We love the concept of Mama & Me. Can you briefly tell us how and why you created this space?
Thank you so much! Mama + Me is first and foremost a community. I wanted to provide support to mums and show them that they are not alone, there are thousands of other mums out there running businesses through nap times and bed times, between soccer practise and school drop offs. It’s a bumpy road with lots of starts and stops but when you feel supported it makes life so much easier to manage.
Mama + Me is also a physical marketplace where families can support local mamas running ethical, hand made, home made businesses. We host four Mama + Me Markets a year in the Byron Shire where families can come and find out about local family services available to them and of course eat, dance, play, shop and be merry.
I love what I do! I love helping other mums get their talents out into the sunshine for everyone to see instead of hiding in their garage or home office. I love showing them off to the local families so we all have the opportunity to support them instead of getting lost in the sea of online kids and baby shops all over the world. I also love planning events and creating a playful fun space where families can come together and play and learn. It’s so much fun!
How important is staying true to yourself in following the path of your passion?
Oh absolutely essential. This is actually the reason behind the name 'Mama + Me'. I believe that in our society there is way too much pressure on women to play certain roles. For instance at home with our kids we are supposed to play ‘mama’ and be responsible and put everyone else’s needs before ours, but deep down in our hearts we are still us. The whole idea of needing ‘me time’ is crap. Every second of every day should be ‘me time’. You are always YOU, no matter what, even if you are a mum!
I am a true believer in just being authentic no matter where you are or who you are with. Even if that means putting yourself first and embracing the wild dreamer within, you are showing your kids how to go after their dreams.
I used to cringe and try to hide the fact that I was a ‘work-from-home-mum' and when I’d answer a call, I’d go into another room so the person on the other line couldn’t hear my son asking for crackers or whining because I turned the tv off! haha but now I just embrace it. That’s me. That’s my daily reality. Luckily with a name like Mama + Me people generally don’t seem too fussed.
What is your favourite mantra or quote?
N O E X P E C T A T I O N S ! !
This one is huge for me. I grew up in a family full of perfectionists and I am constantly reminding myself that my expectations of my surroundings are the root of all my unhappiness. As soon as I can let go of expecting anything from anyone I am able to be more clear with my intentions and my needs and I can better communicate my needs to others. It also creates space for things to grow organically and teach me lots of lessons along the way.
My happiness is my responsibility only, we should never give up the privilege of that responsibility to anyone else. Besides, shit happens all the time that you can’t control and everyone’s just doing their best in the end so we can’t really expect too much from anyone else anyway.
What is your top tip for balancing family and ambition?
Again, I think it’s all about not expecting perfection and being clear about your intentions. When I need support to care for the kids while I have a meeting, I always take it on myself to find the solution. It’s no one else’s responsibility.
Even though I do have the most incredibly supportive husband and family, who help me out a lot, I never expect them to take on my responsibilities. If the kids are sick or are extra needy one day, I make the call myself to either cancel my meetings and stay home or bring them with me or find someone to watch them. But everything I do, I do with clear intentions and no blame or guilt on myself or others. Those emotions serve no one and definitely don’t get the job done. It’s hard, I have my moments of ‘Ugh! Why?! Sick again are you serious?!’ but I know it’s a privilege to be both mama and business owner & I wear both titles with total pride.
What advice could you offer mums or mums-to-be either going back to work, just starting out in business, or looking to embark on a new career path whilst juggling or considering having children?
BUILD YOUR TRIBE FIRST! The most essential ingredient to having a successful business, family or LIFE in general is to have support. That’s it. Surround yourself with people that inspire you, people who are living in alignment with your truth. Support them and nurture your friendship like an investment in your own mental health because that is exactly what it is.
Motherhood is a bru-tiful journey that should never be walked alone. Support your tribe and don’t use work or kids as an excuse not to continue to invest in those relationships, because they are your biggest reasons why you should!