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Claire Agius Ordway


Claire with baby Lyla
Claire Agius Ordway, from Zabbar works in the media and entertainment business.  As a self-employed she forms part of ZOO team.  Claire Agius Ordway shared with Ramona Portelli and kidsmalta.com readers her viewpoints about parenthood.

How long have you been married?
I have been married for nine years now.
How many kids do you have?
What are their names and how old are they?
Matthew is 7 years old, Lyla is 2 years old and baby Jack is five months
What were your first thoughts when you both got to know you’re becoming parents for the very first time…and what were your reactions?
My thoughts were my fixation for a long time as I had been planning long before but the baby would not arrive.  So for a couple of months my constant thought was of having a baby. Than when finally one of the countless pregnancy tests showed a faint pink line, I thought I was imagining. 
I immediately ran to my doctor to confirm and when he confirmed, my husband and I were both elated.  So I think my first thought was… “Am I seeing right?”  Than I remember running onto my husband telling him the news and I had my carpenter fixing the doors for me……he was staring at us and wondering what was happening.
Your reactions when you got to know about your second pregnancy?
My second pregnancy was pretty much the same as the first one and it was painful for me just as the first one, countless negative tests before the positive one.  I was alone when I did the pregnancy test….I was happy and panicked at the same time.  I will explain why.  On a Monday I took my pregnancy test and it came negative and I went to take my vaccination against the flu.
Monday after I tried my pregnancy test as I started to feel some faint symptoms and when it came positive I was worried because of the vaccine, that it might have some effects on the baby.  Needless to say I immediately contacted my gynea and other doctors and surfed the internet for hours.  I was more confused but as time passed I started to set my mind at rest as everyone was saying that that particular vaccine had no adverse effect on the baby. 
And your reactions when you got to know about your third pregnancy?
This pregnancy as a lot of third pregnancies I know of, was a complete surprise, especially for me knowing how difficult it is to get pregnant.  I was already unknowingly two months pregnant when I started to feel the symptoms, but had no idea that I was expecting.  I was so sick that my colleagues felt I was sad about my work or something else.  Than when the symptoms persisted, jokingly I told my husband that I was trying a pregnancy test.
I did the test and it immediately marked a bright pink line, which I had not seen in the previous two pregnancies.  It was such a surprise that I couldn’t even utter the words to my husband.  I never had thought of having three kids but immediately I loved the idea and it showed as the third was the best pregnancy I had, I enjoyed every single minute of it.
Did you experience any difficulties during all your pregnancies?
Not as such during pregnancies, but the births were very difficult for me.  Both the natural and the second ceasarian.  The third was an emergency caesarian following a visit to my doctor, it was quite pleasant as I had no time to think about the pains.  I just went for a normal visit and had the baby in my arms fifteen minutes later…it was a thrilling experience.
In your opinion, how do you describe a great parenthood?
I wish I knew the answer, I would follow the formula myself.  I think that every parent has his own way which he thinks is the best.  What I do is that I try to be present as much as I can and I follow a lot my maternal instincts rather than do what others suggest.  This might sound a bit mean but I think that I am the one that really knows my children.
Claire with Matthew
Can you name one thing or more, that makes your children unique?
I do not really know how to answer this even though I can name some traits which differ them from each other.  The eldest one is extremely sensitive and thoughtful, my second one is a born entertainer and the third one is too young but he is very very cuddly.
You are a very busy media person.  How do you cope and manage your parenting time?
I try to be a good mother to my children but obviously I have a thousand faults.  However taking care of three kids and working full time is pretty hectic.  I sometimes manage and a lot of times I panic as every mother.  What I do is that I never do one thing at a time, I do three at a time.  For example I eat, check my emails and feed the baby at the same time.
Was there a difference in your relationship with your husband, following your children’s births?
Obviously we are constantly surrounded by cries, laughs, moans and all sorts of sounds, but we do like it, even though at times it becomes a bit too much especially when the younger two start crying at the same time.  We try to stay a bit alone together when all three are sleeping, even though sometimes we end up sleeping the minute we sit on the sofa.  But we enjoy these times as kids really grow up fast and we will be missing all this nappy changing, bottles and toys scattered everywhere.
Are you planning to have more kids in the near future?  Whether the answer is a yes or no, please explain in details the reason behind
Not really as three for me are a handful, considering my work and all.  Surely if I was a full time housewife, I would consider a fourth baby as I love children.  But if the fourth comes even with my hectic life, I would love and treasure him or her just as the other three, I am sure.
What it is like to be a busy mother of three children?
Constant thoughts – I think a lot about them and their happenings and their life in the future.  That is my main thought nowadays.  I pray to God to protect them and me to see them grow up and become good grownups.
How do you cope with them when you are away at work?
I have a lot of support from my family so they help me out a lot, even though when I can I would rather take my children with me.
Do you dream of something particular that you wish your children will do in their future?
No not really, I only wish that they grow up to be good persons and have good values.
What suggestions can you share with us for a better childhood in Malta?
I wish that parents are more present in their children’s lives.  I really wish that parents listen to their children and be disciplined as our parents were but be gentle at the same time to instill that security which makes them more serene.
What are your favorite parts about your children’s school experiences?
Favourite oh my – surely concerts and parents days, I always cry which is embarrassing really.  I thought that by time I wouldn’t cry anymore but I have not succeeded yet.  I feel so emotional and proud that I really cannot help it.
In your opinion, what do you think is the most important thing that the children learn in their classrooms?
Relationships with their peers, respect for their tutors and a sense of discipline to prepare them for the working world when they grow up.
What is your method of discipline as a mother?
I would rather give a choice rather than punish.  I opt for NO’s in extreme circumstances.  Thus my children know that when I say No, I really really mean it.
What are your children’s favourite activities?
Anything as long as it is playing and exploring.
In your opinion, how well prepared are local schools to educate children?
I think they are prepared , some even way too much.  I would opt for more work at school and less at home, so children have more time to have fun and play.
What problems have you faced with the schools over the years?
None really and if something is bothering me I will surely speak about it.  I rarely complain about things I encounter, but when it comes to my children I act immediately.
What would your advice be to others who are becoming parents very soon?
Plan together to have a baby, as long as you can and be prepared.  A baby can change your way of living, but only in a nice way.  If a couple is prepared they can share every single minute of the pregnancy, birth and upbringing of a child which can be a magnificent experience.
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