Mary Sotiropolous and Jessie Ann Elliot
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Welcome to Season 4! To begin we have a special episode to mark Mother's Day in Australia, and many other countries including most of Europe, Canada, Brazil, China and Japan. I am thrilled to welcome two creative mothers, Mary Sotiropoulos + Jessie Ann Elliot,
Mary grew up in Sydney + moved to Goulburn almost 5 years ago, and she's a mum of a 3 year old daughter. Mary went from being a Full Time teacher to a Writer, Community Builder and Unschooling Guide.
Jessie has been a Hunter Valley local (NSW) for most of her life, except for a tiny quarter life crisis year in Scotland at the age of 23. She's a mum of 2 children, a boy and a girl. Jessie went from a Full time Community Planner in Local Government to a Writer, Creator, Photographer, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Therapist and Women’s Circle Facilitator. and they have collaborated to write the book "The Mum Who Found Her Sparkle."
Jessie and Mary started out as online friends, meeting in a membership facilitated by Motherhood Studies Sociologist Dr Sophie Brock. (a previous guest of the podcast) In this group they learnt not only about Matrescence, but how Motherhood is socially constructed and how far removed the act of housework is from actual Mothering.
The journeys to becoming Mothers saw both women completely re-evaluate how they viewed the world, There is no mistaking that our culture glorifies being able to ‘do it all’ and that this significantly impacts on the wellbeing and mental health of Mothers and therefore families. The joy is often lost, the things that a women enjoyed pre-motherhood often put on the back burner, as she places others above her.
In June 2022 Jessie had the idea to write a children's book aimed at mothers, that would explore the topic of this 'lost sparkle' that a mother can experience when she puts her needs last. The pair went on to create it in the early hours of the morning, late at night, in pockets of time between getting snacks for children or changing nappies.
The story follows Te and Oscar as they support their Mum Amber, to find her Sparkle. It is a story of a Mum being just as worthy of her shiny-ness as her kids are, and everyone knowing about it. Within the story there are layers of meaning and they have intentionally designed many opportunities to spark purposeful conversation throughout its' pages.
It is their hope that this book inspires not just kids, but parents to prioritise finding that lost Sparkle. The book will be available in the coming months.
**This episode contains discussion around post natal depression and anxiety and birth trauma**
Jessie and Mary - instagram
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
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 podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their works been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the show notes, along with a link to the music plate, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online. I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast. The art of being a man would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on has been the Bondic people in the barren region. I'm working on land that was never ceded. Hello, and welcome to the podcast. It is such a pleasure to welcome you back to Season Four after a short little break. And as always, on Mother's Day, I like to do a little bit of a special episode usually with more than one guest. So today I'm very excited to welcome bliss and Jessie and Elliot. Mary grew up in Sydney and moved to Goldman almost five years ago. She's a mom of a three year old daughter. She went from being a full time teacher to a writer, community builder, and unschooling guide, Jessie has been a Hunter Valley local for most of her life, except for a tiny quarterlife crisis here in Scotland at the age of 23. She's a mom of two children, a boy and a girl. Jessie went from a full time community planner in local government, to a writer, creator, photographer, holistic counselor, meditation therapist and women's circle facilitator. And they have collaborated to write the book the mum who found her sparkle. Jessie and Mary started out as online friends meeting in a membership facilitated by motherhood study sociologist Dr. Sophy Brock, who's also a previous guest of this podcast. In this group, they learned not only about muttrah essence, that how motherhood is socially constructed, and how far removed the act of housework is from actual mothering. The journeys to becoming mothers saw both women completely reevaluate how they viewed the world. There is no mistaking that our culture glorifies being able to do it all, and that this significantly impacts on the well being and mental health of mothers and therefore families, the joy is often lost, and things that a woman enjoyed pre motherhood are often put on the backburner as she places others needs above her own. In June 2022, Jessie had the idea to write a children's book aimed at mothers that would explore the topic of this last sparkle that a mother can experience when she puts her needs last. The pay went on to create it in the early hours of the morning, late at night, in pockets of time between getting snacks for children, or changing nappies. This story follows tea and Oscar as they support their mum Amber to find her sparkle. It is a story of a mum being just as worthy of his shininess as her kids and everyone knowing about it. Within the story, there are layers of meaning, and they have intentionally designed many opportunities to spark purpose or conversation throughout its pages. Their hope is that this book inspires not just kids, but parents to prioritize finding that lost sparkle, and the book will be available in the coming months. Please be aware this episode contains discussions around postnatal depression and anxiety and birth trauma. I really hope you enjoy today's episode. It was a lot of fun to record.
Joining me on this very special Mother's Day episode, I have not one but two creative mothers. I'd love to welcome Jessie and Mary to the podcast. Thank you for coming on ladies,
I assume thank you so much for having us. Oh, it's my pleasure. I
love it. I love it. I've only ever had one other episode where I had multiple guests at once. So it is lovely to treat for me to more than one face in the in the Zoom chat. It's
So tell me briefly before we launch into things whereabouts are you both at the moment? You're Victoria, am I right or not? You tell me I've done know where I'm going.
That's all right close. So I am in Hunter Valley, so just outside of Maitland, which is sort of near Newcastle. So yeah, we're in New South Wales, being a hunter local for most of my life, except for a quarter life crisis when I moved to Scotland for a year. But other than that, I've been a hunter local. So yeah, yeah, just leave around that.
So you both like you know each other in real life apart from on Instagram.
Well, I was a Sydney girl grew up as a city girl, but I live about an hour and a half or two hours out of the main center of Sydney, and about half an hour from Canberra, in regional New South Wales. So we met in an online membership with Dr. Sophie Brock back in 2020. Was it? Yeah, yeah. I was 2020. And then once Jessie had her second in 2021, we sort of connected even more at that point. Because I was fascinated by how she was navigating her second postpartum fourth trimester. Yeah, and apologies. We did say this. My beautiful daughter is very much wanting to make an appearance.
Oh, oh, good. So yes, when you said Dr. Sophy broke, I got excited because I've had Sophie on the podcast and she's amazing. I love what she's teaching. She's for those who don't know, Sophie's motherhood studies sociologist based in Australia in Sydney. I think she is. And she runs lots of things online education and even just if you just get on her Instagram, it's incredibly inspiring. And yes, so that's awesome. But yes, go on. Sorry.
Lately tried. Oh, no, it's it's very any chance to pump her up? We're totally in support. It was, it was a beautiful meet you so yeah, we met in her online membership, liberate it. And as Mary said, we just sort of started chatting more and more. And after a period of time, you know, doing that Mary went on a road trip and actually came and had dinner at our house. And when we met in person, it was just it was very easy. You know, it was it wasn't it was just kind of like of course we've always known each other in person. It was just yeah, really sort of easy.
I think it was a year ago if last year that I've met you in person Yeah. And then all the rest is history breadcrumbs.
You lovely ladies have got a book in the works, which is pretty awesome. And it's called the mum who found her sparkle. So who would like to tell us? Maybe maybe start off by sharing how you came up with it or what compelled you to create the children's book?
Yeah. Well, I guess going right back to when I became a mum, I planted load for the birth, I knew roughly how to change a nappy. I knew possibly I might need to swaddle the newborn. But I really hadn't prepared myself for that, that transition to mother for matrices properly. And I experienced postnatal depression and anxiety for probably the first you know, eight, nine months sort of severely after my son was born. And in that time, I really found that I I very much dismissed my my feelings and my emotions. And I was just doing a hell of a lot of disassociation. disassociating. And it wasn't until I started to, again sort of focus on my creativity. So my Excel The expression that I started to claw my way out of that. So that had been sort of brewing since 2020, I guess how important it is for us to focus on what brings us joy. And so I guess coming from that, slowly, slowly, slowly building that more into my life, and then leading in to when I fell pregnant with my daughter, my second pregnancy, and approaching the end of it, and I thought, okay, I know much more now about accepting all the help that I can. I know that I need to engage the support of a postpartum doula. I know I need to just let the house go in terms of the task. But I thought, What am I doing to plan for my creativity in this time in my life, because I knew that I needed that to stay really mentally well, and to to really assist in that transition. So I came up with a project to create a project. So I wish I had called it 90 Emotional days. And so each day in during my fourth trimester, I was going to take, you know, a moment or several moments to check in with myself and how I was feeling and, and really sort of it was to help myself as well name what I was feeling because as you know, growing up a good girl like we all do, we, we kind of don't really learn how to really properly honor what we're feeling, or even know what that might even be some of the time. And that creative element as well was either taking, you know, a photo or making a video and just sharing that each and every day, whenever, however, it sort of felt good. And it sort of evolved in to making funny reels doing breastfeeding inspired digital art, taking breastfeeding photos in front of wall art out in the community. And then right at the end of that my daughter, I think she was four months old. And this idea came to me. And originally, it was, I messaged Mary straightaway, originally it was the mum who lost her expression. So that was where the idea originally come from. And then it just blossomed and blossomed. So and evolved and changed as both of us were on the journey of this book together. And I think for both of us we've had we had struggles did we marry just sort of talking about at the start of both of our postpartum journeys and what that transition was actually like? Yeah,
I think I'm a little different to Jessie, and that I'm not as organized as her again. She was, I think I was watching on when she was doing the 90 Emotional days and thinking, how is she doing this with a newborn. I mean, it just was so foreign to me, because I My experience was, I mean, I would have definitely been diagnosed with postnatal anxiety. I never actually went to the dopamine hit COVID locked down two weeks after I had my daughter. And it was smack bang, the time she woke up and she was an extremely vocal, unsettled little Baba. And that's kind of just She's three now. And that's, that's just kind of been our thing for three years, which is fine. But I think I just started to see that I needed to pull from different little things that brought me joy, essentially. And I kind of started to grab onto these little things that would bring me joy, because I knew that my mental health was better for it. So Jessie was like one of those people. So when she jumped into my DMs, I'm thinking she's onto something here. And I think you're originally approached me because I did say to her, You do not need me for this. Jessie, you can run with this idea. I'm happy to help assist you through the process. Like, because because I'm a primary school teacher. I've read lots of picture books to so many different kids. I love them. I think they're a beautiful way to access information and create like a depth of meaning. I think they're really underutilized resource. So yeah, and I did a few read alouds just on my Instagram, I was reading with my daughter, like some picture books that I liked. And then so she's sort of jumped into my DMs. Yes, this is great. Loving this idea. I can absolutely see where you're going with it. Or you don't actually I don't think you need me. We've yet she convinced me that it was a joint project project. And I'm incredibly grateful for that because I mean, even from last year, the message has definitely evolved. Just sort of organically as we've been going through the process. That's right, like not forced, it's just sort of it's kind of gained legs and momentum.
Because I think I mean, this is what this podcast is all about two, moms are super creative. And I mean, when I would think of what creativity was, or an artist was somebody that was creative, I think, someone that could draw or paint really well. And I'm not those things I could not draw, I need a YouTube video with a step by step instructions on how to draw anything, I'm a stick person didn't progress past you, too. It was also getting my head around the fact that creativity and particularly motherboard can look like a whole bunch of different things, there's not one little narrow box that it fits into. So obviously, the picture will make sense for us both. Yeah,
I love that. My my backgrounds in early childhood education, so I can relate to, I love the idea of, of, you know, it's so simple, you just think it's a it's a simple book. And but it can express and convey so much and so many, you know, you can choose what layer of meaning you take from it, you know, depending on who's reading it, and I love that it's a children's book, but someone has to read it to the children, you know, so that person is going to get so much out of it. Was that really deliberate that you wanted to? You wanted to make it like that? That was right from the start? That's how you're planning it?
Absolutely. It's sort of yes, it's a picture book. And I guess yes, you could read it and think, oh, you know, he's a bit of glitter, and we're going on adventure with this letter. But for those that want to use it as a tool to have those conversations around, you know, mommy's mom's mental health and even around challenging with the caregiving role, you know, we were really strong on having dad be really involved in care work in the book, and also having extended family around. So it was a way to have that conversation around the importance of you know, mental health as in, you know, reacting to that as urgency urgently as we may have, if someone broke a leg, you know, just just, you know, really elevating that conversation, but also challenging really early some of those stereotypes that we have around around care work and the presence of a village so yes, you could read it at any layer. But it was definitely so intentional for us to sort of just yeah, really just wave some really deep meaning throughout and that is where Mary's experience you know, expertise came in to be able to you had with her experience of reading so many books just yeah, be able to make sure that we were adding so many layers and we were talking the other day, Mary and you were saying you know I even picture this hidden you know, the Self Help for moms like section of like bookshop, because we weren't for for the parent to be sitting there reading it to be getting something from it and you know, in some ways feeling you know, really important and validated that they are important.
She, I'm going to refer back to a quote that I found on your Instagram, Jesse, if you don't mind, I'll quote you. Everyone does it. Whatever I say these people freak out. So don't it's not it's not bad. It's really, really good. You said I did not like who I was when I became a mum. I dismissed and invalidated my own needs. I judged myself on expectations placed on me by a society that glorifies supermoms and the myth of the perfect mother. And when I read that, I just went boom like that. I honestly, I, I related to that very much. And I'm sure there are a lot of other people out there that relate to that. And that's that thing. It's our expectations. And like you said, the, like the cultural norms that are set up, that we're not supported. We're not and it frustrates me so much I have this this conversation with just about everyone I have on here. Like we're, we're this, we basically keep life going, if it wasn't for us, if we just said not sorry, end of end of everything, we're not going to, we're not going to keep doing this, there would be no more human race. So why, like we're revered in so many senses. But then when it comes to just with just a man, you know, it's like, you lose your identity, you lose your sense of self, you're like, you know, and that is brought on by the way society sees us, and makes me really, really cross. So yes, I love that quote. Not because you went through it, though, like, I'm not saying I loved it, because
we can see our experience in it. And that's something you know, Mary, and I feel so strongly about in that. Yes, the level of intensity right now can be intense, but it's very important for us to challenge this so that our children experience it less, and then their children less, we like that, I won't swear I won't like you can swear, you know, I'm just like, there's no fucking way my daughter will be going through this, my son will not be going, you know, it's just you. You can see what needs to change. And yes, it's frustrating. And you can also go, Well, what can I do in my everyday life to challenge that and change it? So it does get easier and continues to get easier? Yeah,
I was gonna bounce off of that. And I think that there's a huge puzzle piece of this book, The mom who found her sparkle for us. We are not. And I mean, I had this dropping as I was driving today. And I thought, I need to say this when I'm on the podcasts later, we are not downplaying the importance of maternal mental health. Like we know, we know the statistics. And I think that's the biggest thing too, Jesse and I are well aware of the statistics, not only because the numbers are there, but because we see it, we talk to mothers, we know we hear the stories, and you would as well doing a podcast like this, it's it, there are themes across the board, what we what we're hoping to achieve with the mom who found her Spark, although is yes, there are sometimes bigger issues at play that need, you know, a lot more support. But if we can sort of start to access that sparkle every day, and just do tiny little things, even in the micro moments that we have, which because that's what we get as moms, right, we're not, we don't have an hour, we don't have an hour to get it all together. Sometimes it's that 35 second little window of time or that five minute little window of time. And our thinking behind Sparkle is it's that way, it's at those small micro moments that you can essentially take back for yourself. And spark that joy and that curiosity that we had before we became moms. I mean, we're human beings out there. We're not just moms like as in we want to be just a mom to as in I love being a mother, but I'm a mom. And yeah, I'm a mom. And and it can be all the things like those things don't just disappear, because suddenly I've got a baby that I'm breastfeeding 24/7 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Where we find our spark was been there from Well, I would argue from when we were babies ourselves. And when we're actually allowed to tap into that feeling of incredible. The way I think of Spark is it's like that feeling of incredible peace you feel when you've discarded all the shows, in your zone, whether it be with your kids there or without like, it doesn't matter. It can be at any point, but you know, that feeling where it's like your soul and heart sort of aligned beautifully. Take that big breath and be like, okay, yes, this is like right here. Like I can almost touch this. And it's trying to just encourage trying to tap into that as much as possible, even in those small pockets of time, so that you get Yeah, and I think we changed the word to sparkle. We were sort of playing around with vocab and thinking about how to make this language accessible. I kid you can imagine Oh, my game was to spark a bit today. Yeah, mom's feeling a little off what could we do to help you get it back? And you know, it can be a conversation that happens in families and like we just see it is a just a really beautiful invitation to create discussion and spark discussion. And that's what this really is for us. Yeah.
I think that's really important because I couldn't hark back to the time when I was a child, I had very little understanding or knowledge about my parents goings on. Like, I knew they were my parents. I knew they went to work I needed, they did things, but I didn't know. You know, I knew my dad like sport. And like, what was going on with them? You know, they were very hiding things. I mean, not saying it was they were like, nasty people hiding things. But you know, it was that was what you did in those days, you didn't share things with your kids. And you were sort of protecting them. In a way, I suppose. That's how they saw it. But these days, like, I feel like I share so much with my kids. And sometimes I can think, Oh, should I really be burdening my kids with all this? But then I think, no, it's real life, you know, at some point, they're going to, I don't know, have relationships where it's gonna be good for them to share how they're feeling. And I think that's really great. This opportunity to actually say the words and check in with people and be like, you know, I can see that you're not feeling like your normal self. As you said, use those words, you know, you lost your sparkle, and how can we get it back? I think that's a wonderful thing. And just on a sidenote, like, with my kids at work, I work in a akindi at the moment, and, you know, teaching kids to actually feel their emotions and name their emotions. Yeah. Like you're saying earlier, Jesse about, you know, sometimes you don't even know the name of what you're experiencing. And then to then say, recognizing it in others, and say, what some ways we can help them feel better or, or however, they're feeling, changing that. And I think that's really important that it's not something that's really been done forever, you know, what I mean?
I totally agree. And, you know, my, when I grew up, I don't really ever remember, you know, having any kind of conversation around emotions and feelings. And I mean, I think in myself, like, a lot of people, I grew up with a very busy mom, very, very busy mom. And she would be got, she would work full time, my dad would work full time, but he would have I could see had access to a lot more recreation time than she did. She did everything. But yes, still worked full time she would with task to task to task. And that's what I saw growing up. So obviously, that's what I internalized. But even just two or three weeks ago, we were in the car together. And I said to her, Did you do anything for you when we were little? And she said, No, there wasn't any time. And I knew that. That was that's what I witnessed. But I was sort of just wanting to ask, from her perspective, what her sort of memory of it was, and yeah, she didn't. And this is also from a woman she still had her parents, like, you know, they took care of us helped with us and my dad's parents were around so she even had access to a much bigger village then then I do and she struggled. So it's you know, it is you know, that it's things have changed in that we want our kids to we want them to see us as whole humans within reason. But as humans Yeah, and we want to help them get to know themselves. I know when it comes to feelings and emotions, I have absolutely love helping my son because he's for now tune into himself and I and this is so I never thought this would even be a parenting when moment But about six months ago, or might have been a little bit longer. He actually said to me, Mommy, I'm feeling angry. And do you know how proud I was? That he could name that and express that to me? I just thought I just won today and you know, then we actually had the ability to do some things together that helped him you know, move that emotion but yeah, that's it's a really new new thing really, in the in the scheme of sort of generations, generational parenting and stuff like that.
I think it was a meme or something the other day sort of along the lines of now I know why my mom just wanted to sit in a bedroom alone in the dark. And I just love to hate all I want and I think back to this whole self care that we're sold, like, get the massage and your nails done. I'm like, I don't want to sit in a hairdresser. That doesn't bring me joy. I like short, someone else. That's not where I'm finding my sparkle. Let me lie down below on preferably maybe a bit of music. Stuff that suits me just fine. Because that's how my nervous system feels calm. Yeah. Yeah, we're told even Mother's Day is coming up. And I'm thinking to myself to Hobby, be happy if you just take out my beautiful toddler and it takes all gets rid of all that energy and I just sit on the couch. And yeah, absolutely nothing. You know, I don't want a fancy lunch, I don't want to be taken out. And again, I think get the sparkle side of things. Some Mama's will find it, doing those things, which is beautiful. I say power to you by tapping into what actually like how can you access your own how what's gonna make you feel better? It's not anybody else's story. And that's, that's what we love. We get moms jumping in our DMS, like, this is how I found my sparkle today. And they'll send us a little story or a video or a picture. And I said to Jesse, we just, we just pulled this idea out of thin air. And no idea yet, but it was just this little idea. And we've seen it and now we have people having conversations with us about it because it's important last, yes. Brilliant. You know, it
was something what you said Mary just made me giggle because on an episode of Grayson, Frankie, they were doing a flashback to racist races Mother's Day, you know, 30 years before or something and she was away at a hotel for the weekend. And they were like, you were away for Mother's Day? And she said, Yeah, well, it's Mother's Day, not Children's Day. Legally, but it's funny, because as you said, you know, what brings each person sparkle could be very different. But that also could change, you know, day to day, minute to minute as well. But something we love to doing didn't we marry? Oh my goodness, sparkle Tober was just the most fun we have ever had. In the month formally called October. Last year, we we renamed it to sparkle Tober. Because we just wanted to, you know, just to continue that conversation that we've started having with you know, our friends and community that we're all growing on Instagram. So we sort of just invited people to share images or videos of them. Just really just doing things that made them you know, brought them sparkle. And Mary did some fabulous dancing. It was wonderful.
Dancer hearts, you can take the dancer out. Not choreographed. Okay, I'd like to point this out. Freelance dancer. Yeah, I don't want to be told what to do. I just need space space on that dance floor. And that's
wonderful, because we had people sharing, you know, things they were doing with their kids or just by themselves. And it was just this it was so much fun. Just yeah, to have these conversations with friends and family and just to see them so ugly up about it. So yeah, we'll definitely do that again. It was just wonderful. In your DMS Oh, great.
You're a VIP, you'll be the next sparkle. Tober for sure.
Thank you. Well, I'll be sure to share it with my community and get them involved. And on that note on Mother's Day, I'll be going to the races with that score. Is it is Mother's Day, not a joke when when it was Mother's Day, I distinctly remember asking her once Well, when's Children's Day? Why don't we get a day and she said to me every day is Children's Day. Now I understand
time like Ha I know you like
but that was interesting what you said before Jesse because that my mother was very similar. She was always busy always doing and would do it herself. We didn't have quite you know, the village that like she might she moved from Melbourne left her family over there but we had neighbors we had my my dad's parents, but I just remember always doing something unless she was sitting down with a cup of tea. You know, but Yeah, same thing i i had come in before I how I asked her but it was a similar thing. It was like I knew dad went out and played footy and he played cricket and they were his his interests. But mum didn't have anything of her own. That was just what she Yeah, yeah. And yeah, and like, I don't I just think I couldn't survive like that.
I could survive. because it's not that I, I very firmly want my children to know who I am. I want my grandchildren to know who I am. And not in a context of service like whilst I am incredibly nurturing and caring and you know, all that's a very high value for me, I yes feel very strongly that they, they also need to see me as, as the whole human that I am. And just being in their life is sort of just is one part. It's a very important part, but it's just one part of who I am.
Yeah, I love that. I'm gonna take that quote, but you're gonna hear that because that is that it's in a nutshell that's literally it. Like, I feel the same that my boys like I'm I'm very visual with what I like I leave the house to go sing and perform. I know I'm in my studio doing things. And it's like, this is me like like you said, Mary you don't your your passions and the things that you love and your abilities and your gifts. They don't just disappear just because you have. So yeah, I think it's very important, yeah.
The saddest thing for me was how long it actually took me to acknowledge them, because all I wanted to ever be was a mom. And I thought, okay, No, Mom. Life goals achieved great, too. And that's now my role. I am secondary to my daughter, she's the most important thing. And that's what I focus on. And obviously, that's just a recipe for disaster. Like it's not going to work. It's not sustainable. And especially I had a daughter, who was for two years of her life, she was awake, constantly, she would wake up, just I would think I had five minutes and not it just wasn't going to happen. Every creak of a floorboard, she would pee. And the more I was pouring into the mothering side, the worse I was feeling, it's just inevitable. I guess that that happens if you're taking no time for yourself. But when we talk about things about what makes a good man, that's what it was. for me. I sacrificed every need every one every everything for my kids. And now that I'm unraveling all this stuff, and pulling back all the layers, I realize how incredibly damaging that is. And that's not something I want to pass to my daughter, why would I want her to think her importance on a priority list is, you know, way down the bottom. That's not That's not a lesson I want to teach. So then it became a, it became a focus to say, Okay, well, no, I am taking that time, I am taking that 10 minutes, I am taking that half an hour and I'm not going to feel incredibly guilty about it every single time I do it, you know, I'm allowed to have a shower in peace. I'm out, but I was I felt so guilty just to jump in the shower, because I knew she would be crying. But I need to show up. I mean, a basic human need. And I'm myself of that. It's, it's just horrible. And I think that and just the conditioning around it all. My mom was the same as yours. You know, same thing. It was limited hobbies. I don't even really know what they were now. Now. She's retired and kind of a bit lost of like, what am I doing for myself? I'm sort of encouraging her now. In her 60s, like Mum, you know, I'm writing this book about like, it could really benefit. Because I do I love her and I want her to see that side. And I think she I think she does and she slowly undoing stories of the 60s, you know, I don't want to be my
voice start living.
But that is so that's it's a really good point too. It's like it's it's not just for moms who are mothering, actively mothering roles now, is for anyone who's been a mom, or still a mom, you know what I mean? It's like that generation, it doesn't matter how old you are. That's such a good point. It seems
like they like you get might get to a certain point and they sort of release I know what my sister and I worry now, probably early 20s, late teens, early 20s. And it's just it, it was like all of a sudden, right? My time and you know, she was you know, hanging out with friends a lot more and going out and doing all of these things and but then, you know, reflecting on that, that obviously that That hurts my heart that she probably wanted to be doing those things, you know, the whole time and then for all of the reasons that we've talked about she she didn't and you know, like it's I don't watch it didn't want that for her. And I've said to her so many times, you deserved more than that. You deserve to be able to do what brought you joy. And I don't know. I don't really know how she feels about hearing that from you know, like, yeah, like, Oh, what do you know? Um, but yeah, you know, like, it's she. We all deserve. We all deserve it.
Yeah, that is that is so true
you're listening to the art of being a mom with my mom, Alison Newman.
Mary, do you mind if I ask? You talked about sort of unraveling that, or changing that story for yourself about just needing to be mum, and putting yourself further down the list when you talked about it changing. But was there a sort of a moment or something that triggered you to start to see that in yourself?
Oh, you know what, I'm, I've been asked this a few times. And kind of when I reflect, I realized it wasn't one big moment in time. But it was that accumulation of Well, the fact that my nervous system was rattling constantly. And with every cry with every screen with every you know, it was just I felt incredibly triggered. And so I have spoken about this in podcast before, but I experienced like intense anger and rage. I'm sorry, Bubba, Come on, honey. And I didn't know where that rage was coming from. I mean, I've always been like a passionate sort of person. Fiery, I guess it's like the great bloody me you can't get like, we have a bit of warmth and passion when we do things. But I had a temper, I would say, but not that not the level of rage that sort of was coming out of me like it was explosive. Kind of like, what is going on. I'd never experienced it that way before. And then obviously the guilt and the shame pops in. Because you're like I, I'm feeling this way towards the situation of being a mom is the one thing I wanted. And I'm not even appreciating. It's that cycle like that in a talk that, you know, that little person just sitting there talking to me in the back of my mind is horrible, would say horrible things. But it was me doing it to myself, which is the saddest part for me now. So I don't think it was one big moment it was more just recognizing, like, where is this coming from? Why am I having these feelings? I need to pull in some support here, or I need to be looking at things differently. And then it's just a very slow. It's just a very slow one day one hour at a time process. You know, I see Sophie bra. Oh, she's starting a membership. This could be interesting. And that that really was a big catalyst listening to podcasts hear the word Mitra says, Oh, what is that word? I've not heard of this before? You know, and then yeah, it was just that it was just those small, incremental moments that sort of were building and building until I just kind of went no, I this is not my reality. Now I'm not accepting this as my motherhood experience, and I'm not doing it this way anymore. And then just chlorine, chlorine back and I say chlorine, because like, it is a fight you're fighting against, like you're fighting against not only yourself and that inner chatter, but like we talked about before you're fighting against a society that is actively pushing against you and feels incredibly hard. And I guess again, this is why the picture book is just a beautiful combination of this for me, because it is fun still, like, yes, our book is for mums. But the kids are going to enjoy it as well. It's playful. And I think Jessie and I really exude that, like we enjoy that. Like we have fun when I met her in person as like, I've known him my whole life. mucking around, talking laughing like it was it was easy and easy. And yeah, but it's that that like the mom who found this path couldn't have come in 2020 Like it wasn't ready to be here in 2020 we were we were doing our own thing. Like we were battling our own stuff. We were on that journey. We knew each other but not as well then, but we all kind of like unraveling our stuff to eventually kind of joined together in this book. But yeah, it was not something that could have come in earlier. So yeah, it's it's just you just don't get told this before you become a mom, like how much you have to fight against things that you feel sometimes very much like they're set up to just make you fail. You know? You just don't know this. And I mean, I don't know I always think about how we could have done things differently. But when it's your first kid, it's what you're around and what you hear. I wasn't around Dr. Sophie Brockman, I didn't even know she existed. I didn't know people like Jessie existed. I didn't know this podcast would have been a thing like you don't know any of this stuff until you're right in it and have conversations about this a lot. Like how could we, you know, prevention over cure, essentially, like getting earlier? And some people are adamant that no, you just have to be in it to understand, but for me, the teacher salaries, I know, we can be doing better for new moms, because then they're not actively seeking out information at the most vulnerable time in their life. They're not scraping together this web, this support network when they're just sleep deprived, and like a really low point in their life. Like we shouldn't have to be waiting for that. Yeah, but I don't know. I don't know then what the answer is, I guess spark was our little way of doing that. Just like the past is your little way of doing it. It's all part of the bigger puzzle, you know? Yeah,
absolutely. That's what I tell myself like, because you feel like you want to get out there and shake the chains. Like just do something on change everything. That's that's not going to happen. So it's like little bits, little bits all joined together to make hopefully the big change.
Let's try we can only make change at the table we're
at that's like that. That's a nice. Yeah, well, I
can't take one mark. Is it Abby Wambach? Lennon, Doyle's partner said she did a beautiful big post might have been six, eight months ago. And it was just essentially about making change at the table that you're at. So you have to remember that one that's really good with it was incredibly powerful article. And it's obviously it's stuck in my mind, because you do you want to just you want to shake the chains. But like, but that can feel so overwhelming. So how can I, you know, take a step back from that. And what can I do? What can I do to to make those changes make those incremental changes? Yeah,
I think the journey all moms go on isn't that we kind of like get to that point of yes, we know, there needs to be that big structural change. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it, right? But then you go, but I am one person who is at this intense period of my life, like Jesse was talking about before. And I don't have the capacity to pull down everything and start from scratch, like, do that. But maybe if I choose to go out with my feet on the grass, instead of doing the dishes today, or taking a little bit back, you know, maybe when he gets home, I feel confident enough to say, Hey, I just need half an hour in the room. I'll be back out and ready to go. I just need that time to regroup after a whole day. Perfect. So you take it back a little bit, you know, it's like taking just taking the little pieces back. And that's what I said before it's clawing it back. Feels like that's what you have to do. And again, it I don't agree with this is how it is, but it's the reality of it. So just take those little pockets of time for yourself, you know, because you do matter, we talk we are human beings. I mean, I used to teach this to my kids. A human being You're a beautiful person, we respect each other in this room because we are all human beings. And that's why there's no other reason but that because we're human beings all living on this earth and we can respect each other and like I used to teach it and then I become a mom and I show myself zero respect 00 care. Like it No, it just doesn't work again. It's not a sustainable model. It's yeah absolutely.
Interesting thing isn't that, like, I was not using it to my advantage prior to becoming a mom, I was just consuming the content. Oh, yeah. You know, and obviously, what do you see of moms these perfectly color coordinated photos, everything put together, no masks, you know, all of that. And then when I started using social media differently, you made adjusted, you know, I gotta say, you start building this web, and you realize, okay, if mothers can use it in this way, perfect, really like a great tool in the toolbox. But I think and that's what we talked about before before you become a mom Um, you're not you're not looking for these words, you're not looking for these things. Because what do we get told? Have the beautiful nursery get the beautiful cost? Decorate the room? Or what? You know, what beautiful prints do you have on the wall, my daughter never went into the car, I ended up getting my friend who had just had a third baby. And I said take it, I hope it gets used somewhere else. I'm glad I'm happy to pass that on. Because we didn't use it, it became just a piece of decoration in my room. And this is a very real reality for a lot of people not to say like some kids will go in the car. That's fine. Mine just never did. And, yeah, there's so many shoulds being thrown at me like what I should be doing, Oh, I must be a bad mom. Because my daughter cries a lot. My daughter is very vocal, I must be a bad mom, because she's not sleeping. Well, I must be a bad mom. And that's why she's doing these things. And it took me so long to flip that around and go, No, it's got nothing to do, mate. She is who she is. And I am just doing the best I can with the support that I have at the time with the information I have. I'm just doing my best. And yeah, I mean, we know this as well, your kids get sent to you for a very real reason. Like, I do believe this. And I really love that you spoke about having that big gap because my daughter is three. So obviously, you know, people are already having you next. And for me, um, sometimes I sometimes find it really hard to get my head around it because I'm going to be thrown back in that am I going to be able to cope? Like I know, I have a better support network. Now I know I've resourced myself better. But I know. I know what it can be like to it anymore. And I, you know, I consider all of these things. So I find that tricky. So I love that you talked about a gap because that is something I'm seriously thinking about? Like, am I supposed to have a bigger gap? Where do I sit with that? And very much just trying to get rid of the hole what you should be doing? Because there are no rules here. Like, yeah, there are rules that we have to follow can look different for every person.
Yeah, and that was something that I like, between having my kids, obviously, seven years ago and past I was a lot older, and experienced a lot more life. But I did start working in childcare. And in that time, and that was, for me, the biggest thing that I learned that every baby is different. And it really doesn't matter what you do. Like, you know, parents would have instructions of you know, feed them to sleep with a bottle, put them in the awake with a dummy, wrap them, don't wrap them, put them on their side, put them on their belly, like the nurse, like cuddle them, make sure they're asleep before you put them all this sort of stuff. And I just opened my eyes to like there really, there's no right or wrong, because that's that was in my head at that point. Like I'm quite a black and white kind of person, like very, like, I don't know, a structure routine. I like predictability. And so having a baby was like the opposite of all that, you know. And I talked myself into that I was gonna have this baby that was gonna be on this schedule, and whatever. And if not, then yeah, now that I know, this child, I've known, you know, for 15 years, he was never going to be on the schedule, like that kid does not do it. So I had this book that I'd written in, when I was sort of thinking about having another one, like, all the things that I would do different and it was like, Don't be hard on yourself. Don't be hard on your baby, you know, like, sit and cuddle them for ages, like in the books that said, No, you can't cuddle them. After so many weeks, they get used to it, and then they will want you all the time. It was ridiculous. Isn't that God, like? And I read? I think back on those times. And I think my god like that. I don't know, if there's been long term damage done to our relationship because of it. You know, we'll never know the stuff that you think God being told not to hold your child in case they might want you. That's life. People want each other, you know, we want connection we want. We want people and yeah, so I had this massive, long list of things that I would do. And it wasn't necessarily all this practical stuff. It was how I would be kinder to myself. And the expectations that I wouldn't put on myself like breastfeeding. I had to breastfeed my first child. And I went through hell, because I had this idea in my head that you had to breastfeed your child exclusively. And society thing you know, and I remember times of just being in tears, because he wouldn't latch properly. And my husband's like, ah, do you think I should go get some formula? And I was like, No, don't you dare get formula I can do this, you know, and I was sending myself insane. And the best thing that ever happened to me was that when my baby second baby was born, he was really tiny really underweight and he was in one of those little hot box things. I don't know what the directories we know what great, that's fine. But you know, they gave him formula to keep him alive to my milk came in. And it was like it was out of my hands, which was wonderful. You know, it was just taken away from me that I had to put this pressure on myself. And I noticed actually Just see if you want to talk about it or not. I'm not sure because I haven't asked yet. But in that quote that I read, there was a next bit about doing it differently the second time. Yeah. Can you share a little bit about that?
Yeah, I am. As I sort of said earlier, I, I, my mental health was atrocious after Finley was born. And I remember sort of sitting in my GPS office, and she was wonderful. She was so wonderful. I was sitting there with a coffee with America's coffee. And my mom was sitting next to me, holding Finley bought me in this beautiful GP was going through the questions, you know, checking in on my mental health. And before I could really say, match my mom, because we were leaving with her at the time, because we were renovating to sell. So my partner and I became parents under her roof. We brought family home from the hospital there, like he grew up the first two and a half years of his life there. And yeah, sort of before I could answer much, my mom, you know, really reassuringly that unknown Yeah, but just as fine. You know, there's, there's not a great deal of pressure on her. I'm doing x y Zed. So, obviously, at that point, I was just like, Yeah, I'm fine. But I wasn't fine. I, you know, I'd had a very traumatic birth. And I think because of that, I had this fierce love for this little boy, my little world changer. His name is Scottish. And it means fair warrior. And I think the way he entered the world definitely, definitely reinforced that that was the correct name for him. I had this fierce love for him is protecting the small protected Mama Bear. But I was really struggling to enjoy the day, today, of you know, the changing bombs and things like and I you know, I could follow a structure, but just sort of feeling, you know, fulfilled. It just wasn't sort of there for me at first. And I was very, very disconnected, very, very disconnected. And like I said, I was very, very mentally unwell. And it wasn't. You know, as I said earlier, it wasn't until I started to actually focus on my needs. Again, I remember that particular moment, I was about Finley, who was maybe eight months old. And I said to my mom, can I go to a cafe? And so she had him. And I went to this cafe. I sat down with my laptop, I called ahead of time, I was like, Can I book a table with a PowerPoint? Because I had my videos about 20 years old. So she has to I've got a new one now. The new new laptop. Yeah. But yeah, my way I could not use it without being plugged in. So I had to call him time. Can I please have a table anyway? So booked me in had my name is I was I sat there. And I just wrote, I wrote and wrote and wrote for about two hours. And when I got back in the car, just how just, you know, sparkly, I feel I was absolutely on top of the world that I got to sit and do something that I really enjoyed. And it was, I think I I reviewed a jay Shetty podcast, and it was just, you know, trying to reflect on how it was relevant for my life and, and then just wrote a few other bits and pieces. And it just was just absolutely phenomenal. But I think as well, I did. You know, I did want to sort of come across as someone who had it all together as well, you know, I did it I very much because my mental health isolated myself from thin friends and extended family, I remember, we really didn't get out of the house very much at all. So yeah, fast forward that few years when I'd really started to get to know more about who I was as a mom and what brought me joy. That was when you're leaving into Esther, I really decided I really knew I needed to make sure that I had that creative practice, integrated and that I had spoken to people around me about what that could look like, just to Yeah, to really contribute to making sure I stayed mentally well, you know, regardless of what the birth was like that I was, you know, very sort of maintained that that wellness afterwards and I mean, SS birth was awesome. It was I felt incredibly powerful like after her birth, and I can't downplay how much of that additionally contributed to my mental health. Yeah, just not even remotely the same as the first one. But I think another really important thing was that Mitch and I So we were all we were living in our new house that he actually built, which was wonderful. So our kids get to say, Daddy built this house. So that's so lovely. But we, we let go of the things. So, you know, washing would pile up, but hey, they will clean, it was fine. I didn't need to go away. Maybe the dishwasher didn't go on, you know, toys stayed out, I let go of what we were talking before about, you know, perfectly curated Instagram feed I let go of that. I was like, that's not me. That's not gonna happen. Because we sort of stayed in our bubble a little bit. But we most definitely, we had meals already in the freezer ready to go. And, you know, I, I'd made sure that the only was still out of there, go out doing fun things with family a few days a week. So I just had that time with their star. And yeah, so I, I really intentionally looked at what state what kept me mentally well, and then incorporated that as best I could. But it didn't mean that I didn't have down moments and down days, and that's what I made sure I shared as well on on my Instagram, because I didn't want it to be this highlight reel of Yes, I'm fine all the time. I wanted it to be much more, you know, vulnerable and real. I guess. Just just more real, have that experience that? Yes, we will. We will have some incredible moments, but there will also be some challenging, challenging quotes as well. So yeah, I think those are probably the key things I did differently. But we talk about laughter and being silly. And that is something that it's, it's incredibly important to me to incorporate fun into, you know, anything that that I do and going back to Dr. Sophie Brock, remember what I did. What sort of led me to her is that a friend? Just before her membership, she had a course. And I think it was deliberate. And a lot of yes, in part of liberate was you had to write your motherhood manifesto. And for me, the top thing I wrote and I still have it was around integrating fun and silliness into my day and my parenting. So yeah, that was that's been something, I guess leading into it. I wouldn't have thought about but as Mary said, you know, these little things that continue to happen and snowball. Yeah, so I guess that's in a snapshot, you know, in a really brief way things I might I did a bit differently. No, that's
awesome. And I love that, that, that fun, because I feel like you can get bogged down so much in the day to day and the grind and you can actually forget, you know, to be light hearted and enjoy yourself and and and I think that also helps your relationship to with your partner, if you can actually attorney then you're not as grumpy as always, and you can have that, you know, that fun that you would have had before you had the kids? I guess you reminded of that.
Yeah, well, we actually the other week, my mom had them both of ours for the full day, a full day, which had not happened outside of you know, having to work. And I said to me it we can like look at each other, and like talk to each other. And it was so it was so funny. We watch movies, we went and had lunch and wine and then we come back and watch more movies. That is awesome. Yeah, so it was just it was wonderful because I mean we can sometimes forget in the busyness and you know the depletion sometimes of it to to nurture those relations off. Absolutely I mean I've I've done it many times so it was lovely to just go oh yes hello
Yeah, it's easy to take each other for granted this for sure.
Mary I want to come back to something you've said a couple of times and I've got to jump on it now about mom guilt. How do you feel about it now? After you know you shared your experience about not feeling like you could have a shower or and that sort of stuff? What What are your thoughts on it in these
days? Oh, entirely, entirely different. So I mean, I still feel it occasionally. Sometimes, I think it's inevitable that we'll feel it to some extent, just the same way, I believe dads would feel guilty about something as well, just the normal sort of human experience of feeling guilt. But in terms of actually being a mom and taking that time for myself, no. So I guess it's twofold. I haven't done a lot of that conditioning around what I'm allowed to do, or whatever, you know, and what will make me feel good. And I've also communicated to hubby very explicitly. And I mean, like, very explicitly, all Mary would have been that person that sort of didn't communicate it properly, and then kind of let it fester in the background, and then went quiet or eventually flew off the handle, and he would have no idea what I was upset about, or what was going on. And so I guess the teaching skills coming up, like very explicit and direct of when you come home sometimes and I'm fed up and I've had a day, I just, I'm going to take half an hour, and I don't, I don't want to feel guilty about it. I don't want to feel bad about it. I just need you to take her and just do what you need to do. And I will repeat when I feel like I will reappear when I'm more than ready. And yeah, no, I don't feel guilty about that at all. Because I'm with my daughter still sort of 24/7 She's not in any type of care. Again, as you can hear she's back again with her animals and just wanting to make an appearance in our podcast. Because I am with her all the time. I think it goes back together those little moments that I can get and finding. Like finding things we both enjoy doing, right? Like I love going up to the lookout around my area just because it's peaceful, and I enjoy it. And she loves it. She's kind of plotted around or to the birds. And I think so make it a priority to go. Yeah, well, we can go up to the lookout and we can spend time together there. And I don't need to feel guilty about like, no, everybody's getting their needs met. Right? Yeah, yeah. So yeah, I think a lot about how we can create Win Win situations as well. It's not always going to be the case. Of course, I go to many a library, dance class and art class and playing groups and gymnastics today. Actually, I can make it a priority to go. Yeah, I can talk to mums there. And I can still make it an enjoyable experience for me as well. Yeah, no, I don't, I don't feel as guilty. I say no, a lot more. My family lives in Sydney. So sometimes have you will want to go see in laws on like me, I'm actually not going to come today, you take it out, you take home and you're gonna have a great time. And I don't have to feel bad about that. I don't need to be everywhere, all the time. Because my risk matters. I explained it to a friend the other day as I know what it feels like to have a rattling nervous system constantly. So when it's rattling, and once you recognize how to calm that and feel at peace, you can't you can't go back I accept nothing less essentially. So the guilt kind of dissolved with that. Yeah, over time, essentially kind of dissolved, I think on its own. Because I realized I was a better mom, a better wife a better person when I was taking care of those things. So why should I feel guilty about that's a positive?
Absolutely. I'm just
trying to do a podcast with a three year old would have brought me incredible, like anxiety years ago, but now I find him just roll with the punches. Yeah,
that's such my role model marry with that, I mean, so many times with us working together. Because I guess I feel, you know, you've got that still within me and it's dissolving, but you know, that that sort of people pleasing that, you know, validation, like and wanting to move things quickly. Yeah. Mary has been so wonderful at just helping me take a breath. And, you know, not move faster than we need to and just, you know, what, it's fine that doesn't need to be done today. And so, even though you know, I understand some of that, you know, the theory understood it theoretically, about you know, how to come on over system and, and I'm relatively okay with it. I still sometimes need that prompt of, hey, how about we just take a breath and let's just push this back.
But I will say on the flip side, Jesse goes fast and I go slower, as in not fast in a bad way. But we've probably we meet beautifully in the middle so I really need her to give me a bit of a kick.
It's been so perfectly. It's been very complimentary as an IT because your mirror will be like, Oh, look, how about we consider x y Zed. And that's been a very crucial element to, you know, maybe the story or what we're doing. But if I'd wanted to speed on past that, it wouldn't have been addressed in a way that gave it the most kind of meaning and impact. Yeah, so, yeah, we've needed each other. And I mean, there's been some times to when, you know, we've wanted to consider something. And I said, Oh, no, no, excellent. You know, let's go. And then we have, but we've needed both to be able to bring this project to you to where it is. So yeah, we perfectly complement each other.
Really, it sounds amazing. Isn't it funny hate people, you just meet people in your life like that, like just the randomness of everything that's had to happen to get you to get the point where you're at? It's just, I love stuff like that.
Yes, absolutely. I mean, yeah, within, like, straightaway, Mary and Mitch, were just, you know, giggling with each other. And because he's very cheeky, and Mary is totally on board that train. So, you know, like, they were bouncing off each other. And our kids were playing wonderfully, but because we have similar similar parenting values, like we could perfectly support them in whatever they were feeling in any moment. So it was, it was easy for that reason, as well, which is sometimes half the battle with
Yeah, that's the how to search for it. parenting styles are afflicting it can be tricky.
You know, like everyone's doing the best they can. So yes, I absolutely acknowledge that. But it was yes, it was very useful. But yes, it was a random series of events.
Yeah. No, love it. I just love it.
So where are you? At? what point are you at with the book at the moment? Oh, do you
want to talk about that America?
I'm being doctor at the same time because I was multitasking Mark. I'm a vet. I'm helping some animals here. Do they seem to be a yes. At all? Um, yeah. So basically, we have an illustrator over in the US who is very hard on working on our storyboard. We've sort of finalized that, essentially. And she's got sketches. So it's so interesting getting set the updates, and you realize what she's done a few more pages and the words that we've said, and the description we've given her actually come until it's real. So yeah, so we're still hoping for an end of June release. And I think we're on track with that. But also open to the fact that, you know, if it pushes out to July, we're okay with that as well. But yeah, it's just a lot of back and forth with the illustrator now. So the thing is, I sometimes feel sorry for our Illustrator, because she's incredibly patient, and we throw a lot at her, we really do. Traditionally, you know, if you were to because we're self publishing, if you were to actually get a published, you would send a manuscript, they would essentially choose an illustrator, your book would appear illustrated. But yeah, we have very big ideas of what could be on each page, we just can't actually bring it to life ourselves. So you're trying to get her to kind of understand that has been like a journey. And you know, it's hard when you got something in your head, and you're trying to really explain it, but she's, she's doing beautifully with that. So we're um, yeah, I think I feel like we're on track. She's kind of really pushing along now. Yeah. We're just sort of thinking about what the front cover should be. We're going back and forth. But that's starting to make more sense. And then, yeah, we have, we had run our Kickstarter campaign back in November to December of last year, and raise what we raised $8,000 For our book to be published. So very interesting. You Yeah, so we kind of ran this thinking, oh, yeah, we'll get some support. Like, we know, we've got some people out there that want to see this book come to life. But then we got an incredible amount of support and managed to fund it through that. So yeah, there's people with some pre orders and things like that. And we just kept sort of slowly pushing the message, but Jesse does work as well. I've got Missy with you do it in the pockets of time. Yeah. But we could be doing more maybe. But I don't know. We're just sort of doing it at our own pace, you know, and it's all sort of making sense like Jesse said, like if we had persevered and tried to get this book out like already or even last year or something. I just, it might not have had the depth and the layers to it, as it has an Yeah, so we're just we're just sort of doing our thing. And I'm excited to hold it in my hands is a big part of me that thinks is not real.
It's real. It's real. It's happening.
I've seen the storyboard and I think, yeah, that's us, like, this is somebody else. We, we are doing this, we just need to hold it first. Yeah.
But there's been so many beautiful moments to it. Because Mary and I have spoken so much, it's, we will be so excited to hold it. But we have had so much fun, doing basically every step of the process, you know, from coming up with a manuscript to starting to share online to spark October to putting together a Kickstarter, which is a feat in itself. And then to having that actually be successful. I think we were will be one or two days out from the deadline. And we will basically refresh it. You know, I was at home for the day doing, you know, parenting, but always like refreshing it. And this donation come in, that was the exact amount we needed to kick it over. And I was like, grab the phone call Mary. She said she's looking at going, you must have fun. Anyway, it was just
that in itself means. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. And I love that you guys, you're not, you're not pushing it. Like, it's a thing that happens. As a you know, what's the word in conjunction with your life, like it fits into your life? So then hopefully, it doesn't cause you know, extra stress or, you know, because, yeah, we've all got that already. So, you know, it's just something enjoyable. And, you know, yeah, keeps you're
gonna cut that out. But oh, no, I say, um, all the time.
But yeah, it's a thing that you guys can experience and enjoy and look back on that the process was enjoyable, you know? Yeah. And that, for
me, it's always it's very important. I have to, it's not just the outcome that I need to be, you know, in love with, it's the process of getting to that outcome. The act in itself has to bring me joy felt really to be to be worth it. At the other end, so, yeah, because I guess, you know, for me, it's your being able to access our creativity. You know, it is it's a stress relief. And but I think, though, too, it doesn't always owe us anything, you know, in this moment, it's bringing me joy, it doesn't necessarily have to have that tangible, tangible outcome. I don't, it's so interesting to think how many hours we would have spent on it, and I would do it again, I wouldn't get Yeah, my husband
actually said that you're saying is how many hours? Do you think you spent? I said, I don't know. I mean, I was doing it with a with a tablet tucked under my arm. You know, I'm a night owl Jesse's an early riser. So I would be sending stuff in a Canva document. She'd get it at 5am and reply and that sort of that we worked it. But yeah, he asked that any any made this joke lots of you know, you can be famous with this book. I said, my intention? Yeah, sorry, guys. I have no intention of being I don't want to be famous. In fact, if I just have one man that reads it and goes, that's a little bit better. And it reminded me that, you know, I do matter now, like I can focus my thoughts on life. Like, I'm winning. And it's so cliche to say it that way, but that genuinely is how we're thinking about it. Like, we're not trying to get anything from it. It's not it's just, it's just an expression wrapped up in a picture book. For others to enjoy. And that's it. It's
like a see, like, for me to him. Finley doesn't really care now too much. But one day, I'm sure both of them will know more. And I mean, for me to just be able to, you know, give that to my children. What's legacy? See, you know, so exactly what Mary said, you know, for just even if one mom reads it and resonates with it, and maybe feels empowered to make some changes in her life or ask for what she wants or needs, and then for our children to me, maybe. Yeah, you know, I will not see coming back to what I was saying before my children who know me
absolutely, yes. Oh, I love it. I love it. It's so exciting. Good on you girls. I'm really excited for it.
Sorry, we have to be best place for people to follow along. And you mentioned about pre orders. Can people pre order or is that was that just on the Kickstarter
thing. We'll we've just got to sought that out. So yeah, we're, we're in the process of making sure that people can can do that ahead of time. But we are having the most fun over on our Instagram we marry out
at the mom who found her sparkle, so it's just our joint one. We do things on our separate ones and often posted there as well. And we pop up a lot sometimes, although we might disappear for a little while, then we pop up. Again, we this is how we're rolling with it. But yeah, the mummy found a sparkle is where you find everything book related, essentially.
Excellent. I'll put a hyperlink in the show notes so people can click along and follow the journey. Oh, that's right. It's so lovely to have you both on today. Thank you so much for having
me. And unmuting every.
It's, it's been wonderful. That's been great. And all the best with it. I really hope it's it's, I don't know that feeling when you do get it in your hands. It's like this amazing moment for you both, I think. Yeah, wonderful. And I will definitely be getting a copy of myself. So I think adding it to my collection of spoken to people on the podcast is pretty cool.
You would have a wonderful collection of things based on the beautiful conversations. You've had
lots of lovely books. I'm very, very fortunate actually, this feels like a sort of an off side of like an unexpected side of talking to lots of people is is I have just collected lots of amazing books.
So yeah, so we're looking forward to add your book tour at some point in the very near future. Thanks again. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. The music you heard featured on today's episode was from LM Joe, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, Emma Anderson and her husband, John. If you'd like to hear more, you can find a link to us in the show notes. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom