| Posted by My Super Nanny
The Flat Out Mum, Olivia Anderson is a mum to 4 energetic boys, passionate about anything twins and partner to AFL Shane Crawford. We loved hearing about how she balances a testosterone filled house with her business, Flat Out Mum.
Who are you a Super Mum to?
Charlie is our eldest (9) followed by Ben (7) and our identical twins Jack & Harry are 4 years old.
Aside from your love of flat shoes, how did Flat Out Mum come about?
After having the twins, I created a product, the ‘Twincredible Feeding Pillow’ that allows one adult to comfortably feed two baby’s bottles at once. This is great for keeping a good routine (and also some sanity) when you have two little hungry babies! So I started a website & online store for twins but wanted to broaden my reach to all busy families, so Flat Out Mum was born. In just over a year Flat Out Mum has taken on a life of its own and is heading in a direction I didn’t predict when I started it. It’s very exciting & I am very grateful for the response.
With 4 small boys, life must be crazy… What does a day in the Crawford house look like?
Mornings - Our boys are early risers (which I used to resent) but now I am not so sleep deprived I value the extra few hours I have in the morning. After turning on the coffee machine, the first load of washing always goes in the machine. Normally I have done at least 2 loads before we leave for school! I try to get my boys to eat as much healthy food as possible for the breakfast as they’re so active and once at school, I can’t guarantee they will empty their lunchbox.
Afternoons - The boys love to be outside as much as they can, (rain, hail or shine!) so most days they are in the backyard early. I try to limit the number of planned after school activities as I really believe in just giving them time to be kids & have unscheduled fun where they use their imagination & just play. They are lucky to always have a brother who wants to do something with them.
Weekends - Are full of sport so it’s a logistical challenge with both Shane & I driving them to games of soccer, basketball & Aussie Rules. Throw in some kids parties & play dates & our weekends are full!
Life is all about the kids for us at the moment & although its hectic, we love it.
How do you manage to get all 4 boys out the door in the morning and have time to shower yourself?
Since the twins were born, we have been lucky to have Au Pair’s live with us. We are possibly up to our 10th young traveler who has joined our family. Those extra pair of hands to help in the busiest parts of the day are amazing. I am so lucky that there is someone else helping me make lunch boxes, breakfast or pack the school bags with the right mix of homework/library/sports/music equipment they need on different days. There is always someone who needs some extra attention in the morning & I try to make sure I send them off for the day as happy as possible. Between 7-8am is very hectic & I don’t know how I’d do it without someone else to roll my eyes with or let me know that I have Weet-bix in my pony tail before I rush out the door :)
What is the best part about being the only lady in the house?
No matter how many times that I tell them I am the Princess of the family, they always shake their heads in amusement! My boys are very affectionate & so I get a lot of love. So many cuddles from dawn to dusk and there is always at least one who slips into my bed in the morning for a snuggle. They are busy boys full of testosterone, but they also are very generous of their love, so I am very lucky. I am well aware that this won’t last long so I am absolutely treasuring these years. I think there may be a bit of a gap in their teenage years and twenties before they come back to look after me again. I’m hoping to be a very well looked after grandma!
I’m sure there are also some ‘I’m a female get me outta here’ moments?
The early months with the twins were pretty crazy. The older boys were 3 & 5 and also needed a lot of attention. Spreading myself across everyone as well as trying to look after my own health was hard. Many times I just wanted to escape the chaos, noise and constant demands but I am lucky to have a lot of support.
Sum up each of your boys in one word?
Shane = Energetic which he has passed this on to all of the boys!
Charlie = Funny
Ben = Kind
Jack = Happy
Harry = Lucky
Any ideas what your kids will do when they grow up?
Because of their dad all of the boys love footy so far, but we do try really hard to keep it a fun and social activity for them. I think at least one of the 4 may end up playing AFL, maybe more, but it will only be because the
y have found the love of it themselves. I just hope they all have plenty of
opportunities to reach their full potentia
l in whatever field they choose. I know that sounds like cliché, but both Shane & I are so lucky to turn our hobbies & passions into a career and I guess that’s the goal. To find what they love and make a life out of it.
4 growing boys must mean a lot of grocery shopping. How many loaves of bread & gallons of milk do you go through weekly?
I often joke that we need to buy a Baker’s Delight franchise! They are still young so it’s proba
bly only 3 or 4 loaves of bread and 10 litre’s of milk a week. A lot of Weet-bix and fruit is eaten so I’m a regular at the supermarket, that’s for sure! I can only imagine what it will be like when they’re all teenagers.
What’s in the future for Flat Out Mum and the Crawford family?
I started Twincredible as I know the product really helps families in a crazy time in their life, so that’s always been my motivation. With Flat Out Mum I have always been driven by my desire to inform Mum’s about products, services and activities that help. I totally believe that Mum’s are the most awesome creatures on the planet and should be celebrated. Motherhood is a great equaliser & women need to stick together and support each other, whatever parenting choices they make. In future I’d love to see Flat out Mum do anything that helps & celebrates being a Mum.
The Crawford family plans are pretty much dictated by the needs of 4 young, busy and still dependent boys. Now the twins are 4 I’d love to take them travelling more and get them to experience all different lifestyles and cultures.
And finally, what’s the best parenting advice you have been given?
Educate yourself with information, but remain open minded.
Your parenting style is constantly evolving based on the current needs of your kids and the environment around you, so I think it is very important to have a flexible & relaxed approach to the way things may turn out.
Olivia we loved finding more about your little family, thanks so much for sharing.
Love MSN xx