October 19, 2020
“I grew up in Brisbane, Australia, but left for Sydney in my early 20s when I was offered an amazing career opportunity in Marketing with global giant Unilever. I was really fortunate I got to travel through Asian and Europe with my role and worked on major campaigns for local and international household brands. I then decided to take on marketing beer, which I absolutely loved! And yes, I do enjoy beer!
I was thirty when I married my husband, David, whom I’d met when I was eighteen at the local Telstra shop! We're now a family of four; my son Hunter is 5.5 and Elle is almost 4.
It really wasn’t planned to have both children so close. In fact, it was a bit of a shock! I’d only just come out of the ‘toddler fog’ when I discovered I was pregnant with my second child. I was finding my new identity as a mum and getting back into some of the things I would normally do as a woman – and feeling good about my body again – when I fell pregnant. Initially it took a little bit for me to get my mind around that I was pregnant again, but now, I'm glad I had my children close together (19 months apart) when I see how they interact together and they’re such good little buddies...well most of the time!
I loved my career, but I decided to put my it on hold as I wanted to be there for my kids as they grew up, as my mother had for me. I live by the adage that ‘we can have our cake and eat it too... just one slice at a time.’
We moved back to Brisbane 2 years ago to be closer to family. I loved being at home with the kids, but I also had a yearning to do something more with my time. I've always had little ideas bubbling away in the back of my mind; even when I was working corporate I kept an ideas journal, and as you’ll see, that’s how Bonnie and Kind was conceived!”
“I never thought about motherhood much, to be honest. I definitely knew that my husband and I would have kids one day, but I don’t think I ever considered myself ‘ready.’ I had a lot of girlfriends who had children and they were always so cute to be around but the notion of motherhood back then wasn’t at the forefront of my mind!”
Did you have any ‘lightbulb moments’ about your sense of self after you became a mother?
“I don’t think I experienced any real shift in my sense of self. Being pregnant was just something I ‘was,’ but I don’t remember walking around feeling like the I’d found my destiny! And the first 6 months after Hunter was born were really challenging for me. In many ways there was just so much to deal with and I probably couldn’t recognise any other changes I might have been experiencing.
With Hunter, I faced a lot of issues with feeding and didn’t have many family members around me in Sydney. I found myself reading book after book about motherhood; it didn’t take long to realise that reading is completely different from experiencing! None of the advice really sinks in until you’re actually doing it yourself. It’s a bit like starting your own business. People tell you how hard it is, but you never understand and appreciate the amount of work until you do it.
So, while I don’t think I had a shift in my sense of self, I definitely experienced a shift in my outlook on some things in life. I started caring less about what people thought of me. Although maybe it was because I was in such a fog and simply trying to survive the task of bringing up this little human!
But one of the big things that has changed since becoming a mum is that I am more open minded and less set in my ways. I have experienced how all sorts of people go through all sorts of things and deal with it in their own way. It became important to me not to judge the experiences of those people. I see other people’s perspectives now. Being kinder to myself and being kinder to other people is something I value highly.”
Describe in a handful of words the woman you feel you are today.
“Kinder – not only to other people but just as importantly, to myself. Open-minded, dependable and fun.”
“I think you have to put yourself first. Gosh.... I feel a bit selfish even saying that out aloud, but when you have kids, so many aspects of your life change – often overnight! And we’re expected to carry on, but we don’t just become accustomed or equipped to dealing with mothering overnight either. So, I think it’s really important to stay emotionally and psychologically healthy.
And this can be in the form of so many little things that make you happy. From taking time out to take a stroll, clear the head or even just the simple act of wearing your favourite lipstick. And to do so without guilt.
Keeping in mind not everyone is doing it all! No one is running a perfectly ordered household whilst organising a 3-year old’s birthday party, cooking gourmet meals every night, remembering to get the insurance renewed and finding time to exercise.
I’ve found when I open up and express that I’m not even close to managing it all, my friends and I really connect through these things together.”
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