Mom crush Monday- Roz Kelly
Monday is my favorite day to post, because I get to chat to some seriously inspirational mamas!
This is Roz- a Australian mama now living in South Africa. Married to cricketer Morne morkel, she chats to us about life in South Africa, being a mom, and keeping the balance.
Tell us about yourself, where are you from and what brought you to South Africa?
“You truly never know what life has in store for you. I’m a true blue Australian gal and fell in love with and married a full on Afrikaans man. Two and a half years ago I packed up my life and moved to South Africa to begin a new chapter … Never in a million years would I have imagined myself living in South Africa but here I am on an exciting journey with my little family. My husband plays cricket for the Proteas so we have a gypsy, transient lifestyle right now and I do my best to create a feeling of “home” everywhere we go. My son, Arias, visited 10 countries before his first birthday which blows my mind but it’s really important to us to be a family unit no matter where we are.”
Do you think you will go back to working or are you happy just being mommy at the moment? (if you not working)
“I’m incredibly lucky to have been a full time mom for the first year of my son’s life. It’s been such a magical adventure and I’m in awe of him. He’s my best friend. I’m a freelance journalist and will return to work in Australia in December co-hosting cricket’s Big Bash League. I’m equal parts excited and nervous about juggling both. But I’m sure that’s something every mother goes through and like everything in motherhood I’m hoping I’ll fumble my way through and figure it out along the way. My mum will babysit during this time so he’s in safe hands. Since becoming a mother I’ve got a new found respect for full time working mothers in particular. Some days I barely have time to shower or go to the toilet!”
Do you miss Australia, and would you and your family ever move there?
“I’m a very proud Aussie and love my country. I do wish my family and friends could be more part of Arias’ daily upbringing but thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime which helps bridge that gap slightly. Australia truly is a lucky country and a great place for children to grow up but for the near future, South Africa is our base. Whatever happens down the track or wherever we end up, I think its important for Arias to understand both his Australian and South African heritage.”
Is it very different living in South Africa and being Aussie?
“There’s a few common bonds between Australians and South Africans .. A love of sport, the outdoors and bbqs/braii. I must admit the biggest culture shock for me was when it comes to safety and security as in Australia most people don’t even fence their houses or bother to lock their doors. But there’s nothing quite like the vibrancy of South Africa and its smiling people. I’m slowly learning Afrikaans but it sounds very ridiculous with my accent.”
How has life changed since becoming a Mom?
“It’s much much more simple. I’ve cut out all the outside noise and rarely sweat the small stuff anymore. Time is precious so I only do things I really want to do as opposed to what I feel pressured to and I made a rule to only surround myself with “real” friends and uplifting people. But in the same breath, while life is more simple, it’s also more challenging than ever. You feel constantly tired, stretched or guilty and your patience is tested like never before. Motherhood has taught me to take every day as it comes and not put so much pressure on myself.”
Can you tell us about your breastfeeding journey?
“Thirteen months in and I’m proud to still be going. I really had no idea what to expect and didn’t set myself any goals for breastfeeding which probably helped me go with the flow so to speak. At the start, gosh it was so confusing! I used to re-latch him about 50 times every feed because I never knew if we were doing it right! Actually he was fine and following his instincts .. It was me that was confused! When he was one week old I was hit hard with mastitis … It’s one of the most uncomfortable experiences I’ve had and at the time I wasn’t sure if I could continue breastfeeding. It was a big shock because it’s something nobody warns you about. Actually there are so many things people don’t warn you about .. Like how thirsty and hungry you will be all the time and how physically draining it can be … I read somewhere that a breastfeeding mother burns the same amount of energy as if she was running a half marathon everyday. But I pushed through the confusion and am so glad I did because I’m still breastfeeding now … It’s so, so special. Arias only feeds once a day now, in the evening before bed and it’s our quiet mummy/baby connection time. He will be totally weaned by the time I return to work and I’m a bit emotional about it.”
Favourite product for babies and why?
Coconut oil. I put it in his bath and massage him with it afterward (when he lays still). It makes him smell so tasty. It’s also handy for mild nappy rash as it has anti bacterial properties.”
How has your style changed since becoming a mom?
Active wear is my new best friend! Only I use it as everyday wear … But it gets a bit awkward when people ask if I’ve been to the gym and I look at them in shock like “no why? I don’t have time for that, it’s just comfortable”. I’ve also become a major minimalist and gave away all my clothes that weren’t simple, toddler friendly or comfortable. Now my wardrobe basically consists of T-shirts, jeans and converse sneakers. It makes it quick and easy to get dressed. Some nice dresses and heels did survive the cull for when we eventually get to have a date night.”
Where is your favourite place to go hang with your Son in Cape Town?
“Farms are the new cafes! Arias doesn’t know the meaning of walk .. He only runs at a million miles an hour so we need a lot of space to entertain him (and wear him out). The Vineyard Hotel is a great place to meet friends because they make good coffee which is essential for me to function and he can safely run around and explore the beautiful garden. Otherwise I try take him to interesting places like Imhoff Farm, The Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary in Hout Bay, the aquarium at the V&A Waterfront or for a walk along the Promenade.
How do you stay in such great shape besides running after your toddler?
The saying “it takes nine months to make a baby, it will take nine months to get your body back to normal” really rang true for me. I felt puffy and bloated for about 6 months after birth and did very little exercise apart from the odd walk. But by about nine months post-partum began feeling slightly more like myself again. Probably because he was crawling and exploring everything so I was suddenly forced to be more active. We don’t have grandparents nearby to use as babysitters so I try get my exercise in while busy playing with him. Chasing him all day is enough cardio so I try sneak in some squats, sit-ups or lunges throughout the day. There’s a great account on Instagram … @activewithd … Which provides my motivation. She’s an Australian fitness trainer and mum who posts quick exercises to do at home while cooking, cleaning or playing with your kids.
What is the biggest surprise to you about having a child?
Everything! I’m constantly surprised. It began with the all consuming feelings of love. Then the tiredness. Then the physical and mental demands. The busyness. How the love grows even deeper than you can imagine. The laughter. The friendship. The tantrums. The stinky nappies. I swear everyday I’m surprised by something.
What do you love most about your husband being a dad?
He’s turned into a protective lion and I love watching their bond grow and get stronger with every passing day. Sometimes I get a little bit jealous of all their silly daddy/son fun!
Will there be another baby soon?
I’m still figuring out the first one! Haha .. At the moment I’m very happy with my little family of three while we live such a nomadic lifestyle but I’d love a loud, busy house with three kids and all their friends popping by one day.
What is one thing you want to teach your boy?
To be gentle and kind.
What sort of diet do you feed your son? and why?
I’m generally a very health conscious person and even studied Holistic Health before he was born so always knew I wanted to raise a very healthy family. But being healthy is hard work and very exhausting! Luckily I can drink coffee to help with that. When it comes to sugar and artificial food I’m quite strict and keep it off limits to Arias. While he’s young and growing I feel like he needs as much nourishment as possible. It takes a lot of effort but I feel so much better when I feed him home cooked food. But I’ve learned to keep it super simple and stick to what works. He loves things like porridge, fish, watermelon, roast veges, steamed carrot, cottage pie, lasagne, banana smoothies, apple, cheese slices and rice crackers. The hardest part is remembering not to force my food preferences on him because I don’t like to eat much meat, let alone cook it, but he really enjoys it. A few months ago I visited NutriPaeds who really helped guide me with getting him into good eating habits because he went through a stage of showing zero interest in food and it was stressing me out. I really recommend them. He’s super healthy but now I survive on coffee and shoving down on-the-go food like croissants.