Mother of three Ali Ryan from Waiuku, south of Auckland, has been at home with the kids since her first was born six years ago. She's now involved in Playcentre and is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. She loves being involved in swimming lessons, Keas and other activities with the children.
Before I became a mum I was a… Marketing assistant and graphic designer for a bath and body product company.
My favourite thing about staying home with the kids is... That I get to be part of everything with them - all their moments of discovery and all their "firsts".
My least favourite is… Always having a small person demanding something of me. Some days I can't even get five minutes to have a coffee in peace!
I get a break from the kids by… Having a regular girls' night out and the odd weekend away.
My top tip for when everything turns to custard is… Always keep an emergency packet of chocolate biscuits hidden away. Put the kids in front of the TV and hide in the bedroom with the biscuits. Mums need treats too!
My favourite part of the day is… When we pick my eldest son up from school. The younger two are always excited to see their big brother and he is always full of beans about what's gone on at school and happy to see his little brother and sister.
Being at home with the kids all day has meant… I've been able to breastfeed them for as long as I've wanted and have a direct influence on their educational and social development by being able to go to Playcentre with them. At the same time I've been able to encourage their independence at a pace they're comfortable with.
I haven't yet come across anyone who has judged me for being at home but… Occasionally I've met professional people who give off the impression that I'm not part of the same universe as them. Doesn't bother me though - I'm happy where I am!
My parenting philosophy is… Follow the children's lead - offer them plenty of learning experiences around their own interests. Let them try things themselves and learn first-hand what the outcome is - within reason!
My top budgeting tip is… Don't give in to every little "Mum can I have..." at the shops.
My super hero is… My grandma. She raised five children without the help of Disney Junior, McDonalds or even a microwave.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 15 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW