Every Sunday I spend the morning in bed. I watch TV, drink coffee, snuggle the dog, sew, snooze. Anyone is welcome to join me but I am not getting out of bed before 11.

The vibrant artist and mother of two has gained a cult following thanks to her highly sought-after paintings, embroideries and bed linen, which somehow combine a sense of whimsy with a level of detail that has to be seen to be believed. If you're a follower on Instagram (and we sure suggest you do!), you'll also notice Rachel has a hilarious take on motherhood that blends humour with an intense, unbridled amount of love – so learning that she put her career on hold when her kids were little is no surprise. "Like most things in life, the hardest things are the most rewarding. The dynamics of staying at home with your children when you've been out working I found really quite tricky to navigate at first… I know it doesn't work for everyone, but I would always choose to stay at home with little ones, they were heaven."

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"My sister, Rebecca, and I are extremely close. We must speak to each other about five times a day. She has four children as well and her boys are a few years older than Henry. She is my best friend, my go-to for just about everything
Sometimes I feel like she's the only one who truly gets it all," says Sydney-based mother of four Louise Manning on her bond with her sister. She grew up in a busy household, and a big family of her own was something she always dreamed of.

Louise studied fashion design and went on to work for Eva Galambos at Parlour X throughout her early 20's. She studied interior design before her son Henry arrived. "I knew that, if it were possible, I wanted to be at home with my children, so I feel lucky that I'm able to do that. My family is my work and I'm extremely proud of them. I don't take it for granted that I can stay at home. I still love interiors and fashion and I will pursue something in that space down the track but at this moment I'm so happy and grateful to be doing what I am doing," she says.

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Before we visited Helena Vestergaard in her home on Sydney's Northern Beaches for this photo shoot, I had done my research. I knew that the young mother-of-two would be laid back, incredibly cool and of course, impossibly beautiful. But there was a whole lot that took me by surprise...

For one, many mothers who show off the free-spirited beachside persona that Helena embodies so naturally will say that they'd like to have a "house full of children." Helena, however, tells me in a no-nonsense tone that, "We are absolutely done with two. Three would be total chaos."

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As we all settle - or, perhaps, unsettle - into our new normal of self-isolation and social distancing, the news is increasingly bleak. And in the face of our uncertain reality, we're seeking colour, beauty, and simple pleasures. One of our favourite stories from 2018, the Tale of Sabine Getty delivers in spades. She is as vibrant and playful as her spectacular home, enviable wardrobe, and unique jewellery designs (inspired by one of her daughter's bright geometric toys). And with Sabine's unshakeable positivity, and belief in keeping things simple, we felt there was never a more apt time to revisit this Tale…

Luxury jewellery designer Sabine Getty is getting her 17-month-old daughter Gene to climb on her back – much to the delight of The Grace Tales team.

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The dream home, two gorgeous girls and a beautiful, talented mother living in one of Sydney's most spectacular homes. However there's so much more to this tale (including the most dreamy white interiors - scroll down and swoon), and the real beauty, as always, lies in the reality of the peaks and gullies of this thing called life. For stylist Romi Weinberg and her daughters Bo, 11, and Tatum, 6, this is a tale of love, resilience, empowerment and inspiration...

Romi has created a stunning, original, cleverly designed home – the minute you step inside, you feel like you've been transported to a luxe Mediterranian villa – has two healthy and happy daughters and enjoys a covetable lifestyle, but like most of our motherhood journeys, it hasn't been without life-changing challenges. "Without a doubt, the most challenging part of motherhood has been being thrown into it, as a single parent unexpectedly three days before Tatum was born," reflects Weinberg. "The saying that what kills you only makes you stronger could not be truer. I am a completely different person today in spite of it. I'm stronger… I'm more resilient. I'm more compassionate and understanding of others and above all I'm more capable. Becoming a single parent means you can't rely on anyone else. You have to do most things on your own and you realise you can. I've most certainly learned not to sweat the small stuff and focus on what and who is important in my life. Whilst I'd never in a million years choose that path for anyone it has shaped me into the mother and person I am today. And I'm better for it," she says.

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

Sacha Grierson couldn’t be a more inspiring role model for her nine-year-old daughter Lola. The stylish Toronto based mother is the co-owner of Eat My Words, a bakery offering cupcakes with a conscience. The bakery was originally set up by Grierson’s own mother and is now run by the dynamic mother daughter duo who are dedicated to raising money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which provides HIV/AIDS counseling, education and prevention in Africa. “My family always placed a lot of importance on giving back. Volunteering was something my mother instilled in me from a very young age, which essentially was how Eat My Words was born,” she says. “Its pretty philanthropy and lets me indulge in my love of aesthetics as well as giving back. Given her upbringing, it's no surprise that Grierson believes that generosity and gratitude are two of the most important things we can teach our children. “I place a lot of importance on both generosity and gratitude, both of which I hope to pass on to Lola, she says.

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"“My mother taught me about being a strong woman by leading by example. She roared through life,”" says the engaging Australian actor Marta Dusseldorp, sitting at Paddington’'s Alimentari café. She lives in the area, with her actor-director husband Ben Winspear and their daughters Grace, eight, and Maggie, five...

The stylish Dusseldorp has clearly inherited her mother's strength. At 41, the star of television dramas Crownies, A Place to Call Home and Janet King, is witty, wise and not afraid to speak her mind. You could talk to her for hours on end about everything from motherhood to politics to how she spent many hours in her bedroom as a child singing along to Marylin Monroe. When she fell pregnant with her first daughter Grace, the celebrated actress was one of 12 actors who, in 2005, was offered an exclusive contract by the Sydney Theatre Company to form The Actors Company. "I worked up until I was seven months. I felt really empowered. I was working with Deb Mailman at the time and she was also pregnant so we were tangoing together. I was three months pregnant and she was five months pregnant."

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