Ten years ago, I could think of nothing more exciting than living in New York City. A new restaurant every three steps, every possible convenience at my fingertips, a different activity to do and a new person to meet every minute of the day.
Now, however, I feel a little differently. In fact, it's not even NYC that's getting me down, it's the seemingly idyllic inner west of Sydney. But with 2.5 children, a somewhat-painful mortgage, bulging storage spaces and trips that involve an hour in the car to cross two suburbs … It's starting to feel a little tiring. And I know I'm far from alone.
Pip Reed - Co-Founder and Director, Cub + Scout<p><em>Pip and her family will soon be relocating from an apartment in Sydney's Point Piper to a house in Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands.</em></p>
How long have you been thinking of the move?<p>Leaving Sydney has always been a pipe dream for us, however, with a very active 2-year-old son it feels like our place gets smaller every day. Especially when he is so desperate to go outside. With no backyard and baby number 2 due only weeks away, we decided it was time.</p>
Do you have family where you will be moving to?<p>We don't have any family in Sydney so have missed having handy grandparents around, but we have managed – we don't know any differently to be honest! Bowral is half way to my family in Yass, so it will be a lot easier to have family pop over to help with 2 kids. My best friend is also making the move to Bowral at the same time, so to me that's as good as having family with me.</p>
What is the impetus for you making the decision to move?<p>Baby number 2 was the final deciding factor. I don't want Elliot being put in front of the TV when I need to feed or the baby needs to sleep, which is so easy to do when living in an apartment in Sydney. He's an incredibly busy, active child and I want him to explore and have space like my husband and I did growing up (me in Yass, Matt near the Yarra Valley, Melbourne).</p>
What role have your children played in your decision making?<p>They are 99% the reason for our move! We desperately want to be able to open a door and allow Elliot to play outside. At the moment, my days revolve around parks and excursions – anything to get out of the house and into fresh air – which is not only draining on a 35-week pregnant woman, but also becomes monotonous and expensive in Sydney.</p>
Will your work situation change?<p>I am lucky enough to be able to work anywhere with my online nappy bag business, Cub + Scout, my online diamond push present business, Baby Loves Diamonds, as well as being a consulting nutritionist which I already do a lot via Skype worldwide. My husband runs his own creative agency so he will be commuting to Sydney 3-4 times a week, but again he is lucky to be able to work from home when he can too.</p>
What change are you hoping to see in your children?<p>I can't wait to be able to open the door and let Elliot play in the garden, no matter what time of day. I want to remove the restraints that come with city apartment living; having very little to do when it rains other than head to a shopping centre, simply to get out of the house.</p>
What about a change in your self?<p>I am a Type A personality – I love to work and I love new ideas and pushing my limits, but sometimes this is detrimental to my stress levels. I would love to see myself relax into a slower pace of life and sit back and enjoy seeing my babies grow up. I'm starting to find Sydney constricting and look forward to having a backyard and not seeing any neighbours apart from perhaps a few chooks!</p>
Do you think you will ever want to come back to Sydney?<p>Our next dream is to do a sabbatical in Italy… Bowral is our stepping stone. So at the moment, I don't see Sydney back on the cards, but never say never! After 18 years in Sydney we have made wonderful friends here, so we definitely won't be strangers. But we do hope to see them visit a lot, no matter where in the world we end up!</p>
Mandy dos Santos - Little People Nutrition<p><em>Mandy moved with her husband and three children from Sydney's Northern Beaches to the NSW Central Coast, after thinking seriously about the move for a year.</em></p>
What was the impetus for you making the decision to move?<p>We had moved out of Sydney before but had come back due to work and career development. After spending 4 years in Sydney again and having our third child, we dreamt of acreage, land and space.</p>
What role did your children play in your decision making?<p>They – and family – have been primarily the decision about settling on the Central Coast. Originally, we were thinking to move further north to the border of NSW and QLD as a few friends had moved up that way. By chance, another family from our school in Sydney were looking to move out of Sydney and on a scouting mission of theirs, my friend sent me a video of acreage around the Central Coast. My husband and I drove up to the area the following weekend and were amazed to find what we were looking for. One of my main concerns about moving out of Sydney was schooling for my two eldest children as well as being far away from my parents (I am the only sibling in Australia). I had heard of a school with an educational philosophy we had been interested in for a long time and when I could get both of the girls in, I took it as a sign and paid a deposited and started the process of finding somewhere to live!</p>
How have you found it so far?<p>We moved at the beginning of 2018 and decided to rent out our place in Sydney and rent up here to start with. My husband initially had to commute 5 days to Sydney, so we were unable to be on acreage to start with and have rented closer to a train station. This year has been about building a community and settling the children into their schooling and preschool routine and also set up our work in a way that is sustainable. From a schooling perspective, the children are incredibly happy and thriving and we are thrilled. Work has been more challenging as we envisaged that with the move we did not want to rely on commuting to Sydney every day. This last year has been about working out what the best combination is of work between the two of us and how working for ourselves, freelance, contract, full time or part time works. It has been a work in progress for sure. Our decisions for both of our work means we have also changed our decision around acreage and are now looking to move closer to the beach.</p>
What are the biggest benefits?<p>The space; emotionally, physically and geographically. As well as pushing ourselves in directions we were fearful of and the realisation that everything will be ok and we are very lucky for what we have. We also adore the school our children go to.</p>
What about the disadvantages?<p>I would say that there are only a few things I truly miss. Being able to pop in and see my parents and missing some lovely friends I would see day to day. And then culture, namely food and people. Everything else is compensated in different ways.</p>
What were you doing beforehand for work?<p>I was working in my own business with Little People Nutrition and working on contracts for other companies.</p>
What do you do now for work?<p>I did a stint of working full time in a food manufacturing business which was only 30 minutes from where we live. It was incredibly interesting and challenging work but re-entering this work environment made me realise my desire to be with my family and children as well as how important Little People Nutrition is to me.</p>
Do you feel there has been an impact to your career?<p>Yes, the move has made me realise that to live out of Sydney and not be reliant on Sydney for work, I really need to put my efforts into my own business for it to thrive and be successful. This is daunting but more importantly, very exciting.</p>
What change have you seen in your children?<p>We have moved a few times and I see it builds their resilience in managing new situations and in making new friends. The two eldest children wrote the most beautiful Christmas cards to us telling my husband and I how happy they were that we moved and how they love our school, teachers and friends. We cried, as there always is that fear you are stuffing up your kids' lives! They are incredibly happy and perhaps calmer as we as parents are calmer.</p>
What change have you seen in your family?<p>We are a closer unit for sure. My husband and I have always made a great team but the challenges and stresses of moving always push us to communicate more clearly what we desire and want for the future as a family and as individuals. A pressure cooker of decisions which can be difficult but also forces you to express your dreams.</p>
What change have you seen in your self!?<p>I was incredibly anxious when we moved as the uncertainty of work and long commute hours were unsettling. The year has seen that all change and in reflection I am so much more aware of myself and triggers. I have also realised my passion for my work and my love for my family. I also adore meeting new people and am so in awe of every one of their journeys and how they got to being here on the Central Coast.</p>
Would you ever go back?<p>No. The only place we will go is in a caravan to travel, or overseas for extended periods, but keeping here as a base.</p>
Michelle Bayley<p><em>Michelle, her husband and two sons made the move from Sydney's Freshwater to Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.</em> <em>Image by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/piccolopictures/" target="_blank">Piccolo Pictures</a>.</em></p>
How long had you been thinking of the move?<p>After we got married 9 years ago, it was always in the back of our mind as a possibility to relocate once we had a family. There's never a 'perfect time' for anything like that, you just have to give it your best shot and see how it goes. We didn't start seriously thinking about it until our eldest son Noah, was about 2 years old. Our newest addition, Luca, arrived 5 months ago.</p>
What was the impetus for you making the decision to move?<p>It's daunting making a big life change like that – especially when you aren't motivated by unhappiness. We were really happy in Sydney, it's an amazing city! However, we were looking to buy our next home around the Northern Beaches and we couldn't find anything that was right for us. We also found the previous 18 months of having a toddler and both working in full-time roles really challenging, so we were open to making some changes. Ryan runs his own company and can work from anywhere (as long as there's an airport close by) so that gave us some extra flexibility in terms of location. After a few 'research' trips, we found our perfect home – after a nerve-wracking auction and bidding remotely on the sidelines of Noah's "Little Kickers" game, it was ours!</p>
What role did your children play in your decision making?<p>It was all for them. We just asked ourselves the question one day "What do we need to do to give our children the best possible life that we can?" So once we answered that, it was very clear to us what we needed to do.</p>
How have you found it so far?<p>Honestly, it's been amazing. It took us a good six months to really settle in and find our groove here, but I had some beautiful friends already living here which helped and Ryan's made some new ones through sport and business connections. We are so happy here now and ultimately use that happiness as a motivation to succeed professionally, so we can stay forever!</p>
What are the biggest benefits?<p>Waking up in one of the most beautiful places in Australia every day! The Noosa area has everything we could ever need and is surrounded by protected national parks so it will never be overly developed. We commute less and have more time for each other and more space to enjoy spending time with our family and friends – especially our interstate visitors! All the beaches surrounding us are dog-friendly too, so our Labrador, Betty, is living her best life for sure! And of course, no more Sydney traffic, that's a MASSIVE win!</p>
What about the disadvantages?<p>We miss our Sydney based family and friends, especially special occasions like birthdays or when our baby boy Luca arrived. Thank goodness for Whatsapp and Facetime! My husband also has to travel for work more often now that we are based here, but we were prepared for that when we moved so it wasn't a shock.</p>
Do you feel there has been an impact to your career?<p>Yes, as I had to resign before we moved. That was a little scary as I'd worked in media for 14 years and loved what I did. However, I saw it as a positive and an opportunity to really try something different. Industries like Tourism, Health, Real Estate and Hospitality are booming here and there is a vibrant Small Business community too. As the 'newborn fog' is lifting, I'm starting to think more seriously about what my next step will be and the thought of doing something new is pretty exciting! I probably wouldn't have made a career change like that if we'd stayed in Sydney.</p>
What change have you seen in your family?<p>Even though our life is busier, especially now with 2 little boys, there is an overall calmness and feeling of ease that comes with being really happy. Ultimately, that comes from genuinely having more time for doing the things that matter with the people who matter most.</p>
What change have you seen in your self?<p>I'm definitely less stressed and I have time to enjoy more of the fun parts of motherhood. The health benefits of being outdoors so much more and regular ocean swims are noticeable too.</p>
Would you ever go back?<p>Potentially, but it would have to be for the same reasons as leaving, for the benefit of our little boys.</p>
Doctor Preeya Alexander shares with us what happens behind the closed doors of a general practice, and why you're never (ever) alone...
"As a GP, I often reassure my patients that what they're feeling is normal – how do I know? Because many women have disclosed this to me over time and I had similar emotions as a new mother. I can assure you the loss of sense of self is something I commonly encounter in my consulting room," Preeya said.
“I’m pregnant, but I’m here because I don’t want to go ahead with this”<p>This is not an uncommon statement I hear when the door shuts. I think many envision a certain stereotype when it comes to this kind of consult – it's assumed that its mainly teenagers with unintended pregnancies who come in with this request- but I can assure you that is far from the truth. I've supported all sorts of women through the termination of pregnancy process- married, in long term relationships, women desperate for children but without the financial capacity to sustain a child at the time, victims of sexual assault. There is often some reluctance from the patient – I often see a searching look pass across my face trying to see if there is judgement – but my response is always the same, "it's great you're here, let's talk options." I'm a GP who is prochoice – I believe a woman should know her all options and feel empowered to make whatever decision suits her mental and physical wellbeing at the time. As a GP I spend often multiple consults helping women through the decision, discussing options (from proceeding with pregnancy, to adoption to potential options for termination) – it is our job as the doctor to ensure a woman is supported so that she can make the decision that suits her. There are some doctors who do not discuss termination options or offer counselling based on their own religious or ethical reasons – but they do have a duty of care to inform you and refer you on to other doctors who can help you.</p>
“I feel like I’m constantly thinking about what needs to be done, and I’m exhausted by it”<p>The female mental load can be heavy –I know this from personal experience. Many women will admit to me the heaviness of the constant juggling, the constant need to think about what needs to be done. I often feel the same way and as the GP it can often be quite comforting knowing I am not alone in my thoughts. "I can relate to how you are feeling in more ways than you could know" is a common response from me. The therapeutic relationship and its boundaries can be tricky to navigate as a GP – we get to know our patients, their families so incredibly well and sometimes we start to share bits and pieces of ourselves. Some in my profession might say we shouldn't reveal a thing about ourselves to our patients to maintain a clear boundary. Personally, I disagree; if I know the patient may gain comfort, insight, courage from one of my own stories then I will consider sharing it. So yes, I have previously shared that I struggle with the constant juggle as well – and I've shared that as a family we too have survived miscarriages and that I myself have battled anxiety years ago and taken medication; if the story adds value to the consult then I may share it and my experience has been that it strengthens the relationships with my patients as opposed to weakening it. And so, I often agree with my female patients who struggle with the mental load- the list in heads, on paper, on phones is never ending for many of us – there's a lot to think about constantly and for many reasons, women tend to carry the main mental load of the household. Does the household have milk for coffee in the morning? Is there a meal for tomorrow night when everyone comes home exhausted tomorrow from school and work? Are there enough clean undies for everyone? Are the dogs fed/walked/groomed? Are the forms for school filled? Are swimming lessons on next week or do they go miss a week because of the public holiday? It's life – but for many, me included, it is exhausting so you are not alone!</p>
“I feel like I’ve lost myself”<p>New mothers will often very quietly admit this in the consulting room. The social media letter boards one often sees with the statement "I found myself in motherhood" can just be a "kick in the balls, or ovaries" as a patient once told me. She was one of many who felt her identity has struggled somewhat as a new mother.</p>
“I feel like I’ve lost my identity”<p><em>"I feel like people just see me as a mother now"</em> <em>"I feel like I've forgotten who I used to be"</em> <em>"I just don't feel sexy anymore since becoming a Mum"</em> I've heard all of these in my consulting room before, and personally, I don't think we openly discuss this enough as women who become mothers. I think many of us struggle to find ourselves again in motherhood and many might gain comfort in knowing they're not alone in this journey. Motherhood is a wonderful, tumultuous, fascinating, sometimes ugly dark journey. It has its real ups, but it also has its testing (and very exhausting) moments. In those initial month's patients will often reveal that they are struggling with the loss of identity or feeling lonely. Yes, you have an infant with you constantly- feeding off you, sleeping on you – but somehow you can still feel an overwhelming loneliness, an isolation from the "real world" as you mourn your pre-child life a little and the ease of it (if only you had really relished sleep-ins and pop-ins to the shops).</p>
Let's get straight to the facts. Parents (particularly of babies) are obsessed with sleep.
How much they're receiving (or not). How to optimise their children's sleep environments. How do dress them correctly for the season. How to make sure every second of shut-eye counts. Need we go on? Now in this environment when we're all forced to stay at home … Let's just say that obsession has been stepped up a notch. Which is why ergoPouch – always our go-to for all things child sleep-related – has become even more of a staple in the homes of The Grace Tales team.
As well as being safe and optimised for your child's sleep, the range is beautiful enough to justify keeping your kids in their pieces all day. (Thank goodness.)<p>Regardless of where your child is at in their sleep routine, there's a piece that will fit the bill.</p><p>Highlights of the range include:</p><p>The ergoPouch Pyjama; 1.0 TOG pyjamas suitable for kids aged 2-5 years, featuring slim fit, ultra0stretchy organic bamboo and cotton, designed for a seamless journey through toilet training and preschool. The 1.0 TOG rating provides a thicker pyjama than what's commonly found on the market, keeping kids warm during cold nights as they learn how to use their blankets in a big bed. </p><p>The 3.5TOG Sheeting Bag with sleeves is a customer-lead innovation that features 1.0TOG organic cotton sleeves for extra warmth, designed to keep babies warm in winter without the risk of overheating. The Sheeting Bag is designed for room temperatures between 14°C and 20°C, and features a luxurious 400-thread count organic cotton outer and lining. The Mint Clouds print will also be available for children aged 3-6 years who still love their sleeping bags.</p><p>Two-Piece Bodywear also continues to be a staple in the AW20 collection, following the success of the Bodywear launch to the ergoPouch brand in 2019. The line of organic, ribbed essentials are available in two new styles; pant and top separates, in the colours Sterling and Primrose. </p>
As with all ergoPouch products, AW20 is certified organic, using only non-toxic fibres that are skin friendly and sensitive to eczema and dry skin conditions...<p>All of ergoPouch's products are ergonomically designed with comfort in mind and continue to wear the title of sleep-saviour for every developmental milestone. What's more, all ergoPouch swaddles, sleeping bags, sleepsuit bags and sleep onesies come with a nursery thermometer and <a href="https://www.ergopouch.com.au/blogs/what-to-wear-guide" target="_blank">What to Wear Guide.</a> Sleep obsession, you've met your match.</p><p><a href="https://www.ergopouch.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Shop ergoPouch</em></a></p>
Imagine taking your one-year-old daughter for a walk in the pram and having garbage thrown at you because of the colour of your skin.
Or being attacked as a teenager because of the colour of your skin. Or feeling like you must contribute and participate contently in a society where your life is not valued, respected or recognised and remain unconfrontational about it, because of the colour of your skin. This is the experience of racism. And it's something many of our readers – myself included – have so much to learn about. To make changes and fully understand white privilege, we need to listen more. We need to educate ourselves. And as Simone Bevan points out here, the fact that black culture is something we profit from and are entertained by daily, but Black death and the value of Black life is suddenly a new thing, is not good enough. "It literally took a video of George Floyd being choked to death.
You have mentioned flaws in well intentioned allyship. Can you discuss this further?<p>Many Black and POC people are cautiously optimistic that the uproar of Black Lives Matter in recent weeks could be the beginning of monumental change. However, watching this change happen in real-time can also feel really gruelling and triggering for people who experience racism their whole lives. At times it feels saturated, messy and trendy. Non-Black voices are taking up important space and instead of using their platforms to amplify Black voices and drive practical change, I feel like they're diluting the cause.</p><p> I think it's really important to anchor this conversation in a recent, real example. 'The Show Must Be Paused' campaign on June 2ndwas founded by Black women <a href="https://twitter.com/jamilacthomas?lang=en" target="_blank">Jamila Thomas</a> and Brianna Agyemang aimed to hold the music industry accountable in how they drive the rhetoric for Black Lives Matter. Organisations like Apple and MTV got onboard and the campaign was aimed to drive people to a designated website filled with charities, petitions and over 91 resources where people could go to become better educated on racism. It was quickly dubbed 'Blackout Tuesday' with brands and individuals jumping on this trend to show solidarity to the Black community. This is where it becomes problematic: firstly, hundreds of thousands of people used #BlackLivesMatter saturating a hashtag that was once filled with amazing resources and important conversation led by Black voices with black squares. Secondly, no matter how well-intentioned, it is act of performative activism. Posting a black square then logging off just reinforces the issues of non-Black silence when it comes to racism and further silencing Black voices as the originators of this campaign were almost entirely removed from the conversation as it snowballed. It quickly became so saturated that people were just blindly posting black squares without looking into the origins of what it was intended for in the first place: driving people to useful resources. People followed suit of a trend without taking the time to research and understand what it was and it happens so often on social media.</p><p> Currently (21st June 2020) on Instagram the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag has 21.7m posts. Whilst the #BlackoutTuesday hashtag has 24.7m posts. Bearing in mind Black Lives Matter was founded in 2003 and #BlackoutTuesday was intended for just one day this month. This solidifies the issues with performative acts when it comes to marginalised groups. You aren't driving momentum; you're crowding an important space.</p>
Can you tell us about your heritage? And what did your parents teach you about racism growing up?<p>I'm third generation Black British. My mum's side is Jamaican and my dad's side is Dominican. I have always been incredibly proud to be Black and never struggled with my identity despite growing up in predominantly white communities. Like many countries with histories that thrive from systematic oppression, in the UK I learnt nothing about Black history at school. My dad got me a history tutor and I was taught about the slave trade and racism, but I was also taught about amazing leaders, creatives, inventors and celebratory figures within my history. My dad was adamant about not propagating an oppressive narrative. We acknowledged our history, but revelled in the joy of our vibrant, beautiful culture. Both my parents taught me to love myself and be proud of who I am, and I always have.</p>
In your own words, describe how racism feels…<p>Racism feels like you must contribute and participate contently in a society where your life is not valued, respected or recognised and remain unconfrontational about it.</p>
When you moved to Australia six years ago, what were your impressions of the country?<p>When I moved to Australia, I thought of my grandparents who left the Caribbean to move to the UK. My husband and I both had new jobs and I couldn't help but think my Grandad especially would have been so proud that his family made it all the way to Australia (he passed away when I was teenager). Overall, I enjoy the lifestyle and like most Brits I love living in a coastal city and being close to the ocean. In Australia I have experienced more 'casual racism' often shrugged off as banter. I remember a security guard in an office building saying 'I didn't expect a voice like that to come out of a girl that looks like you!', I also recall a manager in a company meeting jokingly asking me if I knew how to speak Aboriginal, when working on a brief that needed marketing material translated into Indigenous languages.</p>
Can you tell us about what happened when you took your daughter for a walk in the park recently?<p>I was taking my daughter for a walk as she was going through a phase where she'd only sleep in her pram. I was walking along and a van slowed down next to me, three men in the van started throwing rubbish at me and making monkey sounds. It was one of the most degrading things I had ever experienced and was incredibly damaging for me as it was my daughter's first experience of racism at one year old. I felt like I had failed her by not being able to keep her safe. Following that, I didn't leave the house for days because I was so scared of something happening to my little girl. I'm getting over it now, but those situations have a way manifesting into trauma. I often think white people can't comprehend situations where you're scared to do things like walk to Coles, especially in a seemingly pleasant suburb, but racism has a way of revealing itself in the most ordinary places.</p>
Going back, you were physically attacked in your teenage years when you walked back from the corner shop after buying sweets – what happened?<p>I was 14 years old and it was a group of older girls I knew from the area. They had made racist comments to me in the past and they followed me and waited outside the shop I went into. I asked the staff for help and if they could call my dad or the police, but they refused. I had no choice but to go outside and face them. They dragged me to the car park and began punching and kicking me and shouting that they had a knife and were going to kill me. No one intercepted, they just scurried past with their heads down. I was a tough kid and I wasn't going to back down despite being outnumbered, so I began to fight them off. I remember knowing as long as I could stay on my feet, I'd be OK. Looking back, it's sad that I had the ability to think so logically in such a violent situation because of experience. I fought hard enough to make the entire group back off and retreat and I ran home. The police did not do anything as they didn't believe it was that bad as I managed to get away with just cuts and bruises, which I now realise was racially motivated. I remember one officer even describing me as 'street smart' which now as an adult I recognise is a Black stereotype.</p>
As a new mother, do you see yourself reflected in the 'mummy' communities online?<p>From a personal standpoint, I tend to avoid the online mum community as whole to be honest, but I am across who they are because of the industry I work in. Even following Black mums becomes exhausting because I observe their audience and other known mums treating them as a token symbol in the influencer community. They are constant representations of being Black which doesn't always account for their experience of being a mother all encompassing. It's like they only exist for white audiences to be in closer proximity of Blackness within the comfort of their own bubble. They also get inundated with the most audacious comments and questions from tone deaf people and constantly have to defend themselves. I just don't have the energy for it. We're Black mothers, but we're also normal people who love cooking, reading, sports, reality TV and online shopping. It is a reminder that just in being Black you have no choice but to be an activist.</p>
How has your life changed since becoming a mother? What's been the greatest challenge, and the greatest joy?<p>My daughter has really anchored me and given me purpose and meaning that I never knew was possible. It sounds cliché, but she is the love of my life. She is the greatest joy and brings me so much happiness – I feel like my purpose in life is to be her mum. I love it all – even the tantrums in Target over Lego! She's playful, inquisitive and headstrong like me. She's such a mama's girl; always stuck to my side and following me round. The biggest challenge for me is hoping that my ability to parent is stronger than how horrible the world can be. If she grows up and she doesn't feel proud of who she is I'd feel like I have failed her.</p>
How can we talk to our children about what being anti-racist means?<p>The best way to be anti-racist is to lead by example: call out racist friends and family members, continue to do the work even when the dust settles, use your platform to amplify Black voices, and practically contribute to change. Look at your own friendship circle and the friends that your children have. Your child should grow up around kids with different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. You can have as many diverse books and Black dolls as you like, but if real life doesn't reflect their toy shelf it's tokenism. Teach them to see colour, explain what racism is in a clear digestible way, and why they should be against it and what to do if they see racism unfold. Celebrate Blackness and inclusivity in your household, learn about the history of racism but celebrate and appreciate the culture too. Racism should not be exempt from conversations because we fear our kids are too young, there are studies that reveal children observe racial biases from as young as two years old. One of my earliest memories was my dad talking to my then 12-year-old older brother about how to conduct yourself as a Black man in public: don't have your hands in your pocket, don't hang around for no reason, if the police stop you be overly compliant, even if you know they're in the wrong. If these are the types of conversations Black people have to have with their kids, it's a conversation no household should be exempt from.</p>
To diversify our feeds, can you share your favourite people to follow on Instagram?<p>At the moment I really enjoy following <a href="https://www.instagram.com/theconsciouskid/?hl=en" target="_blank">@theconciouskid</a> on Instagram. The platform is probably the most comprehensive guide on anti-racism and inclusivity specifically aimed at teaching our kids. They have just worked with Instagram to create a great resource on how to raise actively anti-racist children. I also just started reading The Book You Wish Your Parents Read. I was interested in the way they discussed themes of emotional baggage and how to not pass that on to your own children. With my lived experiences I am cautious about how my own energy and emotions impact my daughter.</p>
Trusty linen blouses from Worn Store, cosy knit pants from St. Agni, cashmere jumpers, bassike cotton jersey pants…
Ella McCabe Barton is listing her maternity wear staples (and we're taking note). The mother-to-be grew up in England and moved to Australia three years ago. She met her partner and that was that – Australia is now home. After deciding that she didn't want to just holiday in Byron Bay – she wanted to call it her home – she tapped into the creative community and landed a job at Tigmi Trading (one of our favourite home goods brands). Here, we catch up on everything from how she's navigating pregnancy to her love of swimwear brand Hakea Swim (worn throughout this story).
What are some great pregnancy resources you can share?<p>Self-care and making time each day to connect in, in whatever capacity that may be. I have had a daily yoga practice since the age of 18 and it has been the greatest gift and resource in my life. Having the time to connect in daily and be an observer to this wonderful life unfolding feels very important. My practice has evolved considerably over the years and now is less focused on the physical and more so on meditation and breath.</p><p> There are many wonderful support networks and resources available and at the beginning I found myself listening to many podcasts and talking to other women about their experiences. However, as my pregnancy develops, the inclination to go inward feels more and more important. I feel incredibly privileged to be a woman transitioning through this rite of passage into motherhood and trust that if I nurture from the inside – mother nature will allow things to unfold just as it should.</p>
How has your pregnancy been so far?<p>So far, the pregnancy has been a wonderful experience. The pure joy of coming to realise that you have created a new life and that your body is creating space to nurture is quite incredible. I have definitely allowed myself to surrender to whatever it needs – mostly sleep! I did get a little nausea which started around week 7/8 and dissipated around week 12 and since then I have been feeling great. </p>
How did you feel when you first felt your baby kick?<p>The most surreal and amazing experience! It took me by surprise. I had just sat down to have my tea one morning (at about 18 weeks) and all of a sudden there were 2-3 large thumps in my lower abdomen. I giggled to myself and then found myself talking to my belly. It was a couple of weeks until my partner felt it moving and when he finally did, it was incredibly special.</p>
Any food cravings?<p>The first trimester I was off a lot of foods and definitely craving more carbohydrates, however I haven't really strayed too far off my normal diet. I did, the other day, get a very strong craving for liquorice!</p>
What beauty products have you used throughout your pregnancy?<p>I have always kept a fairly simple beauty regime and I haven't changed anything during this pregnancy. I use <a href="https://www.dermaviduals.com.au/" target="_blank">Dermaviduals</a> on my face and I enjoy regular facials at <a href="https://www.aestheticabyronbay.com/" target="_blank">Aesthetica</a>, here in Byron Bay – it always leaves by skin feeling nourished, especially in winter! I truly believe that beauty starts from within and that what you put in will also transpire on the outside. I always start my day with a hot lemon drink and supplements where needed.</p>
What self-care rituals do you have in your life?<p>Self-care for me comes in many forms. In addition to my daily yoga practice, it is important for me to be in nature daily. Whether it is a walk, a swim or a surf, taking time to connect makes such a difference to how I feel.</p>
Has your approach to diet and exercise changed since you fell pregnant?<p>I have definitely slowed down. Exercise is still part of daily life, but I have modified my practice and I am continually tuning into what my body needs. When it comes to diet, I find myself often walking around our local markets or grocery stores to just buy what I feel like eating that day.</p>
Tell me about your work with Hakea Swim?<p>Casey has become a dear friend over the years and I absolutely love working with her and <a href="https://hakeaswim.com/" target="_blank">Hakea</a>. Her swimwear feels amazing (especially in the surf) and her creative input behind the brand makes it even more special. They are timeless pieces that wear incredibly well and fit all shapes and sizes. We are all big fans in my family!</p>
If you could write some words to your unborn child, what would you write?<p>You are surrounded in love, having come from infinite love, you are one of the many individual expressions of that infinite love, you are simply love in action journeying back to infinite love.</p>
How have you approached maternity dressing – what brands do you gravitate to?<p>To be honest, it took a little while for a bump to make an appearance and I managed to get away with wearing most of my clothes for quite some time. Now it has become trickier, but I do have some key pieces that are getting a lot of wear. We are very lucky to have some great brands on our doorstep here in Byron Bay! I have a few trusty linen blouses from <a href="https://wornstore.com.au/" target="_blank">Worn Store</a>, cosy knit pants from<a href="https://www.st-agni.com/" target="_blank"> St. Agni </a>– these layered with a cashmere jumper seem to be my staples these days. Oh, and also the cotton jersey pants from Bassike.</p>
How would you describe life in Byron Bay?<p>It really is a wonderful life here. Having moved from London three years ago, transitioning from a busy life working in the interiors industry to this… well, it doesn't compare. Here, it is possible to experience the right work and life balance that is hard to find in most parts of the world. In addition, we are surrounded by the most incredible nature and by a wonderful creative community. I have made many beautiful friends who are like an extended family and almost make up for my family who I miss dearly back in the UK.</p>
Tell us about your career path and where you are now in your career?<p>Having grown up in London and the South coast of England, I have always had a keen eye for design. I studied at London College of Fashion and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, specialising in textile design. Having completed my degree, I started working in the interiors industry as an interior stylist and continued to do so, working on numerous editorial and commercial projects until I moved to Australia. After sometime here in Australia, I decided that I didn't want Byron Bay to just be another holiday, and I started to put some feelers out for creative opportunities when I met Danielle, the founder of <a href="https://tigmitrading.com/" target="_blank">Tigmi Trading</a>. I have now worked alongside her for more than two years, as creative producer, trade manager and product developer.</p>
What’s your favourite way to start the day?<p>I like to start my day practicing yoga or, in the summer, with a swim in the ocean.</p>
Last book you read?<p>I have a whole stack of books that I am currently dipping in and out of in the lead up to childbirth. These include '<a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-first-forty-days-heng-ou/book/9781617691836.html" target="_blank">The first forty days</a>', '<a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/ina-may-s-guide-to-childbirth-ina-may-gaskin/book/9780553381153.html" target="_blank">Ina May gaskin's guide to Childbirth</a>', '<a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/birthing-from-within-pam-england/book/9780965987301.html" target="_blank">Birthing from within'</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Sadhana-Mothers-Sharmila-Desai/dp/1906756309" target="_blank">'Yoga sadhana for mothers</a>'… All are wonderful reads!</p>
Last Podcast your listened to?<p>Oh, it has been a while since the last time I 'plugged in'! I used to listen to podcasts weekly while enjoying an infrared sauna session at <a href="https://www.nimbusco.com.au/" target="_blank">Nimbus and Co</a>, here in Byron Bay. My most listened to subscription is <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/204933/awake-in-the-world-by-michael-stone/" target="_blank">'Awake in the world' by Michael Stone,</a> a wonderful meditation teacher who passed a few years ago. His workshops were all record and each time I listen to him, his message seems to come at the perfect time.</p>
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.
Here's a truth bomb, pregnancy is not all insta-perfection, with green smoothies and baby bump selfies...
It's a time for all sorts of new experiences and, unfortunately, waddling around with back pain is a common one. This is a subject close to my heart, as it's a condition I treat frequently, as well as something I've experienced firsthand with both pregnancies. I had to be especially vigilant looking after my back with my second pregnancy, where I was carrying out physical work both at home with a mischievous toddler and in my clinic treating.
MAIN CAUSES<p>The anatomy of the female pelvis is uniquely designed for childbirth. The hormone relaxin causes ligament laxity around the pelvis to help prepare the body for birth. This, however, can cause an imbalance e.g. Symphysis pubis dysfunction. It's important to keep a strong core to counterbalance this increased mobility.<br> <br>As the uterus grows, abdominal muscles can separate causing problems in the lower back, known as Diastasis Recti. Specific postnatal exercises can however help this to heal.<br> <br>As mentioned, pregnancy can be a stressful period. There is a direct link between emotional wellbeing and back pain. Part of the body's stress response is to tighten muscles e.g. in the lower back. Make sure you incorporate some relaxation/meditation when you can.<br> <br>As the baby grows, the lumbar spine can be pulled forward forming a hyperlordosis. This changes the distribution of forces through the spine, causing symptoms.</p>
TREATMENT<p>The good news is that, depending on the presentation and severity of complaints, most symptoms relating to lower back pain will disappear after the birth. In the meantime, here is how you can help yourself.<br> <br><em>Try and avoid the following:</em><br> <br>Lifting<br>Pushing heavy loads<br>Carrying on one side<br>Staying in one position (sitting or standing) for long periods of time<br>Holding a twisted position.<br> <br><em>Best exercises to relieve pain:</em><br> NB<br>– It's a good idea to have a consultation with a physical therapist.<br>-Be careful lying on your back after twenty weeks as this may affect the blood supply to the baby.<br>-Only do what feels comfortable for you and your baby.<br>-For each exercise-5 breaths inhale/exhale through the nose, repeat x 2/3<br> </p>
Flexion over chair
Squeeze the gluteus muscles away from the thumbs, together x 10, individually x 15.
Engage the pelvic floor by drawing in the deep muscles above your pubic bone up to the navel, squeeze x 5 seconds, repeat x 10
Particularly good if you’re suffering from any sciatic pain.
Tilt the pelvis as if you were lifting it off the floor, then tilt it back down x 10
Gentle knee hugs
Rest and restore
Other top tips<p>-Pelvic brace</p><p>-Keep moving-swimming and walking are great<br>-Postural improvements- tuck your tail bone under and keep legs hip-distance apart. Make sure you squat instead of bending through the back.<br>-Pregnancy pillow</p><p><em>Words: Carla Pozner | <a href="https://l.instagram.com/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpholistic.com%2F&e=ATPhMFAlJXCIxU2HP26CHIkjeKLAi55eaG8Jlajy6XBrrZgs7_YSOdJQXaKWYG5hHiqXhS55b5SLVHptOVvokmkxGbUwKVZkUezJVg&s=1" target="_blank">www.cpholistic.com</a> | Follow <a href="https://www.instagram.com/carlapozner/" target="_blank">@carlapozner</a></em></p>
When London-based Laura Roso Vidrequin - a senior buyer at Harvey Nichols and mother to baby boy Albert – became a mother for the first time, she noticed that while there were changes in the adult market, the circular economy for children's garments remained largely the same...
She also noticed that second-hand clothes had been deemed as "dirty" for a long time. "Consumers are used to associating second-hand with thrift shops, that are not always taken care of and are often full of old, discarded items that have not been cleaned or organized," she says. It inspired her to launch Kids Oclock, a fashion resale platform where you'll find the best of pre-loved for your babies and toddlers (sizes go from newborn to three years old) and where you can sell, rent, or buy clothes. Because as Laura recently posted on her Instagram account @kids_oclock, there is no planet B.