When you are an active and outdoorsy person before having kids, it can be hard to say goodbye to that lifestyle when they come along, so we talked to Elka Whalan about how she’s managed to navigate her way through it...
Elka, Thanks so much for joining us, Can you start by telling us about your growing family?
We have a daughter Nevada age 7 (we fell pregnant with her in Barcelona when we lived there) and her name means PURE. A son Edison age 6 (Thomas my husband and Edison makes "Thomas Edison" who invented the light bulbs and the first thing the Lord says in the bible is "Let there be Light"). Another Son Presley age 4 (who doesn't love Elvis Presley?) And finally a daughter named Evita, she is 1 years and it means LIFE.
My husband works in storage and is the president of Australian Waterpolo and I work in media on Sunrise (Channel 7), I'm the face of BioIsland and I manage a platform call QueenHood - A dream team of women that regularly host key note speeches.
Work is flexible and weeks can be "beautiful mayhem" as I call it but I've always chosen to be mum and wife first and having my best friend as my husband is a great blessing.
Being an active outdoorsy person and lover of water, what did you do in the early days to maintain the lifestyle? And has it been any different the more kids you’ve had?
It certainly changes when you have children, I could run out the door whenever I wanted and hit the gym, go for a swim, or run but now it needs to be more planned and if I want to do something solo, I will have to leave early in the morning. My husband and I box every Friday morning together and that is really special; sweat and all Ha! Our babysitter sneaks in at 6.30am as the kids are sleeping and I am back in time to take them to school.
Has there been any baby gear that’s been an absolute lifesaver for you?
Baby carriers on flights, swaddles and wraps. Prams! Dummies (which we call nookles) because I dislike the word dummy. Honestly this is all that is needed right? Hahah and our love, time and lullabies.
Scientist say the beach gives you an incredible feeling of peace and calmness. What kind of magic does it have on you? Especially when you’re navigating the haze of parenthood.
We always feel happy and re-energised when we take the troops by the water. Literally the other day we called a few school families and they joined us early before school for a play, a swim and breakfast on the beach before the school bell rung. They were 5 minutes late but we were all laughing and I did school drop off in my towel hahah. The kids love to build sandcastles and our little baby Evita plays by the waters edge, too scared to delve in but curious enough to be close to it, so the Frog Orange wetsuit baby carrier is perfect for her. She also loves to taste test the sand as well!!
Have you seen this same thing in your kids?
Our children would say YES to the beach everyday, it really calms them but also excites them at the same time. They don't fight at all on the beach and just get along, it's perfect!
Finally, what words of advice do you have for new parents who also love an outdoor lifestyle?
Don't let children stop you from truly exploring and traveling, I often say marriage is the best journey, but parenthood is the greatest adventure. Children love to be outdoors, it's wonderful for us as well (less clean up in the house ha!). Breathe in the fresh air, embrace the sunlight, the muddy puddles, the beach days, the sand between your toes and all throughout the car. Exercise is the best and healthiest addiction ever for ourselves and our families!
Thank you so much Elka, what a treat having you join us on the Frog Orange Blog.