Ever wondered how someone with five children gets through each day? I took the opportunity to ask an extraordinary Mum about her experience, and what she would recommend to new Mums starting out their journey. Nicole, a Mum of five boys (I know, right!) spoke openly to me about parenting en masse and creating a harmonious blended family.
Let me preface this by saying Nic is intimidatingly gorgeous. Beyond her stunning figure, warm smile and oh-so-on-trend style, she is honest, funny and kind. She's the kind of girl you want to hang out with and someone who makes you feel good about yourself.
Her boys range from 24 to 10, from two marriages, and a testament to her strength of character is her positive relationship with her first husband. It takes honesty and courage to put your children first and co-parent in a refreshingly kind and adult manner.
Our conversation covered a range of parenting subjects (and lots of laughs), and her calm, no fuss advice is as follows:
On mental and physical health
Exercise is a really important way to de-stress, Nic emphasized. She finds when she can’t get out of the house, using a treadmill, or a simple at home routine to get moving, really helps. It provides a great physical relief and makes her feel better about herself.
Nic also says not to worry about your house, or anything else, sleep when your babies sleep. Having kids close together she got them into a similar sleeping routine, so that everyone could have a sleep at the same time.
As a light sleeper, Nic moved her babies into their own room fairly quickly. Listening anxiously to their breathing, gurgles and little baby sounds, meant she and her husband couldn’t get any sleep themselves. ‘Having restorative sleep is really important for everyone in the family’ Nic stressed.
Nic breastfed all her boys for about the first 5-6 months. She said she was lucky enough to have found it easy, but appreciates that it’s not the case for everyone. With her first, she experienced an extreme bout of Mastitis, that had her hospitalised; high fever and temporary eye sight loss. Nic recommends when you start feeling tender, to massage the area that is sore, and if that doesn’t help get to the doctor asap to get an antibiotic. She urges new Mums to try and drink two litres of water every day.
Using your Maternal Health Clinic
There were ten years between Nic’s third and fourth boys. In that time many things had changed. There were many more products available on the market. Convenience foods had become better in quality, disposable nappies were readily available and affordable. Rules had also changed about how to sleep your babies, on their backs instead of their front for example. Her biggest help navigating these changes was her Maternal Clinic Sister. The Clinic Sister came to the house and gave current guidance on the things they needed to do, and explained new parenting methods. Nicole also read a lot each time around, devouring monthly parenting magazines.
Advice for new parents
“People will tell you their opinions” Nic says. “You’ll get a lot of advice about what you are doing and what other people think you should differently. It’s really important to do what works for you and your baby. Don’t worry about what others think, you’re the parent and are best placed to make the decisions for your family”
The last word on raising Five boys
Having two brothers herself, Nic was used the rough and tumble of boys. For her family she knew instinctively that they needed plenty of outdoor play. Each of her boys have gone flat out from the moment they woke until they went to sleep.
According to Nic, having a life of your own is critical. Learning to live a life together as a family is important to create happiness for everyone. She notes “Yes, things will change but you can also do many of the things you’ve always enjoyed together with some practical adjustments”.
“Always have me time. Whether that be a bath on your own, or getting up a bit early to have a coffee in peace, it’s important to make time for yourself”
Laughing Nic adds “Wine! Make sure your fridge is never empty”.
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