Hi, you don’t know me, but my name is Elisa.
My husband Drew and I live on a farm in Bundella with our children Jack (7) and Kate (5). In case you don’t know Bundella (most people don’t) – it’s about halfway between Mudgee and Tamworth.
It’s a beautiful life in more ways than you can imagine. The farm backs onto the Coolah tops country near Pandoras Pass and our home overlooks all the sprawling farms in the district.
To say we are blessed is an understatement! I feel like the children have such magical childhoods and Drew is living out his dream job!
But before you start boot-scooting to country music or fantasising about wineries, we are at least 40 minutes from any town. As a mum of two little precious humans it can be tricky and sometimes isolating. Lack of local services can be a real challenge.
Both my cherubs have speech difficulties and a few other little things going on, so when I saw the Royal Far West tent at Ag Quip (an annual Agri-business festival) I stuck my head in.
Jack had been struggling with his words, so I had a chat with the clinicians and they conducted a mini screening on him. They were lovely and connected with him so easily. All the staff and therapists are amazing. Having a huge heart must be on the essential criteria in recruiting!
After years of driving hundreds of kilometres to speech therapists, we now have a place at RFW – and it’s made such a big difference.
So many of the challenges in mum life, are in not knowing what we will do in the next difficult situation regarding education, behaviour or health. However, now I’m part of this family I feel that they are my support and go-to.
RFW is like a set of open arms to rural families. Lack of support is no longer something I have to worry about, it is there.
Being a mum has taught me many things.
The first is I have an incredible respect for my own mother. I had no idea how much my mum did for her children until I became the mum.
The next lesson my kids taught me – every child is different. Some people say they practice on the first child, but I challenge that comment that the next child won’t be the same as the first!
My mother always told me she never wanted the smartest children, she wanted the happiest children. As long as we are happy, she said that is success. And now I’m a mum I agree 100%.
The next thing I learnt is its ok to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.
There’s no shame in needing support. I suffer from ADD myself, so having two little people who need stability and support themselves comes quite hard to me. My mother only said to me this morning, “Elisa, you may not make their beds everyday but your love powers them!”
Some grandparents are amazing – my children are blessed, but a lot of families do not have actively involved family. It really does take a village to raise a child. Asking for support or help is not a weakness, it requires strength and courage.
I hope Jack and Kate never feel ashamed to ask for a hand up.
Both Jack and Kate are eager to learn, love going to school. So, between all these jackpots and Royal Far West, life is good.
*Image has been changed to protect the privacy of our client families.