Introducing our beautiful Mummy of the Week, Charbie, whose zest for life is contagious. This chilled-out Mumma shares her thoughts on the journey of motherhood...
Tell us about your family
My family consists of myself, my husband James, our 7 month old baby boy Pablo Blue and our fur baby Cavoodle Zappa. James and I met at 21, were engaged at 23, wed at 25 and then fell pregnant at 27. Next baby in 2 years? Probably! I grew up on the Coffs Harbour coast and James grew up on the Sapphire coast in a sleepy little town called Tilba Tilba where his parents still live. When Pablo was 1 month old, we made the move from Melbourne to this beautiful stretch of coast. It was a massive move which was completely bonkers to do with a newborn but I'm so happy we managed it... having family close is so important.
What is your fondest memory of being pregnant?
I have 3 memories that have really stuck with me. The first was when I was sitting on the train on my way home from work in the city. I was looking at something on my phone and all of a sudden I felt this fluttering in my belly. I started tearing up on the train realising it was our little Blue. The next was when James felt Pablo kick for the first time while we were snuggled up in bed and the last was when Zappa jumped up on my belly and felt him kick too. Zappa was at first really shocked but then he snuggled protectively around my belly.
What do you love most about being a Mum?
That even though it's 12noon, you're still in your pj's sleep deprived, un-showered and have only had a coffee ... when your baby smiles at you and wants snuggles, it's the best feeling in the world. Breastfeeding is also something I love. It didn't come easily and some days I wanted to give up but I'm so glad I persevered. It's such a special connection and it's the sweetest thing when they snuggle in.
What has been one of your favourite memories about motherhood so far?
It's so special watching him explore the world knowing he is only scratching the surface of what's to come. Even though each milestone Pablo reaches takes him further away from being our little blob, it's the most magical, uplifting thing watching him take on all his firsts.
What's one of the things that you least expected about motherhood?
How much you second guess yourself in every aspect and no matter how prepared you think you are for your first birth ... you are so not prepared at all! I had an emergency c-section after my induction didn't progress. I sustained a bladder injury in the process and had to have a catheter in for 9 weeks. It was rough! You second guess what your body is capable of, why your body handled something the way it did and if you're doing the right thing for your baby. Should I co-sleep? Should I implement a stricter routine? When should I do this for him? Am I doing this correctly? Sheeeeeeeeeesh ... it's endless!
What is the biggest lesson that motherhood has taught you so far?
Trust your gut and it's only a problem if you think it's a problem.
What values do you think are the most important to instil in your children?
It's cliche, but to treat people the way you want to be treated. Coming from a mixed family myself, I was bullied as a child. It's something that I know I can't protect our little Blue from, but I hope that as we raise him he will believe in being a positive, inclusive and accepting person.
Other than being a Mum, what are you most passionate about?
Honestly, I'm still working that one out! When I moved to Melbourne, it was initially to study. Instead I worked in retail and met this handsome man who played in a band that travelled a lot. We had this whirlwind romance then I married him! Right now, family and being a Mum are my passions.
What baby product can you not live without & why?
Honey & Herb botty butter. It's a natural nappy cream made from organic plant & nut oils and waxes. I use it on everything!
When hiring a nanny what qualities would you look for in the applicant?
Someone who has patience, is calm, is a good communicator and will engage with our little Blue as he explores the world around him.
Sometimes life can get a little crazy, what do you do to stay sane?
I garden! Sunlight and silence ... oh and wine!
What's your favourite activity to do with your family?
Pablo used to love watching me garden... now Pablo loves trying to eat dirt and crawling away from me while I try to garden. So, at the moment we just go for long walks and mothers group. Thank the gods for mothers group!
Is there any advice you can give to mums-to-be?
You have just gone through the most life altering, mind bending, soul changing experience. Be kind to yourself and take time for yourself too.