Welcome to the latest installment of our Mum vs Life series. Each week we’ll feature a prominent Aussie mum and take you through her day.
This week we talk to Rebecca Sparrow, writer and mother of Ava, Fin and Quincy.
Image credit: Russell Shakespeare
Run us through your typical day?
I usually get up at 5am (not willingly – trust me!) because I’m feeding Quincy who is 14 weeks old. Once he’s fed, I often just get up and have a shower because I’ve learned the hard way I may not get another window of opportunity. Ava (4) and Fin (20 months) are waking at around 6am now and the first thing I do is get them changed into their play clothes for the day and I make their beds. This way I don’t have to come back into their bedrooms and I don’t know what it is but having the beds made makes me feel like I’m on top of things.
The only thing typical about my days is that there’s a certain level of chaos and a dozen cups of cold half drunk tea. Some days I’m just home all day with the three kids, other days I’m doing a speaking gig at a school or conference. I have a beautiful nanny who works about 12 hours a week for me to give me some time to write for Mamamia or work on my current manuscripts or allow me to just duck out to the shops. No two days are the same which is what I love.
What are the challenges you face?
I’m finding the jump from two to three kids pretty challenging! I didn’t find having two kids too hard and still managed to work quite effectively from home. That’s out the window now! With a 14 weeks old and a 20 month old – chaos reigns in our household and I just have to grab small pockets to write.
It’s hard being a Work At Home Mum – there’s that constant pull from both sides. And the truth is I need to find time to write because it’s what makes me feel most like myself. I need to do it for own sanity and because it fills me up. I’m a better mother when I allow myself the time to be creative. But the kids needs come first and some days I just have to wave the white flag of surrender. When everything is going pear-shaped it’s simply easier to play shops and allow Ava to completely rip me off by charging me $50 for one apple.
What is your favourite time of the day?
Late at night, I think. When the house is quiet and I can just potter around and do my own thing. Once the kids are asleep, I feel like I get to “clock off” … sometimes I sit out on our deck with my husband with a drink and some chips. Sometimes I work. Or try to actually read a novel (I usually last about 10 mins before I fall asleep). I also really love the walk to kindy … my daughter Ava is just so truly delightful and her imagination and view of the world never fails to make me smile.
When is the last time you almost lost your cool when dealing with your kids?
THIS MORNING! Trying to get all three kids out the door.
When is the last time one of your children embarrassed you in public?
Probably Ava when we were at kindy and I heard her telling other kids that babies COME OUT YOUR VAGIIIIIIIINNNNNAAAAA. Thank you, Dr Feelgood.
Have you ever embarrassed one of your children in public?
Not yet. Even when I turn up at kindy looking like the sleep-deprived slightly deranged mother of three that I am – she greets me every afternoon as though she hasn’t seen me in three months. I have no doubt that will change by the time she’s 14!
How do you get everything done and ensure you pay enough attention to your children?
I don’t. And I constantly feel like I’m not giving them enough attention. I’m not sure any mum ever feels like they’re doing the job perfectly though. And what I know is that my children feel loved and safe. That’s the most important thing. Also I heard writer Toni Morrison once say that your children look to see if your eyes light up when they enter the room.