• Amy O'Connor

Welcome to Me!

Welcome to me!

I am a bit quirky, I speak from the heart and I say it as it is. I also love an exclamation mark ! ! !

I am a 42 year old (far out am I really 42!) single mum of 2 boys. Patrick (15) and Harrison (11). I was born and raised in Tasmania. After completing a Physical Education Degree and teaching for a while in Tassie, I made the venture to the “Main Land” after gaining a job in the fitness industry and with the AFL. I currently work full time as a Business Manager at a large school as well as run my own small accounting business. I have conquered a number of challenges over the years and have come out the other side smiling. This doesn’t mean that I am invincible but I try….and I try my best.

Looking after me:

Since I was a wee lass I have always made sport part of my life. Well if not sport then exercise. For years we got out of bed at 5.30am for swimming training and then the weekends were made up of swim meets and surf lifesaving competitions. I continued with the water theme by training to be both an Aqua Aerobics and Aerobics instructor when I was 19. Now please don’t think I am one of those Jane Fonda G-string leotard wearing, Richard Simmons, screaming, perfect body instructor. In fact I was very normal in my bike shorts and tee-shirt and size 12 – 14 figure. I remember taking a class and being commended on how nice it was that I wasn’t skinny. (Nothing like a morale boost…..NOT) Also there was the time we had to search on the bottom of the pool for a lady’s false teeth and the time when a lady’s boob feel out of her bathers.

But more importantly than being an aerobics instructor (of sorts) was that I made people smile and that I got paid to exercise. And as you all know finding time to exercise is so hard so being paid to jump around for an hour was the perfect solution. I have not taken a class for a few months due to other commitments but I feel it has served a purpose. Now I give back to me a little. I still love to go for a run, swim, bike ride or long walk. But when you work full time you don’t necessarily have the time or the desire to go out in the cold for an hour run. But I have found the next best thing people !!!! High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). 24 – 30 minutes tops. But it is hard HARD resistance training that has helped me achieve the best body I have had in years. I now have biceps and my Beyoncé impersonations are strained as my bum has disappeared. I feel strong and I know it is good for me as I enter into the age of osteoporosis.

Another secret to looking after me and loving life is that I eat full fat foods. Yes full fat milk, full fat cheese, double cream, eggs, Brie and camembert, butter, butter and butter. I eat lots of vegies and a few fruits. But I have given up the following: bread, pasta, rice, flour, low fat food, cereals and SUGAR. So yes you have it right. High Fat, Low Carb and NO Sugar. My sons love eggs and bacon each day for breakfast and I love berries and double cream for a meal. My 15 year old has lost around 5 kilos and I have lost 6 + kilos over the last 6 months. It is surprising how easy it is and I love the fact that you don’t snack because the full fat keeps you fuller for longer. I have not given up hot chips, potato chips and an odd wine. We all need something to look forward to. If you are interested in knowing more do some research on LCHF and the No Sugar Diet by Sarah Wilson. I started this before the No Sugar Movie and can’t applaud the benefits of easting less sugar and consuming more whole foods. But with all changes to your diet you need to want to do it. You can’t just try it. Do some reading and a bit of research to see if it is right for you and your family.

Life with boys:

Okay so it is sad when people feel sorry for me because I have boys. And don’t get me wrong it is hard but I am also elated at the concept that I will not have a 15 year old drama queen in my house. But really at the end of the day we all don’t choose who we give birth to. We just need to suck it up and make the most of every moment. My first born son William died due to a congenital birth defect. I was told that if I conceived another boy it would happen again. So I am truly blessed to have two healthy boys who give me grief and grins every day.

Boys work for me. Being ‘matter of fact’ and a bit sporty helps so it is to my advantage that I have been blessed with crazy, messy boys. However I do know that daughters tend to spend more time with their parents than boys do. (My parents are our good friends as well as parents – we have a family meal together each week and the kids love spending quality time with their grandparents). So my aim is to teach my sons to be the best boyfriends, husbands and partners they can be. Then hopefully I will gain a daughter in law who has similar values and qualities.

It is important that I am on the ball with the boys being on my own. They can easily take advantage of the ‘woman’ in my and let me clean around them while they are lying on the couch. But one night a week there is ‘Amy’ night. Yep that is right. I come home and lie on the couch, watch TV or have a bath, read a book or just do whatever I want. The boys have to cook, clean and get ready for the next day. I figure it is a small way for them to start appreciating ME and start being the men they will grow to become one day.

I am not going to tell you life is easier with boys as I don’t know what it is like with girls, but there are always (ALWAYS) challenges – like every family. Parenting is hard but is hard because they challenge us at every turn. So they should! It is wired into their little brains. What we need to do as parents is to accept the challenge and put rules in place that are important to your family and values. You also need to lead by example and just be the person that we want our children to be when we grow up. I guarantee they may not show it but they will feel secure by your rules compared to just letting them do what they want. (Think about it…if we didn’t tell them right from wrong they would think that we didn’t care or love them – so I am telling you it is okay to pull them into line. It means that you love them) My boys make mistakes and I get sad when they make choices that I know (in my old age filled with wisdom!!) are wrong. But they need to know they are wrong and use those mistakes to make better choices in the future. We have to show them the right way though. It is so frustrating when I yell at my kids and then they either yell back at me or at each other. However it started with me so I need to show them how I want them to be. My kids are at their best when I am at my best. So the key to parenting is to look after yourself mentally and physically. It is the key to your kid’s happiness and your life will be much better for it.

Now to really sink the boy factor into my already testosterone filled life, 7 years ago I managed to snavel an amazing man who makes me smile every day. He has a 9 and 11 year old boy. They are a delight and love and hate me as much as my boys do. We do not live together as we wanted the children to live in the family homes while at school So we have a wonderful relationship each week without living together and then on weekends and holidays co-habit ate. I also tend to spend school holidays with all the four boys. This is managed, on my behalf, with lots of caffeine, catching up with other mother’s, days at parks, sporting centers and the movies. But the key to this arrangement is planning and organization. We have the menu planned for the week and a time line for each day with activities planned. (Even if it is 2 hours in front of the TV). I know – crazy !! But I can tell you from experience this is a great way to keep the boys in order and they love the structure. Normally we keep the calendar in the toilet because that is usually the only time of the day they are sitting still. The calendar helps with their mixed up little minds on what is coming up and what they need to prepare for. I can’t tell you how important structure is in a boy’s life. I can honestly say that when we sit down for dinner each night, they are so much more content knowing what tomorrow brings. We can’t prevent change and upheaval but we can at least make a plan. Keep that I mind next time your son is off his chops.

Work / Life Balance:

So I love a challenge. I don’t necessarily succeed but at least I try. Some of my more recent challenges have been my first son being still born, my marriage break down and raising my boys on my own. But you have all heard the saying ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!’ I have grown so much from these times in my life and I continue to learn new things everyday and will continue until the day I die. One of my biggest learning curves has been completing an accounting degree last year. It was so horrendous. I would come home from work and cook tea, make lunches, get the kids into bed and then study for 2 hours. Now I know it has been done before by many people but OMG it was so hard. Learning online is like teaching a baby to walk before they have crawled. You have to learn everything yourself – no one is there to help you and you have to read, read, read. It was a stupid idea about 2 years in however after 4 years I felt like I had climbed the Himalayas. But I needed to do this for me and for my boys. Not only did I learn a lot of accounting theory I learnt even more about myself. I learnt that I can achieve anything with a bit of hard work and sacrifice. My boys gave up a lot for me to study as well and now I try to give back to them as much as possible. I hope that my example has shown them that study is okay and you can get great results with a bit of hard work.

I now have my own business which I am so excited about. My aim is to help small businesses get organized with their accounts, procedures and processes. I am especially passionate about women in business. Women who use their entrepreneurial skills to make money from something they are good at and love doing. But I also feel that after all that I have achieved I need to give back to others. And I do this through helping other separated women become financially independent. This is only in its early days but I want newly single women to not feel abandoned in their time of need. Helping them help themselves is so rewarding and seeing them shine as they conquer their fears is so inspiring.

So just in case you know of someone who needs help in either their small business or newly separated – I am the person for you! (Nothing like a free plug)

My Style:

I have mentioned to a couple of friends the concept of this blog and that it is about style and fashion. Can I tell you that there were a few sniggers and muffled laughs as I can attend to the fact that I am definitely NOT a fashion icon. In fact still have some clothes from the 80’s and 90’s that still fit. However I am getting a lot better in culling. In fact when I concentrate on it more, my style game has lifted incredible. And the world of Instagram and Pinterest helps me A LOT. Also a good friend critics me each day we compare styles. But the big key is to organize my clothing options the night before. When I am in a rush I do not tend to make good styling choices.

I love comfortable clothes and don’t have the budget for expensive clothes. But I am blessed with a standard size and can buy clothes easily over the internet. I am also fortunate that my grandmother (who passed away 25 years ago) was a style diva. She bought beautiful clothes that were stylish and have not lost their ability to flatter any body size.

My style reflects my mood – so some days brilliant and other days sloppy and daggy. Don’t get me wrong I love, love, love a tracky dack day but I also love to dress up. I am not a super model and I do need a bit of spit and polish in the morning to make me acceptable to the public eye. However I try to keep myself acceptable and I am working harder at making ‘my style’

Thanks for reading about me – thanks for raising your eyebrows at some of my comments – and especially thanks for not judging.

I am grateful for everyday I have my health, my boys and my family. You should be too as we are beautiful creatures with so much to offer ourselves and each other.

25 views0 comments