NAOMI & DAMIAN BENNETT, SOUTH COAST NSW
What is the date today?
2nd August 2021.
Tell us about yourselves.
Damian is a photographer and Naomi is a makeup artist. We met through a mutual makeup artist friend about ten years ago. We’ve been married for nearly eight years now. We share a home, a German Shepherd and two boys.
Where do you call home?
We live in Austinmer on the NSW south coast. We’ve been here for about six years and absolutely love it.
Who is in your family?
Our family consists of the two of us obviously. Then we’ve got Artie our first boy who is four and a half. He is full of life, we always say it’s in his eyes. Artie is obsessed with music, to the point of naming the band, the singer and the guitar player. It’s very impressive. He’s funny, headstrong, and emotional. Then we have Otis, our second boy who seems much more than his (just over) two years of age. Again, like he’s full of life and character. Where Artie is emotional, Otis is much more physical. If you weren’t there to catch him he’d jump anyway. Which I think will serve him well in his life. He makes us laugh every day and keeps us on our toes. Then we have Lenny. Our German Shepherd who is six. She’s gentle, loving and a good excuse to get to the beach everyday.
What does a typical day in your household look like?
We are lucky that the kids don’t wake at the crack of dawn, so at the moment the day usually starts around 6.45. But once they’re up they’re on. It’s noisy. Damian and I both meditate so if we’re both home we make sure we give each other that time in the morning to set ourselves up for the day. Right now we’re in the middle of lockdown so it’s important we keep that practice. As we’re both freelancers if we’re working, no two days are ever really the same. It’s a constant juggle. Right now though it’s cold swims and bushwalks getting us through our days. We have a fairly consistent nighttime routine. We like to all eat dinner together so that’s usually happening by 6, then it’s bath, books and bed for the kids by 7.30 if we’re lucky. We love that time once the kids are asleep and the house is quiet to sit by the fire, and watch something on TV.
What has been the most surprising part for you so far in the parenting journey?
I think just the reality of that phrase that nothing can prepare you for it. And the rollercoaster of emotions. I credit myself for being a fairly calm and level person, though how quickly you can shift constantly takes me by surprise. The journey is ever evolving. For Damian, it’s the constant lessons in patience and trying to stay in the moment. Just learning how to be present.
Do you have any tips for setting up your home for a family?
Take you time with it. You don’t need as much as you think you do at the start and it will evolve as the kids do.
How did you decide on the kids bedroom set ups?
They both happened fairly organically. I’m sure I was heavily pregnant while we were setting up Artie’s nursery. I remember it being something that was stressing me out, but it just all came together and was a lovely calm space for him. It does evolve a lot while they’re little as their needs and interests are changing so rapidly. I find I’m switching out toys and books fairly consistently.
What is the No. 1 meal on rotation at your house at the moment?
I think a family meal would have to be homemade pizzas. Artie pretty much requests it every night. I don’t give in to it every night, but it’s fun. The kids get involved and make their own pizzas. We put Italian cooking music on and dance around the kitchen.
Best parenting hack?
Oh gosh. I feel like I need to say something philosophical here, but I really think it’s just as simple as being present. Be with them. Every difficult time will come to an end, and I honestly find the most fun we have with the kids is when we put our phones away, or leave them at home and totally tune into them.