Throwing caution to the wind changes mum's life
WHEN Tia Jones's husband Clint suggested they take their five-month old baby around the Whitsundays on a catamaran at Christmas, her reaction was immediate.
"(It) made me puke in my mouth a little,” she said.
Clint, a boatie and lover of the water, was not at all nervous, but for Tia it was not just the thought of finding herself surrounded by ocean and realising she had forgotten to pack a vital piece of baby paraphernalia that had the Tweed Heads mum feeling anxious.
Jesse was teething, and they would be on a boat in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of other people.
What if he fell overboard, she thought, or got too hot, or kept everyone on board up with his pre-night-feed crying? What if they ran out of nappies or wipes? What if he got sick?
Before Jesse was born, the couple had agreed to try to fit their new baby in around their lives, rather than them trying to fit into his.
To a great extent they had been able to do just that, but being on the water for so long somehow seemed different, Tia said.
But once they tossed away the mooring line and steered their motored vessel out of the harbour at Abel Point, Airlie Beach, and into the Coral Sea, her fears melted away into the tropical blue ocean.
The family thrived on their Whitsunday adventure.
"Jesse slept better than when he is at home,” Tia said.
"The mild rocking at night and water hitting the boat made him so content.
"We were able to watch him grow so much over the 10 days and accomplish some new stunts.
"He was super-alert and so very happy.”
Far from being the nightmare she had envisioned, the holiday also proved a chance for Tia to recharge.
"To be able to enjoy a warm coffee was amazing, to not have to worry about emails, accounts, wages, staff, renovations or housework,” she said.
"I was able to enjoy spending time with him and focusing on what game we were going to play next or which island we would be stopping in to.
"I was sleeping with my son for hours during the days and, to be honest, I don't do that enough at home.
"My daily duties take over, so this for me has been super special and something money can't buy. Something so simple and carefree such as our friends giving him a feed or cuddle has been epic!
"I was able to enjoy a wine or two and snorkel with life's beautiful creations.
"The interaction and amount of things he has seen and learnt over this short time, he would never have taken in if we didn't do this.”
Tia said she'd been buoyed by her experience at sea with young Jesse.
"Giving him this experience has been the best thing I could do as a mother,” she said.
"I could not be like this if it wasn't for my amazing husband.
"He pushes boundaries and steps outside the box constantly.
"Our son is going to grow up being a strong individual making his own goals and dreams, thanks to his incredible father.”
Tia hoped her experience on the high seas would encourage other parents to shake off their fears too.
"For those parents who are sometimes worried and concerned about trying new things with their newborn, from me to you, don't be,” she said. "It may be the best thing you have ever done.
"Our little humans are amazing creatures and this has taught me that they too, no matter what age, would love to be involved and see what our planet has to offer as much as us.
"Next time I won't be so hesitant!”