Hi all! I’ve seen a few ‘FAQ’ blogs floating around, and I joked on Snapchat that mine would be boring because all I get asked is ‘Where is your hanging planters from?’ and ‘What brand is your vacuum?’ haha! Someone suggested putting it out there as an opportunity for anyone to ask me something they’ve been wanting to know. So here we are! I screenshot a bunch of questions and I’ve answered them below. In no particular order this is part 1, because there is still probably another 20 that I’m yet to get to… you’ll have to wait for part 2 for those. Happy reading…
What do you see yourself doing with your days, once both kids are at school?
I hope to continue doing blog and social media work, and get back into more graphic design. I would ideally love to make a full time income while working at home!
Will you ever go back to work in the future?
Ideally – no. I would be working, but not ‘at work’ out of the house. If social media takes a crashing dive, I always have my Graphic Design background behind me to fall back on and I know I can work from home doing that!
How do you find having your husband away a lot, if you could change the way he works (going away etc) – how would you?
Nare was in the Air Force before we met, so I very much knew what I was signing up for. Howeeeeever… pre-kids he barely ever went away! Just due to the nature of his position at the time. Popped some babes out, got married, and now he buggers off all the time! Hahaha. No not quite, but it looks like that’s the case 😉 I get used to it. I never love having him away, but the kids and I get into our groove and figure out our wee routine. Then he comes home and ruins it 😉 If I could change it, he’d never go away haha!
Anymore kids on the cards?
Honestly? Not sure! We’ve had serious discussions about this! I don’t feel done, like people say you do when you’re ‘done’. But I also don’t really feel like I want any more? Nare is 98% done. He’d probably go as far as saying 100% actually haha! I love where we’re at, what we can do with just the two, where we’re at financially etc. I’m not sure I want to add to that. You know they start getting out of the baby age, and you can do more things as a family? Then you add another baby again. So yeah, not sure on that one! Not anytime soon, if at all.
How do you find being a step Mum?
Jayden works full time now and has left school, so we don’t see him a lot. When he does come to stay he’s amazing! Super helpful and the kids are all over him, which he doesn’t mind – yay! I’m definitely no ‘Mumsy’ step Mum, we’re more at friends level – if that makes sense? I wash his clothes and cook him food, but we chat like friends and I don’t need to boss him around and tell him to tidy his room 😉
Where is your wishbone necklace from?
The pendant is from Pascoes, and my Mum got a more expensive chain put on it so that I knew the kids wouldn’t yank it off my neck! It’s nice and thin but super sturdy, the kids pull at it often but it’s yet to snap!
Where is your daughter’s name from?
I actually found it on a boys name list online somewhere! Spelt ‘Marlowe’. I put it on my boys list, though Nare didn’t like it. When we found out she was a girl I suggested it for her and he was a bit ‘meh’ about it, until I suggested the middle name Kobe (he loves basketball) to go with May (a family middle name). He went for it! I decided I liked the look of it more, with a few letters chopped off, so Marlo Kobe May it was!
Were your kids planned? If so, how long did it take you to conceive them?
I knew Nare was ‘the one’ pretty early on, so I didn’t muck around in putting it out there that I wanted babies soon. It was my dream to be a Mum, and I didn’t see the point in waiting years and years (personal preference!). We tried for around 6 months (felt like 10 years) before finally falling pregnant. I had no clue about my cycles and what not, which is probably why it took what felt like forever. Sadly that pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage, but I fell pregnant again straight afterwards (wasn’t trying, didn’t even get a period) with Brooklyn! #2… we planned to try after our wedding in Feb 2015. Me thinking it would take forever, suggested we start trying at New Years instead. Yeah jokes on me – first pop, 6 weeks pregnant at our wedding haha!
How old is Nare?
This seems to be the burning question! You guys know Jayden is 18, so the maths is telling you he’s older – but you think we don’t look that different in age. So either thats a lovely compliment for Nare, or you lot think I’m much older. Please tell me is the first option! 😉 He is 36, I’m 26.
What was it like with the age gap? Did you cop any flack when you first started dating?
Honestly, I forget there even is an age gap! Guys are immature, right? 😉 And I’ve always been told I’m mature for my age – so I guess we kind of meet in the middle at 30 haha! I don’t remember copping any flack, I think some of Nare’s friends were a bit sceptical when they found out how old I was – but we soon showed them!
How long have you been a stay at home Mum?
I haven’t been ‘back to work’ since Brooklyn was born! Funny story actually – I told my old job that I would go back when he was 3 months old and work night shifts. Bloody LOL! Obviously I didn’t realise babies don’t actually sleep haha!
How do you stay so tidy and organised?
First of all, I’m not perfect by any means! My house still gets messy… with 2 young kids it’s inevitable. But mostly I set myself a little routine and do my best to stick to it. Daily, when Marlo naps around lunchtime – I do a quick whip around tidying and picking up toys. Then I try to do that again just before Nare gets home, however that is right on dinner time so doesn’t always work out. Every evening Nare does the dishes and once the kids are in bed we tidy up the main living/dining area together, I vacuum (yes, every night) and mop the floors. Two reasons for that. 1. It needs it. Haha. And 2. Getting up in the morning to a clean + tidy house makes the day start off a million times better, in my opinion! On Friday’s I usually tidy and clean upstairs (bedrooms) for the weekend, and again on Monday so that they’re fresh and tidy for the week. Bathroom and toilet get done when I can, and washing daily too. I don’t always stick to this, to the day, but it’s a rough routine of what I try to work towards. Seems to work ok for me! Another key point for staying tidy is decluttering. Toy cull often, get rid of stuff that is unnecessary and that the kids don’t play with… less for you to tidy up!
What is your age gap between Brooklyn and Marlo, and how do you find it?
2 years 9 months in between them, and I absolutely love it! My whole pregnancy, Brooklyn still napped – so most days I would join him! For the first 3 months of Marlo’s life, he wasn’t at preschool yet, so there was no rushing out of the house for drop offs and pick ups, no bringing home of germs and bugs. Now there relationship is too cute. Sure they bicker, like any siblings do. But for the most part they’re pretty precious. Eg. Last night Marlo did a poo on the toilet for the first time, Brooklyn could hear me saying “Good girl Marlo!!” and came running in asking if she did a “real poo on the toilet?!”… I nodded and with a huge grin he says “Oh my goodness! Marlo I’m SO proud of you!!”. Bless!!
How long have you been blogging? How did you get started?
Just after Marlo was born (Sept 2015) I was given a brand rep job for Global Baby, and as part of that I was gifted the most beautiful stroller. I wanted to write a proper review on it, so I started a blog to go along side my Instagram. Instagram and Facebook are still my ‘main’ social media channels, I don’t blog a huge amount – not even weekly, but it’s there for when I have too much to say for a IG caption 😉
How do you disclose when you’re ‘working’ with a brand rather than talking about something you’ve paid for yourself? If it is a sponsored (paid to write the content by a brand) blog, then I will say at the end ‘Thank you *brand name here* for sponsoring this blog’ or something along the lines of that. Instagram or Facebook posts sometimes I will disclose by saying ‘I recieved…’, or ‘I was sent this… by….’ which is my way of saying ‘I was gifted this’. If it’s something I’ve paid for myself I will usually say outright ‘I ordered this…’. On Facebook now there is a feature where I can tag in the business. So if the post says ‘With The Whittakers with *brand here*’ then that’s telling you that I’m working with them somehow. Not necessarily paid content, it might be that they’ve gifted me the product as payment. I’m not really down for the #gifted and #sponsored hashtags, I hope that you guys know me well enough now to know that I will never promote something that I don’t truly believe in. I won’t tell you something is amazing, if I think it’s anything but. I fully back any brand/product that I promote, you have my word on this!
Would you mind sharing more about your budget? Groceries, affording kids clothes etc.
This is a big topic on its own, which I’m about to do a series on – so keep your eyes peeled for that!
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher! Until I started high school and realised it was NOT something I wanted to pursue. Haha!
You’re a qualified Graphic Designer, where did you study and how long did it take?
I study straight out of high school at Natcoll (National College of Design), now called Yoobee. I did a 1 year Diploma in Computer Graphic Design and loved it! Smashing it out in one year meant less holidays than your typical uni, and more hours per day. But totally worth it to get it all done and dusted in one year!
What did you do when you worked at TV3, how did you get into that job?
When I first moved back to Auckland and in with Nare, I found a nannying job for a wee baby boy and his two older sisters. The Mum (Mihingarangi Forbes) was a reporter for Campbell Live and the Dad was a camera man for 60 minutes. When the baby was a bit older, they put him into daycare so could only offer me after school hours – and managed to find me a position that was going at TV3. It was for an ‘autocue operator’, basically you sort all of the scripts for the newsreaders before the show, and then you sit in the studio and roll the autocue machine so that they read the right news! I worked on Firstline, 6News and Nightline (at different times) and nannied too.
Do you love Mum life, or sometimes wish you could be back at work and have the kiddies in daycare?
I really do love Mum life. I feel so so lucky to be able to stay home with my kiddies and be able to watch them hit each and every milestone. I know it’s not for everyone, and there are totally some days where I get jealous of Nare going to work and wish we could swap for the day. But I truly feel like this is what I was born to do!
Part 2 coming soon…