Catherine O’Dolan/ Associate Editor
Having spent most of my career as a journalist writing about family lifestyle, I can honestly say that I still feel a sense of excitement discovering the latest gorgeous interiors, an exquisite picture book or some state-of-the-art equipment – it’s come a long, long way since the navy-and-polka-dot or kitsch teddy bear designs that were de rigueur when my daughter was born 17 years.
As the former editor-in-chief of Junior magazine, the pioneering glossy lifestyle magazine, I’ve seen modern parenting evolve over recent years into a very chic business, with a wealth of exciting and avant-garde designers lending their expertise and flair to the industry. Writing about everything from fashion to family travel, interiors, books and toys, my philosophy has always been to surround your child with beautiful things, and to give them access to wonderful places, whilst remembering that a walk in the park can be equally as enlightening and exciting as a stay in some fine and fancy hotel (though I’m a fan of that too). The trick is to savour and enjoy, but never to be too precious about it.
Parenting is the most exciting adventure you’ll ever likely embark upon, and we should never take that privilege for granted. Taking our children’s hand as they embark on life’s big adventure is a huge responsibility (and is best conducted with a hefty dose of humour), but it’s usually not too long before our children start to teach us a thing or two! My two pedagogues for the journey are Grace, 17, and Joe, eight.