My home is… with my little family of three, in Yamba, Northern NSW.
My family is… irreplaceable.
I cant live without… my lover, my daughter and our two pups. Red wine is a close second.
I feel whole when… I’m salty and sunkissed after a day by the sea with my loved ones.
I find my inspiration… in my best friends. Each one of the strong women in my life inspire me in their own way. They are real, loving, creative and hilarious and the best kind of tribe to do life with.
Best book you’ve ever read…it’s a cliché answer but Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
The music that never fails to make you feel good… is 90’s R&B of course!
Daily rituals…at the moment – spending a lazy half an hour in bed with Pip after she wakes up each morning. Listening to her chat and giggle and watching her grow before my eyes. And then coffee!
Favourite thing to do as a Family… is to start and finish the day by the ocean.
Little Pippi is almost three months old now, what has surprised you the most about becoming a Mother?
I think the biggest surprise would be how familiar Pippi felt to me so instantly. The moment she was placed on my chest, it was like I had known her my whole life! It’s this totally brand new feeling and a type of love that you could never anticipate. And even though you are told this so many times beforehand, that deep and unconditional bond is still so surprising. Of course, my life with her has changed in every way possible but somehow, it simultaneously feels as if she’s always been here.
Those hazy newborn days, they are as beautiful as they are exhausting. Nothing can prepare for you the cocktail of overwhelming love and pure joy mixed with feelings of sorrow and vulnerability as as you mourn your old self whilst navigating new parts of the woman you are becoming. It is a rebirth and it’s not always graceful. How has new motherhood healed you and challenged you so far?
I honestly feel emotional just reading this question! It perfectly describes my experience with the start of motherhood. It really was a rebirth for me and unfortunately it didn’t begin as graceful as I’d expected. I’ve wanted to become a mother for years, so I was confused when I started having some dark days during my pregnancy. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so down when I was also happy and excited to be starting a family. With some help from my incredibly supportive partner, friends and my own (amazing) mother, I realized it was the fear of losing my old self. It was overwhelming – my body that I had known for 30 years was changing, my identity was changing and soon my life would be forever different. It was a scary thing having to say goodbye to parts of myself when I wasn’t prepared for it. So pregnancy was really hard, I loved it certain days and hated it on others. But I love that you have used the word ‘healed’ because once Pippi was here, it really felt like she healed me in so many ways. I knew the reason why I was going through such a transformation and I felt like I was moving with purpose again. As hazy, as exhausting, as incredibly challenging as it has been (and will continue to be), I feel so lucky to be able to call myself a mother and I can’t help but feel the happiest and most in love I have ever felt. It has been the wildest and most rewarding ride of life so far.
Describe your usual day
I’m not a big routine person and Pip is still figuring out her own routine, so I usually let the day flow according to how she’s feeling. I definitely attempt to fit a few usual things in where I can to keep a bit of normality! I try to get out for a morning walk and grab a coffee, I pack and send orders for my online vintage store and we are lucky enough that my partner and Pippis dad works just around the corner from home, so once he’s finished at 5pm - we head down to the beach for a late afternoon surf and swim. The rest of the time you’ll probably just find me staring at Pippi’s scrumptious little face!
You recently moved to a small coastal town, what inspired the move?
Nathan and I were at a bit of a crossroads last year, he had been working out west and travelling all the time, he was over it and so was I! So we were really, really ready to find somewhere to settle long term. Yamba is somewhere we had spent a lot of time together and it just felt like the only perfect fit. It ticked every box - it is slow and quiet, with great food and coffee (an essential!), a ton of beautiful beaches and a great place to raise a family. A few weeks after moving here I fell pregnant with Pippi, so I very much believe it was meant to be!
You are an op-shopping, vintage Queen and have your own online store, where did your love come from? I see you now have a store for babies too!
Well thank you, that makes me sound a lot cooler than I really am! I’m not sure exactly when it started but it just came from a love of wearing something unique and something with a story. I’m also just a huge dork who really enjoys getting lost in a sea of old clothes until I find the perfect piece! These days, I’ve also become much more educated on the slow fashion movement and of course, I feel even more passionate about wearing recycled or ethically made clothing as much as possible. It makes total sense to wear something that is special, unique and better for the environment! When I met Nathan, I discovered we both shared a love of hoarding second hand goodies and eventually we decided to open an online store. A couple of years later, our little Easy store The Gathered is still kicking and we also haul our collection between different markets around Northern NSW. Once I found out I was pregnant I turned my attention to the kids section and it was only natural to start sharing vintage goodies for the little ones! The Gathered Mini
How do you switch off/slow down/reconnect with yourself?
I’m definitely still learning how to give myself the time to switch off with a new baby. It’s really hard! When someone else is dependent on you 24/7 it’s so easy to forget to reconnect with yourself. I have always really valued my solitude – so I’m trying to find new ways to do so. At the moment, when I get the chance I find an early morning walk (even with a sleeping baby attached to me), a quiet late-night bath or a swim in the ocean always helps me to slow down, reset and refresh.
A piece of advice you would give a Mum-to-be.
I read a really simple piece of advice a while back that has very much stuck with me in these beginning weeks. It was something along the lines of…‘as a new mother, the only two jobs you have are to look after your baby and to rest!’. Which pretty much speaks for itself and is what I am trying to do as much as possible. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed or to overcomplicate your day trying to get so many things done, so this little mantra helps me to simplify what this time in my life is really about. So maybe it might help someone else too!