Guest Kween: AMY CLARKE “Am I Really Done With Kids?”

Guest Kween: AMY CLARKE “Am I Really Done With Kids?”

This question has been looming on my mind for the last few months: “Am I really done with kids?”. Even though my two critters have been pretty bloody tough work of late, I still feel like I’m not complete. My family may be, but am I?

Apart from the lack of sleep, I just LOVE newborns. I love their smell, their noises, their clothes, their non-smelly poos; but all kids grow up, and then the chaos begins. Most of the time I have about five out of seven good days with my little girl Pippa, who’s now ten months. She is a happy, content and a super cute baby. The other two days you’ll literally see me on the ground in the kitchen crying over a glass (or seven) of wine. I can’t say she’s any easier than my first born, Leo – now four – but I guess it does get easier and I can roughly understand what’s coming.

After the newborn phase, when your eyes feel like razorblades trying to shut and you are always hungry and feel like you’re constantly battling the flu, comes the cute six-nine months phase. They interact so much more, they are playful and I don’t know about you, but they start to sleep better (marginally). Pippa is a great sleeper, and I admit I’m lucky, but we worked hard on it. Yes, we did sleep training, and yes you’d find me crying too outside her door at 2am in the morning, but at eight months, she’s started to sleep through. So why the hell am I considering another child!? I am starting to get my life back now. I’m going out with friends, I’m working and having time to ‘myself’ has just arrived from whatever planet it came from and I can now enjoy things a lot more. Every day can be a challenge in some aspect, but I don’t let it stress me the way it used to with Leo as now I keep saying to myself “This’ll be the last time Amy, so enjoy it”. I mean, I can’t even really cuddle Pippa now unless she needs help to sleep or has hurt herself, so in a blink of an eye, that snuggly phase is over too.

So right now, my life is great. I’m the first Mum to drop off and last to pick my kids up from kindy because I love my alone time: whether be it working, lying on the couch watching Netflix or searching the internet for hours watching funny cat videos, and I really don’t miss my kids (too much) when they are gone. I’m not quite sure I can go back to three hourly feeds, mastitis and the uncertainty of whether or not I can leave the house that day.

So my question is, how do you know if you’re finished having kids? I see some friends with three, even four kids and they still manage to get through it all. I heard going from two to three kids is easier than one to two kids – is that true? I worry not having my Mum and Dad around (who sadly passed a while back) will make life harder? It’s the moments you truly need your parents around that I fear the most. I remember when Pippa was only three months old, and Leo and I both got gastro and it was terrible, like more terrible than any other common sickness. I was bed-ridden, so was he, and I can’t recall life being so hard. It was that one moment in my life that I really really needed my Mum. She would have been over in a heartbeat, cleaning up our mess and looking after us all but that is something I’ll never have, or experience, so that also adds to my dilemma.

I’ve heard that if you think you’re not done, you’re not done. My heart says I’m not, but my head says I am. I guess only time and my weekly income will tell. Let me know your thoughts!

Amy Clarke is a graphic designer, a mum and a bit of an all rounder kind of person. In between running two businesses from home, she attempts to manage a crazy household of kids, pets and chickens. Amy owns Fox and Beau greeting cards: a small bespoke stationery brand that allows her to be creative and also bring in a little extra income. She’s energetic, honest and sometimes a little crazy.

@foxandbeau

Kween Krush: BREE TOMASEL “From Hiding My Humour To Going Viral!”

Kween Krush: BREE TOMASEL “From Hiding My Humour To Going Viral!”

Kween Krush alert!! This is where we celebrate everyday women for being complete badass Wonder Women.

Briannnnna, we have a crush on you because you’re funny AF! In the last few years you’ve become this viral internet sensation, as well as a national radio star and co-host of the best kind. What came first? Wanting to be internet famous or your love for radio?

All these compliments! I can feel my head swelling. Haha! Radio has always been the dream since I was a little girl, but I never thought it could be a reality. I literally pinch myself all the time and still can’t believe I get paid to make a dick of myself on the radio and do something I truly love everyday. Making people laugh is something that gives me so much life and happiness and the video thing was just a natural progression that gave me another outlet to do that. Seeing people engage and enjoy what you’re doing is the best feeling.

Did it take you by surprise when your videos started to be shared and liked worldwide? Some have millions of views!

I still remember opening my page and seeing one of my videos Sober Uber home Vs. Drunk Uber home going ‘viral’ for the first time and it was the strangest feeling. It got thousands of views a minute and I thought Facebook had a glitch and then I realised what was happening. I still get shocked every single time a video I post goes well.

On your social platforms you broach crude hilarious subject matters (mostly ones that involve your Mum); was this a planned attempt to do something different as a female or something that just came naturally?

None of my stuff is super planned, it’s literally just me exploding onto video. My content is real, raw and authentically me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Haha.

How important is it to you that different representations of women are showcased online?

OMG, so bloody important and one of the reasons why I’m so thankful for platforms like social media, as it showcases people of all shapes, colours, ethnicities and backgrounds. When I was growing up there wasn’t really anyone like me portrayed in the media. I always felt different and a little out of place. Sometimes I would hide the funny side of me as I was told it’s not attractive for a girl to be funny, so showing young girls and women that it’s ok to be the ‘funny female’ is so important to me.

Do you feel any additional pressure? Do you think it’s harder as a female to make your mark in the big bad world of web?

There are so many amazingly funny women in the media and on the internet these days. So many are making their mark in their own way which is so encouraging for younger girls who are wanting to create content. I think the hardest part about putting content out there is being original and different because so much has been done already.

Do you get approached on the street by strangers/fans? What’s their general reaction to your content and was it weird to receive this type of attention at first?

It’s still so humbling when someone comes up to me on the street and says that watching one of my videos brought them out of a bad place or they watch them with their friends and family. It’s always super surreal but the most amazing feeling knowing you’re making even the tiniest difference in someone’s day.

You’ve spent the last two years doing breakfast radio in Australia with Gawndy but you’ve just been offered a new kick-ass radio gig in New Zealand. How does it feel now knowing you’re dealing with a different audience?

I’ve been in NZ for about 4 weeks and it still doesn’t feel real. Some people would call me crazy and they’re probably right, it’s been a long and pretty difficult process. I’ve had to open a new bank account, get a driver’s license, phone number, find somewhere to live, all whilst starting a new job, so it’s been a full on experience. My new radio show won’t start for a couple of months which will give me some time to settle and learn the Kiwi lingo. It’s daunting knowing I have to win over an entire new audience and to them I’ll be a foreigner which makes it even harder but I’m up for the challenge.

Are you worried about making new friends and setting up a new life in a different city/country?

Of course, it’s a big thing to move your entire life but it’s also exciting. Radio gigs are one of those things that you have to be willing to truly chase and that means probably moving your entire life multiple times, starting over and getting used to constantly making new friends. Anyone who has chased a dream in radio will tell you the same thing, it’s not easy but it comes with the gig.

Who inspires you and what can we expect from you next?

I think anyone who has gone against the norm and are their true selves are the people I look up to. I’ve got a lot of different things in the works, like some hidden camera/people reaction videos which I haven’t done much of before, so I’m pumped about that. I’m about to release a ringtone on iTunes of my Mother screaming my name “Oohhhhh Briannnnna” and some merch which my Mum will pretend she isn’t stoked about but will secretly love. I also have a goal to do my first stand up gig this year which I’m shitting my pants at the thought of. Lol!

Carmela’s first memory of Bree was MCing at a radio/schoolies event on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Bree spent most of the time rapping into the mic. Carmela thought she was hilarious then and knew it wouldn’t be the last time we’d hear from her. Fast forward a mere 5 years later and Carmela is still utterly in awe of how freaking hysterical and genuine Bree is. Finally, the rest of the planet has caught up and now gets to ‘lol’ at her daily too.

If you want to laugh till a little bit of pee comes out then follow Bree on Facebook, ditch the cat videos and check out her YouTube channel and chuckle while she continues to harass her Mother on Instagram.

“Will you be my Palentine?”

“Will you be my Palentine?”

As a single female in her thirties I’m sure you would expect, considering it’s Valentine’s Day, that this would probably be a rant about how I don’t have a man to send me flowers or take me out on a romantic dinner date, it being just another day that highlights that I am still on the shelf, rejected by the opposite sex. Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not what this is at all. The way I see it, even couples who have been dating for years or are even married don’t treat Valentine’s day like it’s marketed to be treated, instead they cry the cliché “National Hallmark Day” and go about the day as per normal. No teddy bears, no heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate, not even a decent shag. Then again, if you happen to find yourself in a relationship that does do those things on Valentine’s Day then well done, bravo, I condone that behaviour. But from my perspective, no I don’t feel excluded or that I’m missing out; if anything I wanted to take this chance to acknowledge the kind of love that I do have in my life.

Recently I went back home to Australia to spend time with my family. What I noticed was that I don’t have a great relationship with my sister or brother: we’re like aliens from different planets that struggle to communicate with each other. My relationship with my parents is the stock-standard relationship that you have with your parents: fueled with unconditional love but riddled with conflict based on being generations apart. As for my childhood friends, the more I’m away from them, the more those relationships become strained due to the lack of time invested. So, I’m left with a group of people that I now call “My people”; a family that I have created for myself.

In my thirties, I’m starting to realise the things that are really important, and the meaning of ‘life’ seems to ring louder than it did in my twenties. In a way I loathe this, mostly because when I was in my twenties ‘older’ people would say this to me all the time. “Oh you’re only 25? Trust me when you’re in your thirties you’ll know what life is really about.” “When you’re 30, you won’t feel this way.” I resented their wisdom based on me seeing it as an insult of how ‘young’ and ‘naïve’ I was, but the truth of the matter is, I was young and naïve, especially when it came to ‘life’ and ‘life lessons’.

In my thirties I now see that it doesn’t matter how many friends show up to my Birthday party, or how big my circle of friends is but how many friends I can call in the middle of the night in a panic or if I’m having a crisis will pop around to my home or meet me at the pub in a matter of minutes. I’ve always been a person who has put everyone else in my life first. I’ve always worried, cared, loved my friends much more than I actually think they worry, care and love me in return. In my thirties, I no longer want those people in my life, selfishly I need this to be a two-way street, what I put out I deserve to get back in return. Or at least it’s healthy to recognize the friends that do do this (and may always have).

So, this is a shout-out to my pals. Will you be my Palentine? I have a group of people currently in my life and I want to show a great deal of gratitude towards them. These people know who they are. Kelly, Jane, Paul and Mikey to just name a few.

Thank you for taking my neurotic phone calls.

Thank you for hearing my way over-thought thoughts.

Thank you for just hearing me. Even when I’m being outrageous, you know me, so you know what my reaction is really about.

Thank you for being patient when our catch-ups are mostly dominated with my day-to-day silly dramas.

Thank you for making me feel sane when the rest of world is constantly testing my sanity.

Thank you for making me laugh when I want to just cry.

Thank you for loving me in a way I sometimes forget I deserve to be loved.

So, I ask again, “Will you be my Palentine?” Because I want to let you know that being my pal is everything to me these days. I know that ‘Galentine’s Day’ is now a thing thanks to the TV show ‘Parks And Recreation’ but I don’t want to reserve this honour for just the women in my life but the male friendships I have too, because they are bloody fantastic ones.

Yes, I will choose to spend today acknowledging the great loves that are in my life. I will also choose to acknowledge that the great loves in my life don’t have to just be the opposite sex. I can and will celebrate the love I have with my dearest friends like Jenna, Effie and Bel, my oldest friends like Asha, Leon, Caitlyn and Pippa, the friends I don’t see all the time but crazy support me like Ronnie, Yvie, and Lyndsey, my new friends since moving to London, my colleagues, my cousins, my aunties, my nephew, my niece, the close relationship I have with my Mother. I can just celebrate love in general because I am truly surrounded by it, I just need to recognize it when it is staring me in the face.

I guess that song is true Kweens: when you’re open to it, love really is all around.

Carmela

x

Introducing Carmela Contarino, the #PowerKween behind ‘So The Fairy Tales Lied…’ 👸🏻♥️✨

Carmela is an Aussie in London with wanderlust. A TV/Radio rebel. Fierce feminist. Loud laugh-er. Emotional eat-er. Pop culture cat. Red wine wooer and karaoke kween. She hopes that her experiences are just like yours, funny, warm, loud, raw and that maybe you can figure out this thing called ‘life’ together. #YasssKween 🙌🏼