Q&A with... Lisa Dovile
The former House Rules mum on parenting two toddlers, renovating and becoming an author
Practical Parenting Content Editor / July 18 2018
Q. Your girls are so cute! Do they get along well together?
A. Considering there is only 13 months between them and they are both still very young, they get along relatively well. My youngest is starting to hold her own now though and has started to pinch toys, throw tantrums and generally antagonise. Her sister doesn’t know how to take this newfound confidence, so all hell breaks loose at times.
Q. What’s been your best parenting moment so far?
A. My best parenting moments are being able to watch both my girls learn/see them reach different milestones. Being able to have an actual conversation with my two year old is the absolute best! Watching them develop their own unique personalities is amazing – kids are hilarious. It makes me laugh when I see some of my husband’s or my traits coming through in both our girls.
Q. Any tips for new mums?
A. Just to enjoy it – the good days and the challenging ones. If you have some bad days, know that they will end and it’s not all doom and gloom. When you’re in the thick of it, sleep deprivation, or like me have a baby that cried for what felt like 6 months straight (colic/silent reflux), know that the sun will shine again and you will come out far stronger for it. It also makes you much more empathetic when you see another new mum or dad having a challenging time with their baby/children.
Q. What are your go-to beauty products?
A. I saved my pennies and recently had my eyebrows feathered – it has been a game changer for me and saves me time in the morning. I also made one new year’s resolution to drink three litres of water a day - I have pretty much stuck to it. I definitely think this has helped me overall. I also take vitamins.
Q. How do you manage to juggle the different roles you have?
A. I fly by the seat of my pants most days. At the moment I am back at work, studying part-time, renovating our home while raising two adventurous young ladies. It is challenging and sometimes I drop the ball. I try not be too hard on myself, there are plenty of people out there juggling far more balls than I am and surviving. I thrive on chaos at the moment.
Q. How do you keep your house in order with two toddlers?
A. I have had to relax my standards, particularly with tidiness. I would like to think my house is relatively clean, like the floors, benches etc but clutter has definitely increased. We are renovating at the moment so there is dust everywhere and we are living on top of each other with a tarp covering our roof (freezing!) so it’s different. Clutter is something that can go quickly downhill if I don’t keep on top of it each night after I put the girls to bed.
Q. When you can squeeze in some ‘me-time’, how do you like to spend it?
A. Me-time generally involves sitting on Pinterest and looking for different interior inspirations. I would like to get back to the gym one day but I can’t see it happening for ages. I get up at 5am most mornings to get some me time in with exercise if I am feeling motivated.
Q. What activities do you enjoy doing as a family?
A. Our favourite activity is walking the dog as a family - if we are feeling brave. It can be quite stressful at times with two young kids and two delinquent dogs, but we love it and the dogs get out for a while.
Q. Has it been harder to find time with Adam as a couple?
A. Definitely a lot harder! Gone are the last-minute date nights and holidays we used to enjoy. Now we have to plan a month in advance for a quick dinner. My husband works interstate which makes it slightly challenging but we try and get out together if we get the chance – we aim for once a month. It doesn’t happen often though if I am honest - he is absolutely smitten with our girls, so he likes to spend as much time with them as he can. We need to make more effort in this area.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. We would love to complete our current renovation and finish my studies in interior design so we can incorporate this stream into our building business. We just want to enjoy life as a family and make some lasting memories. We had children back to back and I feel like I am coming out of a slight fog - the girls are becoming more independent which is nice. I recently wrote a children’s book called Let’s Build a Cubby for a lovely interactive children’s reading app called Kindergo. It was inspired by my daughter, Arabella and it’s something I would like to do again if lucky enough.
Lisa’s new book, Let’s Build a Cubby is available through interactive and educational children’s reading app, Kindergo. Download Kindergo from the App Store for a free 30-day trial. Visit kindergokids.com
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.