Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Mel interviews me!

This is a fun little interview compiled by Mel, who sent me the questions. My answers are in purple.

1. Having 4 kids these days always raises eyebrows....did you always plan to
have a larger family? And how do you manage time with each child and the man
and time for yourself?

1a) Yes, Shane & I always wanted 4 kids, then settled for 3 & I became pregnant with my 4th despite the fact that I was on the pill, so be careful...it does happen!

1b) Things are definitely easier now that the kids are bigger as they are now 15, 13, 10 & 8. They all have different things they enjoy doing so I take them out separately wherever possible so that I get some quality time with each of them as often as I can. Having a full-time helper at home makes it possible to leave my teenagers at home sometimes while I'm out with the younger ones, & they don't mind in the week 'cos they go out with their friends on the weekends!

1c) Shane & I have hardly had an uninterrupted conversation in years & do a lot of our communicating via e mail & sms - that always raises an eyebrow but it works for us! He is also a great father & helps out on weekends, when we either do things as a family or take 2 kids each so that we can do age-appropriate things with them. We have a date night every week, where we go out alone while the kids are babysat - we usually go for movies & coffee.

1d) I've only had a bit of time to myself in the last 2 years, since my "baby" has been at proper school & I've got some help in the house. I commit several hours of my mornings to scrapbooking with a bit of time on each end for errands & stay up far too late blogging & reading. Being an insomniac definitely helps!! It's an exhausting life but when your kids need you you have to deliver.

2. What was your biggest adjustment after getting married or what part of marriage were you least prepared for?

The first year of marriage was definitely the hardest. We fought a lot (as we did for the 6 years that we dated!) but neither of us ever doubted that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together & the making up was great! We'd been together for so long that it wasn't really difficult to adjust to being married. I was probably least prepared for the lack of privacy. Although I love being with Shane I also need my alone time & when I used to work all day in a stressful environment then come home to someone also demanding my attention it was tough at times. These days we don't have to say a word to each other for hours on end but are just happy if we are together. We are way more mellow now & gave up arguing seriously years ago.

3. Share with us one of your most embarrassing moments.

Fortunately I haven't had many, probably because it takes a lot to embarress me! Once, when I was in my early twenties, a friend & I booked to watch a fashion show at a posh hotel. We didn't realise that there were 3 Jacaranda Rooms in the same hotel (very strange but true) so went into the first one we came across. There were round tables of about 8 scattered all over the huge room & many glamorous models walking around rather randomly. We thought it was all a bit strange because we were expecting a ramp...Anyway, we made our way to 2 vacant chairs at one of the tables & ordered drinks. Before they arrived we were pounced upon by one very angry bride, who spoke harshly to us, causing quite a commotion. Unbeknownst to us, we had gatecrashed her wedding reception & she was having none of our excuses! We had to saunter/scurry out of there as fast as we could & didn't know whether to laugh or cry...

4. Tell us how you met your man and your very first impressions....

We met in a nightclub when we were 17. We both used to go to the same one every week but had never set eyes on each other before. I have always had an affinity for very tall people so I noticed him straight away. I saw him "checking me out" for a couple of hours but he was obviously too shy to talk to me so I eventually went over & asked him to dance. I had a curfew & only half an hour left before I had to leave so I knew I had to do it. We danced until it was time for me to go then he asked me for my phone number & we had to go to reception to borrow a pen & a bit of till slip to write on! My heart flipped when I first saw him & still does at times. I could tell that he was foreign because he looked "different" to all the Zimbabwean boys & the rebel in my wanted something exotic! I found out that he was Zambian, boarding schooled in the UK & I seriously loved his accent so he ticked all the right boxes.

5. What are your personal dreams and aspirations aside from seeing your kids
grow up happy and healthy etc.

I would like to live in a first world country eventually & would love to travel a bit more once my kids leave home. I want to learn French or Italian & live somewhere in Europe. I hope to always maintain a close relationship with my children & really pray that they find suitable partners so that I get to be a hands-on granny. I want to do a correspondence English writing course (I've had the details of the exact one for years) to give me all the know-how to write articles for magazines, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I also want to improve my photography skills as much as my finances will allow so that I'll eventually be on a professional level & may use that to do some freelance work aswell. I'd like to keep "pushing the envelope" with my scrapbooking too & enter as many competitions/design team calls as possible & see where that leads me.

Thanks Mel! I had no idea how hard that would be...It has taken me over an hour. Safe to say I would be a hopeless celeb!


Jenny in Durbs said...

Hey Helen really good interview, keep up with the dreams they will turn into reality one day.

Cathy said...

fantasic... you definately put a lot of thought into this... way to go!

Kirsty said...

Hi Helen! Thanks for stopping by my blog! It seems we have a bit in common! I have 3 kids, my last was also conceived despite contraception! (When my daughter was only 7 months old!) I am an amateur scrapper, and one day, when I get some more time to myself, I may do it a bit more seriously! I have done my oldest childs album until he was 2 and a half, which is when madame arrived on the scene, and hot on her heels came Luke! So - I have a lot of catching up to do! But I love photos, so have a heap that just grows bigger and bigger....
One day...
Keep in touch! xx

Desire Fourie said...

This was great as I kicked of my heels, sat back and enjoyed the read. Learning something new of you on a daily basis. Loved your embarassing moment story ... wedding crasher of stature you are hey! No need to study to be an author of articles you are already a pro. Hugs from Desire

Simply-Mel said...

Helen, I so enjoyed reading this and getting a glimpse into who you are. Thanks so much for playing along. I think our little blog community should do this more often!