AWNY Mums and Dads Update, November 2017

By Helen McWilliam

I have a few things for you this month: my tips on how to cope with being stuck inside for days on end with sick kids, a recap of our Women of Letters Event and some details about our last event for the year, the upcoming AWNY Mums’ Christmas Dinner.

Sickness
I’ve been at the doctor’s office weekly, sometimes twice weekly for the last four weeks.  My kids and I have had colds on and off since school started in September. With nearly 5 years’ practice, I feel like I have become skilled at entertaining sick toddlers as well as keeping myself sane.  So here are my top tips!

  1. Preplanning: Since my eldest was about 6 months old, I’ve always put away a box of rainy day toys, usually the really noisy ones that drive you nuts but your children love.  It means you can sit and have a cup of tea or get something done whilst they play with the “new” toys.
  2. Baking: It can make such a mess, especially the flour but it takes a lot of time to measure, mix, bake and eat.  It also helps that my two children love vacuuming!
  3. Books for ideas: I’ve read a few different ones but the best book I have found is  “150 Screen Free Activities for Kids”.  It is full of ideas that keep children entertained for a decent period of time and I can generally find the ingredients for the more popular slimes in the house.
  4. Facetime: The time difference is perfect at the moment for a chat with the grandparents in the afternoons.  It keeps all three of us occupied for at least an hour.  It is so nice to have an adult conversation as well!
  5. Fresh air: I also scope out quiet parks/play spaces for outside time when they start to feel better but are not quite ready for general population.  Our favourites are the DeWitt Clinton Park on 53rd and West End as well as the train near the river in Riverside Park South at about 61st.

Although sickness does lead to more time at home, it is a fantastic time of the year to be out and about in the city.  For festive tips, have a read of a recent post by AWNY Mum, Nakia Gordon on enjoying the festive spirit with children.

Women of Letters
Our event for November was a group visit to “Women of Letters” at the City Winery.  Women of Letters is a monthly literary salon which aims to revive the lost art of letter writing.  I have to admit to being an addict and haven’t missed a show in the two years since I have lived in New York City.  We had a great turn out of Aussies and enjoyed some inspiring letters on the theme of a “Letter to my Creation”.  The next Women of Letters is in January 2018, check the City Winery website for more details.

wol2

AWNY  Mums’ Christmas Party
Finally this month, Amanda has found us an amazing deal at new Restaurant Coarse NYC in the West Village. For $49 (plus tax and tips) we will be treated to a 3-4 course meal with wine pairings!   RSVP via the event on the Mums and Dads Facebook page or by emailing AWNY.

Enjoy all that the silly season has to offer and we hope to see you at the Christmas party!

Helen and Amanda

Faces of AWNY: Tanya McCaw

Tanya moved to NYC in mid-2015 with her husband Lee, who is also her business partner. The couple moved from Perth, where they still operate their IT company Royal IT, to launch their business in New York because they wanted to expand overseas.

Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?
Financial District. I love it because we across the road from the Battery Park and the river.  It’s close to several subway stations and there is so much history and charm to the area.

Any advice for people moving to NY?
Study up on the process with renting.  It can be confusing and frustrating if you are not organized and educated.

What do you do?
I lead the Operations at Royal IT in NYC.  We are a boutique IT support and consulting company.

As a professional working in NYC, what are the differences to working in Australia?
Hustling much harder. A lot more networking is needed to develop solid relationships, and I also work longer hours.IMG_20170714_101939_124

What’s the biggest challenge or road block you’ve faced in NYC and how do you overcome it?
Launching a business from scratch is a very challenging task. Especially when you are only new to the country and city. There were so many lessons and learnings and it required a huge amount of strength and resilience.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?The best way to grow the business and client base is to get out the door and meet people. Developing relationships and a strong network is critical.

Any advice for other professionals working in NYC?
Never give up. This city can have a way of breaking you down many times, but use it as an opportunity to grow. Also, it’s important in such a busy city to take time out for yourself, whether it’s a walk or reading a book. Downtime is important.

What do you like/dislike about living in NY?
I love that I never get bored, there are always so many things to do and see.
I dislike the winter – it’s far too cold and long.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
I was one of the judges at the Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest in 2017.  It was such a crazy experience, I am still in disbelief that the male winner ate 72 hotdogs in 10 minutes.

Three words to describe New York:

  • Expansion
  • Opportunity
  • Intriguing

If you didn’t live in NYC, you would stay the night at…
The Williamsburg Hotel – just out of the city.

Favorite NYC brunch spot
Tiny’s in Tribeca.

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
Get all the touristy things out of the way in the first few days and then take time to explore each neighborhood. So many hidden gems!

Venture over to Williamsburg for the day or hire bikes and ride around Central Park.

Who are some Aussie ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?
I always look up to good leaders such as Belinda Jackson, the president at AWNY who does a fantastic job.  All of my Aussie girlfriends are doing awesome things and I love hearing their stories and updates on how they are progressing with their careers in NYC.

What things do you do to keep home sickness under control?
I skype my Mum once a week.  Go back to Perth at least once a year. Surround myself with great company here in NYC.

What are your favorite ways to connect with Aussie culture in NYC?
Hang out with fellow Aussies regularly
Grill (BBQ)
Grab a coffee at Bluestone
Eat at Two Hands in Tribeca and the Australian Bar

What do you like about being part of AWNY?
I love meeting follow Aussies and getting involved in a range of different activities. I have also enjoyed being part of the Charity team and working on the annual Fall Gala event in support of The Dwelling Place of NYC.