We love Chrissie Swan.
She’s not scared to say the things that we’ve been thinking. She makes us laugh and she makes us feel like we are not alone.
Here she shares her best parenting advice, her favourite guilty pleasure TV show and her toilet roll preference … is it over or under?
You’ll have to read on to find out!
Q. Have you always been an over-sharer? Or has that come with becoming a mother?
A. I have always enjoyed laughing about myself and the general human condition. Nothing has been off limits for me because I figure, if its happening to me, it MUST be happening to other people. I really became a master at over-sharing though when I started working in radio and had to come up with hours and hours of live content every day. When you’ve finished talking about The X-Factor and what the latest footy scandal is you kind of have to look inward!
Q. Where do you draw the line with over-sharing? Are there things you won’t share? Or wish that you hadn’t?
A. I don’t have a line! Or if I do, I haven’t crossed it yet. There’s not a thing I’ve said or written that I regret. Sometimes I get backlash over some things I write or say but I’ve realised that for every snarky judgmental tweeter there’s 100 people nodding their heads and saying, “Me too”.
Q. What are the difficulties with putting yourself out there?
A. I suppose the obvious is that you can be judged harshly. I never seek anyone’s approval though so I am OK with criticism. I feel like I am a pretty good person and if someone takes exception to one facet of me then they’re not paying attention to the whole person. Which is fine, it’s just not very realistic.
Q. Do you think that becoming a parent has made you funnier?
A. It’s certainly made me stronger. I can’t be messed with. I have PEOPLE whose whole lives depend on me and that is a great honour and responsibility that I take very seriously indeed. I look after myself better now I have kids because if the driver of the bus is asleep at the wheel it’s diabolical for everyone. My kids are funnier than me. My kids are exceptional and just the MOST wonderful people you’d ever hope to meet.
Q. Do you get sick of people discussing the state of your “bot-toom” or figure?
A. I feel like the novelty of a fat woman having the audacity to work where people can see her is wearing off a bit. I was fat when everyone met me in 2003 and I still am. It’s a given. People are finding other things to focus on. Which is good because I worry about how I look approximately zero seconds every day. There was an article about a year ago that spoke of nothing but my weight. My sister couldn’t believe it… She was like, “You are SO much more than your dress size! Isn’t this boring to anyone yet?” And someone must have heard because there’s been no real mention of me and my weight since. People are getting used to it. And so they should. It’s completely unimportant and not central to who I am inside at all.
Q. Do you have a guilty pleasure TV show?
All of them! I love true crime things. And Judge Judy.
Q. How do you respond when your parenting style is questioned?
I don’t. It means absolutely nothing to me what people think. My home is unbelievably fun and happy. We value learning and kindness and communication. My kids are smart and confident and know they are beloved. We laugh all the time. It’s bliss. I’m proud of what we have achieved together as a couple with our home and our children. Why on earth would I give 2 hoots what someone who has never even met me or my family think? That would be utter madness.
Q. What has been the single most challenging aspect of parenting?
Not giving too many presents. I err on the side of spoiling.
Q. What is the funniest thing your children have said to you?
My boobs were described as long which really made me chuckle and I always think its funny when Leo uninvites me to his birthday party.
Q. Do you put the toilet paper over the top of the roll or under?
A. Over. Always over!
Q. What is your best piece of advice for new parents?
A. Enjoy it! Remind yourself every day that they will not be yours forever. And don’t buy into the myth that it’s the hardest job, it’s the absolute best job in the universe. Stay positive. Sleep comes back again … eventually … or so I hear!
Chrissie Swan’s book Is It Just Me? (Nero) is a collection of her funniest and sassiest columns from Sunday Life magazine, plus a new never-read piece about her turning 40.