This month we caught up with Gold Coast based couple, Aaron Holloway and Becky Crook to chat about moving to Australia with their young family. The welsh A-League Brisbane Roar striker and his partner open up about parenting, and life away from the pitch.
Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today and welcome to Australia. How have you found raising a child in a new country?
It’s been a massive lifestyle change for us. Roman is forever playing outdoors in the sunshine and running around in nothing but his nappy, something we don’t have the luxury of in the UK!
So Roman has been adjusting happily to the new lifestyle?
We are very blessed, he has always been a good baby and sleeps well, it’s only recently that we have started to struggle, since putting Roman into a toddler bed. He is strolling into our bedroom at all times through the night, but it's all a work in progress.
What have been the best and most difficult parts of parenting?
[Bec] Best is seeing my baby smile, there is nothing more rewarding! I'm a stay at home mum with no family here so I never really get a break or anytime to myself. I never take this for granted as I am so grateful but mentally it's probably the hardest job in the world.
[Aaron] I enjoy watching him grow and develop into his own little personality. The hardest thing at the moment is a lack of sleep as he is going through a bit of a stage.
Yeah, how are you balancing work, family time, parenting responsibilities and social life?
Mum stays home and doesn’t work to look after the little man. Thankfully, I finish work at a good time so we get a lot of family time each day. Social life is a bit restricted as we dont have family here to help out, we almost always have the little man with us but we do have a few friends close by with kids and we all do things together.
What do you like doing as a family, and what can be challenging when out and about?
[Bec] I love doing new things and taking Roman to different places. He is at an age now where if he is doing something new that he enjoys he says ‘wowwww’ and this makes me super happy! At times I probably give in too much to his puppy eyes when I could be a little stricter.
[Aaron] We enjoy days out on days off work, going to beaches or going on nature walks. Swimming we also do most days, I’m still not the happiest when having to change nappies even after 2 years of doing it!
Haha, how was that first nappy change?
[Aaron] Haha, well it was a long time ago now but every time I have to change the nappy I still act like it's my first.
Aside from nappies, what other key essentials stay ready in the bag?
We keep our wallet/purse, drink bottle, keys, baby wipes, a small ball and toys, a lunchbox, snacks and a change of baby clothing.
Have you been enjoying the ONENINE parental backpack?
I love how the bag is so versatile, It’s easy to get to things fast and I can fit everything we need in the bag. It’s also Stylish and goes well with our outfits.
Who carries it the most?
We both use it alot but maybe dad slightly more.
How do you share responsibilities with one another?
[Bec] I probably do most because I'm a stay at home mum, but Aaron does the evening tasks and they really enjoy this time together.
[Aaron] Yeah I'm on play fighting duty, and it's usually my job to brush his teeth, bathe him and put him to bed.
What kind of Dad position do you play?
I'm the tough parent out of us both, if he falls over I tell him to get up and to be honest he's such a strong boy, he cries for 2 seconds and then runs off laughing again. I am a sucker when it comes to cuddling with him, doesn't matter how naughty he's been if he wants a cuddle its game over.
Do you have any advice for couples that are soon to be parents?
[Bec] Just be as relaxed as possible. Never try to plan a perfect day because everyday is so different with so many different challenges.
[Aaron] Enjoy every moment while it lasts. Even though my son is still only 2 years old I feel he's growing up so fast.
Looking ahead, what excites you about future Roman?
[Aaron] When he's old enough to pay some bills! Haha, I look forward to him having his first girlfriend.
[Bec] To see how his personality grows. He comes out with something new everyday and his quotes just get funnier.
Who do you look up to, and why?
[Aaron] My dad inspires me alot, his work ethic and desire to constantly learn and get better. Also, his ability to always look at the positive side of things and situations.
[Bec] My parents inspire me! They have always worked so hard to give me and my sister the best life possible and I hope we can do the same for Ro.
Finally, appreciation moment... Aaron, what impresses you the most about Bec as a parent?
Her ability to do completely everything if she really needed to, she would cope no problem without me but I know I wouldn’t last more than a few weeks without her. Also how well she teaches our little man new things like words or actions. Everytime I come home he's learnt a new word from his mum.
And you Bec?
The fact that no matter how tired Aaron is when he comes home from football, he always wants to make sure we are happy and that there is nothing we need. He comes home and makes sure the first thing he does is put a smile on Roman’s face. There is nothing better than seeing their bond grow, especially over football.
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