The countdown is on. Mother’s Day is on Sunday. The thing I’m most excited about is sleeping in. How good is sleeping in? The next thing I’m excited about is cuddles with my girls, then coffee. Actually coffee before cuddles (am I allowed to admit that?!)...
Mother’s Day has also made me reflect on the last few years. The best way to reflect? With a great girlfriend. I teamed up with my dear friend Sigourney Cantelo from Beauticate and headed to the local park for a picnic. We got talking about what motherhood has taught us. Needless to say, we were there all afternoon. We also got to try Pommade Divine, which is a beautiful natural, all-purpose beauty balm ideal for soothing, nourishing and protecting dry, sensitive skin. It’s the 300-year-old beauty secret that everyone’s talking about. It’ll work wonders on everything from chapped lips, to grazes on the knee to rough heels to bruises. Just ask my bestie actress Sienna Miller: “I was brought up with Pommade Divine, now I use it on my daughter. It’s a fantastic product that I always have in the house.” I hear you babe. Just like Sienna, I now use it on myself and on the girls’ daily – it’s perfect for the whole family. You can read Sigourney’s heartfelt reflections here. My reflections on motherhood are below – I hope they make sense. This Mother’s Day, make sure you tell your closest friends what a great job they’re doing – we all need to be reminded of that from time to time. Read on for what motherhood has taught me over the past four years.
“ It’s a staple in our house, we use it on the whole family for any knocks, scrapes or grazes ”
Jemma Kidd, makeup artist and designer
SHOP: Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm 50ml, $39.95. Uniquely formulated using 97% natural ingredients, Pommade Divine is a multi-purpose skin care remedy that helps to quickly repair and deeply nourish dry, damaged skin. Available at David Jones. Arabella wears Daughter dress, $78
Motherhood is harder than I ever imagined (but more rewarding too)
For longer than I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother. Growing up, I always had lots of different animals. I adored caring for all of them. Rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, fish – you name it, my parents reluctantly gave in. Actually, they never gave into the pony request (I tried, my god did I try). As an adult, I was the one who would start squealing with excitement when someone told me they were pregnant. I’d get so much joy out of holding friends’ babies. When we found out we were pregnant with a girl, it was a dream come true. The pink invasion in our home started and come to think of it, two girls later, it hasn’t really stopped. Motherhood has completed my life – it has given me a purpose that I didn’t have before. It makes everything else I’ve ever done seem so insignificant. I’ve experienced the most extraordinary kind of love and I’d jump in front of a bus for my girls, but boy motherhood can be hard. I had no idea. No idea! I look back on those early days, when the girls were babies and didn’t sleep, and wonder how I made it without going completely crazy. Now, they’re a little older and in a way, things are easier (or not), but what I’ve learnt is that each age will bring new challenges (sibling fighting – don’t get me started!). The good news? You’ll survive because that’s what mums do.
Perspective is everything
Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. My own mother always reminds me of this. If you’re feeling down, change your perspective. Be grateful for what you have. We are so blessed to be mothers. There is no greater job in the world. You will have tough days and as my mother always says, “tomorrow is another day darling”. A good night’s sleep will fix everything. I take a deep breath and remember how lucky I am to have two children.
Your marriage will change, but that’s ok because if it’s strong enough, it’ll survive
I really didn’t expect this one. I remember pre-kids thinking how much closer kids must bring you. They do bring you closer. But they also make you snap at each other a lot and fight over whose turn it is to settle the baby, do the bath, give the kids dinner… I could go on. Those early months after our first daughter arrived were the hardest. When our second child arrived, we did things a little differently. We slept in separate rooms and I’d do the first half of the night and then at around 4am, just before I lost it from the lack of sleep, my husband would take over and I’d sleep for a few hours. It seemed to work better than when we used to sleep in the same bed, both delirious from a restless night. Four years in, we’ve started going on more date nights and as the girls get older, this parenting thing is getting really fun at times. We’re normal – we fight, we make up, we have our ups and downs – but motherhood has taught me that my relationship is stronger than I ever imagined.
For a while there, you might feel mumsy but eventually you’ll feel like your old self
I remember late one night, mid-feed, scrolling through my iPhone looking for cardigans to buy. Cardigans! My wardrobe had hit an all-time low. Nursing bras, tops that unclipped so I could get my boobs out easily, cardigans, maternity jeans and don’t get me started on the maternity underwear (confession: I wore them for about a year after I gave birth. They were just so comfy). Honestly, it’s only now that I’m starting to feel like my old self. My boobs look a bit sorry for themselves, no amount of oil will fix the stretch marks and my mother asks me a lot if I’m using eye cream, but see my point above: it’s all about perspective. Who really cares? I am the mother of two beautiful girls and that is worth every single stretch mark and wrinkle. I’ve finally started wearing the kinds of clothes I used to wear and it feels good. I feel a little like my old self.
SHOP: Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm 50ml, $39.95. Available at David Jones
You can’t wrap your kids in cotton wool (at least, not all the time)
My husband reminded me of this recently when we were on holidays in London visiting his family. I was worried the girls would fall down the stairs in the middle of the night as it was a new house and they weren’t familiar with the environment. They never fell down the stairs – my husband was right. They fall over all the time, they graze their knees, they cry, but I teach them to get up and laugh it off. Our job is to protect our children, but we also need to let them explore the world. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learnt from making mistakes. Let them fall – it’ll teach them to get back up and stand on their own feet.
Anxiety will take on a new meaning
I never anxiety like the anxiety I experienced after I had kids. Ok, I can be a little highly strung from time to time. I can’t help it. I find it hard to relax (unless I’m on holidays in Bali and the kids are in kids’ club and I have a gin and tonic in my hand and a massage booked – then I’m totally relaxed). Sorry, back to reality. Where was I? Oh yes, I find it hard to switch off. All the routines that come with kids (eat, play, sleep and repeat) tipped me over the edge. We had difficult babies who didn’t sleep well, so I was anxious about sticking to a routine to try and encourage them to sleep. The sound of a newborn screaming still makes me anxious – it’s a sound that will never leave me. It’s why I won’t have more children – those screams broke me. We spent night after night trying to settle our girls – both were shocking sleepers. The silver lining? They’re brilliant sleepers now. To help anxiety, I’ve learnt that meditation is essential for mothers. You don’t have time? Make time. It’s honestly the best thing you can do for yourself. Put your wellbeing first.
SHOP: Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm 50ml, $39.95. Available at David Jones
Stay off social media if you’re sleep-deprived
If you’re inside with a baby and you’re sleep-deprived, stay off social media. I know it looks like everyone is having the time of their life. Let’s get real: They’re not having as much fun as you think – Instagram is just very good at making everything look perfect. Remember to have lots of face-to-face time with family and friends or even a quick chat over the phone with a good friend – it’ll cheer you up and make you feel normal. I couldn’t have survived without my amazing network of friends – we laughed and cried together through the early days of motherhood. We were always there to help each other.
Your career will change
One of my favourite quotes is from our former Governor-General Quentin Bryce: “For a very long time now I’ve been saying to young women, ‘You can have it all, but not all at the same time.’ How important it is to take very good care of yourself, of your mental and physical and spiritual wellbeing; it’s hard to do. It’s easier to be a workaholic than to have a truly balanced life.” She’s so right. In my experience, motherhood changes everything and the biggest thing for me was my career. I left my dream job at VOGUE to focus on motherhood and The Grace Tales. My goal? To create a flexible working environment. While I probably work harder than I ever have, I also get to tuck my girls in every night and work my schedule around their needs. I’m always there when they need me.
About Pommade Divine:
Uniquely formulated using 97% natural ingredients, Pommade Divine is a multi-purpose skin care remedy that helps to quickly repair and deeply nourish dry, damaged skin.
Benefits and uses:
-Fast, soothing relief for minor skincare injuries such as bruises, burns, cuts and scrapes, and insect bites.
-Soothes and protects sore, inflamed skin, even on young children and babies.
-A deeply moisturising protectant for dry, itchy skin, cuticle care, rough heels, and chapped lips & hands.
-Can help to relieve long-standing skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
-Helps reduce the likelihood of scarring.
-Contains natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
-Pommade Divine Original contains no mineral oils, no synthetic dyes or fragrances, no parabens and no silicones.