Dyer, is joining BBC Tiny Happy People as an ambassador, sharing her experiences as a first time mum to help other new parents.
Dani became a single mum to Santiago in 2021 at the age of 24 and reveals that she’s found it both rewarding and challenging. In an article to be published on the Tiny Happy People website today (April 12th), she says she questioned herself a lot when she became a new mum.
“Are you doing ‘the parent thing’ right? Is everyone judging how you’re coping? Is the life you knew pre-baby gone forever? How can you meet other parents in the same situation?”
These are some of the things Dani wants to open up about as part of her new role as an ambassador for BBC Tiny Happy People. She says that being a parent can be lonely and that Tiny Happy People offers a place where parents and carers can go for support. She hopes sharing experiences from her own parenting journey as a young, single mum can help others.
During the first year with Santiago, Dani says she spent a lot of time comparing herself to other parents.
“I honestly wasn’t prepared for the rush of hormones. It was a little bit hard for me at the beginning. I really did struggle. I remember when Santi was born, all I did was compare, and I always used to think, ‘Why can’t I breastfeed?’ I really, really struggled with that. And I put so much pressure on myself. I shouldn’t have compared so much. I shouldn’t have looked online. I should have just enjoyed my baby bubble and just gone with it.”
Being in lockdown only added to the challenges.
“It was hard for me because I felt like I didn’t have other mum friends that I could go and see and talk to. You want to talk to other mums, you want to know how they’re getting on, and just having that positive support around you is so important.”
Having a good support system has really helped Dani, especially as a single parent. It is one of the reasons she is so excited to become a BBC Tiny Happy People ambassador.
“I think being a mum can sometimes be really lonely, and it is important to speak out and share that.”
A major part of Dani’s support system is her own mum, Joanne. Whenever she’s needed advice or reassurance, she’s been there to lend a hand. Dad, Danny Dyer, is also relishing his new role as a grandad.
“The way they have been there for me is honestly, just such a dream. There have been some long nights, if Santi’s not been well, where I really struggled and I’ve just needed to have a chat or a sleep in the afternoon. And they’ve been there for me. Knowing I’ve got them, I am blessed with that.”
While Dani has found support from her fellow mum friends and her family, she has also found strength within herself.
“I’ve definitely learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. At the beginning, I really did doubt myself being a mum, but now I’ve definitely changed and grown as a person.”
During the interview, Dani also reveals how her priorities have changed since having Santi and gives some of her own parenting tips that she has learnt along the way. She also showcases some of the activities from the Tiny Happy People website that she has had fun doing together with Santi.
BBC Tiny Happy People is an online digital, social and face to face initiative created by BBC Education. It was launched in July 2020 by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge and its aim is to support parents and carers in developing the language and communication skills of their children aged 0-4 years old.
At the heart of the initiative is a simple message – talk to your little ones from as early an age as possible.
“It’s all about talking to your little one. Just talking about what you’re doing can really help. If you’re washing up, tell them, or talk about what they’re having for dinner.”
Tiny Happy People resources include a wide range of fun, easy to do, activity films for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers that all support language development, articles full of tips and advice on all things parenting and a child development section that covers the science behind brain development and how little ones learn about the world around them. All the resources are rooted in evidence and have been developed with the help of leading experts in the fields of child and language development to ensure parents and carers are being offered the best advice.
Dani will also be filming videos for the Tiny Happy People social channels, sharing her daily life with Santi alongside hints and tips for parents and carers.
For more information, please visit the website