’t have to think about that one. We recently borrowed another family’s pram when we travelled and we definitely noticed how much more solid the Joolz is in the handle. The basket size is perhaps the best feature though – I can go to the markets and not have to worry about an extra trolley! We also love the additional sun hood– perfect for sun safety in summer; being 2 doctors who deal with skin cancers my husband and I are passionate about skin cancer prevention!
What has changed since you became a parent?
Lots of things! I don’t think anything quite prepares you for the amount of planning you need to get out of the house with a child. Have you packed enough snacks to feed an army? Have you got wipes/nappies/a book/a spare pair of clothes? Have you factored in nap time? Have you got a drink bottle? The amount of preparation required to travel or even leave the house for errands is next level – that’s a big change I’ve noticed since becoming a parent.
I think my degree of patience has changed since becoming a parent. I’m a type A personality – I like order, predictability, I like to tick boxes and get jobs done. Basically, I’ve had to completely let go as a parent, and it’s been quite liberating. I often say the mantra “what’s the worst that can happen?” when things don’t go to plan, we miss a swimming class or we’re late to something – I’ve quite enjoyed the self-discovery and learning to let go– I use the word “enjoy” lightly – I think it’s taken me 2 years to get to this point but I’m here!
Do you have a favourite park/ secret spot / walk you go on with bub in your Joolz?
We have several! We have 4 favourite walks and parks from our house and my daughter will often choose where we are off to! I love that the Joolz facilitates so much outdoor active time for both me and my daughter! A comfortable solid pram makes exercising and keeping active easy for me!
What has been the biggest challenge since becoming a parent?
Definitely the answer above – learning to let go and be patient! The greatest challenge has been learning that I do not have complete control – ever – and that’s OK. You can help your child eat their fruit and vegetables, and get enough sleep – but you cannot control another human being 100% of the time and you can’t tick every box when it comes to parenting. As a GP I am aware of all the health guidelines for children – dental care, nutrition, screen time etc – and early on I got hung up on them. I was extremely hard on myself – I remember my mother telling me at the 9-month mark that I wasn’t going to get a medal for this job. It was a huge turning point for me – I realised I could let go and do it my way – there literally was no right way to parent and whilst there were loads of guidelines for parenting and raising children – I would pick and choose the ones that suited me and do it my way.
Do you have any tips for First-time parents?
GO EASY ON YOURSELF. I always say this to my patients who are new parents, and I keep saying it at appointments– because I know from experience it takes a while to sink in. Mothers are hardest on themselves – losing baby weight, exclusively breastfeeding – we are our own harshest critiques and it’s OK to go easy.