We all know that Amity Dry has one thing going for her that the other contestants on The Block All Stars don’t … she’s a mother.
She’s also a singer, who’s written a musical comedy about being a parent.
Here she talks with the Bub Hub about parenthood, her musical and how being a mum helped her get through life on The Block All Stars.
Q. What was the moment when you first felt like a ‘real mum’?
A. I think it was the first time I breastfed my son, just after he was born. It was the most amazing, surreal, magician moment and I will cherish it forever.
Q. How did the process of writing a musical help you in your real-life role as a parent?
A. I wrote most of it while I was pregnant with my second child, so I was experiencing much of it firsthand. Which was helpful, because you do tend to forget (or sugar coat) a lot of it after the fact! I was very honest in my writing, about the good and the bad sides of parenthood and that’s what people relate to so much about it. And what helps me when I perform it now is the powerful audience reaction, it reminds me every night that we all go through tough times and should all go a little easier on ourselves, because it’s all normal.
Q. Did you feel like you were a ‘natural’ when it came to being a mum?
A. I did, I was very lucky like that. I had always loved babies and used to help my mum in her childcare centre when I was a teenager, so I felt like I knew what I was doing. And I was very fortunate to have no trouble breastfeeding, so that made things easier. But I did have shocking sleepers, so that was an adjustment!
Q. What has been your favourite parenting moment so far?
A.The way my kids make me laugh and their unconditional love and acceptance, it puts everything into perspective. There’s a song in the show called ‘The Little Things,’ about how those seemingly insignificant moments, an unexpected ‘I love you’ or a funny line, can keep you going through all the giving you have to do and that sums it up for me.
Q. What is your best piece of advice for new parents?
A. Be kind to yourself. Nobody gets it right all the time and nobody finds it easy all the time. Don’t be afraid to say you’re struggling and ask for help.
Q. How did being a parent prepare you for life on The Block: All Stars?
A. It helped in so many ways! Being used to sleep deprivation, having no privacy or time to myself, holding my tongue when I was frustrated, diffusing dramas and juggling a million balls in the air. I am used to having so many things on my mind and being able to switch from one thing to another, so that wasn’t a big shock. I truly think no one can multi-task like a mum!
Q. What elements of parenthood surprised you?
A. How relentless it is and how much capacity you have to just keep going. You really do find endless energy stores for your own children that you would never have for anything (or anyone) else.
Q. What is the funniest thing you’ve heard your children say?
My son is a walking comedy show, he has so many good one-liners I could write a book on them! One of the cutest things he said when he was 3 was that he was now ‘a legend to peanuts’ like his friend Jack (who was obviously allergic to peanuts.) Funnily he was also ‘a legend to carrots’ so it became an in-joke in our house to be ‘a legend’ to anything you didn’t want to eat!
Q. Your musical “tells the truths about motherhood” What are the truths about motherhood?
That it’s hard! That it’s rarely like a Huggies commercial, where you look perfect and have it all together and stare lovingly into your partner’s eyes while you both marvel at your contented baby. Of course there are moments of marvel and absolute joy, but it is also messy and exhausting and incredibly challenging and tests your relationship as much as it enhances it. And we need to be more honest about that, so that when we go through it ourselves we don’t feel as though we’re the only ones!
Amity’s musical ‘Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life’ tours Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in 2013. Tickets from www.motherwifemusical.com