The Koala Mom cultivates family togetherness for modern moms. Blogger Bonnie Way is a stay-at-home mom with five children under ten. She shares stories of daily motherhood, homeschooling, family travel, and family entertainment to encourage moms to keep their kids as close as koalas. She has a B.A. in English (2006) and a B.A. in Writing (2014) as well as over a dozen years of blogging experience.
Are you an Urban or Suburban Mama, where do you live?
I’ve been a suburban mama for most of my married life. We currently live in Port Moody, where we can walk to the library and church and our favourite parks.
Tell us about your children?
I have five children ages 12 to 3. My oldest four are girls and they are all in school this year (grades 7 to K), while my youngest is a boy. The girls absolutely adore their baby brother and are a huge help in keeping him out of trouble.
Tell us about your typical weekday?
On most days, I wake up with my 3-year-old and have a shower, then get breakfast with my kids (who straggle in slowly from their bedrooms as they hear the noise in the kitchen). After breakfast, we jump into schoolwork. I nudge my older two girls to get their noses out of their books and start on some learning (especially if they have an activity in the afternoon), and alternate between helping my K and Grade 4 daughters with their work, while trying to keep tabs on the toddler so he doesn’t create havoc. Usually, the younger two girls are done their schoolwork by noonish. We eat lunch (sandwiches, leftovers, noodles, etc). The older girls continue their schoolwork while the younger three play together and I have time to turn to my blogging or writing projects. Around 4 pm, I turn off the computer to do some household chores and cleaning up, and start on supper. We usually eat together around 6 and then do something as a family (movie or TV show, board game, reading together, etc) before putting the kids to bed.
Do you have help?
Nope! It’s just me and an extremely long to-do list. When I was a teen, I worked for a neighbor lady once a week cleaning her house. I’d love to find a teen to do that for me, but it hasn’t worked out yet. My older girls are getting more able to help out around the home, which has made a huge difference. Having a 12-year-old this year who can babysit means that I can run some errands without having all the little ones in tow. The girls also help with a few chores around the house, although we’ve cut back on that since school started as they need to focus on schoolwork. And my older two are learning to cook more, so I can sometimes leave a simple supper for them to prepare if I’m going to be out in the late afternoon or evening.
Who cooks dinner?
Me (or one of my daughters).
How often do you buy something just for you?
Um…. not very often. I get the occasional coffee at Starbucks for myself, and I bought some new pens just for myself at the dollar store this week (although I suspect my daughters will walk off with them, as they did with the last pack of pens I tried to buy for myself…).
Do you exercise regularly and if so, what and how do you fit it in?
No, I’m not good at exercising regularly. For a time, I was doing an at-home workout between waking up and having my shower. I’ve realized I’m not a huge fan of that, so I try to get out walking, biking or swimming when I can instead. That was easier in the summer, as it’s usually a family activity. This winter, we are downhill skiing for our physical activity. I would like to find a time to walk or swim by myself but so far I haven’t managed to fit it into our weekly routine.
What clothing lines or stores do you like to buy for your children?
We tend to shop thrift stores or secondhand kids’ clothing stores for our kids clothing. Kids clothes tend to be expensive and they only wear them for such a short time before they outgrow them or wear them out. If we can’t find what we need at the thrift stores, then we watch for sales at Old Navy or browse Walmart. My girls are all tall and skinny so we’ve had to learn which brands fit them and which brands aren’t going to work.
Three things in my purse right now are…
A notebook (full of more scribbles by my kids than notes by me) and several pens, a pack of Kleenex, and my ear buds.
My favourite drugstore buy is?
Boiron products for keeping my kids healthy and happy. 🙂
My guilty pleasure is?