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November 12, 2020

“Becoming a mother for the first time is like walking to an unknown territory, and that I’m creating the path with each step.”

Tell us your quick back story:

“I grew up in a small coastal town called Iluka in New South Wales. When I was seventeen, I left to pursue a career in the Royal Australian Air Force. After serving in the military for eight years, including two deployments to the Middle East, I separated to pursue a career as a degree qualified nutritionist that eventuated to specialising in women’s health and pregnancy nutrition. In 2019, I met my beautiful partner, Clinton, and after a short eight months, we fell pregnant with our now 12-week-old son, Emre. While it wasn't planned to have a child so early on in our relationship, Clinton and I decided to embrace welcoming our son with excitement and love. We decided to move from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast just before his arrival to pursue a more relaxed lifestyle to be more aligned with our family roots (Clinton being raised in rural QLD, and me from the coast).

 Nutrition, women’s health and pregnancy are boundless passions of mine, so I was super excited to practice what I preached in terms of pregnancy nutrition. However, as my pregnancy progressed, I became a little tired of analysing myself, my symptoms and how everything was going and therefore started to learn my mantra of motherhood – just let it flow”.If I'm honest, no amount of my scientific reasoning could make me less tired (perfect pathologies and all!). And you know what, hot chips became my best friend for much of the first trimester. We also maintained a close relationship throughout the second and third trimesters haha.

I was also pregnant during the peak of COVID-19. Because of this, my clinic was inevitably affected by a reduction in clients. Although it didn’t quite seem it at the time, this was a blessing as I was allowed space to think about the direction I wanted for my career and what I wanted my work commitment to be like post-bub. I put pen to paper (figuratively) and started constructing a blog website called "The Earthy Mother" that will hopefully become a useful resource for women and mothers who want to embrace a more natural and compassionate lifestyle. I also put pen to paper literally and wrote my first E-book that will soon enough be available through my website.”

 

Describe briefly what you thought motherhood would be like before you became a mother!

“I always knew I wanted to have children one day but hadn't developed my own idea of what motherhood would be like as I was saving those thoughts for when I was a grown-up (I say at 29 years old haha). However, during pregnancy, I found my visions of parenthood became quite idealised. The cosy pregnancy websites and cuteness overloads I found on Pinterest and Instagram seduced me! I honestly thought that I would embrace wearing new mum linen styled clothing, would dress him in cute ethical kids’ brands and thought I would be a “fit mum” that would be back exercising at the gym most days. It’s funny how reality is soooo different! I usually wear tights, a shirt and no bra most days, I dress bub in Bonds onesies because they are the most practical choice for us. I also can’t bear to leave bub at the gym creche yet, so we walk along the beach daily instead, and I do yoga at home when he's down for a nap which is such a great trade-off!”

 

Did you have any ‘lightbulb moments’ about your sense of self after you became a mother?

“The biggest realisation for me in this early phase of motherhood is that I’ve already undergone a pretty huge identity shift. Upon reflection, I went from a single woman to in a relationship, to a mum in a very short period. It’s a jolting notion, and I don’t think I prepared for just how much of a mental shift it would be. I’m still learning about this new woman I am becoming and as daunting as it can seem at times, I love it and am so grateful to be surrounded by my (can you believe it – MY!) gorgeous little family.”

 

Describe in a handful of words the woman you feel you are today.

“Transformative; Becoming a mother for the first time is like walking to an unknown territory, and that I’m creating the path with each step.”

 

What piece of advice or learning, would you like to pass onto other mums?

“My piece of learning surrounds flexibility and relinquishing control. I’ve always been a type A, scheduled, and structured person, however when I had my son things did not go as planned. I wanted to have a natural water birth that was non medicated and as hands-free from medical professionals as possible – I was induced, placed on the Pitocin drip, hated the water and had an epidural and episiotomy. I also wanted to breastfeed exclusively, but no amount of pumping, skin on skin, lactation medication or boobie bickies could increase my milk supply - I therefore now solely have to bottle feed with formula.  In the fourth trimester, I was quite overwhelmed and struggled with a fair amount of anxiety and postpartum depression which made any daily structure seem impossible. So, instead of implementing a new routine and structure, I try to do the best I can with a newborn and just tackle each day by the hour.

I've learnt some pretty big lessons through this, and my advice to other mothers would be to:

  1. Let yourself celebrate small victories instead of just big ones.
  2. Allow yourself to relax; just let things be, and forgive yourself for imperfections.
  3. Enjoy the chaos and use it as a learning tool! This is a chance to learn under pressure and use the sacred woman’s intuition we are so blessed with.
  4. We as women are divinely badass, and it’s not until motherhood that we realise how strong we are.”