This interview series was developed around the premise that we learn so much from all the mama’s around us everyday – family, friends and people that we meet out and about. I want to give the ‘everyday mama’ a platform to share her experiences, ideas, memories and tips with other mama’s in the hope that we can all learn a little something from each other.
So who better to start with than the woman who is my greatest inspiration in motherhood and in life?
Meet Dolly A.K.A my Mum.
A friend once described my household growing up as ‘The Mothership’. At first, I laughed until I almost peed but once I recovered I realised how true that is. Mum is a great mother but she’s also an amazing wife, daughter, sister and friend. She has always run her household extremely well particuarly considering that she grew up with umpteen maids and multiple nannies.
Mum has always been and will always be a go-getter – the type of woman that gives everything 110%. What’s incredible though is that she is so effortlessly smart and successful that if she’s giving something her all you know it’s likely to be done better than it ever could have been done without her.
Mum also has a strong presence. She will speak her mind but will never be rude or aggressive so that her intelligence always shines through. In other words, when she talks I listen…
What would you tell your new Mum self about motherhood?
Enjoy the process and don’t worry too much about being the “perfect mum” or the “perfect housewife.”
Be realistic with your expectations of yourself. The world is not going to end if the floors did not get mopped today or the ironing is piling up. You can always catch up tomorrow.
When it seems that the nappies, bottles and crying never ends just know that soon enough, it will. Nothing is forever.
What were your go-to products when you had little ones?
Disposable nappies – they were the latest thing when my little one was born!
I was an “early adaptor” and everyone was making me feel guilty – worrying about the landfill/the environment etc etc etc. All I cared about was that there were no pooey nappies around my house. I would make it up to the “environment” some other time.
What have you learned about yourself as a parent?
I am OCD about cleanliness. This has been a struggle at times. I may even have passed it on the my daughter. Oops!
I realise though that I was a product of my upbringing so I knew that it would be the same for my daughter.
What have your kid/s taught you?
You really don’t have to be the perfect homemaker or mother. Kids just want your love and attention. And it isn’t about how much time you have to give … it’s about the quality of the time you give.
Favourite Disney movie?
As an adult, Aladdin because Robin Williams is just so funny. As a child, Cinderella.
We all have bad days. What do you/would you do when things get/got really tough?
Chill out with a cup of coffee and iTunes or the TV.
The older the children get the more opportunity you will have for these “chill out” moments. Take them whenever you can.
Something your Mum taught you?
Not to be too critical … of others or yourself.
Best Mum hack?
Systems. They make life so much easier. You don’t have to be military / commando style about adhering to the systems but you will find that if the system is uncomplicated and makes a task / job easier it will become second nature (to everyone in the household) in no time.
(a) A place for everything and everything in it’s place. If everyone in the house puts things back where they belong – everyone knows where it is when they need it next time and they can stop asking you “where is it?” That goes for the children’s favourite toys etc. – make them responsible for putting things back in the place they ‘belong’.
(b) Do it once and do it right. My Mum used to make me re-do my homework if she felt that it was untidy or remake the bed if I had just thrown the covers on. Growing up I did not appreciate this “life lesson.” When I became a Mother I found history repeating itself because I then appreciated it’s importance.
(c) No more searching for the elusive matching pillowcase or the right sheets for the bed. When you bring the washing in …. pack the doona / matching pillowcases / matching sheets etc all in one bundle. Same goes for PJs and kids outfits.
The best advice you’ve ever been given?
My Grandma always told me that no amount of money can buy “good breeding” and “class.” Always treat yourself with respect otherwise no one else will.