Australian mixed media visual artist + creativity coach
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My guest today is Andrea Rees, a mixed media artist and creativity coach from East Corrimal, NSW, and a mum of 2 boys.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Andrea left for Australia at the age of 20 to study mixed media, her main mediums being photography, painting, drawing and ceramics.
After graduating Andrea spent 4 years in advertising in account management. After realising it was not filling her creative cup enough. Andrea did further study and became a high school art teacher. After her 2nd son was born, ongoing health concerns meant that the ongoing level of support that he needed guided Andrea to make the decision to return to her art, and the next phase of her life began.
Andrea is also a coach for mums who are searching for their creativity. She wants to help and support mums who went through what she went through, who lost themselves in their motherhood, and can find themselves again through art and creativity.
Today we chat about trusting our mothering instincts, how the urging from a friend turned her life around after having her first child and the joy Andrea takes from supporting other mums. And the ever popular topic, the value we as society place on art, and the people who make it.
**This episode contains graphic descriptions of birth stories, birth trauma, PTSD and a childhood chromosome disorder**
Andrea links / Instagram / Creative Village Facebook page
See the painting my son Digby helped me complete
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast that's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered, while continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggle, how mother's work is influenced by the children, mum guilt, how mums give themselves time to create within the role of mothering, and the value that mothers and others place on their artistic selves. My name's Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discuss in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Thank you so much for joining me today. It really is a pleasure to have you here. My guest today is Andrea Reyes. Andrea is a mixed media artist and creativity coach from East caramel in New South Wales, and she's a mom of two boys. Originally from Vancouver in Canada, Andrea left for Australia at the age of 20. To study mixed media, her main mediums been photography, painting, drawing and ceramics. After graduating, Andrew spent four years in advertising in account management, after realizing it was not feeling her creative cup enough. Andrea did further study and became a high school art teacher after his second son was born. Health Concerns meant the ongoing level of support he needed, guided Andrea to make the decision to return to her art and the next phase of her life began. Andrea is also a coach for moms who are seeking and searching for their creativity. She wants to help and support mums who went through what she went through those who have lost themselves in motherhood, they can find themselves again through art and creativity. Today we chatted about trusting our mothering instincts, how the urging from a friend turned her life around after having her fifth child. And the joy Andrea takes from supporting other moms and the ever popular topic, the value where society plays on it, and the people who make it. This episode contains graphic descriptions of birth stories, birth trauma, PTSD, and childhood chromosome disorder. Welcome to the podcast today, Andrea, it's a pleasure to have
you. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
You're in Sydney. Yes. So your accents, not from Sydney. We're events.
So originally, I'm from Vancouver, Canada. And I've got an Australian father and a Canadian mom raised me in Vancouver. And then when I was 20, I took off and finished my degree of Visual Arts at Sydney Uni and just wanted to do something different. So
yeah, that's it. Awesome. So you mentioned visual arts tell us what you do what you create.
So I'm a mixed media artist. And I'm also a coach for moms who want to find their creativity. So my main medium is photography and painting. Drawing. And my major at uni was ceramics. So I really love ceramics, but it's just a bit of a harder medium to work with when you don't have the equipment. And it's kind of like a three stage process. So
yeah, it's a lot more a lot more.
That's why I think I've fallen really into photography and stuff because it's much more accessible and workable in motherhood.
Yeah, for sure. So let's go back to the beginning. How did you first get into all these different types of creative?
Oh, I guess I'm just through high school and my parents put me in ceramics from the age of 10. Just in our neighborhood. There's a lady who was doing it out of her garage, a mum and yet I did some workshops like a raccoon horse and stuff like that when I was young, just loved clay and then went through to college and like, just before and to uni and and yeah, you you do your foundational year where you kind of have a try of everything and yeah, I just really loved photography and in high school I just I loved the darkroom so much. And yeah, I was really fortunate that we had one in our school and yeah, I think it just sort of just developed it definitely was just a creative kid. And like, I remember days when it would be raining and mum would pull out like a paint by number set for me. And I just work on it at the dining table. And I just loved that sort of thing. So yes, over the years it kind of built and built and yeah, then yeah, did my degree and yeah, I just really, yeah, I loved ceramics at Sydney, uni. And, yeah, it was just, it was just really unfortunate. When I came out of there. I just had this concept in my head because I did clay that why can't do it now. Because I don't have the money. I don't have the materials. I don't have the equipment. So what am I going to do? So I kind of Yeah, stepped away for it for many years, which was now I look back and I think that's so sad. I lost so many years not being able to create. Yeah, but I think with everything you you create, like, everyone's creative, and I think you you express your creativity somehow, some way, you know, and I probably that's when I probably fell more into photography, because it was accessible. And I could use it all the time. Hmm, yeah. Did you sort
of decide you were going to make a life with art, I suppose that it was going to be what you did?
Mmm hmm. Yeah, I just kept coming back to it. And so after uni, I because I had this idea in my head that I couldn't continue with ceramics. I was like, you know, I'm an adult. I'm in the big world, like, how am I going to make money and but I still obviously, I'm interested in the arts. So I went into advertising, and I sort of fell into account management. And it just was not filling my creative cup enough. It was very administrative. And I liked working with the designers and stuff. But even a lot of them were really like, not super, you know, they they just said it was kind of making art for other people. It was what they wanted. Even the end decision was like the clients choice, obviously, some so they could be really creative with it, but it usually didn't fly. So yeah. So yeah, so I left advertising after four years. And then I decided to sort of my husband and I were going to settle down. So we moved down this way from Sydney. And then I studied at Wollongong, uni and did my Graduate Diploma of education. So became a high school art teacher. So yeah, that was kind of always my dream. And like growing up, I always thought I would be a great teacher. And yeah, it was I was kind of making that happen now. So I was at a good time in my life where you were going to start a family and stuff, and I thought this will be a good job for me. Yeah, but yeah, it's just funny, like just reflecting back and thinking about it, that there's just such a, you know, an idea in society that arts just not like the pathway to go for stability. And, you know, which is just so sad, because now being on the other side of that, I think it's totally up to you, like you're fully in control of making that happen. So yeah, it's just I think you just feel really unsupported along that journey. In Yeah, in society. So. Yeah.
Yeah, it's interesting, you say that a lot of conversations I've had lately with mums have been around the value, and I mean, monetary value that we place on the arts. And a lot of it sort of has become really evident, I think with the shutdowns through the COVID time, like, all the footy clubs going and all the footy players were traveling across the borders, but there were all these restrictions, so no one could put on their shows like, you know, visual artists, performance, anything like that all shut down. It's like, well hang on a minute, like, every time you turn the radio on or the TV or, you know, you're watching a streaming service, everything's been made by a Creator by an artist and it's, I think it I hope people sort of woke up to that. People on the other side of the You know,
yeah, the value of the arts in society is actually so huge. And it really makes our, it allows us to connect. It really makes our world like so much more interesting than if. Yeah, like, we went through a period of like two years where we just locked it down and how sad and people really, you know, struggled and suffered in that time. Like, just even just live music. Like, I don't think I realized how much I enjoyed going to live music and I'm not like a huge live music. You know, follower. I don't kind of, you know. Yeah. But, um, but I definitely, yeah, I enjoy it. And when bands come to town and stuff for gigs, yeah, play locally. Like, I love live music. So yeah,
yeah. It's been an interesting time. Do you have an eye opener? So you've got some children? Can you share a little bit about them? Yes.
So I've got two boys. So yeah, I think this is when my, like, I came around to my art and creativity was actually from motherhood. So my first boy is five years old now. So he's just starting kindergarten this year. So I feel like it's developing more and more as they grow up. But yeah, he's off to school. And my youngest is three now. So he's at daycare this year, three days a week. So he was two days last year. So yeah, it's exciting, because I'm just getting a little bit more time where I can do awesome stuff like this, and coaching and work on creating and art shows and stuff like that. So yeah, it's exciting. What's developing? Hmm. So going back
to when maybe when it wasn't, so I wouldn't say exciting. I have so much time. How did you go? Sort of continuing to be able to create when you Oh, first child?
Yeah. So um, I guess. So with my first child, I had a, I had a great pregnancy, like, I thought I was gonna be a really, I wasn't gonna thrive as a pregnant woman. But I actually just have absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed being pregnant my first time. But then I ended up having a traumatic birth and I had a really bad birth. So that was just, I think, such a shock to my husband and I, what we went through, and just such a poor start to parenthood. And then he had a lot of complications like reflux and food intolerances and that sort of thing. So we struggled, like in that first year, a lot just trying to survive. And then I really lost myself, I just thought the way to go with motherhood is like you devote your you know, just, you know, devote yourself to your kid, and, you know, give them everything you've got. And yeah, really depleted myself and lost my identity. And then it actually was a friend, another art teacher, an artist and a teacher, who I studied with, and we've worked together and stuff since that, she kind of approached me and was like, there's this art show coming up. I really think like, You should do it with me. And I was just like, oh, no, I can't do that. Like, oh, I think it was like, in three months time or something. And she was like, Yeah, you, you know, you could easily, you know, work on this on the weekends or something. And she just talked to me realistically, like, kind of make making these excuses that she doesn't have children. And I kind of thought, Oh, you don't know, because you don't have kids yet or what it's like, but what she was saying was making a lot of sense. Like I was just making these excuses. That completely didn't make any sense. And so I said, Yeah, you're right, actually, I could, I could go and photograph that. And then I could, you know, I could get it printed, and then I could start to put it on to it was plywood that we were working on. And I could probably lay that down and she offered to come and help me and everything. She was so supportive, great friend. And I thought Yeah, I can do this. Like I can totally do this. And then I ended up Yeah, I just I was so blown away by the result I got that I was so excited by it. And I felt amazing. Like through the process, I was like, This is me this is like, I've found myself again. And like, I was just, yeah, so happy that I was still mothering and but yet I was creating and being myself and I had this like, wonderful balance. And so after that, I entered another show, and I ended up making us at all, I'll just do one artwork again. And then I ended up producing for it was so that was great. I really loved it. Yeah. And then that's kind of been the way I've just continued. And she's been there along beside me saying, you know, what do you think about this? Like, should we enter this again? And yeah, she's been such a wonderful friend
they fell pregnant again, we kind of got to a stage where we felt like things were manageable and easier. And, and yeah, we our son was kind of at the age where we wanted to add our second child, we wanted to have two kids. So we had our second child, that pregnancy was okay. Not as easy as the first but it was okay. birth was completely controlled planned, Cesar, because we were just so terrified of something happening again. But then, probably three months after he was born, we started realizing that he had a lot of complications, health concerns and stuff. And he wasn't thriving, and was so confusing, and really, really difficult time. And basically, it went on and on every month, there was something new going on. Something new popped up. That wasn't good. And you Yeah, I kind of had seen so many specialists and doctors and talked to so many people and everyone kept telling me to, you know, stop worrying and that you're you know, he'll he'll catch up because he was delayed and stuff. And all these red flags that were going off there was saying Don't worry about it, you know, it's nothing, nothing severe or anything. And anyway, by a year and a half, and neurologists said to me, you've kind of exhausted every avenue and do you want to do genetic testing? And I said, Yes, I want to do genetic testing, if that, you know, confirms anything. And so sure enough, it came back that he's got a chromosome disorder. So yeah, that was kind of like a huge relief, a bit, you know, difficult as well. But we finally had an answer to what was going on. And yeah, so he's got he's got some difficulties physically and mentally and like growth wise and stuff like that. So yeah, it just kind of then I kind of had all my answers. And I knew what I was dealing with what I was working with and going, Okay, this is going to change now because I don't think like I had returned to teaching. After having my first and in between there. I was also starting to teach art workshops and stuff with a company locally here called makeshift creative. So they, yeah, connect, like creative people in the community with the community. And so I was teaching art workshops, and I was entering art exhibitions and getting back into my art while raising my first son. And then I returned to work had my second son, and then I just could not get back to work. And I was like, Everyone kept saying, you know, when are you going to return and I wasn't, like coping very well. So people were kind of pushing that because they thought that might be good for me, I think, because I'm definitely someone who, yeah, I was happy to go back to work at like eight months with my first. Um, so then yeah, I just couldn't get back there. So then I decided, You know what I've got to, like, rethink this because I think going back to a high school setting and trying to teach art as well as like, my son is he goes to, you know, our sorry, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and music therapy. We take him swimming, so he's in a lot of things and it's kind of like a part time job in itself just working with him and stuff. So yeah, supporting him, so I just couldn't kind of return to that. So that's when I was like, I'm gonna start a business And art is definitely what I want to work in, like, definitely my passion. So yeah. And it's taken me that in itself has been like a year long journey of just discovering what exactly is it that I want to do? So I've kind of come all the way around and said, I want to help like moms who went through what I went through who kind of lost themselves in their motherhood. And I definitely feel like there needs to be more support for moms. And yeah, I'm just, I coach them and help them get back to their creativity find their creativity, or even moms who've never been kind of creative, and they see the benefit in it, because it's so important. So
yeah, that's awesome. That is so great. Yeah. I love that. So long winded but no, no, no, no, that's so good night. I think that's just so wonderful. Because you're right there isn't there? Isn't anyone out there? I mean, you are now but there's no, I mean, like your friend said to you, like, there's no, like, it's not a formal thing that people go, right. Okay. So this is what happened. But now you can do this, and have you thought about this, or, or try this, or, you know, you're essentially taking on that role of the person that can. And because you've got that, you know, perspective yourself, you know, how hard it is, you can sort of see all the, the barriers, I suppose, and then just break them down and go.
Yeah. A lot of my coaching is actually, like, it's, it's, it works on your thoughts. It's not, it's not strategy, like you should be doing this. Like, I'm not going to tell you, hey, what worked for me was entering art exhibitions, that got me back to my creativity. It's actually like, all mindsets. And it's like even looking back at my uni days, and when I left, like, I literally put my art down and walked away from it for probably, like, 15 years, like, like, serious artmaking for so long of my life, which is now I just feel so sad that that happened. And it was just a mindset thing that I was like, I can't I can't do this anymore, because I'm not at uni, and I don't have a job to like, support it, or I can't be successful with this and make money from it. Which actually, there's there's definitely, you know, that's just the thought that I had that stopped me from creating.
Hmm. Which is the thing if you had had someone like, yeah, so yeah, actually, have you? Yeah,
yeah. So that's why I feel like coaching is so important. And I meet with coach, so after this time, meet with my coach on a Tuesday. And, yeah, I have an hour session with her and she helps me with my business and, and supporting those moms. So yeah, I think it's such important work. It's, it's really, and it's all that kind of self care work. Like you're investing back into yourself. And like I yeah, basically, I create my art from, you know, the work I do with coaching and with, like, the work that my friend did for me, you know, that all came from that kind of work. So, yeah, that's so important. I think
that's so great. Honestly, it feels like in a way, like you received that help, and you're sort of paying it forward. Yeah. You're, you're giving other moms the tools that you were able to gain? Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. So just basically taking, like what I've learned from my own experience, and then, yeah, helping other moms with it, who might be dealing with the same sort of thing can relate and stuff. So
I feel like it's really not, there's not too much of it out there. You know, like, it's kind of Nishi like, it's a little bit. Yes, specific, but I think it's really important. And I think, yeah, there's lots of mums. So and there's a whole range, like, there's moms who, you know, were quite successful before and have lost themselves completely, or there's, you know, moms who've never done it before. And they're like, Wow, I really like I love the benefits that she's getting from this. Like, I might have a go at art or some that are like, I used to love it in high school. I've had lots come to art workshops and say, you know, I've, I loved it in high school, and I've just never gotten back to it again. And I'd like to now in my motherhood like I would like to have a go again.
Yeah. Is it really it's so important to have something for yourself, isn't it? Yeah. Away from your role as a mother?
Yeah, that's been a huge like realization. I've got a five and a half year old it saved me five years kind of come around to the fact that actually, it's so important that my husband have his he's a surfer. And now he's just gotten really after at the end of COVID. He's gotten we live between the ocean and the escarpment. And so he's gotten really into downhill mountain biking. Right now he's kind of got the two to use, you know, if one's not good, or something like that. Appropriate. So, um, yeah, like, I think before I was very much like your father, now you need to be a dad and be here, you know, 24/7 and devote everything to your children. And actually, that just burns you out. And then you're completely useless. And that's not healthy for your kids, either. To see parents like that, you know, just and upset and create, like, you will burn out and then it will come out in other ways, you know, so absolutely. It's just not healthy for a family unit to just be kind of, it'd be like, in a relationship, like just living and working and everything together and never having a break. Like you need that break to miss, you know, the other person and then come back and be, you know, completely full and giving.
Yeah, that's so true, isn't it? And that's the thing too, like, if you've had a lot of moms I've spoken to, they've been artistic their whole lives. Yeah. And even when they got married, one of my, one of my previous guests, Sammy Lange said to her husband, just before they got married, you know, this is what I do. I'm not gonna all of a sudden start cleaning the house. And the same thing happens when you become a mom. It's not like all of a sudden, you go, Well, I'm gonna forget all that thing. That thing that I loved my whole life. I'm just that part of me is gone. Now. Now I have to be on, you know, certainly for a portion of time, that might be the case. Because you know, early, early babies are like, the babies. Yeah, the first, you know, few months is incredibly demanding. So yeah, challenging to find even the time to sleep, let alone do something for yourself. But as time moves on, it's like that part of you is still there. It's just a matter of sort of getting back to it, I guess.
Yeah. I think like, she was so I think, wow, because she was so emotionally mature at that age, like at that time to be able to recognize that because I didn't, I was like, well, here I go. Like, I'm into the next stage of my, my life. And like, I'm becoming a mother. And this is who I'm going to be now. Like, you can't Well, for me, it was a very confusing period where I just didn't know what I was doing a whole I was I felt like, kind of, yeah, I was out of control life was happening to me, not like I wasn't in control of it, kind of so now I've realized that actually, you can do whatever you want. You have full control of everything. And but yeah, like, wow, for her that she's just been able to do that right from the get go. And she made that a priority. It's taken me like, a long time to realize that and make it a priority for myself. Yeah,
it's funny. Yeah, it happens, isn't it? And I guess, it depends how you've grown up what your, you know, your role modeling was like, from your parents about, you know, what was what value was placed on what I suppose? Yeah, we're also different, aren't
we? Yeah. But I think it's so important to spend that time becoming conscious and aware of that, and like, figuring that out, and realizing how that impacts you. And yeah, recognizing your, your own individual, you know, upbringing and, and the person you become and then you're in full control of changing that and, you know, controlling your future moving forward. So take that and then consciously choose like what you want to do. Yeah, your future. Yeah. So you raise your kids right.
Yeah, exactly. That's the thing, isn't it? Because they're watching like, you know, they're observing what's going on around them and yeah, even at such a young age, and like you said before, we you know, if you burnt out you know, you start to get impatient and you you know, your relationships suffer like the kids they see and feel all of it so,
it's so important, isn't it?
So identities a big thing, be yourself and feed them Moms who code What about mum guilt? Is that something that sort of comes into it as well, that idea that moms shouldn't be doing something for themselves? They should be mums. Or?
Well, I yeah, I thought about this. And I think we all suffer from Mum guilt, like, must be in US innately. But I would say I probably I probably suffer less than average, like, I definitely I am constantly. Yeah, looking for ways to you know, get a break, or that sort of thing. See my husband, he works interstate, every week, he travels around Australia. And so there's like three nights a week where I'm on my own. Luckily, I've got my parents, they've moved here from Canada, eight years ago, and they live like five minutes up the road from me. I don't know how I would do this. Yeah, without having my parents nearby. They've been such great support. And through all, like, the medical journey we've been on with our youngest and stuff, so. Yeah, so I'm always looking for things that I can, you know, a weekend away or like, a night away, or like a workshop to attend or? Yeah, where can I get go for like, a float or like, a massage or just for Yeah, bushwalk I can go and do or friends where I can catch up with like, ways that I can fill my cup. So I'm, yeah, I feel like I don't have enough of that stuff. I need to always that's a constant work is trying to make sure I'm taking a break. And when I get it, I like I'm out. I don't find home and check in or night or anything like that. Like I'm like, switched off. I'm enjoying it for as much as possible. Because yeah, I just know that when I'm back, you know? Um, yeah, it's just all about mom like 100% Yeah, so I don't tend to get to about a mum guilt. I guess you kind of like, you kind of have moments where you look at it. Well, for me, I look at it like big picture. And you know, the time flies with kids growing up and you think, yeah, I guess you kind of reflect and say, you know, did I do enough of that? Or did I do enough of this? Or, like, you know that I missed out on that or something like that. So I think that mom guilt kind of creeps in and yeah, but I think I don't know I'm I try to be pretty compassionate with myself and say, like, you're doing a bloody good job. And you know, like, cut yourself on Slack. You've got a lot on your plate. So um, yeah, yeah. But yeah, I feel for the moms like that's, that's why I'm doing the work. I'm doing feel for the moms too. But that's my art art workshops are a big part of that and getting the moms out of their house. My art workshops are minimum three hours, because I might you need three hours, don't need an hour and a half. Like, you know, you need three hours to walk out a home to connect with other moms, other women to really get into the art and relax and be you know, in the moment, being mindful and like, yeah, just filling your cup for a good three hours and then returning home, you know, and that's healthy for the carer who's on the other end to have that time with the kids too. And for the kids to have that time with the the other partner or carer you know, to? Yeah, to be to be taken care of by someone other than mum or, huh.
I think that's something we forget to it's like they have relationships with other people. Yeah, they need to have the time to build on them as well. Like, yeah, I mean, maybe I'm saying that to justify it. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, they make time with other faithful.
Yeah, my boys are really good with everybody else. They go to other people. They Yeah, they happily have, you know, they'll go for a sleepover or something with their cousins or, like, yeah, they're really good like that. And I think that's probably just how we've been raising them. Yeah, maybe.
You're listening to the odd thing
I'm gonna ask you a question. Yeah, that wasn't on the list. So I'll give you some time to think about it. If I just just as we've been talking, I just wondered what in your experience with your coaching what is like the biggest issue or the biggest? Yeah, I guess It's an issue that stops me from creating or holds them back from creating.
Um, I would say, I think, initially, everyone thinks that it's time. Or it's energy. That they don't have enough time as a mom more time poor. Or we're tired, you know, we're exhausted. Surely I can't take on something else like, but that's not what arts about, like my creativity, I should say. Because when I say creativity, I'm talking like the mums I help can be anyone from you know, just like the moms you interview from singers and musicians, to writers to artists. So yeah, I think we think that we're kind of time poor, and we don't have time to take this on. But yeah, it's actually adding to you it's not like something that is meant to be more work, it's meant to be enjoyable and a break, and then it feels your carbon gives back to you to your mothering. So, um, yeah, I would say that's probably a big one. But that's what I kind of worked through them with their thoughts is that, you know, we use time kind of as like an excuse. But is it really time? Or is it actually something deeper than that? So we kind of work on that deeper level of what's really what what are you really thinking in your head? What's really, what's the fear there that's kind of holding you back from from doing this, you know, whether it's creating your art or it's sharing your art, you know? Yeah. Are you doing things like procrastinating? Or are you being a perfectionist about it like, so it's more that sort of? Yeah, thought work, then. Yeah, any of those kind of surface level excuses?
Yeah. Do you find people feel? And I'm just saying this from the feedback I've had, when I've chatted to other mums? Does the some of them feel like what they're doing will be judged as being a bit of fluffing around and not that important? So it's like, what are you doing that for? sort of thing? Is that just coming into it
a bit? I yeah, that definitely comes into it, I think. Yeah, that's just, yeah, you're always going to have I think people around you who have their own thoughts about art, and that's, you know, might come from society's value of art. But yeah, everyone's got their own thoughts and values. And so you just have to kind of think that's fine, that's your thoughts, but that they're not mine. And I'm not going to take that on, I'm not going to kind of let that affect me. But it is hard, because that can be someone like your partner, or it can be like a parent or something like that. So somebody who you really want for support, or you really think or your support team can actually be kind of not the people you should go to, to get to seek support from for this sort of thing. So yeah, I think again, just being conscious and knowing, like, yeah, being aware of what's kind of around you and being selective as to what you take on and what are your own values? And what are your own thoughts? And yeah, and running with those and not sort of letting? Letting? Yeah, other thoughts kind of influence? Yeah,
yeah. And I guess then being sort of, like you said, the people that perhaps you shouldn't go to for this sort of stuff, like seeking out those people that are your tribe, I suppose. Yeah, he's not ready. But you know, what I made the paper that are on the same page that will support you and give you the confidence that you might be needing
Exactly. So my girlfriend is definitely like someone I would go to, who supported me when I was with my first child, I would go to her for, you know, a bit of a boost or some feedback. But I have made a Facebook group for this because I've found that this is something that's kind of missing is like that community support of other like minded women. So we can, you know, in there, we can encourage each other or ask for feedback or, you know, just talk about different topics or struggles that we're kind of going through or even sharing just our motherhood challenges that are happening. So it's really niche. Nishi kind of like, what we're dealing with, is really specific that other people can't kind of relate to so there's, there's certain aspects that people do and that's great. Um, I'm glad that kind of helps. But yeah, it is it is quite specific. What we need need that community that network for so yeah, I've got a Facebook page called Creative village. So it's like, you know, your village, but creatively
it takes a really?
Yeah. Well, that's great. Well, I'll put a link in the show notes for anybody that's, that's keen. And I'm sure there'll be a lot of people that are. And I'll certainly be checking it out. But yeah, when you're talking before about this, like, you know, it might be your partner or your, your parents or maybe parents in law that no, don't see the value I just want to reflect on there was an experience with a mum that I interviewed, I think last season, who's the parents in law were babysitting the dog? There was like, the hammer square, but they would, because she's the daughter in law, right? So she's not like number one. So the daughter was getting the child babysat by these grandparents, because she was going to work. Yeah, but then the grandparents didn't want to babysit the other child, because the mom was just making her art. Yeah, it was like, they didn't value in that at all. And that's like, ah, it just makes you just so cross, you know, that. I know, everybody's different. And I shouldn't judge people, but it's hard not to see, like, how devalued that that mum would feel. Yeah, you know, by that one person saying, Oh, well know what you're doing isn't worthy enough. It's not real work. Yeah. And that's just like demoralizing. So having people around you that can go? That That's a load of crap. support you? Yeah. So important.
Really, that's really tough. Because it would that would have an impact on you. And you would probably question, you know, what is this a waste of time or something like that? You're like, you, you get all these thoughts coming to you about like, that are coming from that. And you know, so? Um, yeah, I think just being really strong on what you value and what's important to you what you need is so is so important. And then yeah, finding the right people around you that can kind of support you.
Like, when I the last art exhibition, I entered, it was a still life show. I'm still like prize, I ended up painting. Like, I just paint around the house. So I just painted on my back. Entertaining table, like my dining table, outdoor dining table was beautiful as like, sunny, we yeah, we were really lucky with the weather. And the kids just want to get involved. And I've talked to other artists, moms who they've got like a studio in their home and that sort of thing. And they say the kids come in and out like all the time and that's so beautiful to for, for, you know, the kids to grow up in the studio and to be around that creativity and value that growing up like, Yeah, I think there is a bit of a balance there between, like having your own space to focus and stuff. Certain work requires that like this, for example, with the kids in the background, but like, yeah, if you can involve them and have them working beside you like some there's an artist that I follow. Um, I can't remember her name now. Um, she gets her she's quite famous in Australia, and she gets her daughter to work on her paintings, like, and they're in galleries and everything. And they're beautiful. And it's so no, I think more of that needs to kind of happen with Yeah, with with artists, moms that just it just adds that layer into like artists mom's work
that for sure.
Yeah. You know, I think that's, I think that's so cool. I would love to do that. At one point. If I can get my boys involved in my work. That would be amazing.
I'm just trying to see if I've got it. I can't see where it is now. But I did. I'm not I like to paint just to fluff around because yeah, my main thing is singing and writing music and stuff. But I love I love fluffing around with brushes and stuff. It's just I just feel really nice when I'm flowing. So I did this, this like it's all abstract, mostly fuel Watercolor, I'm getting better at making flowers. But it's Yeah, practice my gosh, it's practice in that. Yeah, yeah, I have the patience for it. But I did this big abstract bits and bobs. And then I gave it to my six year old and said, and gave him my pastels and said, he goes, you finish this off, and I look at it. And it's like, I would never thought to do what he's done. Like, it's so kids look at their creativity. And it wasn't like he'd even I think I can't remember how he described it. But like it was his idea of whatever this thing was, he tried to represent it. So he's gone. I'm going to draw this thing. And he just tried to draw that to me. It just looks like amazing marks on the page. It just looks so cool. I'm like Digby, that looks that looks like a proper art now
thank you for your I didn't touch
I couldn't have done that. Because I'm a lot of my create my art stuff is like, I've got to get it to look the way I want it to. And because I can't do that because I don't have the skills. I just end up getting frustrated when I'm digressing. I wanted to talk a bit more about your own art that you create in your photography and such. Yeah, what sort of things influence your work?
Well, I'd say, like, when I first started, I was, I would say I was more influenced by making art that people would buy. I think that's a big thing. Artists kind of deal with is like, making Yes, stuff to sell or just expressing themselves and working. And I would say like if I was in, if I had more, yeah. If I had more time, it's just kind of funny. But I'm like, because I do the coaching and I do my art making my art making is really like a I wouldn't even say part time like It's like quarter time because I've got you know, parenting and then my coaching. And so anyway, if I was like a full time artist, and I wanted to do that full time, like I would think that I would be in a studio for a long time. And I would be you know, just spitting out artwork that I wanted to express and how I was feeling and that sort of thing. But when I'm making for exhibitions, there's usually like a theme I'm working with, or Yeah, like, or in the beginning, I was thinking a lot about what would people want on their walls. So I was making things more about and I used to be really into because I grew up in Canada. And then I moved to Australia, I was really interested in landscapes and that kind of like the juxtaposition of the two. And yeah, that I just really love both, even though they're so different. So I did a lot of landscape stuff. But now I'd say the most recent show, I did the still life prize, it was all about motherhood and I'm really interested in starting to yeah, really, I obviously value that so much. It's such an important part. To me. It's really like the most important thing in my life that's happened to me is what I've gone through and becoming a mum. So I really want to express that more and just yeah, it's just not in society. It's just not spoken about enough. And it's there's not enough awareness about what what happens. So I think using art as a medium to express that is awesome. So that's probably what I'll be doing more of the next pieces I do. Yeah, will be more about motherhood and hopefully I can get to a place where I start to, you know, work through I get to express like my experience of my motherhood, like the trauma from my first birth and complications that I've gone through with my second son so yeah, we'll see how it goes. You know, like right now? Yeah, a lot of us feel really helpless. And you know how, as a mom at home with my kids, can I help like what's going on in the world, but really, that work is so important. Like, we wouldn't have, you know, a Putin out there right now if, you know, there was a different upbringing, or that's an incredible way of looking at it. So important, our work was really valuable, really important and, you know, doing that work of whatever you whatever way you parent, your parenting style, but mine's probably more like gentle parenting. So, yeah, all that work you put in as a mom with your kids is you're bringing the future, you know, generation of people into this world. And that's really, really important.
evety Like maybe if Putin did a bit of art like right, maybe I bet
he was stifled every now. He wasn't even allowed to get out. Or anything. She was like that you're not doing it?
So this is Charlotte Conde who was one of my guests in season two. And she said as mothers were asked to raise human beings and also contribute to society, as if those two things were different. Yeah. It's like, yeah, yes. It's like, what we're actually doing is CRISPR is still messy. You have to know you have to contribute to society. It's like what we
Seriously, motherhood? Just just, yeah, there's just this. Yeah, this there's no clear idea about what it is or what it what it does or anything. And yeah, I think this is such a different perspective. Like before you become a mom on what it's going to be like and what to expect. And you know, and you just think, like, that's why my husband and I were in such a shock when we had our, our first because no one told us that that was gonna be a possibility or like, yeah, that we were gonna have a tough year or anything like that, like we thought, you know, we're gonna have this beautiful baby and then bring them home and we're just gonna cut along and it's gonna be wonderful. Yeah, no screaming and like sleepless night. Yeah. So
yeah, that's it sounds very similar to my story. It took me seven years to have my second because the first one was just like, What the hell yeah. And just Yeah. And that's the thing. Like, I feel like people, they try to give you an idea of what it's gonna be like, yeah, based on their experience, but you're not even in that headspace to even understand what they mean. Like when they say you're not going to get sleep. You go, Oh, that's nice. Like, whatever. You don't actually realize that. That's what they mean.
I remember reading a book. And it said about this particular type different types of babies like ancient babies, or grumpy babies or whatever. And I'm like, my baby's gonna be perfect. I don't even need to read this. Like it was just denial complete.
It's hilarious. Yeah. And there's just this like, you know, idea from society that moms just stay home and they live such good life, because they're just at home and like, they just are watching soap operas all day and have their feet up. And it's so easy, and the kids are easy. And it's like, yeah, you have no idea.
No idea. No idea. You happy to talk a bit more about your first birth with the trauma involve?
Yeah, I'm a pretty open book.
Basically, like, I had a similar experience. I mean, I'm not saying similar because I don't know what you're about to say. But with my second birth, yeah, first birth was first one. I got induced because I had really high blood pressure. Yeah. He come out in an hour and a half. And it was horrific because they didn't have time to do pain relief. And that was the thing like when you have your first everyone says, Oh, it'll take 12 to 14 hours. Yeah, blah, blah, blah. And even the doctor when he came in and administered the drug to and broke my waters. He said, I'll see. I'll see. And I'll see you in 12 to 14 hours. He was joking. And then when I was laying there, and I felt like I felt like I needed your poo. But basically, I felt like I needed to push. And I told them, I said, I need to push. And they said, they looked at me like I was an idiot. And I was like, I feel like there's a bowling ball coming out of my bum. Like it just, that's the only way I could describe it. And they race to get this doctor. And he come up. And he was like, surely not like, again, like I was an idiot. And did a check on me. It was the first day it was surprising. It was horrible. Yeah. So he didn't check any could feel here. And it was like, You're literally about to these babies coming out of you. And it was horrible. It was horrible. And then with my second I said straight up, I need an epidural. Because if he comes, this one comes really quick. I need to be prepared because obviously last one was too late. And because he he was very tiny, he was only four pound 14 When he was born. Because he'd they, I don't know how, but between I had shared care between my midwife at the clinic and then the actual doctor. So between the two of them, they'd somehow missed that his growth had sort of plateaued at about 34 weeks. They hadn't picked that up. So it wasn't too Yeah, nine days before he was due. He the doctor did the scan you guys, your baby stopped growing. And I was like, I didn't know I had this feeling. I didn't have this beautiful big round bump. I had like a lopsided weird bump. And basically all the amniotic fluid had gone. And he'd stopped growing because my placenta had the blood supply was not working properly. So all of a sudden, it's like to get this baby out. Yeah, I didn't do it that day. Thank goodness. It was like two days later. Yeah. And we just had the worst experience like right from the start. We got to the hospital. We had this horrible midwife who told us we were late. And it was like, we got we got told to be there at a certain time. We were like five minutes late, because we couldn't get in through the door of the hospital. And then just thing after thing after thing went wrong. He came, they did the epidural and the epidural was too. He done it too high. So my lungs were starting to stop working like Oh, my breathing is compromised. Then he broke the waters there was nothing there. What did they do? It was just my husband. I think he's still traumatized by watching happen. So they're nice. They tend to to me sideways to let the to move the the epidural stuff, somehow they tilted me sideways because I could feel one leg but not the other. And it was just thing after thing after thing. And eventually, when it came time to push like not a not even push the contraction started. And his his heart rate was going down but it wasn't coming back up. So they were like, well, it's okay that it goes down. But it needs to come back up like a real set shows he's in in stress. They basically they said to me, we've got to get this baby out. And I was like, right and the like, we've got to go have a cesarean so I went to do that. And I'm thinking, Oh, this would be great. We'll get this over with but then when they were doing it, I could, I couldn't feel like I thought I'd be numb, like completely numb. And I wouldn't even know what they were doing down there. But I could feel stuff. So then I started to get all panicky because I couldn't. And I was it was horrible. My midwife when stood over by the wall, and just basically abandoned us. And thank God there was this beautiful theater nurse who came over and she was like stroking my head like it's okay, this is what's happening. This is what's happening next, whatever, she just took charge. And then eventually he come out and you know, he was he's fine. He just was very small. He just didn't have any fat on him. So his lungs were developed. Like everything was fine. Yeah. And then and then the OH MY GOD on the way back to the, to the room. She asked what we're going to name him. And his name is Digby. And she goes, Ah, I know a friend with a dog called Digby. And I was like oh my gosh, really doing this to me after everything's done to me. Now you're doing this. And then sorry, I'm really going on about it now.
Obviously need to work through this today. We got back to the room and they decided he needed to be in this like the box thing because he couldn't keep his temperature up for himself. And then they said the specialist pediatric doctor come over and she asked me if I'd been drinking and smoking when I when I was pregnant and I was just like, I just burst into tears. I was like, I wouldn't do that. To my child, like, and she goes, I'm sorry, we have to ask because he's so small. And I said, Well, I overheard the theater people say my placenta was gray and grainy. And she goes, Oh, that explains it then, but then didn't tell me what that meant. Like, no one was telling me what was going on. And then the next thing was, I didn't move all night, because basically, I think I was in shock. And I couldn't move. My body was just in that same position. I came back from theater, and they sat me up for something. And they discovered that the epidural thing was still in my bag. And I was like,
seriously, what else could you guys tell like going to end?
It was just one thing after another, and I was like, I have to get out of here. And in the end, he the babies did. We stayed there for like two weeks, and I ended up going home and just coming to visit him, like through the day and then go home at night because I just couldn't bear to be there. It was like,
well, you must have hated going back in there. Like you just would want to take him out of there. It was the as quick as possible that you can get him home and get out of that place
was horrible. And I felt and then I felt really guilty for leaving him there every night saying goodbye and then rushing home trying to get as much sleep as I could pumping in the middle of the night because they messaged me when he was when they were feeding him. So then I was like, right, I better pump now. It was just like, it was hell. But anyway,
you had a you had another child to take care
of as well. He was he was good though. Because he was he was seven. So he basically had to learn how to make his school lunch. He had to learn how to do so many things like that, like was like Sorry, Alex, we can't do this. You have to do it. Like grow up so quickly pull little bugger. But yeah, so anyway, I've
just I've just had an awful horrendous
I have like, I had similar things kind of happened in there. But yeah, some of the stuff that happened to you just and that that was it like that, what my OB said to me, and my first birth was, it was really, you were really unlucky, like everything that kept happening to you. And I was like, yeah, it just kept happening to me. And, and he said, like, if it could have gone, you know, if you got to one thing like say an induction, like, it could have gone good or bad, it went bad. Then you went to the next thing could have gone good or bad. It went bad. Like everything just failed the whole way through. And I was just, he was like, you're just really unlucky. And I was like, was like, my husband's really like, would this have happened if we were in, you know, with a different team or in a different environment? Or whatever, you know? Yeah. And you just don't know, I think just this stuff happens, you know, in life. And I think the best thing you can do is try to work through it. Like the more you talk about it and just really figure it out. Because I did that after mine. I was like, I literally called it a puzzle. Like I was trying to piece together what the heck had just happened to me and figure out everything that went on because I actually was in so much pain, I lost my vision. So I have like, yeah, so I just, I think like for months afterwards, I just told people in front of my husband that like, I got to a certain point. And then I just close my eyes and I just bared through it. And I just could hear everything but I couldn't see. And he was like, he ended up telling me like two months later, he's like, your eyes were open, like the whole time. And I was like, oh my god, like I've lost like my vision, like recollection of it, or my body must have just shut that part down or something just to try and survive the pain I was in. But yeah, I think the best thing you can do is just like, you gotta debrief and like talk through it and and then just try and grow from it and figure out like, how did ya how did it kind of make you stronger? Or what did you learn from that? You know, like for me, like I everything I've gone through with my kids. Before I was really probably I didn't trust my instincts too much. I didn't know what to do. I relied heavily on other people around me for advice, you know. And now I feel like I am my son's like my little son's, like best advocate. I know more about him than any doctor. I pretty much tell them what he needs. I don't do anything they advise me to do unless like I feel like it's necessary like so I feel like I'm really confident on now. To who I used to be because yeah, like in the beginning, you know, you got this newborn and you're like, oh, like when do I feed it? What do I do like a rocket? Do I pad it? Like how do I you know, this like what do I what do I give him like? So yeah, now I feel I feel more like I can I can listen to my my instincts more and trust them. So but yeah, my worth was um My waters partially broke in the night on like a Sunday. And then we called the hospital they said to come in. And the nurse that was on she ended up checking if they had broken and because I just had like wet shorts in bed, but then that was it. No nothing else. And I was like 41, and one or something like I was oh, whatever way overdue and I had a big baby like he ended up being was he was like, close to four kilos.
That's about eight pounds, eight ounces. And I'm like
five foot four, like, I'm not a big person. Anyway, and um, and when she went to check, she ended up scraping or cutting me and I had I had bleeding and I had this like, beautiful pregnancy before this. And then this was like, the start of the horror that I like went through was she had done that. And my husband is not good with blood and hospitals. And he was just like, why? Like was that meant to happen? Like, what's going on? Like, this is like, he was really concerned already. Yeah. And then they basically said, like, you have to go home. Nothing's happening. We I can't how are you? And she was like, I can't tell because now I've like those, those blood and I can't, I can't. And I was like, well, thanks for that. You've just started this off on a great note. Like, everything was fine. I was healthy and everything. And then. And then so we ended up going home. And then like, I think I came in the next day to see my obstetrician or something. And he sent me over to the hospital to get monitored. And I ended up just standing in the waiting room and like no one can help me no one was seeing me I was in pain. I had really bad back labor and my birth. And and then yeah, they couldn't even give me a hot water bottle because they're all used in the rooms and stuff. And I was just really uncomfortable. And I said, I called the the OB and said I don't want to be here anymore. Like can I just go home? This is I'm not getting any treatment here anything. And so he said, Yeah, you can go. And then they ended up calling me and saying oh, your GBS positive. So we like legally in New South Wales, we have to induce you within 24 hours of your water breaking and like, we think they've partially broken and you need to get in here in the next hour. And we need to induce you. And I was like, so now you want me they're like, send me away, like, twice now. So then I went in and then and then they induced me but mine took a long time. And my OB said it was like night, I think it was nine o'clock when they induced me. So he said same thing. Like I'll see you in the morning for a birth. But I said do I do What do I do? Like do I do an epidural? Like I really don't know what to do. And again, I was very much like looking for other people's advice, like not listening to my body or anything like that, and just going by the professionals and trusting that they have done this a million times. And so anyway, he said, Well, I would take an epidural and get some sleep because you're you're going to need some rest. So I took the epidural and then I think yeah, anyway, in the morning, I started like having contractions and start started going into labor and I think that was at like 6am and Oh, and in the night my epidural had worn off or something like that. And so I said to them, like that was so so painful like because it takes them a while to come in and top it off or whatever so I said can you just um when it when it started in the morning I was like can you just make sure like it doesn't go low again like that because that was I was in so much pain there and I'm like in the middle of the night. So they talked it up, like really high or something and then I went into it I was pushing and then he was stuck. He was in the wrong position. He was like, sideways kind of and anyway and then I ended up being in like I would push and then when I rest I just endure like back labor I turn to my side and just be like it it got to the point I just felt like someone had broken my back like it was I was in so much pain. And I couldn't and I just kept saying to them I need a top off of this epidural like I can feel like I'm in so much pain. And they were really perplexed by it and thought you know, you shouldn't be in any pain with the epidural and anyway and Then he got right to the end, like they could see his hair and everything. And then they said, he should be further along by now, you know, you've been pushing for a while, and he hasn't been able to get any further out. And so they said, they said, like, we're gonna do an emergency Caesar. I said, Yeah, it's fine. Just like get him out. I'm just in so much pain right now. And then they went into the operating room, and the OB said,
I just want to try a vacuum because he's right there. And I think I could if I twist them a little bit, I think I could pull them out. And anyway, the midwife the head midwife was arguing, saying, Don't do that. Like, that's not going to work. And so anyway, he did it and pop like this. It came off and he got this huge hematoma on his head. No, yeah, poor little guy. And then. And then they said, We're going to do a Cesar and then same thing they went to do like test if I was numb, and I was like, I can feel everything. Like I can feel all of that. Yeah. And they were like, Oh, my gosh, I think your epidurals fallen out, like I think it failed. Oh, not explain why I was in so much pain. And then, um, and then they, they said, We're gonna have to give you a general we're gonna have to knock you out. So I said, Whatever, I don't care. Just knock me out. By this point. My husband was so traumatized and like, so concerned. And so they sent him out by himself, sat him in a room all by himself. And then they knocked me out and they pulled out my son, and he went limp in blue. And they had to resuscitate him and CPR and everything, because he had the trauma from the, from the vacuum. And then he had a bit of a general so he wasn't in a good way. So he was in the NICU for five, five days, I think, or maybe a week, we were in the hospital together. But luckily, I could stay on the ward because I was in the public. And I was a private patient. So I was paying. So yeah, they kept me they kept me on the ward and let me feed him and all that stuff in the hospital. But yeah, it was just awful was horrible. But that whole week in the hospital, I like just wanted to kind of, yeah, figure everything out and get out of there. And like, yeah, it's just not nice, ya know, Banner, kind of, and no one else, like around me had anything like that. So I was just like, Why me like, yeah, for a long time, I think we went through that, like, you know, the whole Why did this happen to us kind of thing. But then a year later, I think I kept going, I kept going. I kept going, like, when I went back to school, I kept coming on school break, and I was having like a real struggle. And I didn't know why I was kind of having these outbursts and lashes out to my husband when it was a time when I should be so relaxed and feel so good. And I was like, actually not coping in the in the break time when I was like, I want to do all this stuff, but I can't do anything. And I'm really struggling and and then I went and saw my GP and they ended up diagnosing me with PTSD, like a year later, when I finally could kind of deal with it. So,
yeah, yeah, it's that PTSD. That's something they diagnosed me with too. And it's interesting that I don't think I realized at the time, how, but how bad had been for me like, I don't think I just thought I similar thing. I've been really unlucky stuff happens. No one else around me had the same thing. And it wasn't till I was, I think I was on Facebook or Instagram, Amanda and I were talking about birth trauma and like recognizing an actual, it's an actual thing. birth trauma is a thing and they were talking about there needs to be more said about it and more support. And I was like, I think that's me. I think they have been trained like it's just, there's no, there's no, I don't know, when you're in the hospital. It's basically once you've had that baby. All the support goes to the baby like everything's about a baby and it's like, hang on a sec. I've just literally had my guts ripped open. Yeah. With little very little preparation, and under really, you know, stressful circumstances. And then I'm expected to look after this child like it just seems there's no care for the mothers that have been there. Yeah, and yeah, it took me a long time to realize that I was one of those people and then done a lot of work with my therapy. His two sort of things. And yeah, it's well done.
Yeah, that's so important. I think you've, you've got to go through it and everything or else. Yeah, you just kind of hold on to it. And then, you know, you don't you kind of fall apart later in life, so yeah, yeah. Oh, so healthy to keep all that in. And that's a really horrible thing to keep in, you know, that's huge. That's not just like, you know, something minor. That's happened that's really big. And I think, yeah, everyone just thinks going into having a baby is, you know, this natural thing that we are all made to be able to do and stuff and actually, you know, sometimes it's, it's major surgery in someone's life, like, yeah, that's not a normal thing.
Yeah, cuz you don't sort of plan like, you know, you and I are having a C sections. It's like, you can't drive for a certain amount of time after Yeah, yeah. So you don't think that that's going to happen to you don't sort of plan beforehand, right? Who's going to take me around and whatever, because you just don't think that that's going to happen? That in itself is like really limiting? Because then you have to ask people are really vulnerable that I can't even go down the shops, I've got to ask someone to do it. For me, it took
me a long time was learning how to ask for help. Because, you know, and I still work on that and stuff. But yeah, like that. That's a huge part of motherhood is you literally can't do it yourself. So you have to learn that skill of asking for help. And you've gone from being this independent adult who doesn't really require anybody else's help, you know, to suddenly you have to be really vulnerable. Put yourself out there and ask for it. Yeah, to like to be able to do what you do.
Yeah, it that's a big one, I think for a lot of bumps. was for me,
yeah, yeah. Yeah, me too.
Oh, gosh. Oh, thanks for sharing for sharing that. Yeah, no problem. Your story. It's yeah. It's beneficial to talk about things. I think it's like,
yeah, definitely. Yeah. And just, the more we kind of communicate and like put stuff out there, the more people become aware, you know, and, and it's not or, and people can relate and be like, Oh, I'm not like the odd one out, huh. Like what happened to you actually, is very similar to you know, a lot of it has similarities to what happened to me and I went into my birth being like, like, I pretty sure my husband and I toured the hospital and we went through the NICU. And we were like, I looked at him and I was like, we won't be in here. We were in there for a week. Like, we weren't definitely in there. So but yeah, and when we were in there, like we our son was nicknamed the basketball player because he was so huge. He was long and big. And there was all these preemie babies. And that's what you think when you think of the NICU is like, preemie babies and stuff in there, you know, but it can be all sorts of reasons why you end up in there. So
yeah, that's really true, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I feel like you need to shake myself down.
That's it exactly.
Yeah, all sorts of things. So like, I've just recently done a yeah, I've done so much like different stuff and kind of trying to work on myself and self care to take care take care of ourselves. And yeah, I recently did like a retreat, a women's retreat down the south coast here. And yeah, we did all sorts of stuff like that, like after you kind of tell your story or whatever you do, like an experience, like a cacao ceremony, or like shamanic breathwork and stuff. And then afterwards, it's kind of like, okay, like, we've gone through all that, shake it all out of your out of your body. And it's like, all that stuff is like really important. It really helps. So just lighten the load, like every time you kind of talk about it, and that sort of thing. It just gets a little bit lighter. So yeah, that's it, isn't it? Yeah. Like I mean, I used to be, you know, talking about all this stuff and be in tears talking about it, like I could barely even talk about it, right? It's so painful and you feel such a victim, whereas now I'm like, this is something that's happened, but I've worked through it, I've moved through it, and this is where I'm at now and like I would never be where I am if I hadn't gone through all that, like, you know, trying to see it as like, somewhat of a blessing that it's like improved your life, you know, instead of Yeah, this horrible thing.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it trying to see the positives and, and learn, I guess, what your lesson was, like what you had to what you had to learn through experience. And
that's like, you know, it's like, COVID we've all gone through that. And, like, what, you know, there's probably some people who are still in, uh, in kind of like a victim state saying, you know, that was a horrible time in my life. And like, always, you know, that's really affected me or there's people who are like, I learned so much from that experience. Like, I now know what's really important to me, like, I know what I want to do actually changed my whole career. Like I did this. I did that, like, going through it, you know, and, and it's not just COVID that happened, like people had lots of horrible things happen because of COVID in there, you know, but they've become more resilient from it. So I think that's really important. Really important to do.
Yeah, that's, that's a tree. Have you got anything coming up that you want to share? You've talked about your, yeah, for boats. By the time this episode comes out, that would have happened. But I'm definitely going to share
that whatever I got coming up soon. I'll be having like it for people who are local, I'll be having. I want to try and make the monthly, but I've just collaborated with a gin bar in town to hold my art workshops at called juniper. So I'm going to be Yeah, I'll have an art workshop there next month in April. I've got my online community. This is kind of like my goal for this year, that I'm doing my art workshops to help moms get out of out of the home and women in general. And then yeah, the online community to connect and have that support and then the coaching. So my coaching is it's like ongoing, anybody can can sign up, but it's for a six month period. So anything less than that, just, you know, that's not enough time to sort of make some change and see some real results. So yeah, I commit to one hour every week for six months. And art wise.
I've got I've applied for
an exhibition actually in New York with my recent paintings. So it's an artist's mother exhibition. But yeah, I really keep my eye out for those sorts of artists mother kind of opportunities flying around, there's, there's a couple coming up. So I might apply for a couple others. But there's also my son's chromosome disorder. There is an an art competition for like rare disease art. So I think I really want to make something for that this year. That's in the middle of the year. I think it's like August or something, or maybe, might actually July. Um, but yeah, I'm hoping that's going to be an opportunity for me to sort of delve into that side of expression and trying to represent visually like my experience of, you know, having a son with a rare disease and raising a child with disabilities. Yeah, and I don't know what I'm going to create, but we'll see how that goes. But I do really want to do that. Because yeah, it's something really personal to me,
huh? Yeah, not good on Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thank you so much for coming on, Andrew. It's just been a lovely chat today. And thank you for sharing so honestly, yeah.
Cool. Thank you for having me and chatting with me, with all your honesty as well. Wonderful.
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