I want to teach Gracie about the importance of family...
The best part of being a mum is the unconditional love. I love her unconditionally and I know Gracie loves me unconditionally. She is at the age at the moment where she just smiles and laughs whenever I say or do anything. I love it.
Structure and routine works well for us...
For the first few months we didn’t follow a strict routine but rather we just knew how long she could be awake for at a time and I made sure to feed every 3-4hrs. At about 3 months we started to follow a routine where she has had set feed and sleep times. It’s allowed us to know what to expect each day and plan our days. I definitely like structure and Gracie seems to like it too. My husband Brent and I don’t make a conscious effort but we seem to find time to spend together. After Gracie goes down at 6:30pm each night, we’re able to have dinner together, share a wine, talk about the day and watch some TV. And we’re loving doing things as a family on the weekends. We’re lucky that we have my parents and Brent’s mum nearby to babysit so we can go out for dinner the two of us.
We’re lucky that Gracie has always been a pretty good sleeper...
We had a great lady, Jen Hamilton, come to our house when Gracie was a few weeks old and show us how to best put Gracie to sleep, ways to settle her and how to teach her to self settle. Having someone come to our house and answer all our questions in those early days was invaluable. We did sleep training at six months to drop the 3am feed. We followed The Gift of Sleep program and it worked a treat. The book says it will have your baby sleeping through the night in 3 nights and it did! Everyone told us it would work but we were still really surprised when it did
To deal with sleep deprivation, I made sure I got out of the house for a walk...
You just deal with it really. In the first few months, you’re still running on adrenalin, love and excitement, so even if you were up during the night you still get up in the morning and it’s all ok. I’m lucky that I have friends with young babies that live within walking distance so we would go for a walk, have a coffee and talk about how many times we were up in the night! My sister had a baby just three weeks after me so having her going through the same things as me, and being able to talk about it, really helped. Hearing that others are also up during the night is reassuring!
I love Toshi floral printed wraps and Natures Purest bamboo blankets...
For clothes, I like Baby Gap, Seed, Zara and she’s just started to fit into Zimmermann in time for summer! And Plum do the prettiest and the best sleeping bags. My mum kept some of the dresses that I wore when I was a baby and now Gracie wears them. Beautiful white smock dresses with lace trim and embroidery.
Motherhood has just helped me discover the more patient, relaxed, nurturing and confident side of myself...
I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends who have recently become mothers. So they have really become my Mother’s group, but they’re my best friends. Everyone seems to be finding juggling work and motherhood hard. Most of my friends are working three days however they feel they are trying to squeeze five days into three as their employers haven’t changed their workload.
I’ve just gone back to work part time...
I think it will be hard as I’m used to spending everyday with Gracie. I’m a bit apprehensive of how it will go working part time. I’m hoping my work will be understanding when I need to leave at 5pm. My mother looks after Gracie one day, my mother in-law the other day, and I have a nanny share with a friend on the 3rd day. It’s working well so far! We try to make the most of our weekends when Brent is around. That doesn’t mean keeping busy, it just means spending time together as a family and sharing the load
You definitely know it belongs to a little girl...
All the furniture is made of white wood and the decorations, bedding and stuffed toys are all white and pink. I also have lots and lots of white wicker baskets to store clothes, wraps, blankets, toys and nappies.
The Grace Tales is all about the stylish mother and if there’s one girl I know who sums this up it’s advertising account director Mariana Rice. She’s not only one of the most naturally beautiful women you’ll ever meet, I’ve also known her for over a decade: we went to University together, got married a week apart, and ended up on the same resort in the Maldives for our honeymoons. Fast-forward a year or so and our daughters were born four months apart. Gracie is now eight and a half months old.
Rice is a girls girl, so it’s not surprising that Gracies nursery is ultra feminine. You definitely know it belongs to a little girl. All the furniture is made of white wood and the decorations, bedding and stuffed toys are all white and pink. Nursery essentials include Plum sleeping bags and Toshi floral wraps.
When it comes to style, it helps that Nicky Zimmermann is her sister-in-law. Rice lives in Zimmermann sundresses and sandals for most of the year. And in winter, she loves Jac & Jack for jumpers and Acne for jeans and boots. On motherhood, she says: It has helped me discover the more patient, relaxed, nurturing, and confident side of myself.
Mariana’s little list of loves:
Mums and Bubs exercise class in Centennial Park.
Saturday morning swimming lessons with Gracie.
Sunday morning breakfast at Jackies Cafe in Paddington.
Long walks with Brent and Gracie on the weekend.
Chocolate and sour cherry muffins from Sonoma.
Wednesday lunches with my mum and Gracie.
Spending weekends at Palm Beach.
Park play dates with friends and their babies.
Aspect face moisturiser.
Lying in bed in the mornings with Gracie and Brent.
Photography: Julie Adams Makeup: Abigail Sheridan Words: Georgie Abay