Folks We Love with Pippa Wanganeen
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
After growing up and studying in Adelaide, Australia I spent most of my twenties traveling to places like India, Asia, Europe and Africa. I lived in South Africa for 5 years in beautiful Cape Town, where I briefly met my husband Gavin, in Nyunga township. It was quite a few years later, after having relocated back to Australia when Gavin and I reconnected. We met for a coffee in a really cute café in Abbotsford, Melbourne and have barely left each others side since.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
Myself and Gavin, my step children Mia 16 and Tex 13, and our three little daughters Kitty 3, Lulu 2 and Posey 1.
How did you choose your kids names?
Kitty and Lulu are family names, and Posey, well I’ve always loved it and was lucky enough to have a third little girl to bestow it upon!
I studied Drama and Law at uni, and while I don’t necessarily use that law degree for its intended purpose (oops), I have found it to be very useful for all the different projects I work on, from managing Gavin Wanganeen Art, being a Snow Reporter, an actor, a facilitator and speaker, to the voluntary work I do with MumKIND and Foodbank SA, an organisation that helps to fight hunger in South Australia.
What’s on your manifest board?
Laughing happy people! Laughter is sooooooo important to me (I actually used to be a Laughter Yoga instructor). My children make me laugh all the time, and I take every opportunity to laugh with them. Beautiful homes… I love Interiors and I’m rather obsessed with children’s spaces and bedrooms at the moment. Pictures of locations for family holidays, ballerinas, fashion… All things that I love and that make me happy. I also have a picture of a person meditating. Although I have had periods in my life where I meditate regularly, I haven’t made enough time for it since having all the girls. I did this amazing meditation course in India when I was 24, and it was so intense and profoundly life changing. We meditated for 9 hours a day, and we’re not permitted to speak throughout the 10 days we were there. I am looking forward to including time in my day for peace, calm and balance. My life is always better and makes more sense when I meditate.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
Gavin and I are lucky to be able to spend lots of time together parenting our little babes. We love going out for brunch, and always head to weekend markets where we find beautiful organic fruit and veg, divine flower stalls, live music (my girls rush over and start dancing as soon as they see the stage) so many different types of delicious food, great coffee and a really lovely atmosphere. After sleeps, we might go and watch the bigger children’s sport, catch up with the cousins at a park, or have family and friends over for a relaxed dinner. Recently, I’ve been enjoying taking the girls to the Adelaide Zoo. It’s not only filled with extraordinary animals from around the globe, but the gardens and buildings are historical, and beautiful. The girls are getting to a stage now where they can really appreciate the animals and it’s such a gorgeous outing for all of us.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Oh gosh, where do I start! Posey, the littlest one has been watching me do Yoga with Roaming Zen since she was born, and for the last couple of months she has been doing her own Downward Dog. She looks absolutely hilarious and it’s sooooooo cute! Lulu has such a gorgeous little character and loves babies and anything girly. Every time we leave the house she rushes around getting her things, and never leaves without her “Dag”(her bag) and her baby who she tends to as if she were a real baby. Kitty is currently obsessed with Fairies and loves wearing wings and tutus wherever she goes. Every time she puts a pair on, she does this funny shrug of her shoulders and bobs up and down trying to take off. When she doesn’t fly, she looks at me earnestly and says “Mummy these wings don’t work, they’re broken”.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
I went and saw a psychic when I was a teenager, and she told me of my husband and our children and of our happy family life together. From that moment on, I dreamt of this life, and now I am living that dream! There are a few aspects that look different however. I remember thinking that by the age of thirty (which seemed REALLY old) I would wear Chanel suits every day, live in a perfectly styled tidy house and drive a convertible…Whilst I still love and appreciate fashion, Chanel suits are not typically part of my wardrobe, and with all these children we have, I would describe our home as a place of beautiful chaos. As for the car I drive, it’s a 7 seater!
What are some things you really believe in?
I really believe in the power of positivity. I believe that life on Earth can be our own heaven or our own hell, and we choose how we view our experiences. I feel so blessed and really enjoy my life, but life hasn’t always been a smooth easy road for me. When I have faced adverse experiences, I have learnt to be brave and trust that even after the darkest night, the dawn will come. I didn’t always enjoy learning difficult life lessons, but I am grateful for all of them because they have made me who I am, and led me to the life I am now living.
Where do your passions lie?
My passions lie in creating positive change in the world in all its many forms. When I look back on my life one day, I hope to be able to say that yes, I made mistakes, but I tried my best, I loved and I laughed and I maybe changed someone else’s life for the better too.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
My husband already had two children when we began our relationship, so I instantly became a parent from that moment on. After having our three daughters however, life has become busier and we find we need to remember to make time for us as a couple. When we do go out together without any of the children, we really appreciate our time and each other. We do usually end up talking about all the children though! Haha, and that’s the beautiful thing about sharing children with someone you love.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
All of them. Life lessons give you a wisdom you cannot learn from reading books. They have to be lived, to be learned.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
To be honest, I am not convinced I would have listened to myself when I was a teenager! I do wish though, I could have understood that when you come up against nastiness, it has everything to do with how that person or those people feel about themselves, and is not a reflection on you. I would say to my teenage self “Don’t listen to mean girls. You are a kind, happy girl and you will live a beautiful life”.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
I think it’s just the logistics of running a busy house and managing lots of different little people with lots of different and ever changing needs, whilst trying to still be you and find time (even just a small amount of time) for yourself.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
I want them to learn to be resilient with whatever life brings them. I want them to have a joie de vivre but also to appreciate difference in all its forms, to have compassion and always strive towards wisdom.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
Coffee, a sense of humour, my beautiful husband and wipes. The wipes though, how did I ever live without them?