Oliver Ward (20),
Charlotte Beckley (20),
Theodore Luca (3 months)
Olli and I are high school sweethearts, we met in year 7 and I instantly fell in love with his hunky english accent. We started dating in January of 2013 and we fell pregnant in April of last year and had our beautiful boy Theodore Luca in December. We are pretty relaxed people, living only 5 minutes away from the beach in the coastal town of Avalon, we love going out on walks together, getting fresh juices and playing with our son. I love to surf when i can, go shopping for Theo and am currently decorating his room.
Avalon, Sydney’s Northern Beaches
I am currently studying Primary teaching at University. I have about 3 years to go and Olli is currently working full time.
5 favourite things/items?
- My Moringa body butter from the body shop. I’m obsessed with it since getting some as gifts for Christmas, sometimes i dont have time to have a shower so I feel a lot more fresh when i have it on!
- A fresh juice, wether its mango, strawberry and apple from the local cafe, or just a fresh orange juice, i feel really energized after having one
- My bed, its where i spend most of my precious bonding moments with my son, feeding him, getting him to sleep, sometimes co-sleeping with him and giving him cuddles whilst watching disney movies when its a cold and rainy day
- My Jewellery from Olli, its a symbol of our love and it reminds me of all the amazing things he has done for me and how hard he works to provide for us
- My cochlear implant, I am deaf so this is such an important item to me, because without it, i would not be able to hear my son’s first laugh, his little squeals and cooing noises, i wouldn’t be able to differenciate between his cries or hear Olli’s voice, telling me to calm down and relax sometimes to give him a cuddle!
What are you most passionate about?
I love interior design, i honestly don’t know why i’m not studying it at the moment (probably fear of not getting a job!) but i’m super creative and love neutral tones, monochrome and i am obsessed with real living magazine! I also have an unhealthy obsession with sushi and chocolate. I have become more passionate about breastfeeding, i love the benefits of breastfeeding and knowing that your body is providing nourishment for your child, and watching them grow from this is so rewarding! every week Theo gets chubbier and i just love that i’m the reason for that!
Do you have any hobbies/things you do in your downtime?
I love to surf, read magazines and relax! We have recently gotten Theo into the water at the beach and he loved it, so I’m keen to get him out onto a surfboard when he’s older! unfortunately Olli doesn’t surf, but he’ll get Theo onto a skateboard! I love to write and i’m currently starting my own blog to help bring more support and awareness for young mums, and offer advice anywhere i can. I love to go on walks, whether its just to the shops or to the beach, have coffee with the gorgeous bunch of people i’v met at mothers group and play with Theo, listening to him squeal with delight or laugh instantly brightens my day!
How would you describe your family in 3 words?
Well, my family is so big and crazy that its so hard to pick only three words to describe them all, but i’d have to say Lovable, wild and so so caring. I have such an amazing family on both sides (my parents and siblings and Olli’s family). Theodore has the funniest personality and sometimes i cant help but laugh when he’s laughing and the all of a sudden switches to a cry in a split second! he has such a wriggly little body and goes crazy underneath his play-gym. He has definitely been an angel child from day one and sleeps pretty well at night which is a massive bonus! i do have a feeling that he’s going to be a super cheeky toddler though! Olli works extremely hard and has a very laid back personality, he is so funny, smiles all the time and makes me laugh constantly. He is very accepting of all my flaws and my disability. He has the most beautiful eyes as well which is one of the major things i love about him. He keeps me relaxed and helps out alot with Theo.
How did becoming a mother change you?
I am now responsible for not only myself but for another human being which i think is a major change for me, being born deaf and having cochlear implants, i never wore them at night so i’d have complete silence. Now, i wear them at night so i can hear if Theo cries and i wake up with every little noise as well, so i think that was a major hurdle i had to overcome due to the fact that i’m not used to it at all! I have definitely started evaluating my life more, setting goals and targets i want to reach by the time Theo is five. Having him when i was 19 has definitely meant that Olli and i will have to work harder to set up a life for ourselves, but we are so lucky to have the help of our families as well.
What’s the best part about being a mother?
I would have to say the best part about being a mother is watching my son grow and develop a personality, seeing him reach major milestones such as smiling and laughing warms my heart! also seeing how great Olli is with him has made me love him even more! He had never held or really been near a baby before Theo was born so its so amazing to see how hands on he is with Theo and how much he adores him!
Naming your children is always so difficult (or maybe it was just me!) Was it easy to pick your child’s name and why did choose it?
Well, we kept the gender of our baby a surprise so naming our child was a difficult one! we had a set name for a girl but couldn’t seem to agree on one for a boy, and it wasn’t until he was born that we managed to finally agree! i liked eclectic unique sort of names and Olli liked standard names such as tom etc. He liked the idea of ‘Teddy’ and i loved Theodore so we managed to compromise! Theodore also means “God’s gift” and Luca means “light” so its such a fitting name for him.
Has your personal style changed since becoming mother? If so how?
My personal style has changed quite a bit, I always have to make sure that i’m not wearing a dress if we are out all day because its not easy access for Theo, i make sure to wear maternity bras and always ALWAYS remember breast pads. I have embarrassed myself in public a few times with some leaky boob episodes! Sometimes i cant be bothered to make an effort with my appearance, but at other times i do feel the pressure to try and look half decent because i’v just had a baby and feel like i need to bounce back quickly!
Is there anything about motherhood that has surprised you?
I’m definitely surprised at how easy i have found motherhood to be and how much i love it! When i was pregnant i had people constantly tell me how hard it was and how tough life gets. To be honest, it has been hard, but not as hard as i thought it would be. Thankfully Theo slept 6-8 hours when he was a newborn with the exception of a few bad nights! and is now sleeping 9-10 hours at night so it hasn’t been too bad at all. I also love that its come so naturally to me because of being around younger children all the time when i was growing up (i have 10 year old twin brothers and a 17 year old sister). The thing that has surprised me the most was how quickly everyone came around to me being a young mum, and how supportive Olli and my parents and friends are, i know it would of been hard on them all so i’m really happy that having Theo has brought everyone closer together as one big family!
Favourite thing to do as a family?
We like to go to the beach, go for walks and go down to the park or the local cafe and have a coffee and a bite to eat. Theo is still so young so we haven’t been able to do a zoo or aquarium trip yet! We also love to snuggle up on the couch or the bed and watch a movie together.
What has been the most memorable moment for you in motherhood so far?
It would have to be giving birth and also seeing Olli’s face when he saw Theo and cuddled him for the first time, the look of pure bliss is something ill never forget. Theo’s first laugh and smile was also a massive moment for us!
What are some baby essentials every new mother needs?
- A baby carrier is a must! we have a baby bjorn but I am currently saving for a Yoli and Otis baby wrap, they are and feel amazing! they are a saviour at the shopping mall when you cant wheel the chunky pram around in tiny shops or when Olli accidently takes the pram to work in the car, They also stop me spending money on clothes for myself as i’d have to take it off to try them on, so they are money saving devices too!
- A spare t-shirt when you’re out. Always pack a spare t-shirt and a spare outfit for the baby! I have learnt the hard way from leaky boobs, to massive vomits down my back for the entire day because i didn’t pack a spare!
- Nappy wipes, they get off anything and everything
- A fresh juice, it helps you stay energized throughout the day.
- A mimos baby Pillow, to help defeat the flat head syndrome and encourages a good head movement as their skull grows and develops, definitely wish that we knew about this when he was first born!
- A phone, to capture every moment, every laugh and every cry.
- Baby sunscreen, to protect your little ones skin, whether they are at the beach, in the carrier or just in the garden.
What are some of your favourite shops/websites for baby wear?
Cotton on Kids, target, bonds and some gorgeous instagram business’s such a Beau Hudson, Fromzion and Children of the tribe
What is the one thing you want to teach your children?
Love. It is so powerful and can brighten anyone’s day with a simple act of love or an ‘i love you’. Also to never judge. Everyone has something going on inside them that they don’t show. Never judge and always show love towards one another regardless of gender, race and disability.
Have any advice for newly mothers/mothers to be?
Try lots of new things, if one thing doesn’t work, don’t give up! try something else. All babies are different, what works for somebody else may not necessarily work for you. Theo hated being wrapped so we tried a swaddle, this worked better as he could sleep with his arms above his head and had more freedom to move around!
Go on dates with your partner, we unfortunately scheduled our last movie date on the day Theo decided to make an entrance! but make sure you make time for each other. This goes for mothers to be and for new mothers.
Sleep when you can. If the baby is sleeping, you should be sleeping too! i got told this advice over and over again and its so beneficial and helped me stay on track with my emotional wellbeing!