Some days I find it really challenging...
As I’m sure all mum’s do. I was never good at being on time and now it’s even harder because it’s impossible to get Luella ready to leave the house. The thing I miss most about my life before Luella was born is my ability to travel. I used to go away a lot for work and those trips fed my creativity and I really love seeing the world. I’m far more home-bound now, but my time to travel will come again and hopefully I’ll occasionally be able to bring Luella along for the ride! With a newborn, give in to the fact that you will be tired. Everyone told me to sleep during the day when Luella slept, but I never did that. I’m quite house proud, so whenever I had spare time I’d catch up on loads of washing, work in the garden or answer emails for work. It’s only a short amount of time, in the grand scheme of things, so just go with it and do what works for you.
My advice to first time mothers...
Relish every moment and let go of guilt – your priorities will change and there won’t be enough hours in the day to get everything done that you used to. Relax and enjoy getting to know your baby. Motherhood has taught me that I am capable of an enormous amount of love and that I would literally do anything to protect my daughter; and that I thought I was busy before I had Luella but I didn’t know the half of it.
I believe that each family needs to do what works for them...
Personally, I love structure, but I chose not to be this way with Luella. We’re quite fluid with her routine. I prefer to ‘read’ her and work out what is best for her on any given day. We’ve never done any sleep training. At bedtime, it’s all about mummy cuddles and stories.
I’m getting a little better at achieving balance now...
For the first 18 months, I had no time to myself, which was trying. These days, I have a little more time and it’s definitely made me a calmer, more ‘present’ mum when Luella and I are together. The juggle is really difficult and something I talk about a lot. I edited madison, a magazine aimed at 30-something working women so the topic came up a lot! Mums, in general, find making time for everything really difficult. We need to support each other’s choices, because everyone’s situation is different. When I had Luella, I was working fulltime as the editor of Madison magazine. I returned to work after four months and the juggle was really difficult. Now, I am working for myself and we have number two on the way. I’m hoping I’ll find it more manageable this time around.
Now that I’m not going in to a corporate environment every day, my style is more relaxed...
I actually found this quite challenging to begin with because I love heels and most of my clothes are quite dressy. As summer approaches, I’m enjoying being comfortable in sun dresses, shorts, floaty tops (to hide the baby bump) and flat sandals. Witchery is my go-to high street brand and my sister and I have just launched a label, Kindred, so that’s what I’m wearing at the moment. I mix these pieces back with accessories from Ferragamo (I have a thing for their ballet flats and handbags), Chanel, Sophie Hulme and Mulberry. For Luella’s clothes, I shop at Seed, Bonza Bratts in Mosman, Printebebe, Freckles in Avalon and Jacardi Paris for special occasions. My mum knitted the most beautiful baby blankets and cardigans, which we will forever cherish. And my godmother lent us precious pieces she had dressed her children in. We received lots of beautiful gifts, but it’s the ones that hold sentimental value that are most important.
The best part of being a mother is...
Watching Luella grow and learn; seeing what a happy, sweet little girls she is; the beauty Luella finds in the littlest of things has given me a new appreciation that adults tend to overlook – she’ll stop to smell flowers when we go for a walk, she’ll twirl around to music she loves, she’ll chat to her dollies when she thinks no-one is watching… it’s endlessly rewarding and I feel utterly blessed to have her in my life.
Luella is a sweet, headstrong, beautiful little soul and I couldn’t be prouder of her...
My husband Andy and I can’t quite believe how lucky we are. Luella goes to daycare three days a week and she absolutely adores her time there. Working for myself means I can do the drop off and collection without rushing from the city, which has eliminated a lot of the stress! My mum looks after Luella one day a week and if I have an early morning TV appearance or meetings, she’s one suburb away and often comes to the rescue.
Luella's Nursery is quite serene..
It’s decorated in soft pastels. And very girlie. I wanted to create a space for Luella so that when she’s in her room alone, she feels safe and happy. Investing in a good quality pram with wheels that don’t jar is essential (ours is a Bugaboo). We bought a Baby Bjorn carrier, but Luella wasn’t interested in it. She did love her Baby Bjorn bouncer – that was a life-saver. By far the most useful gadget we invested in was an Avante video monitor. We still use it and Luella has just turned two – it’s been wonderful for our peace of mind. At bath time, we use Johnson & Johnson bubble bath and powder and French brand Mustela Bebe for body oil and divine smelling face cream.
Within minutes of stepping into Elizabeth Renkerts home, it’s clear that impeccable style is in her DNA. Everything is perfectly styled, from her two-year-old daughter Luella’s bedroom to the pin board above her desk, filled with a miscellany of beautiful images.
Busy doesnt quite sum up a day in the life of Renkert: The ex-editor of Madison magazine recently launched a fashion label, Kindred, with her sister Georgie, is a regular commentator on Mornings 9, an ambassador for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and editor of fashion, homes and travel on the soon to launch site The Carousel. She’s also pregnant with her second child, due early next year.
Still, Renkert feels life is far more balanced than it used to be when she was working as a magazine editor. When I had Luella, I was working full-time. I returned to work after four months and the juggle was really difficult, she says. Now, I am working for myself and we have number two on the way. Im hoping I’ll find it more manageable this time around. On achieving balance, she says: I’m getting a little better at it now, but that’s two years in. For the first 18 months, I had no time to myself, which was trying. These days, I have a little more time and it’s definitely made me a calmer, more present mum when Luella and I are together.
Lizzie’s little list of loves:
Luellas growing vocabulary its endlessly entertaining and so cute!
Our weekly fruit delivery.
The smell of jasmine.
An hour to myself on our daybed.
Sun streaming through our bedroom window in the morning.
I love you mummy at bedtime.