Deb Tan: Photographed by Jet (8) and Spike (6)
Name: Debbie Tan (known to my boys and close friends as Bee Bee)
DOB: 27 January 1976
Place of birth: New Zealand, Rotorua
Occupation: Owner – Commercial Director Aquabumps
1. What do you love about being a Mama?
The pureness of the love that children give you. I’m a heart girl and live for love. I only wished I had more of them to love! My favourite thing about being a Mama is the opportunity to create good humans. I want to raise kind respectful boys with good manners, an open heart, a passion for travel adventure and the desire to look after our world.
2. What do you find the hardest thing about being a Mama?
All of it. The Mother's guilt when I forget to put their news in for homework (that was just this week)! Balancing work and being there for them. Being present and at the same pace they operate at (slow and never in a rush). Being consistently patient is the hardest thing for me. I have to constantly check myself to say “Deb they are only little and they got up at 5 am, they are tired like you are”. So when they are screaming at you and not listening to anything you say – take a breath and communicate calmly.
3. What are your go-to beauty products and favourite brands?
Rationale for my skin! I’m 43 turning 44 soon. We live on surfboards and at the beach in the sun, so it’s my non-negotiable splurge for aging gracefully. Good skin means you just need sunscreen and go live life! It’s all about keeping my skin protected with a tinted sunscreen like this Invisible Zinc SPF 30. For a fresh dewy cheek, I adore benefit cheek and lip tint. If I go out, I love this tinted hydrating gel-cream by Bare Minerals. For makeup, I keep it simple and occasionally wear volume mascara by Kevyn Aucoin. It's the best, because you can roll it off in the shower.
4. How do you manage to stay in shape?
I’m the weirdo that loves to exercise – it’s my moving meditation. I try to move my body every day for my mind, and to keep up with my very energetic boys. I go to The Well in Bondi for classes and I train with my hubby once a week with Trent Knox Training. Finally, Power Living is my happy place for yoga.
5. How do you find time to rest and relax?
I’m very bad at that – but we have a little shack up the coast and we are often the only people on the beach. I relax here, lunchtime naps – slow mornings. It’s the complete opposite of our life in Bondi. We need that - as a family, and for my hubby and I. Other than that, it’s facial at Rationale every eight weeks or so. Plus yoga is also a time to slow my mind and relax. Swim before school happens most days in the warmer months, and I find that far more relaxed with the boys than if I stayed at home. I sleep like a log too – my husband calls me the white Tongan.
6. Where are your favourite places to go in Sydney (restaurants, cafes, kids activities etc.)?
We don’t go out that much at night – brekkie we occasionally have at our local UMU in Bondi. I also love The Shop and Lock Stock in Bondi. Our boys are mad skateboarders, so our weekends are spent at skateparks all over Sydney. I’m a surf, skate mum – will travel outside of Bondi for both!
7. What are your favourite things to do together?
Travel and surf or watch them do skate tricks, they are very good at it and I’m so proud of them. I love travelling with our boys now they are a little older. They don’t notice if it’s a $2 a night joint or a fancy hotel – they are constantly in awe of it all, which makes me so happy. I hope they always see the beauty in things, because I love seeing the world through their eyes.
8. Any travel tips with small children or a new baby?
We were on a travel ban after a terrible flight back from Hawaii when Spike was about 18 months. I would never say don’t travel, because it’s in my blood and I am happiest with my family on the move. But maybe don’t go off to Europe or far. Stay local when they are little and save up for the big adventures when they can appreciate it (and you can actually have a holiday with them). My boys are now eight and six and are the best travel buddies ever. There are still meltdowns occasionally – but they are such good company. We’re the yes family – you want to swim with whale sharks – yes! You want to go on the flying fox – yes!
9. Where is your favourite place to vacation with your family?
Hawaii, Mid North Coast, Byron, Cook Islands, we just did a road trip to Western Australia – AMAZING. And we just got back from New Caledonia (it’s a 2.5 hour flight away). Plus we love New Zealand!
10. What is your signature style and favourite fashion brands?
My style is a little luxe boho. Comfort is everything and I prefer to be barefoot if appropriate! My favourite brands are Bassike, Zimmerman, matteau, Matin and anything Isabel Marant. I also have a soft spot for bikinis – my go-to are Fella for cut and quality.
Debs wears Verse Love Letters JS necklace in 18k solid yellow gold.