I have been a huge fan of the Watts family for as long as I can remember. When we started our blogging journey, I was thrilled to connect with Georgie and find out how ace she is.
As our first Everyday Mum, she offers an insight into life in the Inner West, travelling across our beautiful country and how she found her journey into motherhood.
Straight up, let’s talk about Wolfe and Kinga. How old are they? And where did the inspiration for their names come from?
Wolfe is 7, and Kinga will be five in December… Both names have a Eastern European bent, as a nod to heritage on both sides of the family. When I was pregnant with Wolfie, I would see the name everywhere! On the side of vans, in the credits of tv shows, in newspapers and magazines. Naturally I thought the universe was talking to me, and confirmation of this was when the little bugger was born and had dark hair up his ears and back. I had birthed a wolf cub! As for Kinga, we were quite into Kiki as a name, but agreed she may not be taken seriously with such a fun name. We have a very talented, creative and gorgeous friend called Kinga, and so Kiki became Kinga!
We gave the kids more conservative middle names, Henry and Rose, should they ever get over having different names…though the majority of their classmates have unique names, so their unusual names are not actually so unusual after all!
Women often talk about the different reactions they had when they became a Mother for the first/second/third time. How did you find your journey into Motherhood?
I confess, somewhat shamefully, that I was never one of those women who was naturally maternal. Starting a family was a GREAT unknown.
Having said this, it was all new, and all very exciting. Never in your adult life do you experience so many firsts! And the changes within your body! The human body is so very clever. And how incredible that every pregnancy is so different; with Wolfie I was tired all the time, but never sick. Kinga was exceptionally difficult, I had very bad placenta previa and had terrible morning sickness.
How have you found navigating the different stages with the kids? Any favourite age so far?
Both kids were terrible sleepers as babies, which was incredibly challenging. Wolfie was a cat napper as a result of having a retained startle reflex, so he’d take forever to settle, and then would wake after a 45 minute sleep. Kinga would wake every night at 90 minute intervals, and would need to be cuddled and fed back to sleep. We had a nurse sleep over; her verdict was that Kinga just liked the cuddles, and didn’t need the feed! Cheeky!
I really love the ages they’re at now; both kids are able to communicate effectively their needs, and articulate their feelings which is immensely helpful. I’m surprised by how large their vocabulary is given how young they are, and their understanding of the context of things. Particularly when mum or dad swear! (which is hardly ever!!!!!Ha!)
We all have them, lord knows we have had a few of them. What is your best horrible parent moment to date?
Oh dear. These are a near daily occurrence, right? One that sticks out in my mind was on a drive from Sydney to Adelaide, during magpie season, we stopped in a park to stretch our legs; baby Wolfie had a mop of flaxen gold hair, and was swooped by a crazy magpie…Mez and I were too busy giggling to move, until we realised the magpie had drawn blood from poor Wolfies ear!!!! #horribleparents
You are Merrick have been together for a million years. You are both tanned, gorgeous and look so full of love…. Please tell us your drive each other insane sometimes?
He drives me absolutely bonkers!!! It’s lucky that he is very handsome and funny and cooks a mean spaghetti vongole…to balance it out!
Does having a husband in the public eye come with its own set of challenges?
Mostly it’s not a problem…We’re pretty low key, and nothing is really off limits, Mez uses the family as fodder for his radio show after all! If we’re out and about people may like to have a photo, and I’m happy for that! I love that he is approachable, and people relate to him.
From the outside looking in, you could see how people would think you have more of a glamourous life than most. I suspect there is a lot of non glamourous things happening in your house. What is real life like for the Watts Family?
We’re a family like any other! Yes, there’s plenty of non glamourous things in our house, I think that goes with the territory of having kids?! Once in a blue moon Mez and I will go to a movie premiere perhaps, and that’s a bit exciting and glam, but usually I’m at Woolies, in my active wear (despite zero activity!) and doing the school run…or catching up on the ironing and changing kitty litter! Not glam!
It’s probably worth noting too, that what you see on social media are carefully curated moments. I’m as guilty of this as anyone…so you see fun bits, not all bits! (you don’t want to see all bits, trust me!)
You live in a magnificent converted candy factory in Sydney’s Inner West (which we will talk more about in a minute) What made you feel that was the area you wanted to lay down your roots?
Accessibility to all the important things to us; Mez’s work, great supermarkets and fresh food options, Chinatown and down the road a school that we hoped to send the kids to once they were old enough! Whilst we don’t have a garden as such at home, we are surrounded by beautiful public spaces and parklands, so we never feel like we’re missing out in that way. It’d be wonderful to have a lawn and a trampoline, maybe some chooks, but for now, quick access to yum cha or a big bowl of pho at our favourite vietnamese joint on George Street in the city wins!
There is a pool on the top floor of your house, that we drool over in summer, do the kids just love it out there? How on earth did you even visualise anything more than a blow up pool on the deck? It’s genius.
A blow up pool would have certainly been easier! Wish I’d thought of that! I think Mez came up with that one, as with much of the house design (I was busy being pregnant, twice!) He had wanted to convert a warehouse for as long as I’d known him, so he’d had time to stockpile ideas. The deck and pool are essentially our backyard, our outdoor play area, and in summer we open up all the sliding doors and the kids are in the pool all day. We can prep meals and still keep an eye on them, so they’re always safe.
You guys did a five-week car drive/train journey trip this year. I am getting cold sweats thinking about driving to QLD for Christmas with a 3-year-old, how did you go as a family unit spending that much time in confined quarters?
What an amazing trip that was! The south west pocket of Australia is really very special! Road trips are not without their challenges…it’s all in the planning, and preparation. Our kids have been doing it every year, as our family used to have a beach house in South Australia, so every December we’d drive over, and at the end of summer drive back again. We stay in cabins at caravan parks along the way, with jumping pillows and other kids to play with, so they can stretch their legs and tire themselves out at the same time. It helps if you can prepare you own meals too, so you’re not eating out too much, or stressed about finding somewhere kid friendly to eat.
I always pack a backpack full of goodies too, colouring stuff, activity books, maybe a new lego set, some healthy treats, and one or two special treats. An ipad with a new movie and a few new apps helps too, along with an in car charger. And headphones!!!! Don’t forget the headphones!
The Indian Pacific was a bit different, as it was a complete departure from routine, and as such it was all super exciting. I really recommend doing it once in your lifetime, it was incredible. With a little luck, we may be doing The Ghan sometime in 2017!
You guys have a serious love of Australia. Your blog, The Window Seat, covers your journeys as a family. Has travel always been a passion for you?
My family travelled loads for my dads job (and consequently for pleasure) when I was a kid, so perhaps that wanderlust was instilled in me from a young age. And given how Australia is such a diverse and varied travel destination, I’m saddened by how prohibitively expensive domestic travel here is. Having said this, travel doesn’t need to be expensive, there are so many great options within striking distance of our major cities…we went to Newcastle recently, and though I’ve been there many times, I had never explored it the way we did this time. We’re in love with it, it’s a brilliant travel destination for families.
Travelling with kids is a whole different kettle of fish to travel as a couple, but the payoff is huge! Watching them marvel at new environments, foods and cultures, that’s priceless!
We love love love that you write about being a hometown tourist. I read some of your blogs and think ‘where on earth is that’ and I am a born and raised Sydney girl. How do you find these amazing places?
Ah, thanks! It’s a bit of a life saver to be honest, we can’t travel all the time as it becomes financially prohibitive and who has the time! You always have tips for visiting friends and family, but how often do you do any of those things yourself? There’s a brilliant group on Facebook called “Sydney With Kids” which is chock full of ideas for family activities within greater Sydney. I also read local online publications such as Broadsheet for upcoming festivals, or markets, and my network of school mums is a font of info. We bounce ideas off each other, and come up with excellent ways of keeping the kids entertained and in the process, catching up and having a cuppa.
What is something that is crucial to your everyday routine?
I love a coffee with my school mum mates at drop off, it’s a wonderful thing to have this network of interesting women from all walks of life, and being thrown together because we have children in common. It’s an excellent circuit breaker, as is an hour or two of exercise a week, a walk with ace tunes blaring in my headphones, or a class, where no one can get hold of me for an hour. I also love a little glass of red wine as I cook dinner, a nice little reward at the end of the day (though I’m trying to curb this a little)
What piece of wisdom can you pass on to all our Every Day Mums?
Be kind to yourself! You’re probably doing a pretty ace job! Being a modern parent is tricky business…If you’re struggling, call or text a friend, they’ll always be able to give you perspective, make you laugh, and failing that, there’s always wine!!!!!
You can find Georgie at: