I was his first girlfriend. He was my first boyfriend. I played the clarinet. He played the saxophone. We were both 16. There is only 2 days between our birthdays. We got engaged at 19. Married at 20. First child by 21. By the age of 27, we had four children. Our children were born while we were students, working part-time jobs, and living in a house with no hot water in the kitchen. On a good week, we had enough money left over after groceries to buy one — just one – Freddo Frog. We’ve moved 10 times and have lived in many different cities and towns around Australia. I’ll say it for you: we are crazy. Yes.
Early on in our relationship, Matty and I decided to defy the norm and do it our way. We wanted to have children while we were young. And we wanted a large family. It was a choice and we made it work for us. We didn’t get the house, the cars, the stable career before we became parents. No, we threw ourselves into living life and creating a family without materialistic security. Irresponsible, do you think? Maybe, but we figured if we had an abundance of love, we could all grow together as a family. I can’t help but sing here, “All you need is love, love.” Naive? There’s is a lot of sweetness to naivety you know.
So, has it worked out for us? Are we still married? HA! Yes, we are still married. I love the man more than ever actually. Today, my husband is a training General Surgeon and we are entering in a wonderful period of family life: nappy days and sleepless nights are over and we are throwing ourselves into adventuring at every opportunity with our four kids.
Since beginning blogging in 2009, I have built a small home business in addition to this blog. I consult for private clients on social media, brand brainstorming, personal blogging and blogging for business. I run workshops on social media and blogging in Brisbane for marketing company Zestee, and am a partner in running Professional Parents, also in Brisbane. I am also the Travel Writer for Brisbane Kids and write freelance articles for KleenexMums and other magazines and websites. I love the creativity and flexibility I have working part-time from home.
Has it been easy? No. Actually it hasn’t been all that easy. Constant moving, the death of my mother, children with special needs, exams, financial pressures and post natal depression are just some of the challenges we have faced.
Would I do it again? Retrospect is an amazing thing. And I can’t go back now can I? But if I could, I would absolutely do it all again. It’s interesting, but when I think about the things I would change, they are related to me, my attitudes and how I reacted to others and the world around me rather than the bigger decisions of life. I’ve learned so much from living life, and if I could go back, I would still live my crazy, random life but with more abandon, more compassion, more generosity, more wisdom, and more love.
Would I recommend it? I’m not sure my husband would recommend studying medicine with four small children, and I wouldn’t recommend moving 10 times while being either pregnant or breastfeeding. However, I would absolutely recommend not following the crowd, thinking outside the box, sharing love, making it work, living truth and being who you are.
What sustains me? I don’t want to sound preachy of cliché here, but Matt and I’s Faith in God has been a huge part of what holds us together and gives us the freedom, yes freedom, to live life differently than the norm. Ask me about it sometime. I’m not easily offended or shocked.