Family life is give and take

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Sarah Smith, 33, from Wharfedale & Craven Mumbler, is featured as our Family of the Week with her children Samuel, seven, and Cora, four, Dobson. The family lives in Bramhope. Wharfedale & Craven Mumbler is the hyper local parenting community providing parents, grandparents and carers with everything they could need for family life, from baby and preschool classes to days out with the kids!

What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask? Give and take. That sounds bad I know but if they want to be ferried around to this party or that rugby fixture they need to help around the house and get dressed when they are asked.

What family task takes you the longest? Getting the kids ready for school. My son gets up early so thinks he has loads of time to dally around and my daughter sleeps in and doesn’t like to be rushed on a morning. She needs to be as I can’t stand to be late.

What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house? My son used to collect sticks when he was little. Wherever we went he would find a stick and bring it home to add to his collection. His collection was a massive pile of sticks at the front door. Honestly, it was like a mini bonfire. He was devastated when the gardener put them all in the bin!

Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why? Everyday. It’s something different every day. The extremes... how lovely they can be, how long they can tantrum for, how many inquisitive questions they can ask... the list goes on.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids? It has to be “don’t smash your sister into the kitchen cupboard”... I’ve only said it once but it is not a sentence I ever thought I would be saying!

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done? After learning about Jesus at preschool my son cried because he wanted to be the son of God.

Mini moan - what really gets your goat? Bad parking! There are lines for a reason. This definitely stems from missing an antenatal appointment when pregnant with my son because someone had blocked me in.

What’s your favourite family day out? We love RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate. We visit regularly with the grandparents and the kids both love the trails, they offer something for both ages and abilities. The play areas there are fantastic! What better than a Betty’s lunch?

What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately? It’s all about sport for the kids. Our weekends are taken over with dancing, football and rugby and I love it!

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? The guilt! I honestly think since the day I had my second child I have felt guilty about something every single day! Whether it be the fact my first child did more baby classes or that I read more with my second. I think you just have to learn to live with it, its totally normal! Both kids are happy so it doesn’t really matter!

What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed? Once bedtime is done, I have an izzy wizzy tidy round and then we will sit down and watch some TV. What we watch totally depends on whether there is a football match on. If there is I will watch the soaps, if not we enjoy a good drama series! I love these dark cosy night with the Christmas lights on!

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why? The kids love Gustos in Cookridge as they get to make their own pizzas and then watch them in the pizza oven. The food is brilliant for adults too!

What’s the best thing about weekends and why? I’d love to say a lie in but my oldest is an early riser! My favourite thing about the weekend is spending time together, whether that be on a day trip or just at home finding out what the kids have been learning at school that week. Quality time together is everything.

What is your most treasured memory? A few days after my daughter was born I came out of the kitchen and walked past the front room to hear my son saying “I love you baby sister”. I literally well up just thinking about it. I loved watching them bond!

What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds? Oh, that is a tough one!! Leeds has improved so much for families since we started ours. We would love to have an indoor waterpark!

What’s the children’s favourite food/meal? I’m very lucky that both my kids are good eaters and love to try new things! Their favourite food is “folded pasta”.

What’s your top penny-pinching tip? My top tip for penny-pinching would have to be shop around and carefully chose your supermarket! We have made a switch recently and have saved loads.

One family member’s proudest achievement? My proudest achievement is the children: raising happy, confident kids!

What one item can you not live without? My phone. It’s my workplace but more importantly, it has a great camera and I love taking pictures of the kids!

What can your children not live without? This pains me to say but if you asked them it would be their tablets I’m sure!

Child’s favourite book and author. Both my kids have loved all the Julia Donaldson books from a very young age. As my son has got older he really enjoys reading Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and anything by Roald Dahl.