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Mother's Day Special - A cuppa with Wife A

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It would take a very special person to live with our good friend Chubba. That special person is “Wife A”, the brave woman who let me give a Best Man's speech at her wedding. In this, our second Mother's Day edition of A Beer With, I'm sharing a cuppa with “Wife A”, Chubba's much better half.


On family...

Wife A, tell us about your family.

I’m married to Chubba, proud mum to the feisty Kid X and looking forward to the arrival of Kid Y. Our other family members are Morgan the dog and Neita the cat, oh and a few neglected fish.

Has Chubba built an extension to your house to store 35 years worth of WEG VFL/AFL Premiership posters?

I’m a very mean wife and have forced him to somewhat cull his collection and the remainder is stored safely away in a cupboard somewhere.

Seriously, how do you put up with Chubba's crap regarding the Melbourne Football Club? You do know he secretly follows Brisbane?

I’m very good at tuning out…. No I’m generally quite happy to listen because I know how passionate he is about the Dees and nobody else will listen to him anyway. Plus the number of games I get dragged along to it’s better to take some interest in the club.

Tell us something about Chubba that we don't already know?

Hmmm, a few things come to mind but none that are fit to share. Not many people are aware that Chubba loves musicals and Barbra Streisand – a bit of a worry that.

Who mow's the lawn in your household? Does Chubba pull his weight around the home?

When the lawns do get mown (annually) it’s Chubbas job. And that’s pretty much his contribution to the “housework”. Touchy subject so don’t get me started….

What approach do you both take to maintain the work/life balance?

The approach we both take is that we work to live, not live to work. That probably sounds trite but I think it’s an apt description of our feelings- I’m happy to work hard when I’m at work but when I’m at home I want to be able to focus on my family. We also make sure we sit down and eat dinner together every night to differentiate between “work” time and “family” time.

Are there any parenting jobs that you just hate and refuse to do?

Not really, although some days I get so sick of changing nappies I can’t wait for Chubba to get home so he can do some!

On Work...

Obviously you'll be taking some time off when Kid Y joins the family...are you going to send Chubba out to mow lawns to earn an extra dollar?

I don’t think anyone would actually pay him with the job he does. He’s still hoping someone will pay him for this blogging gig!


On Charity...

I have genuine admiration for the countless hours both Chubba and yourself donate to TLC. I imagine that it's a contribution that would be appreciated tremendously by those in need, but no doubt goes unnoticed by the masses. What is TLC and how can people contribute?

TLC is a nationwide charity that provides support for parents and families who have experienced pregnancy and/or infant loss. It’s a cause very close to our hearts and we became involved after the loss of our first child Aidan. They have provided us with a lot of support and understanding and we have made some wonderful friends through our involvement. Pregnancy and infant loss is still a taboo subject in our society and considering 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a loss that’s a lot of families who need support and resources to help cope with their loss. Chubba and I enjoy helping out as it makes us feel like we’re giving something back, helping other families and doing something to honour Aidans’ memory.

People can go to www.teddyloveclub.org.au to get more information and see ways to help out- donating money, volunteering or attending local events are all very much appreciated.


On Your Current Pregnancy…

You've done this pregnancy gig before, has it been any easier this time around?

As far as pregnancy symptoms go I would say yes but in every other way it’s been harder. Having an active toddler to look after plus working I’ve found I’m so much more tired this time – but I don’t get a chance to relax or nap!

Have you approached this pregnancy any differently to that of Kid X?

I think this time we’ve been a lot more disorganised. I like to plan and prepare and organise and honestly just haven’t had the time yet. I’m hoping once I finish work I’ll get through the long “to do” list.

How has Kid X reacted to your growing pregnancy bump? How did you share the news that a new sibling was going to join the family?

Kid X has been great, we told her quite early on that there was a baby in mummy's tummy and that she was going to be a big sister soon. I don’t think she really grasped the concept until the bump started to become much more obvious. Now she loves to pat my tummy and talk to “baby Ernie” (her pet name for the baby). Recently she’s started to lift up my top in public to show everyone the baby belly - I’m not too impressed with this development and I don’t think the general public are either.

What's the best/worst things about being pregnant?

The best thing for me is feeling the baby moving and knowing that I am actually growing another person inside me - amazing! The worst thing is random people coming up to me and touching my belly, giving unwarranted advice, telling me I look huge, telling me I look small, asking if I know what I’m having…. I think you get the idea.

Did you have any cravings (or does Chubba blame his crazy food cravings on you)?

In the first trimester I craved cheese and tomato rolls, could have eaten them for breakfast, lunch and tea! Pretty boring as far as cravings go. Chubba gets sympathy cravings, but his are for beer.

I know that you affectionately called Kid X Jumpy because she bounced around in your first ultrasound picture. Do you have a special name for your latest expected arrival?

This baby is affectionately known as “the baby”- very imaginative but I argue I’m too tired to be imaginative. Kid X has nicknamed the baby “baby Ernie” and that seems to have stuck.

Blue or pink clothes?

We don’t know the sex of the baby (really people we don’t, so stop bugging us about it!) but we have a few gender neutral outfits ready and I’ve got about 3 cubic metres worth of Kid X’s pink clothes stored away just in case baby Ernie is a girl.


On Fatherhood...and um motherhood.

When you fell pregnant with your first little person, what was the craziest advice you received from others?

Well meaning but ultimately crazy advice – get lots of sleep before the baby arrives. If only sleep could be stored up and used at a later date like some sort of sleep bank! Plus telling a pregnant woman to get lots of sleep in her last trimester is crazy in itself, waking up about 5 times every night is pretty much standard.

What one word best describes how you felt when you became a mother to Kid X?

Relieved.

Did you select Christian or Middle names for a special reason?

We gave Kid X her middle name in honour of Chubba's mum who sadly passed away when I was pregnant with Kid X. It’s a nice link for her to the Grandma she never got to meet.

What Nursery Rhyme keeps getting stuck in your head?

Incy Wincy Spider – it drives me nuts.

Which children's book do you secretly like to read (for mine, it's hard to beat The Gruffalo)?

I really like the book “Peepo” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. It’s sweet and entertaining and slightly nostalgic.

Thinking back to your childhood, what are your strongest and fondest memories of your own father?

My father wasn’t around much when I was growing up but my best memories were of him taking us out and getting boysenberry icecreams then going to the local park. For some reason it was always boysenberry and I still love that flavour to this day.

Thinking back to your childhood, what are your strongest and fondest memories of your own mother?

I remember that Mum seemed to be out in the garden all the time and she could make anything grow and flourish (the green thumb has not been passed down to me alas). I also remember Mum being able to make anything - she is very creative and artistic and can create amazing things out of pretty much nothing, a bit like Macgyver.

Like most kids I think I just took my Mum for granted when I was growing up. She was always there and did pretty much everything and I never questioned it. It’s only now when I look back I realise how much she sacrificed for us and how much she went without herself to ensure we didn’t.

If I asked this same question of your kids in 30 years time, what response would you hope for? What response do you think I'd get?

I certainly hope their memories would be fond! As a parent all I can really hope for is my kids grow up to be decent human beings, that they are happy and that I helped in some way to contribute to the people they become.

To Finish up...

What's the best advice you can give to mothers to be?

Listen to any advice that people want to share with you and store it away as it might come in handy one day. But remember, what works for one may not work for another. And don’t be judgemental of other Mums – when it comes down to it the vast majority of us are just doing the best we can and just because someone is doing it differently doesn’t mean it’s “wrong”.

As a daughter what's the best advice you can give to your kids regarding maintaining a strong relationship with their mother?

Once they get older I want them to realise that Mums are people too – they aren’t perfect and they have feelings too. I know that once I realised this I appreciated my own Mum a lot more and could relate to her as a friend as well as a mum.

Do you believe Chubba when he tells you he's catching up with me to talk TackleNappy? It's true, we do talk TackleNappy...between beers.

I’m sure TackleNappy does come up in the conversation - probably in the last few minutes before you have to leave and  you realise you’ve been talking about footy all night …

Lastly, if we were to send you an "I Love TackleNappy" T-shirt, do you swear to send us back a picture of you wearing it? Baby vomit stains on the shoulder are perfectly acceptable.

I agree (because I know you guys will never get around to having the T-shirts printed up!).

Wife A, thank you very much for your time and thank you for your support of this TackleNappy journey that Chubba and I have commenced. Have an awesome Mother’s Day.

Last modified on Sunday, 13 May 2012 11:10

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