We caught up with former Socceroo and current A-League Wellington Phoenix defender Luke Devere and his wife Tygar to chat about being parents to 2-year-old old Beckett, what it’s like raising a family in 2019 and life away from the football pitch.
Hi guys! Congratulations on becoming parents and thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tygar, first things first, how did you and Luke meet?
[Tygar] Thanks for having us! Luke and I actually went to highschool together where we first became friends. We lost touch after school but reconnected a couple of years later. And then things just sort of went from there!
Awesome! When did you decide to have children and was it an easy decision to make?
[Tygar] We both always knew we wanted kids. So yes, it was an easy decision for us. We wanted to get married first, which we did, and then it was just a natural progression after that.
Luke, you recently signed with the A-League team in New Zealand, Wellington Phoenix. What was it like moving away from your home in Brisbane with such a young family?
[Luke] Tygar and I had lived overseas in Korea before having Beckett, so we had experience with packing up our lives and moving. This time doing it with a young child proved to be a greater challenge. We’d also recently opened a cafe in Brisbane. So basically, there was far more planning involved and we had to consider how it would affect us, both then and in the long term. It got a bit stressful, trying to find a new home while at the same time making sure Beckett was happy and taken care of. Thankfully, we’ve settled in nicely now and the weather has started to warm up. We’re beginning to explore and enjoy what Wellington has to offer. It’s amazing here!
Wow! So you managed to move overseas while juggling a baby boy and a new business. Tell us about opening the cafe. What’s it called?
[Luke] I’ve always had interests outside of football and business is one of them. Opening a cafe had always appealed to me the most. I don’t consider myself to be too creative or business-minded, but fortunately my good friend and ex-teammate at Brisbane Roar, Daniel Bowles, and his wife, Hannah, were happy to form a partnership and share the experience. The cafe we opened together is called Sister Cafe (@sister__cafe) and it’s located in the Brisbane suburb of Hawthorne. It’s been a positive experience and we are all really happy with how it’s going so far.
Very cool! So tell us, how have your lifestyles changed since having Beckett?
[Tygar] The biggest difference is the simple fact that we hardly have any alone time anymore. On the positive side of this though it’s definitely made me appreciate the smaller things. For instance, when I finally find the time to have a cup of tea in peace it feels like a retreat, haha! Socially, I have a lot of friends with kids, many at a similar age to Beckett. So I’m still as social as I used to be, but my girlfriends and I go for kid-friendly activities like going to the park or having playdates.
[Luke] Overall, I think there’s just more planning and organisation required in our lives now. We can’t simply drop everything and take off on a trip or have an impromptu dinner party. A part of me misses that freedom, but at the same time when I’m holding Beckett in my arms I realise that all the sacrifices we make are worth it.
Do you share parenting responsibilities?
[Tygar] Yes, but because Luke plays football it can change throughout the year. Of course, we both do what we can when we can. But generally, I take on more during the football season when Luke needs to be fresh for games and he takes on more during the off-season. That’s when I get to indulge in true crime docos, haha!
That seems fair! How was Luke’s first nappy change?
[Tygar] Not bad at all!! Fortunately, he’d had a couple of practice runs on his niece before Beckett was born. It was his blanket swaddling that he really struggled with.
[Luke] Haha, yeah, but I’m a pro now though!
What do you enjoy most about being a parent? And what do you find most difficult?
[Luke] I enjoy playing little games with Beckett and seeing his face light up when I’m teaching him new things. But the very best part of being a parent has to be coming home after a big day, picking him up and seeing absolute happiness and excitement on his face. In those moments, nothing else matters. I’d say the most difficult thing for me has been adjusting to his sleeping patterns. He hasn’t been the best sleeper.
[Tygar] I love watching him grow every day and develop his own little personality. I also love seeing the world through his eyes. He’s extremely curious. Sometimes the smallest thing can be the most interesting thing in the world. I think the most difficult thing about being a parent is always wondering if what you’re doing is the right thing for him.
Are there any difficult parenting situations you’ve had to deal with?
[Tygar] Once I had an awkward encounter at a park when a slightly older kid punched Beckett in the face. Beckett was obviously upset at the situation and so was the other parent. Kids will always be kids so I wasn’t angry with anyone but it was still a very awkward and confronting situation all round.
What do you like most about the ONE NINE parental backpack?
[Luke] The ONE NINE backpack has been a game changer for me! I used to use Tygar’s diaper bag that goes over the shoulder, but I prefer the backpack. It’s way more comfortable and it allows me to be completely hands free. I like that there are side access pockets so I can grab Beckett’s baby wipes or bottle without having to take the bag all the way off. I really like the way it looks too. I use it all the time, even when I’m not taking care of the little one.
[Tygar] Haha, I love that Luke loves it! It’s the perfect size to fit what you need for an outing, the accessibility of all the compartments makes it really functional to use, and it's really stylish... doesn't look like a diaper/nappy bag at all, which we both really like. We have the matching pram straps, so most of the time I hang it from them so I don't have to carry anything at all.
What are the key daily essentials that stay ready in the bag?
[Tygar] Wipes, tissues, nappy, and a hat. You gotta be sun safe!
Appreciation moment... what impresses you most about each other now as parents?
[Luke] Tygar is an incredible mum. Her patience with him is outstanding and she has the ability to make the simplest things fun for him.
[Tygar] No, Luke is an amazing dad! He can entertain Beckett no matter what, even when he’s tired from football training or a lack of sleep. I think all three of us together make a great team.
Finally, do you have any tips and advice for new or soon-to-be parents?
[Tygar] Don’t buy too much stuff before the baby is born. You will soon figure out what you actually need and can always get it later.
[Luke] Be selfish early on. You don’t have to say yes to having guests over every time or head out to meet friends. It’s okay if you just want to spend time together as a new family.
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