Dublin-born mum-of-two Grainne Owens blogs about parenting from her home in Northern Ireland.
Formerly a librarian and teacher, Grainne says she shares the “finished version” of her life on fredtedandcompany.com.
“My blog is my online home, where I post the ‘finished version’ of my life. I use Instagram to share the ‘work in progress’ version of parenting,” Grainne says.
“Instagram gets a bad wrap. People think it’s fake or full of influencers with bum implants and bought followers, but I find it to be the most real of all the platforms.
“On Insta, it’s very easy to find like-minded people. I’ve made some really good friends, who experience parenting just the way I do. It’s been really helpful.”
Grainne shares insights into Montessori education as a parenting style.
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The Prepared Environment and the foundations of identity. A space that is tailored to a child’s interests and abilities allows them to pursue their passions at their own pace without any adult meddling leading the child to a greater understanding of self. How does that work? Well yesterday afternoon Alfie decided to top up his bird feeders after he noticed they were empty, he loaded his seed bucket into his wheel barrow and headed out to fill them. Having a small shelf where he can access these things allows him to do what he loves. It seems simple but a child empowered in this way knows what they want and knows how to meet their own needs. How many adults are still pursuing that? From his earliest days Alfie has been obsessed with animals - all animals! Most of our conversations are about their behaviours, their homes and how we can care for them. The prepared environment separates his passions from my permission and grants him the opportunity to assess both his interests and abilities before working out how to get what he wants. That’s a whole lot of benefits from a bucket of bird seed! #montessoritoddler #preparedenvironment #thisishomeschool #homeschoolingpreschool #thisismontessori #montessori #learningbydoing #homeed #homeeducation #montessoriinspired #charlottemasoninspired #learningathome #alternativeeducation
“Most of my posts are about how to adapt the Montessori method of education into a style of parenting to help you raise confident, capable, and creative children.
“I think my generation of parents are keen to parent intentionally.
"The world is changing so fast and we’re seeing that the ‘one size fits all’ parenting and school system we were raised with is starting to be inadequate.
"We want to parent intentionally and responsively, with our children’s unique best interest at heart. For me, the answer lay in Montessori.”
She describes her blog as a method to keep herself accountable. “Only a tiny portion of what I do makes it to the blog, but it’s become the voice of my conscience, saying ‘come on now, is that the kind of parent you want to be?’
"It keeps me focused on the best version of myself.”
Her blog is a way for Grainne to understand herself and herself as a mother.
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Sigh! Books, my greatest love! Comfort, knowledge, company, entertainment; I’ve never asked something of a book that it failed to provide! Watching Alfie and Indi build their own relationship with books is so rewarding! #montessori #montessori room #montessoritoddler #preparedenvironment #thisishomeschool #childledlearning #gentleparenting #childrensroom #playroom #raisingreaders #childrensbooks #childrensliterature #picturebooks #readtothem #kidswhoread
“Parenting is definitely a journey and the blog has been a great way to process it. I’ve met some amazing educators and parents through it and been so inspired by them.
"Parenting and blogging are two things I’ve surprised myself by being good at and they’ve given me a new perspective on myself.”
Balancing public and private lives can be a problem for many parenting bloggers.
“I also find there’s an expectation on parenting bloggers to be honest about their struggles, but there’s a line between an unrealistic, rose-tinted version of your life and exposing your deepest psychological make-up.
"I’m not comfortable posting or reading those really private moments on a scrolling space like Instagram,” Grainne says.