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A Mother of a Role

By Sheree Hoddinett

For Kris Tomalin, life has certainly been interesting at every turn and definitely never boring. But if there’s one role in her life that has never wavered, it’s been as a mum. She relishes her role as a mother to her three adult children (Melissa, Kylie and Brian) along with also taking on proud grandmother and now great-grandmother duties. As we head towards Mother’s Day, where we acknowledge all those who fulfil a mothering role, Kris is one mum deserving of the accolades but one lady who just takes it all in her stride.

“Mother’s Day is a time I think about my mum Fay and her mum - Nanna Trix,” Kris said. “How hard it must have been for them with children. They went through World Wars, The Depression, hunger, and lots of things we wouldn’t know what to do without today. My mum lived in a dugout at Coober Pedy when I was one. How tough was she! No running water, electricity, or even proper toilets. But we were taught growing up that you had to look people in the eye when spoken to, be polite, use your manners and work. My children have all of those same principles.”

Family is important to Kris and something she wouldn’t ever change. Her daughter, Melissa and her husband Brendan, have three children and a one-year-old granddaughter named Ivy, who Kris describes as the ‘love of our lives’. Her daughter Kylie has two boys with her husband Peter, and Kris’s son Brian has a boy and girl who live in Cairns with their mum.

“My children have raised their families with the same principles as my mum raised me,” Kris said. “I couldn’t be happier - they are my life! They all give me so much delight and are so loving towards me. My grandchildren are the best I could ask for. Don’t worry, we have had our ups and downs, but we talk and jump over those hurdles together. That’s what being a mother is all about.”

Kris settled on Bribie Island about 14 years ago after some big changes in her life left her searching for something new and different. Her only interaction with the Island had been previously making the trek for the Ladies Classic as a member of the Wynnum Golf Club. Her kids initially couldn’t understand why she moved to the Island. But she said there was something special about Bribie that attracted her in the first place.

“I love it, it just makes me feel happy whenever I go over the bridge,” she said. “I’ve lived in just about every part of Bribie and now I’m at Red Beach and I love it here too. It’s not even 10 minutes to the beach and I can walk down to the RSL club. I take the dog for a walk every day as well, what more could you want.”

Kris is all about living life her way, seeing each part as a different chapter. She divides her time with golf, working in a salon and spending time with her family.

“I’m rude, I swear, and I don’t care what other people think,” she said with a laugh. “I think my kids keep me young. We’re a fun and jovial family. We are just open minded, speak about anything and everything. Although we don’t always get to see each other, we use Facetime and chat regularly.”

While her kids were growing up, Kris worked at night so she could be there for them during the day until they got older. She admits she wouldn’t change a thing about the way she has done things over the years.

So, what will Mother’s Day entail for Kris and her beautiful family? It seems they haven’t thought about planning too much but Kris said Mother’s Day was just another day to her and she regarded every day of being a mum as special in her eyes.

“I don’t class Mother’s Day as THE day I have to spend with my kids,” Kris said. “I look at it as I can spend any day with them and that’s ‘Mother’s Day’ to me. That’s what being a mum is really all about. But they always make sure I hear from them no matter what and I love them all dearly for it.”


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