Former Olympian and mum to twins Jane Flemming talks to Essential Baby about juggling motherhood later in life.
Jane, how many children do you have and what ages/sex are they?
Twin boys 16 months old - James and Samuel
We then took the babies to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics while I was still breast feeding.
Did you have an easy pregnancy?
Other than being enormous yes. As far as twins goes it was straightforward.
What is the hardest element of being a mother to twins?
These are our first babies so I don’t know anything different from being a mother of a single baby. The hardest element is the relentlessness of the activities and at times the fatigue and logistics.
Did you take much time away from work when you had children? Why/why not?
My business did wind down a bit but and for the first three months I did sporadic work. We then took the babies to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics while I was still breast feeding. I worked very long hours there but it was three of the best weeks of our lives.
What do you think about 'me time'? With twins, do you manage to get it and what do you like to do?
I don't get to exercise as much as I previously did and this was my usual 'me' thing. I do walk a lot with the boys in a pram - which now weighs around 40kg with them in it - so that keeps me going. My 'me time' is really after they go to bed.
Having come to motherhood later in your life, what is the one thing you miss from your ‘pre-children’ life?
I had our boys at 43. I don’t really miss too much except for the spontaneity - everything has to be planned to the ninth degree.
We are lucky to have had our babies later in life - we have done all the travelling, partying and single life thing that we wanted to do and are now happy to be a little quieter …at least as quiet as you can be with twin boys.
As a mother, what do you think you're pretty good at?
Multitasking but that’s a woman thing. My past has really given me the ability to time manage well and do a lot of things simultaneously
…and what are you terrible at?
Stopping and eating sitting down. I only ever do both at the end of the day.
Ideally, how do you want your children to describe their childhood days in years to come?
It sounds corny but fun, loving and happy.
What are the qualities most important to you you’d like to pass onto your children?
The most important thing for them is confidence. If you have confidence I believe you can do anything and be comfortable in any environment. Towards others I’d like them to have empathy and compassion especially as they will inevitably have a relatively privileged life.
What is the nicest thing about motherhood?
Being able to spend hours in the park guilt free.
Jane, finally a question all mums must face - what are you feeding your children for dinner tonight?
Believe it or not I am not home tonight as I am travelling for work but my husband, their father, will most likely feed them food I prepared last week. That will be either spinach and ricotta lasagne, chicken and barley soup or home made pie followed by fresh fruit…most likely berries and yoghurt.