Olivia is the partner of former AFL footballer Shane Crawford and the mother of four boys. Yep, four boys which includes twins so needless to say, she has her hands full.
Olivia has recently launched her new website and blog Flat Out Mum.
"Flat Out Mum is about sharing idea’s on how you can lighten the load, helpful tips to improve the mechanics of the daily grind and rejoice in the simple pleasures of daily life."
Get comfy, grab a cuppa and enjoy the mama wisdom with Olivia...
+ Introduce us to your family, how many children do you have and how old are they?
Charlie is 8, Ben 6 and the twins Jack & Harry just turned 3.
In years, Shane is 40 :)
+ Pregnancy is a life changing experience, what was your favourite part of being pregnant? What was your not so favourite part of being pregnant?
I loved my first pregnancy with Charlie as I could rest on the weekends, go to bed early & really focus on myself. All that changes when you have your second child onwards. I had really bad morning sickness with Ben & even worse with the twins, so then it became more about getting through each day in the healthiest way I could.
But I always love when you start to feel the baby move and you start that bonding process with your little bub.
+ During pregnancy you really need to be careful what you do and don’t eat. What was one item of food that you struggled to remove from your diet? Did you substitute it with something else?
I really love coffee but luckily once I became pregnant the smell of it was a of a turn off & it tasted extra bitter so it became easy to remove. I realised how much ‘deli meat” I ate but it wasn't so hard for me to avoid most things. Being extra conscious of providing the best nutrition to your baby was a good incentive for me.
“This too shall pass” is a great quote I often think of when times are tough. Sick babies, sleep deprivation, toddler tantrums that are all really hard stages but I just tried to focus on the fact that it was just a stage & it would soon be over. This is something that really helped me get through some really testing periods when the twins were newborns as I knew from my older children, just how fast time really flies with young kids.
Just get through each day (and night!) the best way you can.
+ Looking after yourself becomes even more important when you are a mum, so what do you try and do for yourself to stay grounded and healthy?
I love pilates and have found it to be a great exercise that you can ease yourself back into slowly after babies & then ramp it up as you get stronger. I really needed it for my core after the twins and have really enjoyed the stretching part of it also. I commit to regular sessions by paying in advance and arranging to meet a couple of girlfriends there. That way I can’t get out of it when I feel extra tired or feel the need to spend my limited free time elsewhere.
Giving your mind a rest too is very important & this can be as simple as a walk around the block by yourself for ten minutes to breathe & refocus, or a night out with your partner or best friends. A good laugh always helps.
+ What is a healthy recipe that your kids love?
A good friend of mine Jodie Blight wrote a cookbook last year “Summer Table” so my current favourite recipes are out of that. Not only are they great tasting & easy for families (she has two young boys herself) but I can ring her up & ask for extra advice if I need it!
The carrot & zucchini frittata’s are delicious & a great way to sneak extra veggie’s into the kids.
You make them in a muffin tray, so you can add other veggie’s or salad as a main meal, use them as snacks or put them in their school lunch box if they’re sick of sandwiches.
+ Playing with kids is always fun, how do you enjoy spending time with your children?
We are lucky to have a pool at home, so that is always the boys top choice, rain hail or shine. I find swimming really tires them out & they’re hungry afterwards. So they eat & sleep well. All of these things are really essential in a house with so many energetic boys!
They also love their scooters & bikes so a lot of chasing those around. The trampoline is also a favourite & many hours of “mum look at me” & “mum watch this trick” are spent there (with me holding my breath!)
+ If you could have a conversation with yourself prior to having children, what would one key piece of advice be (knowing what you know now)?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
The early years are beautiful but they can also be very testing. Focus on the bigger picture & try to live in the moment with them as much as you can, without worrying about the little stresses that don’t matter so much in the end. This is a big lesson you learn when you have a child that genuinely gets really sick, or you have a scare of any kind.
In the end if you’re all healthy, that is all that matters.