Welcome to The Motherhood Maze! I hope you’ll stay a while.
Why “The Motherhood Maze”?
I think of motherhood as a giant maze. A fun adventure with twists and turns but also with the potential to get lost and come across dead ends. When I had my first child, I entered this maze (or should that be haze?). As expected, it was fun and amazing but also sometimes confusing and perplexing. And while I was navigating this maze, I did lose my sense of self. Nowadays, having added another two children to the mix I am more me than I have been since I entered the maze. Don’t get me wrong, finding me is a work in progress (maybe it will be a lifelong process?) and I still get lost sometimes but now I am so much more aware when I need to take a step back, take a deep breath and slow down to centre myself. To be perfectly honest, I think it just comes down to life experience; I’ve lived for long enough to have a much more mature perspective than what I would have had in my 20s.
What is The Motherhood Maze?
I believe motherhood is one of the most rewarding roles a woman can have in life – there are countless moments of beauty and joy with my kids, when I’m bursting with gratitude and pride for these beings that I’ve been entrusted with, to nurture and love for the rest of my life. However, motherhood can also be an all-consuming, overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating and lonely experience. TMM is my little project – my little nano spot in the digital world where I get to explore the ways and means to be a mum in this day and age without losing our selves in the maze. For me, that means knowing what my passions are in life (see below for some examples), figuring out what gives me joy and, most importantly, making sure the passions and “stuff of joy” are given priority. As a parent, it is so easy to put yourself last, to say to yourself “it can wait”. I realise now that it is also appropriate to put yourself first too.
I am a proud stay at home mum to three children – Genevieve, Lucinda and Gabriel. I am also a proud wife to a wonderful and supportive man.
My professional background is in law, which I practised for almost a decade before moving interstate in 2010 from our home town of Perth to Newcastle, New South Wales, for my husband’s work. After over 7 years of marriage, we decided there was no better time than this move to start a family. Genevieve was born at the end of 2010. In the middle of 2011, my husband’s new employer relocated us back to Western Australia to the city of Bunbury about 2 hours south of Perth. We lived in Bunbury for 3 years, having Lucinda there in 2012. We moved back home to Perth in late 2014. From a support and parenting perspective, it was so lovely to come home to our families and old friends. Last but certainly not least, Gabriel was born in the middle of 2015.
Even though I think back very fondly about our time away from Perth, it was certainly sometimes very challenging. There is something to be said for having extended family around when the kids are babies! I remember feeling so lonely on some days after my husband had left for work – sure, I had the baby/babies to keep me company but there were days with little or no other human interaction. Looking back, you could say I was deep in the maze, getting caught up in the same daily grind, getting lost.
My passions (other than the obvious)
Planning! There is not much I enjoy more than sitting down on a Sunday night looking at my planner and seeing what is coming up in the week ahead and what I have to look forward to.
Stationery. As a result of my planning obsession, I am a stationery addict. Paper, pens (I collect fountain pens), notebooks, stickers, desk accessories – anything and everything that involves the analogue way of planning. I love handwriting, hand-lettering and calligraphy.
Journalling. Ever since I could read and write, I’ve kept some sort of diary. In the younger formative years, I wrote typical “Dear Diary” entries describing my days and who in my family I found particularly annoying. These days, my journalling consists mainly of memory-keeping for the kids, expressing mindfulness and gratitude, getting negative thoughts or feelings out on paper and goal setting.
Travel. Before the kids came along, dear husband and I did a lot of holidaying. We worked so that we could travel! We still travel with the kids but the itineraries look very different (not that we mind. The jetlag on the other hand…).
Traveller’s notebooks. I have a prized collection of leather traveller’s notebooks – these are essentially leather covers that hold a number of notebooks with elastics. They are simply the best things since sliced bread.
Interiors. A number of years ago, I obtained a Diploma in Interior Design. Nothing too serious – I did it because I love the idea that a person’s space in the world, their home and their sanctuary, reflects them – their personality and tastes, their being. At the same time, I enviously and longingly look at the homes in interior magazines (I’ve stopped subscribing to Vogue Living and Inside Out), because my own home is so far from this idea. Because, well, children. Enough said.