When Ngāhuia and ourselves got to know each other, we were instantly smitten with her and her inspiring way of living. Trusting your instincts of what is important to you and how you wish to live and raise a growing family can be somewhat daunting but proven here it most certainly is the right way. What we also love about this Farm Homestead is the knowledge of the land and ways of living is shared in generations and brought together creating a loving community where inspiration and life lessons meet each other.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family: My name is Ngahuia, and I am 29. I am engaged to my best friend, Rhys, and we have two beautiful tamariki together, Kahurangi who is a confident young 2 year old and Taikura who is our newest addition at 4 months old.
Where are you from? How did you end up where you are? I had moved a lot through my life - over 17 homes across 3 countries! In a nutshell, I would say I grew up in Palmerston North, met my love on a beach in Thailand and spent 5 years together in Brisbane before buying our lifestyle block last year in the sunny Hawke's Bay. We are now starting to settle in to our forever home with our growing whānau. Our family of 4 are living in the original homestead, built in 1880 - partially rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake - and my mum lives in her cottage only 100m away. We have future plans for my brother to build a home here when he is ready to settle and start his whānau as well. Rhys also moved around a lot as a child while his parents were in the military, so we both shared a deep desire to establish a papakāinga, or home base, for ourselves and our kids.
What is your favourite thing about being a parent? When I get both kids down for a nap at the same time! Phew! Also watching their personalities grow and develop. As testing as my 2yo can be, I love watching her as she tests her limits, challenges herself and problem solves. Even if it involves frustrated grunts or flying toys, this girl knows what she wants and will keep going until she gets it. I love seeing that determination in her. Some may call her bossy, I call it being assertive! My 4mo is still at that delicious newborn blob phase, so I have been enjoying his smiles and responding coos and caas as we have our morning chats.
How amazing is it to raise a beautiful family on a farm? We always knew we would end up living on some land away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. We just didn't expect for it to happen so quickly, moving from Australia to Aotearoa was in our 5 year plan from when I fell pregnant with Kahurangi and by the time she was 4 months we were opening the doors to our new home and to where our son would be born the following year.
It is important to us that we raise our children to know what goes in to growing their food and where it comes from. We let the kids watch or participate as Papa works on home kill or is in the vegetable garden - Kahu's favourite farm chore at the moment is moving the cows, she has no fear and will go right up to the cows swinging her arms and giving her best "eyaah"!
Since moving home, my grandparents have been visiting every month and my relationship with my grandma has grown so much. She is teaching me things like how to make jam and about the flora around the homestead - I do not have a green thumb, so it's a process. My grandma has since become my therapist, my mentor and one of my biggest supporters in navigating motherhood. It warms my heart to be able to watch my babies interact and learn so much from their great grandparents.
Why is it important to you to use eco-friendly products for you, your kids and family? Our weekly household waste reduced by more than half just by eliminating disposable nappies - and that was when we only had one in nappies! We live too far away for the rubbish run so we have to pay to dispose of our waste at the tip, so the less waste the better, not just for our earth mother, Papatuānuku, but also for the wallet.
Becoming 100% waste-free is not our goal, as that is not sustainable for us, however we are working towards becoming more eco-concious and making small changes as we can.
Why do you choose Little Genies products? I fell deep in to the online rabbit hole when starting my research in to reusable nappies. There was so much information to navigate through it became quite overwhelming. Bouncing between current and outdated information, the difference in styles and fabrics and the wash routines, I found the Little Genie website to be easy to follow and informative. The price point is very attractive for the quality of products available as well, especially when I didn't know if it was something I wanted to commit to fully. There are features the Little Genie nappies have that I love, such as the true double gussets - this has kept all our poonamis contained. The bamboo charcoal lining also intrigued me as it was a point of difference across the other brands on the market.
How many reusable nappies do you have? We currently have 55 nappies in our stash for two in cloth full time, about half are Little Genie! We started out with the Little Genie starter pack during lockdown which came with 10 reusable nappies and we have slowly built our stash from there over the past 6 months. I waited for specials to come up on some brands and I have also bought some second hand.
On a scale from 1-10, how satisfying do you find reusable nappies and why? So so satisfying! So I'll give it a solid 8, as I am still to perfect our wash routine. The online cloth nappy community has also been a great resource to have at my fingertips not just with their expert knowledge but also the sense of community while living rurally.
Everytime I use a reusable nappy, I get a hit of satisfaction knowing that not only is that one less nappy in landfill, but also the savings we are starting to make each change. The addiction to new patterns is also all too real!
How much money do you think you have saved from choosing reusable nappies? To date, as I have just built my stash up to go full time in to cloth, I probably haven't saved any money, however it's the long game for us. We are planning on having more kids and knowing that I won't need to drop $40 per week on nappies for the forseable future is a great thought. Also, as most nappies are OSFM I can use the same nappy for both of my tamariki, just by changing the snaps. My boy grew out of newborn nappies so quickly we still had boxes of disposable nappies left over which we gave away in the end.
What is you #1 tip, to a new parent? Even if you use one reusable nappy a day, it will add up and make a huge difference.
Tell us your best hack: I like to repurpose my products after their initial use, once I am done breastfeeding I can use my nursing pads as make up wipes. Nappy inserts I no longer use are now cleaning rags and of course wetbags, you can never have too many as they are so multipurpose!