This article was published on the 4th of February 2016. It was such an honour to be asked by Kristen and Amy to interview with them and discuss motherhood and business. They are two mums to watch doing great things: inspiring, empowering and connecting women around the world. Happy Reading xx Amy xx
I married my toy boy husband (wink wink), we are only 18 months apart, at 34 and 35. I have two little girls: Chloe who is 2 and Olivia who is 8 months old, but was born at 33 weeks so she is teeny.
We dance in the lounge room to dorky tunes (the wiggles), however many times I rock out to MTV with my two year old and try and teach her any move I think is COOL hahahah. We love routine when it comes to bed time for the bubs. My husband and I always eat dinner together and chat about the day. We LOVE the weekends. We play. We laugh. We love each other.
Location? We are lucky enough to live in Coogee in NSW and are definitely “beach people”. Sand in the car (this kills my husband), towels in the boot, random spades under our seats. We have enough beach equipment, shovels, spades, towels, umbrellas, beach chairs that our garage looks like we are already at the beach.
Occupation? Creative Director of My Tiny Wardrobe and a Domestic Engineer (Being a mum, is an occupation in itself). I wanted to find a way to work from home with Chloe and Olivia. I soon realised this was something other mums may want to do to, and i started to think of building a brand of collaborating with other women designers, photographers, website developers who all share a passion for empowering mums and supporting small business.
What has been your main source of inspiration? Having two premie babies and spending many hours and weeks in the NICU, I noticed the nursery walls covered in animal prints. It made me realise that as soon as a child is born, their imagination is ready to absorb everything around them. Colours. Patterns. Textures. Touch.
I noticed siblings running in and out to visit their premie sisters or brothers and realised there are no rules to kids fashion. Little girls twirling around in tutus, skater boy brothers with batman capes on guarding their Tiny siblings. That environment inspired me. In an area where there was so much pain and anxiety, children, design, & colour bought joy to the environment.
5 favourite things/items? Converse, Peonies (My home is filled with them), Green Tea and Honey (Lots of Honey), My husbands Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni, Carbs – Bread and Pasta!
What are you most passionate about? Trying to be a #mumssupportingmums type of woman. To empower women through blogging and trying to build a community of mums to help mums in the smallest of ways. To make my children proud that my aim was try to create positive change.
Do you have any hobbies/things you do in your downtime? Downtime? What? Im laughing to myself. Right now I don’t feel like I have much down time. Having two little ones under two years old and starting a new business while trying to sew while they sleep leaves little time. I guess right now you could say I eat, shower (with my two year old) and constantly re-heat my coffee all day long in my downtime hahaha. But designing and collaborating with foundations like PANDA, The Stillbirth Foundation of Australia and publishing blogs through my website is my passion and I find time to do this in the spare moments I have. When I Started my online clothing range, I didn’t do it just to sell gorgeous clothes to tiny humans. I did it to raise awareness of issues I thought mums and dads would engage in. A community is what I wanted to build. So thats what I am achieving in my downtime.
How would you describe your family? A blessing. After years of IVF to have Chloe and the loss of a twin when we had Olivia. A true Blessing.
I’m a mum with hustle (I’m know all mums are #itsamumslife) and my husband is laid back. Chloe mirrors me & just the mention of the wiggles, sends her into a spin: Literally, dance moves I’ve never seen before. I have to say if I hear the song “Big Red Car” or “Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy” one more time, I may go crazee!!!!
Olivia is a little quiet observer, like her dad and less of a social butterfly. This sometimes is a problem, as I think mums in general will get this: there are times when I just want to grab my husband and tell him to hustle; move faster; steam some bottles; place a grocery order; stop watching NBA; cricket is played all Summer so I’m sure you can watch it later! Im laughing writing this, as I think all wives at some point must think this.
How did becoming a mother change you? I think I have learnt to be less anxious. Which may sound odd, considering you have this precious gift who are completely dependent upon you for their emotional and physical needs and support. But I realised the best way to show them love was to worry less about the small superficial stuff (dusting, making sure the washing gets hung out the morning it went on) and spend the time when I’m not working focusing on them.
What’s the best part about being a mother? The LOVE I feel from my girls and the immense, undeniable, intense love I feel for them. Words can not even describe how much love I have for them.
Naming your children is always so difficult (or maybe it was just me!) Was it easy to pick your child’s name and why did choose it? My husband and I agreed that we wanted their names to be pretty and timeless. I think a lot of other mums in 2013 thought this too, as their at 3 children named Chloe in her class at daycare. She goes one day a week. The names Olivia and Chloe were our “Back up names” & thank goodness we had them, because as soon as we saw their face we quickly realised the names we had set in stone were not who their little faces were. So I think sometimes, they determine to a degree the name you will choose once you meet them.
Has your personal style changed since becoming mother? If so how? My personal style has changed. Im all about comfort and practical clothing. Converse have replaced stilettos, jeans have replaced skirts, dresses have been a staple as I feel feminine in them and you can throw it on and be out the door in a heartbeat. Anything that I can wear and still feel feminine, yet be active with my little ones, who are always on the move or wanting to be held, nursed etc.
Is there anything about motherhood that has surprised you? To be really frank: “It’s BLOODY HARD WORK”. I knew there would be sleepless nights, crying, teething etc. But I didn’t realise that it would be so hard. And I think its hard, because you want to be a great mum. You want to raise a child that is kind, has great manners, and feels secure and SO LOVED. Yet, you need to balance that with discipline, being their teacher, their friend and also their authority figure and role model. It’s a fine balance.
Favourite thing to do as a family? Be outside in the sun playing. It’s the simple things.
What has been the most memorable moment for you in motherhood so far? I now see the beauty in everyday things. I see the innocence they see. The expressions on their face when they see rain for the first time. Watching my two year old play with her sister and make her giggle. The love they share. It’s
What are some baby essentials every new mother needs? Things that are always in my bag: Nappies; swaddles; a baby blanket; wipes; a dummy; a spare outfit/onesie; formula and bottles if you are not breastfeeding. My handbag is a black hole. In time you learn what’s essential for where you are going and what is not crucial to have on hand.
What are some of your favourite shops/websites for baby wear?
What is the one thing you want to teach your children? I want them to know that kindness costs nothing and generosity is a privilege.
Have any advice for newly mothers/mothers to be? The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is true. Don’t be proud or feel guilty to ask for help on the days when things are rough. So many times I have cried to my sister, a friend or my mum. It helps lift the burden on days when things are hard and you may feel overwhelmed. On those days where you feel like you are simple a human dummy. On the days where you forgot that the fridge was empty and you need formula. Or on those sleep deprived days where you can barely function. Don’t try and act like you can do it all. There is no need to be so strong to the detriment of your happiness or your health. Happy mother, happy child. So if someone is offering you help: to bake you a cake, cook you a meal, bath your baby, take your babe for a stroll so you can have a shower or some “you time”, let them help. They are asking because they care. They care about YOU.