Chérie Stewart is mother of two children - Molly Clara, six months, and Russell, three - and wife to husband Jonny. Cherie is currently on a career break from the NHS in children and young people’s health service but is the person behind non profit online site Teacups and Toddlers. Established live in 2015 it helps families to find child friendly places to dine. Cherie is also an ambassador for Leeds City Council run Child Friendly Leeds.
What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?
Encouraging them to be independent and proactive and always getting down to their eye level. Reward them for listening.
Nothing big even if it’s just a kiss on the cheek or a hug and occasionally a little toy.
What family task takes you the longest?
Since having our second child in October it is definitely getting out of the house. We’re always late now and getting to any playgroup for 9.30am is almost impossible.
Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?
Not as yet really as they’re both so young but I once got told to sit down and have a rest as I am a “tired mummy” while my son hoovered around me (toy vac) and then insisted on washing up for me and trying to breastfeed his baby sister.
What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids?
Don’t lick the floor! Do not blow your nose on my coat!
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?
Upon a review for one of the establishments at Teacups & Toddlers - I don’t like these cakes mummy they taste like pillows.
Mini moan - what really gets your goat?
When experiencing a toddler meltdown (hard at the best of times) it comes with tuts and shakes of the head from the public.
What’s your favourite family day out?
Spending good quality time together and finding a nice open space and have a good old picnic and play. Just the simple things for our family really.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?
Broken sleep at the moment as my daughter is still nursing. Also stepping on toys with bare feet.
What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?
Once we’ve caught up on chores and toys tidied for me, it’s remembering to eat. More online
Time for cuddles with hubby and catch up on a bit of TV or if I’m exhausted its usually just ending up with me having a very early night after the children are settled with a very understanding husband downstairs who I think is also grateful for a wind down and catching up on TV.
What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?
I think for the most child orientated restaurant I’d say recently would go to the Wetherby Whaler at Guiseley and for the most quirkily and creatively presented food and positive incentives to encourage children to eat well. The next would have to go to the Botanist at Trinity Leeds.
What’s the best thing about weekends and why?
As my husband works away most of the time it’s definitely spending more quality time with this amazing daddy to my children. I frequently source new and exciting activities for us all to do to add to our happy memories bank.
What is your most treasured memory?
The one most special memory I have is from when I was four years old sitting on my nanna’s kitchen top after school one day, while swinging my legs and lost in thought, I announced to my late nanna “how does Mrs Stewart sound Nanna?” You see my husband and I have known each other since nursery school and fell in love way back then really. We’ve been very lucky to grow up with each other, build memories within our childhood and now into adult hood together in a true relationship for 15 years and married for four years.
What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?
All the one way traffic systems. That aside developing more family friendly places to dine and children to play although they’re soaring high in that field already.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
At the moment our youngest at six months has just started weaning and is particularly enjoying porridge and now more textured meals and is partial to a bit of Bubble and Squeak. Our just turned three-year-old, Russell, is more adventurous now but he does enjoy picnic style eating than set main meals.
What’s your top penny-pinching tip?
Using an app called Topcashback website which enables you to gain cashback on purchases you’ve made online and instore. Last month we got £110 in cashback!
One family member’s proudest achievement?
I’m proud of all my family really each and every day, especially the children as they achieve so much daily, especially my toddler son who becomes more articulate and brighter and is soaring in his development. My husband and I’s proudest achievement is having our two beautiful and healthy children in our lives.
What one item can you not live without?
Honestly and also sadly a sign of the times would be my iPhone and iPad where I do most of my blogging from for Teacups and Toddlers and network and connect with families all over Yorkshire.
What can your children not live without?
Mummy and Daddy’s love of course but us aside definitely their comforters. They both have a blanket each they snuggle up to and I also used a blanket as my comforter when I was little too.
What is your child’s favourite book and author.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury.