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This is one of the hardest challenges, especially with a new business. It is very easy to get caught up with the day-to-day challenges and put work first, everything always feels urgent and often is. But family comes first, my girls come first, that is our hard rule and promise. We have lots of one-on-one dates and family nights with board games which get very competitive haha. For me, if family is my focus then the rest finds its way to balance out around it.
Singing made-up songs at the top of our lungs is a daily school run laugh and bike rides or daring each other to swim mid-winter or packing up our old caravan for a surf trip are our favourite ways to pass time. Poppy (our newborn) gets dragged around wide-eyed and in awe of her crazy big sister, that is the most fun for me, watching the smiles on their faces, happy at the most simple of moments.
Hard to say just one but lately I have had a couple. I find the simple moments the most special, Poppy woke with tears in her eyes and the most gorgeous cry that could break your heart. Marlowe rushed to soothe her and the minute her big sis arrived on the scene the tears turned to pure joy. Nothing is better than seeing that love and happiness. The other is that recently Marlowe wanted some wheelie shoes, so she came into the studio and made three bowls on the wheel. She trimmed them, fired them and created artwork for the packaging. We put them on the website for sale and every single piece sold. She made enough to buy her own shoes, seeing that proud look on her face was one of the highlights of my life.
My dad is my hero, he is the best man I know. I watched my dad take a risk with a big career change when I was little, that gave me the courage to do the same two years ago when I decided I wanted to be a potter. I remember he was told he should stick to his safe job, but he didn't listen, he studied, got knocked down, got back up and didn't give up until he made his dream come true. That has stuck with me, if he can do it, I can too, I have never been afraid to take risks and back myself and it is all because of that.
A memory burnt into my brain is my dad on the sidelines, swimming or surfing at the beach, he was always knee-deep watching us. At rugby, he would walk up and down the field so whenever I looked over he was there. He taught me to always be there, I was never scared because I knew if I needed help, I had it. It gave me courage and helped me to push myself. I do the same with my girls, I want them to know they can achieve anything they want, and learn the importance of always being there.
Have fun and cherish every moment. There is no rule book, right or wrong way, just your way. Lead with love and everything else will follow. Being a dad is the best thing in the world, so have fun, make mistakes, don't sweat the small stuff, and enjoy being able to be a kid again yourself.