April 04, 2014

heart to heart: greer worsley


We'd love you to meet Greer, mother of three and business owner, living about an hour outside Sydney.  Today she chats with Jodi about discovering that she was carrying twins, being a single mum and creating a new home for her family. As always, unedited and 'off the cuff' just as honest, heartfelt conversations should be.



Greer Worsley 
mother, blogger, and business owner  |  typically red shop 
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Jodi: Hello there

Greer: Hi Jodi!

How are you? Honestly...

Hmm...I'm OK. It's been a crazy week and I'm a bit frazzled, to be truthful. But all in all, all things considered, beyond all the crazy, I'm good. Thank you for asking!

How's your new home?

It's fabulous! It's tiny and a bit rough around the edges. But it's mine and I love it. The momentum of getting the keys and getting the place ready to move in, which was intense, has kind of been lost now, and I look around at all there is to be done. But there's no rush. We'll be here for a while, I hope. It's nice to have that certainty and stability at the moment. And the girls are loving it here.

If I have certainty and stability in my life I'm ok.....change and the unknown rattles me

Oh, I'm good with change. An expert!

haha. How is life in your part of the world? (so beautiful down there)...

It's beautiful. I am so glad we made the move out of Sydney. We kind of fell into this village - I had been looking at one of the larger towns nearby - but we've found an amazing community, incredible, creative people, a beautiful little school, the best coffee in the region...and instead of jumbo jets keeping me awake at night, I lie in bed listening to the cows across the road. Did you know cows made so much noise at night time?

Mooing?

Yes, but like they're in conversation.

They probably sound better than the screeching possums outside my window each night

Oh, no, we have those too. They tap-dance on the roof.

Country cacophony How are the girls?

They are actually really well. It's been a tumultuous year for them and they've handled things amazingly.

Do the twins really rely on each other or are the three girls a tight little team?

It varies. When Lola is at school, Pearl and Stella are absolute besties, but when Lola's home, Stella follows her around like a little puppy dog. Thank goodness for Stella, actually, she's such an easygoing little thing, which balances the intensity of her twin perfectly. They are really so much fun, all three of them. They would defend each other to the ends of the earth, yet just try and get them all to perform a dance together - there's absolutely no cooperation, they all want the spotlight!

Pearl is so like Lola, everyone says they're the twins, separated by a couple of years.

Fascinating. What is it like to be a mother of twins....do people always ask you about it? (like I'm doing right now!)

Always always always.

It's been a hell of a ride. I was really excited when I found out I was pregnant with twins and I new a woman at the time who had 6-month-old twins - when I told her my news, she went a bit green and I could see her trying to be enthusiastic for me and failing! Now I know why.

Oh gosh, what a reaction! Daniel thinks we'll have twins. His intuition is usually spot on.

Well, my recommendation to everyone is that if you're going to have twins, have them first. I think the biggest challenge was having a toddler as well. Poor Lola, she got a bit of a raw deal in those early months.

Hmmm, bit late for me now

It was amazing how many people told me they'd always wanted twins. Friends I'd known a lifetime, people on the street. It never entered my mind until I saw those two little heartbeats.

What was it like - seeing those two heartbeats?

I think I knew. I'd had a really early scan at 6 weeks because of a previous ectopic pregnancy. That scan showed two sacs but only one had a heartbeat. The ultrasound person told me that two eggs may have been fertilised but only one had survived. But I think I knew. Sure enough, two weeks later, two sacs, two heartbeats. And now two cheeky four-year-olds.

How do you balance it all - work, motherhood, a knitting business? cheeky 4 year olds...

Balance? Ha! I don't. I run like crazy all through the week doing school runs and swimming lessons, working on preschool days, trying to keep the washing pile down and fruit in the fruit bowl. Then at the end of the week the girls go to their dad and I collapse for two seconds, then I get up and work, work, work till they come home again. Thank goodness for the knitting - that's how I relax!

Single parenting...really, how do you do it?

I'm still working that one out. And there's not a lot I can say at the moment because I'm still in the trenches of the divorce. But in my heart of hearts, and deep in my bones, I believe single parenting has got to be easier than the alternative - being in a bad marriage, being inauthentic, being unable to reach your potential or even be yourself. I get to be me now, and I can tell you I'm a far better mother now, a far better friend. I'm far more relaxed, I'm more fun to be around. There's still a mountain to climb, but we're going to be fine. I was raised by an incredible single mother, you know.

powerful words, Greer. Strong words, determined ones

You don't make the choice I made without doing some big thinking first.

and some brave decision making, I imagine

Terrifying decision making.

Do you feel like you've exhaled now?

Oh, absolutely. People tell me I look 'lighter'. I remember my sister saying to me on the phone I sounded 'lighter'.

I'm so happy for you

Thank you. That's nice to hear. So many people get that sad, concerned sympathy face when you tell them.

I am smiling here Back to the house - what's it like? Old and nostalgic? I imagine it's got character...

It's just a little weatherboard shack on a quarter acre block. But it was meant to be mine, Jodi! I had been looking at the ad for weeks and never quite got around to calling the agent. Then one day I noticed it was open for inspection so I went along fully expecting and hoping it would be horrible. And...it kind of was. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. The owner had done nothing to prepare it for sale, it was grotty and there were spider webs everywhere. Then I came back the following week with a friend and her words were what spurred me on to do it - she said that if it were her she'd be really excited about it. So I got really excited about it. Then things fell into place, useful people came out of the woodwork to help. Someone's husband was a building inspector, a dear old friend is a mortgage maestro.

serendipity and now it's yours

When I finally got the keys, I had 2 and a half weeks to get the place painted before we moved in. I'm a big under estimator and I thought it would be a breeze. I was wrong. But incredible friends in the village came to help. They were here painting when I couldn't be here. I was in Sydney celebrating my birthday, and over breakfast I received a text message saying a friend was babysitting my kids that night so that I could paint - and her husband was coming to help. I cried into my soy latte that morning.

your southern highlands village - literally and metaphorically

Absolutely! Aren't people amazing? And people in the country, they're amazing AND useful!!!

and they make jam!

They know which end of the hammer to hold.

ha! always handy what are your plans for the house?

At the moment I just want to finish the painting - windows and doors, ergh. But eventually I'll put in a new kitchen and bathroom. And I want to rip out the old garage and build a studio/guest bedroom. In the meantime I'll work on the garden - I'm picturing raised vege beds in old apple crates, chickens, maybe an apple tree or two. Before I bought the place I had a really strong image of sitting in a backyard studio working away at my business (that of course is so successful by then that I've been able to quite my day job), gazing out at the chickens scratching around in the garden.

And pictures on the walls! I'm going to finally put pictures on the walls!

it sounds perfect, Greer. How wonderful that you get to create such a scene with your girls It always takes me ages to put pictures on the walls...

I've got the pictures. I've got the frames. It seems so simple!

why don't you do it tomorrow, surprise the girls when they come back

Righto!

on that note... happy picture frame hanging

Thank you!

Thanks for chatting, Greer. You're inspiring

Awww... Thank you! You're lovely.

Take care. Hope the cows aren't too loud tonight!

Ha! Nighty night.


All images courtesy of:  Greer Worsley

16 comments:

  1. beautiful and brave and inspiring. x

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    1. ALL of these. Thanks Kate for your encouraging words x

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  2. this is the first of your heart to heart series that has brought me to tears.. perhaps having met greer, it made her story more personal somehow. what a brave, courageous and beautiful woman she is! her honesty about having twins made me smile BIG. thank you for sharing! x

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    1. Oh Tahnee, what beautiful words. Thank you. When Greer was describing the other mother with 6-months old twin's reaction I laughed so hard!

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  3. Greer, now I can see where your girls' lovely eyes come from! I've commented before on your blog, especially re big morning teas.

    I know what you mean about feeling lighter. I left my husband a few days before Christmas 2007. It really was many years overdue. I'm a mother of three adult sons and a grandmother too.

    Christmas celebrations with family a year later saw two sons say how lovely it was to see I had learnt to smile again.

    Best wishes to you as you make your little place a home for you and the girls.

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    1. Hi Jan! Aren't the girls just the image of their mama?

      So wonderful for you that the smiles are back - a hard decision pays off. Lots of love to you and yours x

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  4. Love it! Being a fellow twin Mum, I'm smiling along at how you describe it all but your comments about single parenting made me tear up as you seem to put into words what I wish I could have said as a child. As a child of parents who separated I know that familiar look of pity and sorrow people sometimes had in their eyes when they talked to me about divorce. The reality was that the separation of my parents, whilst sad on one level, was also a huge relief and seeing them happy and become their true selves had a much more positive impact on me than what the alternative would have offered. Beautiful interview Greer! Mel x

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    1. Wow, Mel. Powerful stuff! Big loves to you and your beautiful family xx

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  5. There's a lump in my throat too. I have long admired Greer - reading her beautiful blog, joining her virtual morning teas and purchasing her gorgeous knits. There is a genuineness that radiates from her writing and her photography. So lovely to read this interview today and see her strength. Such an inspiration. All the best for continuing to make your house a home, finalising the divorce, and getting those pictures hung! xx

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    1. Genuineness. YES. That's Greer down to the ground. x

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  6. Greer you are awesome. Kellie xx

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    1. Enough said, really!

      (you're awesome too Kellie)

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  7. "I'm still working that one out. And there's not a lot I can say at the moment because I'm still in the trenches of the divorce. But in my heart of hearts, and deep in my bones, I believe single parenting has got to be easier than the alternative - being in a bad marriage, being inauthentic, being unable to reach your potential or even be yourself. I get to be me now, and I can tell you I'm a far better mother now, a far better friend. I'm far more relaxed, I'm more fun to be around. There's still a mountain to climb, but we're going to be fine. I was raised by an incredible single mother, you know."

    Best gift you can give your girls Greer. I think of you often and am air punching about your courage, your strength and wisdom. Bravo to you sister for being brave enough to stand in your truth!!!

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    1. How profound is that paragraph! It still gets me every time. Air punches all round!

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  8. Love Greer. Love this interview.
    And cows make SO much noise at night! My parent's old house was next to a cow pasture and one night, after living in NYC for a year or so, I went home and nearly called the cops because I thought someone was prowling around…it was just the cows shifting and walking and softly mooing!

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  9. Greer I read your blog and I think you are doing so well. Both of my SIL's have twins and a third child also and I know how hard they work, especially as one SIL is by herself as her husband is away for weeks at a time so she finally made the move to be closer to family and friends and I help her out with babysitting and cleaning as she works too. I think it is marvellous for your family to be in such a loving community and it sounds as though your very happy with your new home. I think life is too short to stay in a relationship that doesnt work and it makes the kids sad too. I am sure your family will grow up with lots of happy memories with your little house and the wonderful garden too.

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