Parent Profile 07-Aug-2013
"Find the delight"
Meet Georgia Brizuela
Interview by Jackie Goldston
Not many people can say the birth of their child has been viewed by over 100,000 people! Georgia Brizuela is passionate about capturing precious moments and is unafraid of sharing them with the world. She has tens of thousands of followers of her blog, Documenting Delight, and even more on her Facebook page.
When the KITC team first met Georgia a few years ago, she had just finished her initial project documenting precious moments in her children’s lives. She had been inspired by her sister, Hailey, who undertook a 365 project; taking a Polaroid photo of something she was grateful for every day for a year. Georgia shared in 2011, “It changed her life and spread rapidly around the world. Thousands of people started doing her ‘Grateful 365’. I was so inspired by how it impacted her, on the morning of January 1, 2010 I picked up my camera and declared I was starting a 365 project with our daughter.”
Being heavily pregnant with her son at the time and an unmotivated procrastinator at heart, Georgia suspected it would turn out to be a ‘365 missing 360’ project. She had no idea how addictive her project would become. She now says it’s one of the best ideas she’s ever had, as it led her to start her blog.
Georgia says of her project, “it has taught me how precious my role as a mother is, how fleeting these moments are and how utterly grateful I am to be exactly here – with my babies.”
The Brisbane family of four, is soon to become five. Georgia’s husband Errol works in the railway and she runs a photography & film business and her blog while they raise their daughter Priya (5 years old) and son Theo (3 years old). Their third child, a boy, is expected in September.
Given Georgia has been documenting her family for a few years now, I was curious as to what she had learnt from this experience. She explains, “I have been actively ‘documenting delight’ for our family – searching for and capturing the moments that make my heart sing. I have learnt through this that time and time again - you will find what you look for – life is delightful when you’re looking for it to be.
“My blog has grown progressively over the last few years and I have been so surprised that people would want to read along with our journey in parenting. I have been overwhelmed by the open-hearted response to our blog from so many people over the years who have let me know that my images and words resonate with them and their experience parenting. It has been special to feel like I’ve created myself a worldwide community of support.”
Georgia has an interesting approach to assessing her life. When I asked what has been her most life defining moment so far, she shares, “I was going to say that it was the birth of each of our children but I wouldn’t have had the honour to be their mother without first meeting my husband. So I was going to say that it was meeting my husband but I wouldn’t have known to search for him had I not been blessed with such a wonderful example of a father. So I’ll have to say it was being born into the family I was – of all the families I could have been born into I am so thankful to have been raised in one that taught me to value family, creativity and chasing dreams not money.”
Georgia and her family are close. “When my husband and I were dating, my mother sat us down and told us that we could either build each other or break each other with our words. I remember clearly when she said to me that what I said about Errol, to him, to my friends, in my mind would be what he became. Since then my husband has spoken life into me, told me I am incredible, told me I am beautiful and breathed those things into me, made me really feel them. In turn my husband has been all the things I've said about him, gentle, devoted and loving. I am the luckiest that we started our marriage with such wisdom in our pockets.
“My mother has taught me more than I can credit her for. Not only did she give me life, but she gave me life in parenting me (and my siblings) in an offbeat way, homeschooling us and encouraging us to be creative and think critically. I think my mother also gave me an incredible example of drive and determination, watching her growing up I truly believed I could accomplish anything.
"My oldest sister Hailey had her first daughter when I was 12 and I feel that watching her mothering journey throughout my teens helped shift a lot of my ideas about mothering. Hailey has always embodied a lot of the kind of mother I want to be. In those years where I felt embarrassed or awkward to see a woman breastfeeding, she slowly made it seem like the most normal thing in the world. It was Hailey who first introduced me to the idea that children could sleep in their parents bed or, that there was no such thing as 'spoiling' a baby, she wore her daughter in a sling and went to her every time she cried. The proof is always in the pudding they say and watching her parent her children in an attached and gentle way and see the benefits in her daughters made me feel that this is how I would like to mother my children too.”
So what life message does she most want her children to learn? “That they will find what they look for. Be it love, be it adventure, be it an accomplishment. Circumstances and relationships will come and go but how they see the world and how they interact with it is up to them and them alone. They are in control of their happiness and their story and I want them to feel truly capable to accomplish whatever they set their mind and heart on.”
Like her mother, Georgia plans to homeschool her children. “Our philosophy is that our children's education is more than being graded in subjects or levels. We believe that creativity, happiness and an entrepreneurial nature are equally as important as doing well in math or science. We also want to follow our children's innate ability to learn naturally and not force a structured educational system on them. We will register as homeschoolers next year when our daughter is eligible, following a relaxed curriculum and our children's own interests. Both Errol and I feel so freed and lucky to be able to make this decision, feeling like we are really able to enjoy our children's childhood with them at a relaxed pace.”
Social media is a huge part of many of our lives these days. Being so heavily involved in social media, Georgia recognises that it has influenced the way she parents and guides her children. “Social media has been an incredible resource for me as a parent to learn from a network worldwide of mothers. I sometimes wonder how my mum raised five kids without being able to jump online and connect with other wiser women whenever she had doubts. I have often felt encouraged and lifted from interactions online when I may have otherwise found parenting to be quite isolating in this age of separation from extended family. The internet and the relationships I’ve built online have become my ‘tribe’ - the aunties and sisters and grandmothers of generations before ours that have helped to guide and support me in this bewildering and rewarding journey.”
Family life balance is a challenge in many homes and it is also the case for Georgia and Errol. She reveals that like a lot of parents she doesn’t always manage the balance as well as she would like. “I feel like I can have MOST things balanced but there will always be one ball dropped (most often it’s a growing pile of laundry accumulating in our room). My husband says I should always answer this question (because I get asked it a lot via my blog) with "my husband is amazing" and while he suggested that jokingly - it's the truth. I could not balance it all without him being there to support me and do all our housework”, she explains laughing.
It is easy to get caught up in the passion that Georgia has for life and for her family. Her inspiring motto gives you an insight into how she approaches her family and being a parent. She shares, “Find the delight. It's easy to get caught up in the snotty noises and the resisting of bed time and the endless piles of washing but taking the time to find, to acknowledge and to celebrate the delightfulness - that fleeting, magical wonder of life with little
people makes it feel like an honour to be here.”