Meeting Lah-Lah: Radical lessons from a family who like to live on top of each other.

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There are rock stars. There are movie stars. And then there are the stars who would go completely unnoticed in the supermarket but get mobbed at a preschool. Think The Wiggles, think Jimmy Giggle… think Lah-Lah.

Every week I get to sit across the desk from an impressive woman and talk to her about her life, her family and her work. It’s a privilege, and I learn an enormous amount in the process.

But do my kids care that I today I met a Senator, a business leader, an esteemed journalist? Not a bit. But they care greatly that last week I met Tina Harris – otherwise known as Lah-Lah from Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band, a fixture on ABC for Kids, and a touring band.

Lah-Lah is Tina Harris. A  former opera singer and early childhood teacher, Lah Lah and her husband Mark Harris are the backbone of Lah-Lah’s band. They are also the parents of two girls, aged 11 and 13.

i don't know how she does it Tina Harris
Tina with her husband Buzz, wait, we mean Mark.

And in this conversation, Tina shared everything from what it’s like to tour with kids, to how her family is happier now they DON’T live in a big fancy home and most importantly, how cancer taught Tina how to let go.

In person, Tina is warm and lovely. She’s great company and radiates passion for what she does and for her family. She also, like SO many women I talk to for I Don’t Know How She Does It, has learned that the only way to wrestle an extra 20 minutes in your day is to GET UP EARLY. Meditating in the lounge room before the house is awake is the precious start that keeps her busy days, rehearsing, touring, running a business with her husband, on track.

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On surviving breast cancer

“I got sick a couple of years ago and it was a great thing for me because it made me stop and say, ‘Okay, what am I worrying about, ‘How can I take a little bit of time out for me, and what can I let go of?’

“My mum who’d also had breast cancer moved in with us and I said to Mark, ‘Mum’s going to take care of me, and you’re going to take care of the girls. So within the house, we had two camps.'”

i don't know how she does it Tina Harris
Holly with Lah Lah. Wait. We mean Tina.

“That entire process was really fantastic… it stopped me worrying about the future, it stopped me worrying about the past and go “You know what, I’m really good at this moment, right now it’s good and that’s great. [Now] When I start to stress out these days, Every now and then I stop myself and go, ‘how are we today, are we good? Okay. That’s great.”

Lah-Lah’s Shake It Like This will certainly pick you right up (post continues after video):

Video via Lah-Lah

On downsizing.

“We went from a beautiful big house with a big backyard and chicken and rabbits and a dog and a cat into a two-bedroom flat. What that taught me was.. we co-existed in that space, but I don’t think we were as close as a family as we are now. We are on top of each other all the time so we’re in each other’s stuff and because of that I think it’s brought us as a family closer together. We don’t need that big space. Coming to that realisation has been a big thing for us.”

On trolls.

“We’ve had a lot of comments from mums who don’t like the song I Like To Wash My Hands and Wipe Them On My Pants… They find it really offensive. It was written in the same spirit as Wash Your Face With Orange Juice. We don’t expect your child to wash your face with orange juice… It’s funny and we want to open dialogue between you and your child about it. It’s a little bit naughty, and naughty things are funny.”

Listen to the full episode in itunes or here:

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