On the morning of my first day at The Grace Tales, I changed outfits four times. Not because of a self-absorbed desire to make the right first impression (although there was perhaps a hint of that), but rather, it was due to a handprint of Vegemite fingers, a flung raspberry and a smear of toothpaste. This is really quite telling of working motherhood, isn’t it? Incredibly messy, certainly resilient and more than a little bit hectic...
But instead of rushing into the office feeling like a hot mess with a mediocre outfit, I arrived at The Grace Tales feeling like I’d come home.
You see, after having my first son, Isaac, in 2014, The Grace Tales was where I went to feel inspired in this new and challenging world of motherhood. It was where I found comfort in the 2am (and 3am and 4am) feeds. It was where I felt less alone, knowing that mothers across the world, with lives that looked nothing like mine, had experienced the exact same emotions and ordeals. It was where I felt a sense of community and kinship with women just like me, despite being behind a screen.
In the four years (which includes two more pregnancies and another son born in 2017, Charlie) that have followed, I have read hundreds – if not thousands – of articles on The Grace Tales. Reading the site has become part of the daily tapestry of my life, along with extremely strong coffee and endless loads of laundry. And I know I’m just one of thousands of women doing the same.
It’s for this reason – and so many more – that I’m both proud and privileged to take on the role of Editor in Chief.
I’ve joined The Grace Tales at a time when it feels like we’re on a trampoline (save for pelvic floor challenges), ready to jump off into even greater heights. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen the launch of GRACE Collective, an expanding events program, expert contributors from across the world and brilliant partnerships. Then when it comes to what’s in the pipeline, the future’s even brighter. Podcasts, workshops, product lines, books – you’ll be hearing much more as the months unfold, but safe to say, The Grace Tales is a special place to be, both as an editor and as a reader.
My journey to this position hasn’t been quite linear, but somehow it was motherhood that has led me right to where I always hoped I’d be. Children have a unique way of doing that to us, don’t they?
Having obsessively devoured magazines throughout my childhood, I studied journalism at university and worked as a writer after graduating. However, the pull of corporate life soon lured me and I moved into corporate communications and marketing. After ten years and a sexy New York stint (including all the necessary Chanel and Jimmy Choo shoe purchases – my bank account today weeps!), I fell pregnant with Isaac.
As so many mothers will recognise, the birth of this perfect little person threw me. It felt like along with my placenta, out went my previous ladder climbing ambitions. I wanted to do work that felt good. That felt right. That felt like me. The old me, with all her ambitions and dreams, but also the new me, who wanted to carve out a life that her children would be proud of.
Because if I was going to tell my children to chase what set their souls on fire, what sort of example would I be setting if I didn’t do that for myself?
So, after launching a few businesses, working for some remarkable brands and learning from mentors and friends who have shaped my world, here I am. With you, reading, watching and excitedly waiting for all that’s ahead. For The Grace Tales and for all of us together.
I can’t wait!
Images: Grace Alyssa Kyo