BJ's Story

BJ talks about the realities of parenting young children, including the tough times and the joyful times.

So, I’ve been asked to do my own family story for this research project, and I’ve been thinking about what I want to say, and the story that I want to tell. I think what I really want to do with this, is be real. I want to show you my beautiful family, and talk honestly about what life is like for me parenting young children.

I don’t think anything ever really prepares you for the realities of being a parent, well that’s our experience anyway…

This is me and my husband Mark – or the more youthful looking version of us before kids.

We’ve been together 15 years, and married nearly 11 years.

In less than seven years, we had Zoey, Liberty, and then Logan.

Our community

We live in a leafy tight-knit community in Sydney’s south.

We love where we live, we’ve grown up with a lot of the families here, as many of the children go to the local preschool, then go on to the local public school. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Our favourite place is our home.

We’re not one of those families that enjoys going out all the time, we much prefer to make our own fun at home. This could be partly my apprehension to wrangle three children in public, but honestly, our best memories are created at home.

The kids love imagination play and are always making up their own games.

You will usually find Liberty and Logan playing together.

They are nearly 4 years apart and the best of friends. Liberty is nearly 7, full of beans and generally has no off switch. Couple that with a very energetic 3 year-old, and it’s a recipe for chaos.

They may look like little angels, but rarely a day goes by without someone getting injured, and if not all of my children having tantrums and meltdowns…

Liberty dreams of being a vet one day, and has always loved animals.

She’s that kid that will cry when a snail’s shell gets squished, and is always willing to pick up the dog poo. We always say there are two Liberty’s, one that is the best little helper a parent could ask for, and then the other Liberty, when she’s had too much dairy or her reflux is irritating her- then she’s hurricane Liberty and we all duck for cover!

Logan is your typical rough and tumble little boy.

He loves balls, cars, Mario Kart and superheroes, but having sisters has also rubbed off on him, and he also loves pink and dolls. He’s a cheeky little monkey, with the sweetest nature. Logan’s been in day care, which we call kindy, since he turned 1, and he starts preschool at the beginning of the school year. He loves kindy he really needs the mental and physical activities that kindy and preschool can provide for him. There’s only so much we can do at home to keep him interested and occupied!

My little tween Zoey is 9 and a half, and has wanted to be a grown up since the day she was born.

She enjoys playing with her brother and sister, but mostly if she can control the game and it involves her being a teacher, parent, or some other grown-up role.

Zoey wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up- these are her own creations. Zoey loves the spotlight, but is probably happiest in her own company in her room where she loves to organize and reorganize again. Sometimes it’s a battle just to get Zoey to leave the house!

Our country

As often as we can but way less frequent then I’d like, we go to Cowra- home Country, or Ngurrumbang in Wiradjuri language.

We are a proud Wiradjuri family and going back to where our ancestors walked and lived for thousands of years is very important to us. There’s something about coming back here and connecting to this land that rejuvenates me and makes me feel at peace.

At home, I spend most of my time working from the dining room table here, or in my little study with no window.

I love my work; it is my motivation and my passion. Since COVID, I’ve been mostly working from home, which has really helped with my energy levels because I’ve eliminated the two-hour commute to and from the university.

In many ways work is much easier than being a parent, and I find that it’s one of my key survival mechanisms.

it is an escape from the stress and monotony of parenthood. At the same time though, work adds to the family stress, because of the competing demands and responsibilities of being both a parent and a working mum. Mark doesn’t have the same relationships with work. He enjoys his job outdoors looking after the parks and gardens for one of the local councils, but he leaves work at work, and home for home.

I often catch myself fantasizing about all the things I want to do when the kids are older, and my time will more or less be my own because they won’t need me as much. I guess it’s bittersweet.

Being a parent is a roller coaster, and I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned this past year, after being a parent for nearly 10 years, is that you can love your kids without enjoying the actual role of parenting. And that’s OK. I’m trying my very best to remember that now is just a moment in time- before I know it, my kids will be grown. I think it’s possible to cherish my children as they are now, while at the same time taking comfort in knowing that, as they do grow, the demands and intensity of parenting little children will get easier. Thanks for watching and remember to take time out for yourself.