From the outset it's easy to see she loves hard and shoots straight. Stephanie Peeni is equal parts chill and determined, an ideal combination when it comes to raising four beautiful and energetic children. Learning to create space for herself and be comfortable in the skin she's in, we catch up with Steph to chat about the last twelve months and why lockdown was such a luxury for her tiny tribe.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood is the responsibility of shaping our beautiful babies into kind, compassionate and loving adults. It is learning about yourself in a much deeper way and defining a new version of love and happiness. It’s prioritizing their needs ahead of mine but most importantly, it’s the greatest love I have ever known and the very best part of who I am.
Something you cherish about your children?
Their love and excitement for the simplest of things. All they want is togetherness, to be present. They love fiercely and I pray they hold onto that passion for the rest of their lives.
Usually a FIFO wife, lockdown has been a bit special for your family hasn’t it?
Oh it has. We usually only get to spend 12 weeks out of an entire year as a family due to my husbands work roster so being able to spend 5 solid weeks together, to reconnect, to learn and grow has been so very special for our family and we have absolutely soaked up every second.
Still some adjusting, but how are you getting on with finding a new rhythm now he is back to work in level 3?
It has definitely had its challenges but communication is key and the way you deliver your message. It’s something we have both had to re learn and continue to work on as I can be just a tad hot tempered ha!
What’s been your saving grace while confined to home?
A positive state of mind. Looking for the good in each day and each situation but also embracing our feelings and working through things as a team. As far as schooling we kept a routine and it helped from feeling ‘lost’ in a sense and was a small part of normality in our lives.
How lockdown has evolved your outlook?
It has taught me to slow down. To take the time to get to know my babies individually not just ‘my children’ as a collective. It has taught me to live more simply, but more passionately for the things I cherish and love.
Tell us about your home, and why its special to be photographed there.
Home for us is where we can let go of all the pressures of life. We are surrounded by nature and water and so it is the perfect piece of paradise to unwind.
It’s so special to be able to watch your family grow. Thank you for joining us for another year as we celebrate women who love and nurture. On reflection, it’s been a phenomenal 12 moths for you and your family. What have they taught you?
Oh Thankyou so much for having us be part of such a special campaign again, I am honoured. The last 12 months, Wow what can I say, It has been extraordinary. We had been through heartache time and time again but I have learnt that my whānau are unbreakable, unstoppable. We are fighters.
Any advice from now that you’d tell yourself one, two even three years ago.
Slow down, slowww down. Make time to work on you, for you. Take your time doing the things you love, and even some of the things you don’t. School run, it was always a rush in the morning, the bickering, the hobbling our the door with one shoe on, the yelling ‘hurry up’, come on’, but why? The outcome is the same, they will make it to school. Rushing our children interrupts their developmental work of exploring the world, so they lose their curiosity. Hurrying kids from one place to another can habituate them to busyness, In other words, they’ll be bored with life at a regular pace.
Slow down, for you, for them.
Are there other women you take inspiration or comfort from in their motherhood journey? If so who and why.
My Aunty Anita and my Good friend Jo. They are supportive, understanding and kind. I admire the close and strong relationships they have with their children and they have grown and are growing up to be beautiful, incredible people.
The values you hope to instil in your children
To love fiercely, themselves and others. By showing my children self love i allow them to see clearly how to accept and respect their bodies all shapes and sizes. I want them to know that they are enough, they are capable and that empowering others does not take away the blessings coming to them.
Saben Style: Steph wears new statement silhouette Tabbie
Stay in touch with Stephanie Peeni, follow her on instagram @thepeenifolk
Meet Seba, a sensitive, kind, and resilient single mother who shared what motherhood means to her in our recent open casting call to ‘all who Mother’. We were inspired by her strength as a solo parent to three children, as well as those she nurtures in the classroom. Oh and did we mention she's tiktok famous?