Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
I am one of 10 siblings- 5 biological and 5 foster/adopted. We grew up on a 500 acre property on the outskirts of the Sydney. Growing up surrounded by so many kids (with 25 years between the eldest to youngest) I never really felt a maternal drive, instead focusing on travel, adventure and building my media career in newspapers and television.
When I turned 30 it was like a switch was turned on overnight and I just had to have a baby.
A year later Archie Valentino was born and changed my life forever. We had a rocky start with emergency surgery and a rough recovery, but once I brought my baby home, my life truly began- I felt I found my purpose. After a year as a stay at home mum, we began travelling with my husband who owns the eyewear label Sunday Somewhere- spending 3 months in New York and months in Europe.
I decided not to return to work and instead create an outlet combining my skills in writing, marketing and passion for fashion, photography and motherhood. I created NOT SO MUMSY as a hub for like-minded mamas who love and embrace motherhood but also retain a sense of self and style. At the time, there was no real community or forum that spoke to the modern mama and with the help of Instagram, I was able to create a global network to celebrate the modern mother.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
My husband Dave, our 5 year old son Archie Valentino and we’re 5.5 months pregnant with baby number 2. Oh, and Bruno the rabbit.
How did you choose your kids names?
We thought we were having a girl and had her name sorted, but when we found we were having a boy it was a little more tricky- we just kept running through a shortlist and Archie felt right. Valentino was a nod to my Italian heritage and also because he was conceived on Valentine’s Day. This time around we know the name if it’s a boy, but still deciding if it’s a girl.
Founder & Editor of NOTSOMUMSY.com
What’s on your manifest board?
Pictures of happy families travelling the world, inspirational women, pregnant bellies, babies, inspiration for expanding my brand & my dream home.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
Day trips! Packing the car and getting out of the city to a secluded beach or the mountains. We also love having dance parties in the lounge room.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
At the moment we’re laughing at Archie’s daily suggestions for the babies name. “If it’s a girl Princess Sparkles, Rainbow or Ursula. If it’s a boy Rocky or Doodle.”
We were also told by his pre-school teacher that when each child had to say what their parents did for work Archies answer was “Dad goes on holidays and mum goes to the gym”… Every day is like a comedy skit as he learns about the world. It’s one of the blessings of parenthood seeing the world through the eyes of a child.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of? Do things look different?
I dreamt of travelling around the world, a career in media and a loving relationship. The only thing that looks different is I completely underestimated the power and love of becoming a mother. Without experiencing the love of a mother, my life would not be complete.
What are some things you really believe in?
Kindness, not judging others (particularly mothers) for their choices and women celebrating and empowering each other.
Where do your passions lie?
I always have to be creating- whether its producing content through photography, styling or writing. I am also extremely passionate about social goodness and giving back. My goal with NOT SO MUMSY was always to build a platform that could help make a difference for children and mothers. I have partnered with a few charities including Mother 2 Mothers, Preemptive Love and Sydney Children’s Hospital and hoping to grow our impact in 2017.
Another passion of mine is foster care and adoption- an area that needs so much change in Australia. It’s almost impossible to be able to adopt locally or internationally and there are so many children in need.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Absolutely. To be honest it was hard at first- particularly being a co-sleeping breastfeeding mother. All my attention was on Archie and that’s not good for a marriage. It took us a while to find a balance and re-define our relationship balancing our roles as parents as well as partners. Because we both work and my husband travels a lot we have to make time for one on one time. When Archie was about 18 months we started a weekly date night and recognise it’s a relationship we have to nurture.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
That sometimes we have to surrender to the universe and trust the timing of our lives. We had a very challenging fertility struggle for our second baby. 2 miscarriages and almost 2 years of trying left me anxious and vulnerable, but it also made me put my priorities into check. I learnt to meditate and be truly grateful for what I have, rather than pining for what I don’t. When I surrendered and found true contentment, it happened.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
To believe in myself! I was extremely self conscious and self critical. I let fear consume me and missed many opportunities because I didn’t believe I was good enough.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Kids are like sponges and their behaviour often mirrors our own. I’m constantly trying to act in the way I want my children to act. I often catch myself repeating patterns from my own upbringing and have to consciously check that I’m teaching my children through my actions.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” To love and be kind.
What are four things you can’t live without as a parent?
My husband, a camera to capture moments, daily meditation, and sunglasses.