For this Monday’s Mum No1 I’d like you to meet an old friend of mine. At school she was a cool kid, extremely intelligent and just a little bit naughty (frankly… all the best people are…) We’ve always kept in touch through the power of mutual friends and social media… and I’m delighted that she’s taken time out of her exhilarating new life down-under to chat to us…
Ladies and gents… I give you Lucy!!!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family Lucy…
“I’m 28 years old and currently living in Australia with my husband and two boys Walter & Sid aged 3.8yrs and 21 months. We have lived over here for 8 months and before that we lived for almost a year in Holland. In fact- we have moved house 6 times since Walter was born and lived in three different countries!
Living where we do and with the weather being so good we spend a lot of time at the beach. We also have annual passes to lots of tourist places, such as the Reptile Park and love nothing more than spending a lazy sunday feeding kangaroos and counting the crocodiles.”
Seriously??!! We’re 2 mins in and I’m already struggling to keep to my own hashtag?!
To help us gauge what type of person you are… tell us what defines happiness for you?
“1. Having an empty washing basket (rarely happens!)
2. Walking down to the beach after dinner to go and scooter along the path and get an ice cream- and seeing how excited the boys are about something very simple.
3. Date night with my husband. Getting dressed up and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world because I married my best friend.
4. Going around to my friend’s pool (I so wish we had one!!!) and watching our children jump, and splash and play Bondi Rescue with each other.
5. Planning my next Disney World Holiday!!!”
Snap to No1… and number 3 did make me wretch a little but mostly with guilt… as Sarah last week also used her husband to define happiness. .. and I’m not sure I did?!!! (I absolutely should have done!!!) Eeeek! Best edit my ‘Happiness’ post… I’ll just cut and paste what you wrote…. *jus’ kiddin!!*
What were your birth and early days experiences like with your beautiful boys?
“Walter’s birth was horrific, 8 days late, he got stuck and was back to back. All because he was an absolute porker- 10lb 4oz! Despite the awful start to motherhood he was an easy baby, sleeping 10 hours through the night at 10 weeks old. Sid on the other hand had a pretty non eventful birth, 8lb 9oz, but was an absolute nightmare newborn! The sling was my saviour but some days not even being strapped to me would settle him. He didn’t want to feed, he didn’t want to sleep, he just wanted to cry…All day. My husband left when he was 3weeks old to go to Holland to do pre season training and we didn’t see him again until we all moved to Holland 6 weeks later.”
Being home alone with a newborn…even a contented baby…is tough… let alone a grumpasaurus for 6 weeks?! Your husband is a footballer right?
“Yeah… he plays for Central Coast Mariners.”
Did you have any worries about moving to Australia with the boys?
“My main worry was leaving behind my parents, grandparents and siblings and the thought that something bad could happen to one of them and I wouldn’t be there.
Then there was the guilt that I was taking away my boys from their much loved gran and grandad and cousins. They are totally irreplaceable. But constant FaceTime/Skype calls mean my boys don’t forget and the family always hear the latest news from us. (Plus our fridge is covered with their photos!!)”
What advice would you give to another family considering a move down under? (By another family… I mean mine..)
With modern technology its so easy to stay in touch and nothing has to be forever. If you don’t like it then you can always move back. Life is too short. See the World and make your life (and your children’s) an adventure.”
Oh Lucy… the Australian Visa Bureau should definitely employ you!!!
I’m digressing.. back to mum-ness…
How did you find the transition from one to two babies…especially with your hubby away?
“Bloody hard!!! There is 22 months between the boys & Walt was very much a baby when Sid was born- still in nappies and having morning and evening bottles. Trying to juggle the needs of both proved very challenging at times, especially because I did the majority of the newborn bit by myself… but I wouldn’t change it for the world- they are absolutely the best of friends and the love they have for each other makes me realise that all that hard work was totally worth it!“
The first few weeks are just a nightmare aren’t they? I found having a newborn again relatively stress free but I struggled with the logistics of having 2 babies that need you… sometimes at the same time. I often felt like a paramedic arriving at the scene of an accident. .. “Which one’s needs are most urgent? !… Which one’s needs can be met the quickest? !”
If you could go back and give your pregnant self any piece of advice what would you say?
“Enjoy it!! The next time you will be pregnant you will have a toddler running around and routines to stick to…so make the most of it just being you (and your husband!).”
Haha.. so true. My second pregnancy seemed to flash by in a heart beat… but I think that’s because…like you say… you are rushing around after a toddler. I felt like I hardly did any wallowing around… did an awful lot of eating though!
Anything unexpected that you know now… but didn’t know pre-babies?
“That everyone will have an opinion on your child and how you parent them… and the best thing to do is smile and nod…whilst completely ignoring any well meaning advice!”
So true… I think everyone experiences some well meaning but totally unwanted parenting advice at some point in their parenting journey. In fact my Sister in Law’s just had a baby boy and I worry I am a regular giver of unwanted advice….but the advice just keeps on slipping out regardless!
If you had to describe ‘parenthood’ in one word… which would you choose?
“God… you ask such difficult questions!!!! I want to say ‘heart-enlargening’ or something a bit more eloquent (and perhaps not totally made up!). But that pretty much sums up parenthood to me- every time I see my boys in the morning, the smile on their faces when they know I’m awake, makes my heart grow just a little bit more. When I pick Walter up from pre school and he’s just SO happy to see me makes me melt. And when Sid (still!) cries every time I leave him to go anywhere I just think how amazing it is that I have created someone who loves me so much he can’t bear to be without me.”
I am a fan of the odd made up word…especially with such a beautiful explanation… but I did question whether I should let you have it or not as technically I feel ‘Heart Enlargening’ should be two words… but as you’ve attempted to hyphenate it… and it’s you…I agree… I feel my heart enlargening every day!!!
What do you love most about your handsome boys?
“When Walter tells me that I am his best friend. Melts my heart…and when Sid snuggles into my neck when I first pick him up in the morning.”
Oh tooooo cute!!
And last… but not least… What is your Mum No1 essential item?
“My No1 essential item is…
Due to moving so much there is not one item that I have become particularly attached to, with Sid we loved the close baby sling but it didn’t suit Walt at all. You don’t need ‘anything’ for a baby… though iPads are lifesavers on a 24hr flight!”
I love that you snuck a few extras in to your Mum No1 Lucy. If only you could order a bottle of patience from somewhere?! Oh no wait… I think you can… WINE!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions Lucy. .. and giving us your Mum No…3?! It’s been an absolute pleasure as always… LOVED experiencing the view from where you stand… and hearing about those ridiculously gorgeous boys of yours!! Related to so much of it too…
You can follow Lucy on Twitter… @WaltsMummy
If you have enjoyed reading today’s episode and you fancy getting involved drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org … would love to hear from you.
Big love… as ever.