With property prices in the major cities going ever-skywards, Maja and her husband and kids could be described as the ‘new kind of family’. They have chosen to live in a buzzy inner city Sydney suburb in a two-bedroom apartment rather than moving further (and further) out to the traditional Aussie home with backyard.
With Maja as the main breadwinner, she says “having a stay-at-home dad works well for us”.
There’s so much you can do with kids
“Okay, there’s no traditional backyard, so when we need space we take the kids to the park to play with other kids. And we go camping a couple of times a month. We all love that.”
“Kids really help you to be in the moment,” says Maja. “The world opens up in a different way. Going camping is so much fun and there are things like art galleries and museums, exploring the city. You see it all with fresh eyes when you’re introducing the places and experiences you know to your kids.”
More to gain than to lose
“Sure, you lose some of your ‘cool’ and your identity as an individual when you become a mum, but you gain so much more. You become a member of this amazing, all-inclusive community of mothers and fathers and kids.”
“We’ve made friends with other families in our block who have become like our extended family,” she says. “We all help each other and the kids always have someone to play with.”
“You also gain new perspectives yourself while you’re teaching them about the world. You’re exploring and learning together, seeing new things and rediscovering old things.”
“Well, I was worried that Remy (our first child) might have thought there would be less love for him when Noni arrived. But there is so much love. It just expands to take in the new baby. Noni made our world bigger and I’m just besotted with her, every bit as much as I was with Remy. I’m always surprised at the strength of the love. It seems to be never-ending.”
“There’s certainly a lack of space with two children in an apartment, but we’ve become pretty disciplined about not accumulating a lot of ‘stuff’ and sharing what space we do have. It’s how they’ve been living in Europe and Scandinavia for ages, after all.”
Fun cards and family time
“On Mother’s Day I’m looking forward to getting a tacky card that my illustrator husband will make, probably with my head photoshopped onto God knows who, or what. We’ll go to the markets in the morning and buy some nice food together to have later in the park. And Remy will ride the ponies. He loves that. My other secret vice on Mother’s Day will be watching the start of the Eurovision Song Contest.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.