There is something very special about watching your own children experience parenthood for themselves. We chatted to Super Nan and Gundog Breeder, Louise Ktoris (also known as Lois, Mrs K, Mamma K and now Nanna K!) about life as a young Grandma.
In her own words, Louise stumbled into the world of Gundogs as a Mum, Wife and Life Coach. She quickly became passionate about dogs, gundog training and breeding, along with spending time in the field shooting and picking up game. All this as well as being a doting Nanna!
Q. So Nanna K, tell us about your grandchildren.
A. My granddaughter River is 14 months and is an utter joy! I was privileged to be at her birth; her delivery went a little bit pear shaped and didn’t quite go to plan but we were in amazing hands. Being a grandparent is a whole new world of wonderful; River is my Son’s first child, and she has literally just found her feet, gone are the quiet days as she is now fully on the move!
We are also expecting a second grandchild from one of my two daughters, due in August. We will know in the next week what ‘flavour’ we have, as it appears that ‘Gender reveals’ are the thing these days.
Q. So what has been the biggest thing you’ve learnt since being a parent?
A. I have never really considered myself to be ‘maternal’, but with 3 children, 2 angel babies, 9 dogs, 4 litters under my belt (and a 5th pending); the stats clearly suggest I must have some maternal (or mental) merits!
One thing this last year has really brought home is that ‘Family’ are everything – and clearly the madder the better seems to be the way forward for me and mine.Louise Ktoris
Being a parent is a big responsibility, but it’s also an incredible way to experience ‘life’ through a different lens. It’s hard work, full of sleepless nights and a lifetime of endless worry! You quickly realise that no matter how old your children are, they will always be your babies. Parenting opens up the heart in a way I had never felt before. It makes you realise that our human capacity to ‘love’ is far greater than I ever could have imagined (I feel this way about dogs too which is a little awkward when I have to choose where I spend my time these days!).
Having children teaches you so much about yourself, as they carry things that are innately ‘you’. Recognising characteristics of yourself as they grow challenges who you are and who you ‘think’ you are. I would say that over the years they have made me what I am today…. which is mostly mental! But they do make me so much ‘more’ than I was before. After losing my first two babies, a daughter and a son, it only served to ignite a fire to prove that I could and I would have a family. I’m glad I took that approach.
Q. What’s the best thing about being Nanna K?
A. The best thing about being a Nanna is ‘it’s not my responsibility’. You really do get to enjoy the baby of ‘your’ baby and hand them back! I’m definitely more relaxed as a Nanna as I’ve done pretty much most things with my own children and you just don’t sweat the small stuff this time around the baby block. I feel young to be a Nanna at just 50, which is probably just as well as my youngest daughter has not long turned 17. In many ways I’m still parenting whilst simultaneously morphing into a new role. I wouldn’t change any of it. My daughters dote on River and they come in very handy to help out too so it’s a win win.
One thing this last year has really brought home is that ‘Family’ are everything – and clearly the madder the better seems to be the way forward for me and mine.
Q. Which Barker & Sloane product could you not live without and that you’d recommend to other mums?
A. As a maturing woman with all the menopausal shenanigans that goes with it, I love all of my Barker & Sloane products, but the one I absolutely cannot live without is the Daily Defender!
This luxurious cream is a must at the start of every day with my family and dogs. I have even learned to make a BB cream out of it by blending it with my favourite light foundation. The smell is gorgeous with the aroma of White Poppy, Raspberry and Marine Algae extracts. It’s rich and yet light on the skin and quickly absorbs leaving your skin feeling and looking like a baby’s bum… Peachy! It’s just so reassuring to know that it protects and nourishes me from the outside in against all the elements of daily life. It’s a bold statement to make for a face cream, but credit where it’s due, this daily defender is kick ass!
Q. What has changed most since you were a child, mother and now grandmother?
A. Much has changed since I was child, a Mum and now a grandmother – life itself is almost unrecognisable and parenting styles and standards are all so very different from how I was brought up in the 70’s and 80’s. Some things are for the better, but others like the freedom I felt and had as child, without the trappings and distractions of modern technology, we’re definitely for the better.
You can follow Louise on Instagram: @tailsofaladygun