House Rules 2014 winner Lisa Lamond shares the parenting secrets that make her life easier.
House Rules 2014 winners Lisa Lamond and Adam Dovile not only share the champion title for season two, but an Instagram account and two beautiful daughters, Arabella (3), and Ruby (2).
With Adam away during the week as host of Better Homes and Gardens, Lisa back at work, and a household still under renovation, this family knows how to turn what could be chaos into some semblance of order.
“Our life is chaotic,” laughs Lisa. “We’ve been living with a tarp over the mid-section of our house for over 12 months. You get used to the chaos.” Here Lisa shares her parenting hacks to make life that bit easier.
Fix anxiety with routine
“One of my daughters was quite attached and struggling going to kindy, with the fear of the unknown, so we’ve established a morning and evening routine. It’s printed out with words and pictures of things like brushing hair, packing a bag, eating breakfast, and then at night, eating dinner, having a bath, story time – and it’s been awesome. Kids are so big on routine it helps them pre-empt stuff when they feel anxious.”
Dress the night before
“My daughters like to dress themselves from head to toe. On days I’m working in particular, I don’t have a spare hour while they pull up one sock. So the best piece of advice I’ve been given is to dress your kids the night before in the clothes you want them to go out in. When they wake up, I get them dressed, change their nappy, put their shoes on and we are out the door. It works wonders for me and where I’m at in life at the moment.”
Outsource where you can
“With Adam, my husband, working away mid-week, getting out with two girls to the supermarket felt impossible. I discovered online grocery shopping 12 months ago and while it takes some planning and preparation, it’s helped me try to stay one step in front.”
Schedule family time
“Sunday is family day. Adam is really hands-on when he’s here. His time is precious with the girls and it’s about fun and experiencing different things. We do a lot of singing and dancing, plus taking the bikes outside. I’m a fairly freelance sort of mum. My thoughts on motherhood are about the experiences I have with my children. I’m not precious about the mess things make, like cooking or painting. I want them to try new things and test themselves. We’re trying to instil in them resilience and confidence, because it’s a challenging world raising two girls.”
Call in support
“I have minimal TV unless I need to do something specifically for half an hour. But I have been known to Google ‘Elsa on the toilet’ or ‘Dora brushing her teeth’ on YouTube, when I need help convincing the girls to get on with it.”
Find your secret sauce
“I do a lot of meal prepping, or if I make a meal, I make twice as much. What I always have in my freezer though is my mother-in-law’s Napolitano sauce, a recipe she taught me. It’s a really thick sauce filled with zucchini and sweet potato. I use it on everything from pasta to chicken breast and veggies. The girls love it.”
Learn to compromise
“Bath time is the bane of my existence. I had to negotiate with them and got the agreement I could wash their hair and then fill the bath with slime.”
Hold the comparisons
“My advice for any new parent is not to compare yourself as a mum or dad, and not to compare your child either with similar ages. We all have our own pace and ways of coping. Realise this as well: toddlers do have tantrums. At one stage I wasn’t going out because I thought I couldn’t control my children and was embarrassed. But I got over it and learned how to diffuse the situation.”
What Lisa Wishes She Knew Before Becoming A Parent
- Enjoy every moment
It really does go far too quickly – enjoy every moment, even the testing ones! Each day will bring new challenges and experiences. Embrace these. Particularly as a first-time parent, it’s so easy to think that challenging phases will never end. They do eventually, and you will be stronger for it!
- Be the best role model you can be
You have little eyes watching your every move, every reaction and everything you say so try and be the best role model you can be.
- Don't compare your child to others
You will do your head in with worry, remember that every child develops at different stages.
- Don't expect to be the perfect parent
Don’t expect to be the perfect parent. You learn each day how to be the type of parent that your child needs.