Tell me about your family and where you are based
hey! I am 32 and have an amazing husband who is the same age. We met on tinder (cringe) and started dating straight away. In under a year we owned a home, had traveled overseas together and we're planning to be engaged, when you know you know! I have two beautiful daughters, Summer who is two and Sienna who is 6 months. We live in my current dream home in mission bay where I operate my personal training studio also. We love going for walks along the waterfront and are so lucky to be able to do this often. The girls love anything to do with duplo, soft toys and animals so regular family trips to the zoo are popular too. We have always wanted two kids and so we can confidently say our family is complete. Oh and maybe a dog in a few years.
What is a typical day like in your house?
Days are crazy here with 'two under two'. The girls both sleep in their own rooms in their cots but Sienna usually comes up for cuddles around 5.30-7am which is the best way to start the day. We get up and have breakfast and coffee, of course and while Sienna is still on a milk only diet Summer loves weet-bix and I'm a traditional oats girl. We either drop Summer at daycare 3 days a week and the other days are filled with a mixture of getting things done around the house while the girls play or going out for various activities. Im currently getting daily one on one time with them both because they sleep at different times so thats both great and exhausting. The girls both share in the bedtime routine which consists of 1 of them showering with 1 of us and then pyjamas, bottle or story and into their cots for the night. Its lights out by 7.30 in our house. Both girls self settle now so we sit down for a glass of wine, some dark chocolate and binging whatever we are watching on Netflix at the time.
I also try to get a workout in in the studio but free time only allows for that about 3x per week.
What's your best childhood memory?
I couldn't possibly pick one. My parents gave me the best childhood growing up, I was so lucky and will be eternally grateful for all the have done and continue to do for me. I was an only child so we would holiday overseas often and I got to explore so much of the world which at the time I had little to no appreciation for but looking back as an adult I am so grateful. I think probably my favourite collection of memories would be going away to our beach house in Mount Maunganui and playing with my friends and our border collie all summer at the beach and in the water.
What was the first year of motherhood like for you?
The first 6 months were traumatic. My daughter Summer was born with severe reflux, colic and a milk allergy. My body didn't produce adequate milk so I had to switch to formula which thanks to the archaic prenatal system I believed made me a failure as a mother. I felt like my body had failed me, i couldn't stop my beautiful baby from crying day and night (about 20 hours a day were crying) so we barely slept. It took a huge toll on my self esteem, on my relationship with friends and my relationship with my husband. We were helpless, tired, confused, scared and defeated.
Once we got her onto the right medication combined with a solid sleep routine (thanks to Dorothy Waide) my whole world turned around from 6 months on. Summer started sleeping, she stopped crying except on occasions like healthy babies do, she would laugh and play and smile always and I remember letting go. I remember crying with relief and thanking the universe and falling so in love with my husband and my daughter all over again. It was such a painful experience for us all but it created such a strong bond with Summer and I that we got through it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to arm you as you navigate motherhood or that you can pass on?
It takes a village
if you don't have to do it alone then don't, accept the help. You're not a hero if you do it alone. I wish I leaned on people far more with my first. A lesson I learnt when I had Sienna and accepting help really does make it a much more pleasant experience. Remember grandparents love to look after their grand babies and I can guarantee they aren't as tired and stressed as you are. It's so important to look after your mental health during the early days of motherhood. You are navigating a whole new identity for yourself as well as learning how to care for a baby. It's huge, honour that by giving yourself a break.
What’s one thing as a mum you cannot live without?
Coffee, and wine, and chocolate!
What was the hardest thing about becoming a mum?
Learning who you are again, navigating the new role you have and finding yourself within it.
Not everyone falls in love with being a mum, its okay to want to hold onto aspects of your life before kids.
How do you take time out for yourself without children?
I go for a workout. I honestly haven't practiced what i preach until very recently. Recently I have been getting my nails done, getting facials, going on solo walks and I've noticed a huge improvement in my energy levels, mood and my ability to be an awesome present mum to my family
If you are a working mum how do you ensure you balance this?
Its impossible, The sooner you accept you will feel guilty the sooner you can get past it (in my opinion).
There is no perfect balance, you will feel guilty for not being with your kids if you're working and if your not you will feel guilty for not working.
I love my 'job' and I work for myself so I'm very lucky but I would say stepping back into work try to negotiate hours you feel comfortable with and ease back into it. Balance to me is when mum is happy the family is happy so a few days of work and a few days with the kids would be my 'in a perfect world' however thats not possible for everyone so then balance would be being kind to yourself and when you have time with the kids, put the devices away and be present.
What is it you wanted to portray in your Instagram feed? Or wanted to share with others?
We're all human. Nobody is perfect and we are all navigating mum life the best we can. I hope we can all work on judging other mums less, supporting other mums more because behind all the perfectly curated photos is just another mum trying to survive and doing her best. a mum who is probably tired, guilty about something, running late, has forgotten something and has given the kids her phone or some chips for a minute of peace. You can never have too much kindness. x