Nicole won over a lot of hearts and minds when she was featured in one of our Little Things videos recently. In part it was because
here was a single mum successfully bringing up her son and twin girls, maintaining a positive attitude and with a sense of balance. We know a lot of people were wondering, ‘how does she do that?’ So we asked her.
She says its about finding the time for yourself. When her children are playing with friends or visiting family she will take a walk along the lake, or take photographs, or have a sleep. “I go with my instincts and ask myself what do I need. I’ll often touch base with a friend over the phone and have heart to heart chat.”
It wasn’t always like that. When her twins were 8 months old she realised she hadn’t been away from them for more than an hour at a time. And that was just to go shopping. She decided it was time to return to another passion. She found a family to babysit the two girls whilst she played two and a half hours of tennis a week – it led to victory in a mixed doubles competition, even though she was eight and a half months pregnant with Joshua at the time. “It was one of the sweetest sporting victories of my life,” says Nicole, but, two weeks later she had three infants under 15 months. “From that point, my life was full on,” she says.
Today health is still important, but it’s not just about sport. Nicole says it’s also about nutrition, emotions, spirituality and relationships. It’s this holistic attitude that has helped her keep her sense of balance.
“There’s a saying I’ve heard,” Nicole explains. “It’s called H.A.L.T.” It’s an emotional health check that is based on asking yourself four questions:
Am I Hurting
Am I Angry
Am I Lonely
Am I Tired
When she feels that any of these are getting out of control Nicole knows she has to confront it head on.
I’m thankful my kids can recognise when I’m exhausted from a rough day. “Eva is thoughtful enough to take off my shoes, prop my feet up on the couch. She also makes me nice cups of tea. When Josh sees I’m weary he comes to stroke my forehead or rub my back and Serena brings me a blanket and tucks me in on the couch”.
Nicole says she gets a lot of physical affection from the children – lots of hugs and kisses. “And they’ll compliment me if I’m wearing something nice, or tell me I’m pretty.”
Perhaps that’s part of the secret too: look after your family and they’ll look after you.