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Everyday Heroes: Renee Christie

Hello there Knight Life followers, and to all the wonderful mothers (and fathers!) out there: Happy Mother’s Day! This very special ‘Everyday Heroes’ segment is all about celebrating hard-working, dedicated and caring Mums. So, who better to interview than the most gorgeous Mum I know: my sister, Nae Christie?! I hope you enjoy this article and have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!

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So Nae, my first question is: this year you’re celebrating your 13th Mother’s day!
I am!
You are [laughs] How does that feel?!
Wow! It feels a little bit bitter sweet actually. I was always ‘the one’ who never wanted kids, and then I did, and here we are thirteen years later! [Laughs] I suppose when you think about it as a whole it’s almost shocking to think, “It’s been thirteen years,” because as a Mum, or as a parent, I know I always try to take each day as it comes. Every day something new is happening, someone has to go somewhere, something at school needs to be bought, and you do take ever moment step by step. But, when you glance back and look at the ‘bigger picture’ … Well, it’s pretty big! I’m quite pleased with myself actually, to have come this far, and to be totally honest I would not want it any other way!

So you’re a mother of three, and this year you have gone through a lot of transitions! Can you describe your transition from being just ‘Nae’ to being a Mum?
Well, I’ve said it few times to those closest around me and I’ll say it to you: it’s hard to say, but sometimes I don’t know who ‘Nae,’ is anymore. I am so focused around not just my children as a whole, but about meeting their individual needs, from Macayla, to Lachlan to my youngest Ebony. When you become a Mum: your life suddenly becomes about being able to recognize the needs of your children and that essentially becomes your main focus; assuring someone’s needs are met before your own.
So when does your needs get met?
[Thinks] You know, sometimes in the day I might take five minutes to myself, or forty minutes to watch an episode of something that I haven’t caught up on yet! But then, even with that, I need to push pause at least five times because someone needs something! And after two hours I may get through a forty-minute episode, but that’s my time, and my space. I think I do need to accommodate more ‘Nae’ time because being a Mum 24/7, I really do need it!
But answering your original question, I do still feel that I am myself of course, but it’s normally after eight-thirty at night when the kids are asleep and in bed that ‘Nae’ shines through a little bit!

Alright, now this question is a little bit of a weird one so bare with me, but: if you had to describe your brain like a room… What would it look like?!
It would be a room filled with post-its! [Laughs and pauses] It’s so funny that you ask that because I was only saying to Shane [my partner] today: I need to remember so many things, for three children, for him and for myself, and I feel as though I need to put post its all over the house. I’m remembering so much for so many people, me being the last one. So that’s what the room would look like, it would be full of colourful post-its.
So let me flip it now and ask: what would you want the room to look like?
Well my life is so chaotic, there is stuff going on everywhere and I would really like it to look like I have OCD. [Laughs] Everything has a spot; and everything is not out of its spot. Do you know what I mean? A little bit of tidiness, neatness, order!
And no post-its?
Maybe just a small pad. Not everywhere, but just a neat little pad in the corner of the room!

[Laughs] Okay, moving on! What three pieces of advice would you give to a new Mum/family?
1. Have patience.
2. Love unconditionally.
3. Cherish every moment, because before you know it, that moment is gone and you can never get it back.

Going on from our other question, when [else] do you get time to yourself and more importantly: how do you find the energy to do all the things that you have to do in your life?
Tough question! Because I’m sure as any other mother can agree with me here on this one; I don’t even get to go to the toilet in peace these days! You just can’t. I feel that I really only get time to myself in the shower, and even then a lot of thinking and planning happens internally.
Have you ever taken yourself out on a date? Or on a lunch or shopping date just for yourself recently?
No, I can’t say that I’ve taken myself out. Although, most recently, I was meant to work an all day shift starting very early and had organised for my mother in law to have the kids. At the last minute work was cancelled but I still took the kids to their Nan’s house. I spent most of the day by myself at home, which felt very strange, and I also arranged for Shane and I to go out for dinner (which is completely out of the ordinary, especially without the kids!). It was such an awkward feeling for both of us to be sitting in a restaurant watching other families with their children and we had none! There was no “Lachlan, cut it out… Ebby, eat your food… Macayla, stop encouraging your dad to play around!” [Laughs].
As we addressed already, we are thirteen years in now, this is our life and we are so use to it. So when something like that [such as a night to ourselves, or a few hours to myself happens] it’s out of the ordinary!
So now over the years I’ve gone from just having my voice in my head, to not just one, not two, but three (and Shane’s voice) in my head. Either someone’s wanting to know something, or asking to fix something or remind me to do something, so to go from that to absolute nothing [the day that I came home to no-one,] is a shock to the system. Oh, and mind you, the power was out too so I couldn’t even charge my phone to check Facebook!
So the kids weren’t home, Shane wasn’t home, the power was out and you couldn’t change your phone: what did you do?!
I just sat on the couch, and was just looking around the house a bit perplexed. I remember thinking to myself: “This is different,” and I didn’t know what to do. I’ve been so absorbed in motherhood that… You know what, I felt lonely.
But thankfully someone came home, right?!
Yeah! It was probably about 6pm of the following day! Shane had been to pick up the kids after work and it was just like a tornado though the house. I actually remember counting it down, I heard the car pull up, and I was like “Here we go!” I heard the key in the door, [“Are you ready?”] Three, two, one! Then it was: one, two, three kids, and then Shane, and then the door slams… and after that it was just life again. It was noisy chaos, and it was my normal.
Could you imagine that was you, for thirteen years just sitting on the couch?
No. No way!
Do you enjoy the chaos?
I do! Of course, as much as I can complain [a little sometimes!] it’s who I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way now. I enjoy it; I enjoy being busy and being depended on.

N’gaw, well moving on. I really like this next question: If you had to make a ‘Nae survival kit’ for someone, what are the seven things that someone would need to survive a week in your shoes?
1. Post-its [laughs] to write down everything!
2. A full tank of fuel, to accommodate for netball training, netball games, school drop offs, pick ups and footy.
3. Patience, you need a hell lot of patience, almost as much as the fuel, so a full tank of patience!
4. Good compromising skills!
5. Definitely my phone, and my charger, and credit. I need to constantly be on standby in the event of an emergency.
6. An episode of my favorite reality show. Whether I catch up on a forty-minute episode, or over a two and a half over period, or if I just shut the whole house out and watch a season: I need that!
7. A cheeky four pack of Smirnoff or [worst case], a cheap bottle of wine!

So that last question! I ask every interviewee this question, and it is: who inspires you, who is your everyday hero?
It would have to be Carol [my mother in law]. She’s been my rock! She has been what I’ve needed her to be, plus more throughout the past 13/14 years. There have been plenty of occasions where I would’ve fallen in a heap if it weren’t for her. The way she delivers her advice makes you believe that you can conquer whatever you are going through, and you can over come it. Carol also has a way of making you feel like its going to be okay and that you just need to get on it with it, because as a Mum, you have to get on with it. There’s no time for sitting around and feeling sorry for this or that. You just need to keep on fighting, that’s just what you have to do! She has taught me to be that way for my kids, but ultimately, that’s what she does for me. I will be for ever greatful to her!

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* Nae is a temperamental soul and a hard-working mum of three. She lives with her main-man, Shane, and her three children, their dog Buddy, and their two turtles Turbo and Rusty in Melbourne. Nae believes in cherishing her family, that children make life worth living, and that what doesn’t kill you makes you strong.
* Nae has chosen that is interview were to have a sound track it would be ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta featuring Sia, which you can listen to here: Here.
* Here is a photo of Nae and I on the day of our interview:

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* Here is a sneaky snap of some post-its, thrown in for a lil’ laugh:

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* Photo Credit for the featured photo goes to: https://twitter.com/atelierem
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