Portraits of the modern mother #thejuggleisreal
Balancing life and family is a demanding 24/7 job, to celebrate Mother's Day, we asked a few of our favourite task masters how they approach their most important role.
A collection of portraits in which the modern mother plays muse. Each successful in their own agenda with family at the heart of it all.
We couldn't help but get inspired by their style along the way...
Saben marketing manager, bed linen obsessive and mother to Grayson, 8 months, Brooke shares with us her favourite parenting advice and what she didn’t see coming.Brooke wears black and gold reversible Go Tote
Best part about being a mother: All of it. I love this kid with every fibre of my being and I have never felt so present and grounded. Motherhood has me feeling all secure with who I am and where I am going.
Favourite parenting advice you received: “It’s ok to WANT to throw your kid out the window, its not okay to ACTUALLY throw him out” this was brilliant, in the 9months leading up everyone is so generous with their pearls of wisdom, but this one really stuck. It was months before I could relate but boy I needed this mantra in that moment.
What you didn't see coming: Banana stains. Did you know? How did I not know this?! There are manuals, classes, mum-groups and forums for EVERYTHING, none of them tell you this. Also, the nips. People do warn you about this one, but still. Oh WOW.
Family life: My partner and I had an independent relationship pre-Gray. Loads of advice came in about not becoming “flatmates” and simply co-existing for the common cause. But I have found the opposite, we are together (literally, as in in each other’s company) far more than before, and together in the deeper sense. Grayson has taught me a love like no other, and that has inevitably deepened my love for his dad.
Getting that balance between work and motherhood: I have only just started! Do you like the campaign? When this was just ideas on paper I didn’t realise how close to my heart it would sit, but these women are incredible trail blazers. Nailing it in their personal and professional lives with such style and panache. I feel very lucky to work with/for Roanne, and have her support in my motherhood journey.
Values you want to instil in your son: I hope I can raise an oak tree from this wee acorn, with a strong sense of self and empathetic heart.
Your Ideal Sunday: SLEEEP, CAWFEE and FAMILY.
Your own mum: Mum raised us to believe we could do and be anything we wanted, there was no pre-determined pressure from her to fulfil her ideals or desires for us. Just whatever our goals were – we had to do them at our very best. As one of four kids we were never compared against each other’s success, she really celebrated our individual strengths. I adore her.
Mother's Day wish list: I am actually so desperate for pyjamas! Is that too boring? Ooooo some luxurious lounge wear would be really nice. Any excuse for day time pyjamas hahahaha BUT just so I can stop apologising to unexcepted courier drivers for my home-less looking attire.
Graphic designer, homemaker and mother of Jake, 19 months and partway through baking baby number two, Kim shares with us what she loves most about being a parent and her move from the city to live the dream in the country...
Kim wears Matilda in black suede
Best part about being a mother: Watching another human grow and learn right from that first moment (circle of life style). That precious moment when you get a proper big cuddle.
Favourite parenting advice you received: Relax and enjoy the ride. The advice stream is constant—I’ve got my panel of experts (aka. other mothers winging it) on speed dial. Also pretty much every time I call my mum. She loves to remind me (usually with very little sympathy) that all Jake’s little ‘quirks’ sound very similar to what I was like, but that’s always followed up with practical, experienced advice.
What you didn't see coming: The importance of self-care. I like to be busy and spend a lot of energy doing things for other people, so this is something that’s taken me a while to learn to do but taking time out for myself has definitely made a positive impact on how I handle the crazy work/family balance.
Another surprise was the home environment going from being a haven to being my workplace. I struggle to focus if the house is a mess, Adam comes home from a busy day in the city and can’t wait to relax at home, and I’ve spent the day running around after Jake with clean up on repeat so I want to get out. Regular evening trips to the local beach have been a great way to give everyone some wind down time together.
Moving from the city - country: I still manage to get my city fix at least once a week, whether it’s meeting a client, a dinner date at a favourite restaurant, catching up with friends or a family outing. As much as I love the hustle and bustle, there's something about the drive home that is so relaxing. It's forced time to slow down, meditate and soak in the countryside, not to mention getting some excellent use out of my music collection. We have an awesome backyard that we wouldn't have if we were still in the city, and to me that is priceless for our kids.
Home life: From pushing his dump truck down the hallway at 6am (live-in alarm clock) to splashing around in the paddling pool out back, Jake has his own little paradise in Waiuku. If we’re not at home, we’re out at friends farms or at a local beach. Jake loves hunting for big shells and chasing the waves.
Getting that balance between your work and motherhood: We are lucky enough to have an amazing support network—without them this balance would not be possible. In particular, Jake loves going to Nana & Papa’s house for sleepovers, which allows me a few undisrupted hours to catch up on work—productivity is at a whole new level during these times! My studio space is currently in our living area so Jake can play while I’m working. We’ll always have lunch together, and try and get out of the house every day. Nap time is go time.
Values you want to instil in your children: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Weekend ritual: Family time. Jake has man-time with Dad while I get a sleep in (when did "sleep in" mean an extra half an hour?) and then we spend the day together. Often involves visiting friends, working on the house, or a trip to a local beach/park. On Sundays we go to church and spend time with family.
Mother's day wish list: A cup of coffee in bed & a cooked breakfast (that I haven’t cooked) with the family.
Business owner and crazy creative behind kids shoe brand Pretty Brave, and mother to Skye (9) and Blake (7), Natalie shares with us what she loves most about being a parent, her exciting new adventure – AND having the family together again for Mother’s Day
Natalie wears Frankie handbag in black
Best part of being a mother: I LOVE being a mum for a hundred reasons. But near the top would be because my kids can make any moment special. I am constantly inspired by how Skye and Blake see every day as a new adventure and opportunity for discovery. I love how being a mum takes you back to being a kid!
What you didn’t see coming: Parenting is a moving target… just when you think you have it sorted, new challenges pop up. It seems just the other day I was obsessing on sleep routine with a newborn, but soon I’ll be worried about boy-racers. I have discovered that with kids there is always something new around the corner and you constantly have to adapt your parenting to keep up.
Values you want to instil in your children: Love yourself and others, family is number one and don’t be afraid of hard work to take you anywhere you want to go.
Juggling Pretty Brave and your role as a mother: Challenging! But the flexibility allows me to be the mum that’s always there for school pick up and parent help. Having my own business is 2-4-7 but I am lucky to have amazing family support, especially my mum, who helps me above and beyond. And now I understand the cliché - the importance of great staff.
Tell us about your next big move: Toddler market here we come. Pretty Brave launched 2 years ago which means we have babies who have been with the brand since they were born. Now I’m starting to get messages from mums who are devastated their children no longer fit our shoes! Moving into bigger sizes is a natural progression for the business and enables us to grow alongside our little customers.
Sunday routine: Sundays in our house are always special. It’s the day when the laptops don’t come out and we just be a family. Skye has just mastered the coffee machine, so the morning starts with coffee in bed. Tim is on Sunday breakfast and we often get spoilt with waffles or pancakes. During the day we like to head off on a family adventure and having spent 5½ years in Spain we still feel like we’re rediscovering New Zealand. It’s easy to just walk out the door and show the kids our amazing country. A few weeks ago we explored Rangitoto Island where we hadn’t been to forever, but our little missions can be as simple as heading down to the local beach after a storm.
Mother’s Day wish list: On Mother’s Day my kids and I would have just moved to Bermuda. Tim has been there for a month prepping with Team NZ for the upcoming America's Cup. I’ll be happy for our family to be together again, have sunshine on our skin and smiles on our faces ready for our next adventure.
Jess is a nurse, part-time blogger, part-time product stylist, coffee drinker and mother of three, Jake (12) Archie (4) Theodora AKA Teddie (2), Jess shares with us what she loves most about being a parent - AND what is on her Mother's Day wishlist...
Jess wears Matilda croc
Best part about being a mother: The laughs. Because if you didn't laugh you would cry!
Favourite parenting advice you received: From my Grandma. Structure. Kids love routine.
What you didn't see coming: Number 3 ….. our daughter.
Family life: Should be fun.
Getting that balance between work and motherhood: Don't sweat the small stuff. You can't do everything. If you house is a mess after a long day at work. Let it stay a mess! There will always be tomorrow. Pour a wine instead.
Values you want to instil in your children: To be kind. Kindness is the key to everything.
Your Ideal Sunday: Sleep in (well let's face it that is 7am!) Brunch. Shopping. Dinner with family and friends.
Your own mum: I have been raised by 2 strong women my mother and my grandmother. They have taught me to laugh at myself, how to sneak shopping past your husband and how to make a good cup of tea.
Mother's day wish list: I had better say spending it with my family because I'm going on a kid free holiday to Melbourne in 6 weeks! Woohoo!