The hardest part of being a mum is the significant loss of ‘me time’.
I miss not being able to just do simple things like go for a run in the morning or a swim at the beach whenever I feel like it – these things need to be planned a lot more in advance now.
I dress Kingston like a mini adult with a few designer pieces thrown in.
I like AlexandAlexa.com, Marimekko Kids, Bassike Mini and Bonds. We really love Seed’s full-length animal onesies, Kingston has the winter bear, the Christmas bear and the donkey.
I knew I wanted Kingston to sleep close to me to begin with.
For him to be a little more independent when ready, we bought the Leander bednest for safe co-sleeping. He slept beside our bed for the first few months – we’d all try to go to bed together at the same time and end up waking up at the same time (with the occasional feed or two in the middle of the night) and I think this really helped him learn good sleeping habits and fit in with our lifestyle. Now he is in the same cot, but in his own room, and generally sleeps from 10pm until eight in the morning.
I’ll teach Kingston to aim high, to believe that anything is possible, to follow his gut and not be too influenced by others.
To work hard, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to never smoke… EVER and to make his own rules.
We've been blessed with a good little sleeper but it wasn’t always easy.
Although he would only sleep in my arms the first two weeks, he averaged about eight hours through the night in his little cot from four weeks, and now does about 10 hours at four months. We’re proud (and thankful) of those stats!
I never bought anything ‘maternity’.
I was quite conscious of not changing my style both throughout pregnancy and since becoming a mum. I still love and live in pieces by Rick Owens, Bassike, and Scanlan & Theodore. Shoe wise, it’s either Nike Air Max Sneakers or heels – never gave those up! I keep swaddles on hand and make sure I cover my shoulder with one whenever I’m holding him after a feed so my clothes don’t get ruined and I don’t get delayed by having to change. My daily uniform would be denim shorts and bassike cotton T-shirt or singlet for hanging with Kingston, at work it’s usually a Scanlan & Theodore silk singlet with either a skirt or bassike pants and always with heels. If it’s a beach day – a We Are Handsome one piece.
We’ve followed no set routine, but have just tried to be intuitive to his needs.
Our approach to parenting so far has been to integrate rather than segregate. It sounds obvious, but we constantly read articles and hear other parents talking about ‘kid free life vs. life with the kids’. We’ve basically just jammed it altogether from day zero. We’ve really tried to introduce and integrate Kingston into our lifestyle, rather than the other way around. As a general rule, Kingston goes everywhere and anywhere we go. We take him shopping, to cafes, to the gym, on boats and even to social events. We’ve seen great benefits from this approach, especially when it comes to his sleeping habits. From very early on Kingston was sleeping eight hours per night, just like us. He has since increased this nightly sleeps to 10+ hours. This has obviously been great for our lifestyle but we think it’s also made Kingston a lot happier and alert – he’s really inquisitive about the world and wants to do whatever we are doing … although clearly we’re biased!
Kingston doesn’t really have a ‘nursery’.
We didn’t go for the colourful nametag on the door, the baby blue theme or the baby decorations. He started in our bedroom and now sleeps in a room that was our home office. It’s pretty simple and mostly white. We chose Danish designed baby furniture that was white or wooden so that it would fit in with the style of the rest of the house. We have a Leander change table and co-sleeper bednest. There is definitely a ‘kiddie touch’ though, as his books now decorate the room alongside our coffee table books and his teddies and toys are all over the large couch. As he gets older, he’s acquiring more and more toys, but we’re trying to keep it all quite clean and simple.
I returned to work part time work in January.
I took four months maternity leave including a three-week holiday before Kingston arrived. I really missed the mental stimulation and my clients so couldn’t wait to get back into work. Generally, I work in the office from about 9.30am till about 2.30pm from Monday-Thursday. However I keep this flexible depending on when I need to be at meetings. I feel so fortunate that IMG has allowed me this flexibility. I do bits and pieces in the afternoons if Kingston has a nap, and then schedule any calls with clients in Europe after 9.30pm, when I know I’ll be done with dinner duties and Kingston will usually be asleep. I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Kingston so I have to stay up late and get up earlier to express enough for him. We’re lucky enough to have a private nanny for Kingston. She is just amazing with him and we love her. She is a mother of 3 and as first time parents, it’s great for us to have someone so experienced around. She teaches us so much.
In terms of sleeping tricks, it’s all about the wrap.
A good wrap in an Aden & Anais muslin swaddle tends to do the trick every night. My husband is just amazing at swaddling him. ‘The Wrap’ has become an art form in this family! Once he’s been wrapped, Kingston will then either fall asleep himself, or if he is a little unsettled I’ll sing him a little lullaby to send him off to sleep.
It makes it so much easier to cope if you feel normal and 'together'.
I try to make sure I still look after myself everyday, even if it’s just 20 minutes in the morning to shower, get dressed for the day and do something with my hair. It maybe sounds a little superficial, but if you let yourself look like a wreck, you’ll feel like a wreck. Also, having a housekeeper really helps keep things together in the household, making it feel calm and organised. I’d say having the lactation consultant visit in the early weeks is an absolute must. I know it would have been a very different experience for me if we hadn’t done this.
Working part time at the moment helps with the work and baby balance.
On the weekends, my husband will often take Kingston out for a drive or for a visit to his parents’ house, while I get a massage or sleep. I’d love to do more exercise, but just don’t seem to find the time. That’s definitely something I’m working on.
The best part of being a Mum? Seeing this little human grow and develop each day.
I love the mornings when Kingston wakes up, although I sometimes wish I could press ‘snooze’ on him, once I see his gorgeous face and he smiles back at me I’m ready to start my day with him. The cheeky looks he gives us now – it’s so cute.
I’ve enjoyed reading ‘The natural guide to better breastfeeding’.
It’s a really beautiful explanation of this natural process and the relationship between mother and baby. I also read some of the more routine based books such as Save Our Sleep by Tizzy Hall and The Contented Little Baby by Gina Ford. Ultimately I took the bits of advice from each that seemed to work for Kingston and our lifestyle.
Motherhood has taught me to put less pressure on myself.
Learning to accept that I’m just doing the best I can each day and that’s all I can do. Stressing about trying to be perfect is a waste of precious energy. I’ve been really relieved to realise that I can still be ‘me’ and not have to drastically change upon becoming ‘a mum’. I was really happy with life before falling pregnant and was a little scared as to how everything might change. We’ve tried to still do everything we usually would whenever we can – just with a little more planning beforehand – and now have the bonus of sharing experiences with Kingston. I can’t imagine life without him now.
Good strong coffee in the morning, is IMG Client Manager Maddison McKays secret weapon for combating sleep deprivation. Coffee from Sydney’s Sensory Lab or Rueben Hills, and her Miu Miu Rasoir sunglasses (a very thoughtful baby present from one of my dearest clients). Not that she needs help. The new mother is a natural. Id say having the lactation consultant visit in the early weeks is an absolute must. I know it would have been a very different experience for me if we hadnt done this she helped not only with breastfeeding and advice on how to deal with problems such as mastitis, but also with settling and sleeping techniques. Her advice was invaluable and a savior in those first weeks. Her name is Anne Scollon and she is an absolute saint.
Home is a beautiful, sunny apartment in Sydney’s East, where she lives with her husband, ECD and founder of ideas agency TONGUE Jonathan Pease, and son Kingston, now four months. The nursery doubles as an office and is filled with chic furniture by Danish brand Leander. We chose Danish designed baby furniture that was white or wooden so that it would fit in with the style of the rest of the house. We have a Leander change table and co-sleeper Bednest.
McKay recently returned to work part time. I really missed the mental stimulation and my clients, so couldnt wait to get back into work. Generally, I work in the office from about 9.30am till about 2.30pm from Monday-Thursday. However I keep this flexible depending on when I need to be at meetings Im still exclusively breastfeeding Kingston so I have to stay up late and get up earlier to express enough for him.
On keeping sane during those early months, McKay says its important to still look after yourself. I try to make sure I still look after myself everyday, even if its just 20 minutes in the morning to shower, get dressed for the day and do something with my hair. It makes it so much easier to cope if you feel normal and ‘together’. It maybe sounds a little superficial, but if you let yourself look like a wreck, youll feel like a wreck.
Maddisons little list of loves:
Kingstons smiles and kisses.
Coffee from Sensory Lab or Rueben Hills.
Miu Miu Rasoir sunglasses a very thoughtful baby present from one of my dearest clients.
Working on business ideas and creative projects with my husband.
Swims at Bondi Beach with and without Kingston.
Working out at AGOGA gym in Bondi (Kingston comes with me sometimes).
Yoga DVD from Power Living.
My iPhone and Instagram.
Photography: Julie Adams Make-up: Sarina Zoe Words: Georgie Abay