Meet Shoshannah Shand. Single solo mum, right now traveling around the North Island with her toddler, camping in their car. As we catch up with Shoshannah, they have done about a month on the road and have about 2 weeks to go before they hit home. There has been rain, there has been sunshine. Tummy bug and PMS. But mostly there has been amazing scenery, exploring our New Zealand North Island Backyard. Appreciating the beauty and roughness it has to offer. With her ten and more of metaphorical hats, we take ours off and bow to this brave, strong, independent and incredibly inspiring mama warrior, feeling that this is in all of us.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is Shoshannah, I am an enthusiastic outdoors woman. I have always loved being outdoors, growing up on a farm in the Outer Pelorus Sounds I was always exploring and loving the outdoors. I was home-schooled alongside my 10 other siblings, until I was 16 when I decided to go to school for my last two years of schooling.
Where are you from? How did you end up where you are? I’m originally from Nelson NZ, moved to Canada for a couple of years where I had such a blast until I had a skiing accident, fracturing my spine, and had to get flown back home. Than I went to AUS for a holiday, had an unplanned pregnancy stayed for two years in a horribly toxic relationship for a couple of years, left that at the beginning of 2020, now I’m back in NZ again loving life.
We would love to, if you want to share, your journey on when you became a parent... I became a parent when I was 21, it was a really rough start, An unplanned pregnancy to someone I didn’t know at all. I always wanted to keep the baby even though the circumstances were very difficult I was surprised at how resilient I was as a new parent facing many challenges. The first year was really easy looking after the baby, other life/relationship things were challenging. We lived so far away from my family that I was often so lonely and isolated. Moving home has been the best thing ever I had such bad post natal depression/anxiety and I’ve been able to manage it so well having supportive and loving people around me.
What is your favourite thing about being a parent? I love being able to care for and nurture my baby showing him the world through fresh eyes. It makes adventures sometimes harder but also more rewarding being able to show and share with him all the small and big things around him. I’ve learnt to slow down and appreciate life as a toddler does. Even if it’s painfully slow just taking a tiny short walk.
Why is it important to you to use eco-friendly products for you, your kids and family? I used disposables with my newborn and the amount of waste that went out really grossed me out. I have very slowly been making small changes every day to reduce my environmental impact on the world, I love saving money sometimes 😂 and being to keep reusing feels so much better. It’s important to me not to leave behind a world full of crap.
Why do you choose Little Genies products? As I was kindly gifted some little genie products I have loved using the nappies and they’re such a good design. Talking with other mums who use little genie, we all love the fact that little genie nappies are available in supermarkets making cloth an easier option because you can buy one every time you go shopping and save so much on disposables. For every one cloth nappy you use every day for a year you are saving 365 nappies from going into landfill annually and I think that’s pretty cool.
How many reusable nappies do you have? I have about 100 ish at the moment.
On a scale from 1-10, how satisfying do you find reusable nappies and why? About a 9 sometimes I get over using them. I find so much satisfaction in being able to wash and reuse over and over again. I love the fact that I never run out of nappies.
How much money do you think you have saved from choosing reusable nappies? Not that much money if I’m honest because I’m always buying a new nappy. But I think I will have saved a few thousands dollars if I onsell my nappies second hand. I haven’t decided what I’d do with my stash when my baby toilet trains though. I have probably spent around the same amount on cloth nappies that I would’ve using disposables but that’s purely because I’ve bought so many. Realistically you only need 25-35 for a full time stash so I could’ve definitely saved heaps but why bother when nappies are so fun and so cute.
What is you #1 tip, to a new parent? Regarding cloth nappies I’d say just buy one. Use it. Wash it. Use it again. If you have issues ask for help. Don’t over think it. In regards to everything as a new parent. Don’t listen to people who think they know how to parent your children better than you do. Take advice into consideration and do what you’re gonna do anyways. I always learn from other people- things to do when I’m parenting and things I’m definitely not going to do ever when I’m parenting 😂
Tell us your best hack: Water. Always add water. When my toddler has a poo explosion everything goes into the shower - nappy gets rinsed, toddler gets clean. Baby upset? Add water give them a bath a drink of water. It’s my biggest life hack. Both mum and baby are upset? Jump into the shower or bath and have skin to skin. It calms you all down and you’re all happier. Snacks & Small Trucks. Always keep snacks hidden in the glove box for emergencies.
Tell us about traveling with a curious toddler: Traveling with my toddler has been the best experience but also really hard. Taking his three wheeled bike has saved me because he rides it anywhere he can, terrifies me though because he will ride it anywhere he can. Always need snacks and toys and books in the car, I’m lucky because he loves the car and will often sleep 2-3 hours happily so that’s when I drive and also have me time to think and relax
What songs are you listening to in the car? I listen to a lot of ABBA! Depending on my mood, I have a Christian playlist I listen to when I need a spiritual boost, and I have a mainstream pop hits playlist I listen to when I need some waking up and motivation 🤣 I love especially old school music like ABBA and the Beegees.
This journey you are doing now, how long have you been away, and how long till you head back?: I’m doing the entire circuit of the north island, I planned five weeks that’s the amount of time window I had. I started on the 8th of October and I return home to Nelson around the 20th of November. I did the first week slowly because the toddler got a tummy bug. And than the next two weeks we sped up to the top, Napier, Coromandel, Auckland, Cape Reinga. Auckland again, Hamilton and down the west coast to Taranaki. Where I hit my PMS/exhausted point. Now we are cruising down to Wellington taking out time because I get such bad PMS it makes me tired, sleepless and irritated I know I need to really slow down. Only less than two weeks to go now! I’m already thinking of my next trip going around the South Island depending on how my budgeting and finances are in the new year!
Some find it daunting using Reusables outside of their home..what is it like traveling with? Washing routines? Dry Pailing? Wet bags! Wash routine is a little bit out, I plan my trip so I freedom camp one night, paid campsite the next night so I can fridge my cold goods and use the washing machine, I also alternate when I can stay with friends and take advantage of their washing machine which they’re always happy for me to use and take long hot showers. Traveling with cloth is really no different to being at home. I learnt to adjust to doing things slightly differently. I always have a washing tub to prewash nappies when theirs a shower but no washing machine. And I put all dirty nappies into a big wet bag, double wet bag poopy nappies. At campsites I scrub the poop into the toilet then scrub them in the laundry tub before washing.