Tell me about your family and where you are based
I'm a busy Mum of four gorgeous children, Maci our eldest is seven, followed by our five-year-old identical twin girls Penelope & Makenna and our beautiful little boy George who has just turned two this month. Together with my husband Ant we live in Wainui, just north of Auckland on a lifestyle block, along with our five pet lambs & ten chickens in a multi-generational home with my parents!
It's wild, and crazy and the absolute best upbringing for our children!
What is a typical day like in your house?
Busy! Since the first lockdown in 2020, Ant has done majority of his work from home.
He's now in the city two-three days a week and so the mornings when he is, I have to run it like a military operation to make sure everyone is organised and ready to go for school run. After school drop I generally come home and tidy, get through a mountain of washing (and I mean a mountain! Haha) and set up activities for George who is still home full time with me. I'm also a lifestyle newborn & family photographer, so once he goes down for his nap I generally jump into my office to get through editing or other admin before it's time to wake him up for school pick up! Our house is always noisy, but we love the craziness!
What's your best childhood memory?
Definitely our annual camping trip up north to Whananaki.
We have been camping in the same place for close to thirty years and I love that I now get to see my own children spending their summers growing up in my most favourite place!
What was the first year of motherhood like for you?
It was really tough. We were living in Perth and Maci was born six weeks premature due to a number of pregnancy complications including pre-eclampsia and severe IUGR, so she was very tiny. We spent about a month with her in NICU and once she was three months old we decided to move back to New Zealand. For the first six months of her life I was very depressed and felt like I'd really let her and myself down since the pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding didn't go as I planned. I sought help through a councillor and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Natal Depression. I spent quite a few months seeing the councillor weekly as well as taking a low dose anti-depressant and eventually found my way back to myself again. It was the toughest year of my life and a really rough journey to go through as a first time Mum, but I strongly believe that it made me the Mother that I am today.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to arm you as you navigate motherhood or that you can pass on?
Something I've learned the more children I've had is to trust your gut. YOU know what's best for YOU and YOUR baby. Period.
And secondly, go with the flow. I tried so hard to have Maci in the perfect routine and I swear that's half of the reason why I ended up suffering with my mental health. With our final baby George, I feel like I'm the complete opposite Mother to who I was first time around. I've been so calm, never tried to have him in any type of solid routine and not only has he been a really chill baby, I've also not had any issues with my mental health this time. It's been a complete game changer!
What’s one thing as a mum you cannot live without?
Tea and my bluetooth ear pod. I can't start the morning without that cup of liquid gold, I get cranky if I don't. I'm such a creature of habit!
And while I'm pottering around the house all day I listen to audiobooks or podcasts on my bluetooth earpiece. It honestly keeps me sane during all those mundane tasks!
What was the hardest thing about becoming a mum?
Breastfeeding was something I struggled with the most the first two times. I really thought it would be something that came naturally but with early, tiny babies I really struggled to build up a decent milk supply. It was something that was really important to me third time around and so I did a tonne of research and worked out a solid game plan with my midwife and it really paid off. George will be two this month and is still having one feed a day which I'm so bloody proud of!
How do you take time out for yourself without children?
This is the part I'm not very good at. I tend to put myself last and then I get burnout and explode at someone (usually Ant, sorry hun!)
But when I'm being good I try and go for evening walks, and recently I've been making sure to go for a coffee with my girlfriends at least once a week which is the best!
If you are a working mum how do you ensure you balance this?
I've only just started my photography venture this year after it being a hobby for a long time and I'm really loving it! I feel like I have something special just for me again, even though technically it's my job. It's my creative outlet! At the moment I'm only doing a limited number of sessions per week while George is still so young, but the plan is that once he's three and starts attending daycare a few days a week, I'll be able to pick up more work. At the moment I generally work in the evenings and during his day naps so at times it can be tricky finding that right work/life balance, as during busy periods it feels like I get little down time.
What is it you wanted to portray in your Instagram feed? Or wanted to share with others?
I'm not someone who is going to share all the ins and outs of our life. I'm happy to be open and honest, but I also try to keep a lot of our lives to ourselves. I like to think of myself as a really private person who's account is set to public, haha. I use my instagram as my own virtual photo album where is share little snippets and highlights of our life, and a place where I can connect with other amazing Mum's around New Zealand and internationally. I've made some really amazing friends through Instagram which I'm so thankful for!
What do you love about the FB products?
We've had so many gorgeous Funny Bunny products over the past few years and I've always been so impressed with the quality.
Beautifully handmade items that are timeless and modern at the same time!