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Season 2 Special

Recap of Season 2


Season 2 Special

Listen and subscribe on Spotify and itunes/Apple podcasts

We've come to the end of another year. As we say goodbye to 2022, I thought I'd take this opportunity to relive some of my favorite moments from the podcast over the past 12 months.

It goes without saying that without my amazing guests, this show would not happen. They put so much trust in me. They open themselves up, make themselves incredibly vulnerable. They hand me all of their thoughts and their feelings. And they trust me to put it together and present it to the world to complete strangers, like you, dear listener. And it goes without saying that if it was not for you, then I probably wouldn't keep doing this podcast. Thank you so much for listening.

Thank you so much for giving these incredible mothers your time for inviting them into your homes. And I hope that by hearing their story, it gives you courage, it gives you confidence and it sends you a big virtual hug, to know that wherever you are in the world, we're all in this together. We all feel the same way.

Enjoy this special episode to round off Season 2 of The Art of Being a Mum

**We discuss mental health issues, miscarriage, body image and diet culture on this recap**

Podcast - instagram / website

Music used with permission from Alemjo, Australian new age and ambient music trio, Georgia Fields Australian indie artist and guest in Season 1, and Scott Maxwell Father's Day episode from Season 2

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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!


Thank you!


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. It'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 juggler, 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. We've come to the end of another year. As we say goodbye to 2022, I thought I'd take this opportunity to relive some of my favorite moments from the podcast over the past 12 months. It goes without saying that without my amazing guests, this show would not happen. They put so much trust in me. They open themselves up, make themselves incredibly vulnerable. They hand me all of their thoughts and their feelings. And they trust me to put it together and present it to the world to complete strangers, like you, dear listener. And it goes without saying that if it was not for you, then I probably wouldn't keep doing this podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for giving these incredible mothers your time for inviting them into your homes. And I hope that by hearing their story, it gives you courage, it gives you confidence and it sends you a big Virtual hug, to know that wherever you are in the world. We're all in this together. We all feel the same way. And we all at times have a lot of trouble expressing that to other members of society. Thank you again. Enjoy this special episode to round off season two of the art of being a mum Kate Mildenhall, Australian writer podcaster and educator.

I'd had this moment when the book came out of kind of re identifying as as as a writer and well I'm a professional out in this world. But also then I just come home and back to packing snacks and feeling guilty about them not being organic and the rest of it.

Monica Crowley, Irish printmaker, oils, artist and visual artist,

I find it very hard to do a picture doesn't have some kind of personal or autobiographical meaning for me, I don't just sit down and do something that looks nice. Which is it's a weird layer to put on myself. i Some people are just able to enjoy the process of painting. And but, uh, sometimes I feel like, you know, I think about it, I overthink things maybe I don't know.

Is it sort of like a way of processing experiences or remembering things or making sure you remember things is anything like? Yeah,

I think actually, my art is really therapy. For me, it's how I work through my own emotions. Like, initially, I know my, my print practice, I started, I was actually doing a lot of prints of places I traveled and using photographs I took him I think when I became pregnant with my first child, just this huge wash of terror and emotions. And you know, this, the weight of expectation of, you know, actually, I often say is, in my like, artist statement, like, my work is all about identity crisis. And you know, and I think that was the point when my art practice changed to become this personal thing, where I needed art to work through my own emotions to try and make sense of them. And sometimes I'll do like a body of work and then step back from it and go, Okay, now I understand what that was about. And this is an I can totally see. When I finished where it all came from, and kind of understand myself that little bit better, right.

Jessica Mendez, Canadian water colorist and illustrator.

Well I started was more, like I said, when, like our evenings became our own again, like when my daughter was around six months. And at that time, I've just kind of like, use the time that you need to, like, clean or do laundry and just boring things. Or if I wanted to, like sit down, I would just, you know, like scrolled the news, which is so negative during this time. So I just, I just wanted something that was fun and more positive. And it ended up being like a really good thing that I chose to do.

Charlotte Conde, US artist, Illustrator, and designer.

You're worrying about someone else all day, and you're meeting all their needs all day long. It feels almost like you're disappearing as a human being the roughest part for me. While it was so hard when they were little, and I felt lost sometimes was when my son went to school, though. Because then I was like, What am I gonna do with my life? Like? It's not like, they don't need me now. But it's a different need, like that kind of self sufficient. And they're going to school for a good chunk of the day. Like, what am I going to do? And that is when the art got pretty intense for me, because

I needed to explore

that for myself.

Submit the red fin, British expat mixed media visual artist,

this recurring dream, where we had a house and one day just discovered this door and opened a door. And it's this whole wing, like a house. Like there's stuff that we didn't even knew we had. And it's like, Oh, my God,

when did we get bought this house this week.

And you just like, I had this dream so often. And then looking into it and doing a bit of research. And they say it's when you're, there's a part of yourself that you're ignoring, and neglecting. And it's there the whole time going, come on, come discover me. And it made total sense. And like, because this is I've done, I've literally shut myself off. My interests, my creativity just was like, just not being utilized. I used to tell my kids stories and made them up and that kind of thing. So it was creative in different ways. But in terms of actually physically creating an art piece, it was totally neglected.

Semi line, us mixed media, paper artist.

Life feel like I could sprinkle mom guilt across the world. And that's leftover like so then after after I hear all these other people say that they don't have it. I'm like, Okay, well, what is mom guilt to me? You know, because then it's like, kind of this really interesting question of like, well, what does that mean? And? And then when do I have it? And I never have it with the creative stuff. I think it comes back to you know, when I talked about sort of the core identity of being a creative and like, this is a lifestyle, instead of a choice. Yeah. And so I think where I have had the most trouble with mom guilt is, I feel like I always want to look at each individual kid, and try and make the best choice for that kid, you know, and in the pandemic, I feel like there were no good choices.

Rosie Rutherford, British clarinetist and freelance musician. What's your thoughts about mum guilt?

I feel like we shouldn't have it. But I think so many of us do. I think it just stems because you care. And you want to make the right choices for your children. And I think as mums, there's this thing isn't in there anything that you do for yourself. It's at the expense of doing it for your children. And I feel like now my attitude towards it has developed after like being on my third child, because I know, when I just had Ruby, you know, kind of anything feel really, really bad. And I wouldn't, I'd be like, Oh, no, I can't do anything for myself. I can't go for a run because the house is a mess. And I've got to do this. I've got to do the washing and everything before I do this little thing myself. And now, I'm a bit like, well, if I want to play my bass clarinet for 10 minutes, the house isn't there, then I'm just going to do it because I only have one life and it's not fair on everyone else that I'm resentful because I don't get to do it.

Then Lin, Australian pianist and influencer

in China Social Media what they tried to say that woman needs to wake up. So I guess it's a bit late, but at least they asked me to have this slogan. Woman You have to wake up. You're not just a mom. You're also different. So I guess the Australia this is so natural, like, I saw my friend like yesterday, they get butts today they already you know, grabbing the baby just at the workplace. Yeah. And you cannot do that you turn up people just like what are you crazy and that's why I love Australia because I just feel like I can race and I can do whatever I want. So I know I was born in China, but there are things I don't like. And what I'm doing now is I don't judge about the things I don't like I just support the things I like and let more people know about it. And I wanted to let people know about it no matter how many children I have, I'm still a woman

get and masa kindler, Hungarian born flautist, composer, and pianist

people around me, reduce me from this to this biological being, you are now a mother, you have to do this, this and this and this, and you should not do more. And we don't want more from you. This is now what you have to do. This is your responsibility now, to be your biological being. Not a person, not a woman, and not an artist. And in the first few months, I felt it. I was on the road with with my baby in the pram and you know, that people seeing in you just the mother, you will not recognize. Like, like a woman. This is this is a mother with a small child. And that was

Kelly knives, Australian professional stylist.

And I just thought, you know what, I just I need something I need something to take my mind off of just motherhood to make me feel like me and I, I genuinely think you know, it was the best thing I ever did in everyone's different some people are like, Yep, I need to get back to work for the same reason other people are like, No, I need to just give motherhood, my all and that's my focus. And I don't think there's a right or a wrong, I think it's about what what you feel is best for you and what you think is best for your family and your mental health. And I know I said that to my daughter quite a few times. And like, you know, it's not just about the baby, it's about me too. And sometimes when I've said that I almost felt a bit selfish because I felt like oh, you know, like, I should be giving motherhood, my absolute everything.

Alex McLaughlin, Canadian acrylic and watercolor artist. So is that where the watercolor started to come in a bit. Like you're just sort of testing out what else you can

do. And that does

have a lot to do with

just like incorporating my practice into my life and trying to be more efficient. Because I've never really been able to involve my kids in the studio too much. I have two really active boys. I tried I really did try to to just be casual about it and set them up and then but yeah, my oldest was could not sit still he'd get into the the worst things, you know, like climbing the walls. So and I didn't want to say no, I didn't want to say no all the time. Right. So we kind of avoided being in the studio too much. earlier on. Now I am learning with a prefer

rose Dela Cruz, New Zealand photographer.

It was important for me to have a project for myself. That is outside the routine of taking care of baby taking care of everything, you know, running the household. Yeah, you know, something that was for myself a break because then once I once I had that, it was kind of like I was able to

I don't know be more relaxed. Yeah, when I take care of her and she could feel that.

Dr. Erica ball, US classical music composer, violinist pianist and educator.

I've been to concerts by myself and people who knew me and they would you know make remarks like oh, you're missing bedtime. I'm so glad you came to the concert. Like I'm so sorry. I'd missed bedtime and I love missing bedtime. It is my least favorite part of day. Hi, I'm so glad to be here.

My husband is perfectly capable of putting our children to bed. Yeah, he does it most states even if I'm home.

Isn't that it's Interesting have the judgment people just assume that it's like, that's what you should be doing your mom, that's what you should be doing. It's like, hello, they have two parents like,

exactly. Ah, it really frustrates

me and comments like that they just don't go very far to help Donna Stevenson, senior dancer with the Australian ballet.

And also that first appointment, I think, you know, I had all these questions about the babies and you know, this feeding this and, you know, sleeping in their tummies, all this stuff, you had this list of things like all every new man does. And she's like, I don't want to talk about babies. It was so amazing. So experience is I want to talk in my mind anxious me, I just wish we could get to the things I want to talk about. So long getting to know both of us. myself lucky, our stories, how we got to this point, and you know, obviously with the traveling and the quarantine and all of the know driving on the highway and all of this and Jessica and and she's like, you know, it's a pyramid structure. And she said, everyone thinks that the parents are, you know, come last. And they're at the bottom, but it's actually the other way around. If you're at the top and it filters down, if you guys aren't okay, no one's okay. And then when it came to me, if you're not okay, no one else is okay. And that's not a burden to you. That's just where we need to put you in this picture. Because you're going to be putting yourself down here and everyone else comes first. And that the baby's needs come first. And as someone who does like perfection in that way, whenever they'd cry, I'd feel like a failure. When I couldn't settle them, I'd feel like a failure. And like lots of mums do because that's your feedback. And you equate that to how well you're doing at being a mum. And when you've got two of them at once doing that. Or when you've just got one settled and the other you think your status quo is constantly being disrupted, so therefore, you must be doing a terrible job. And someone else wouldn't be doing this better than you.

Heather McClelland, UK based singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and music educator,

I'm very much someone that like feels I'm very much someone that likes to be doing stuff, you know, I've got this quite a lot of pressure of like, oh, I need to be, you know, I like to achieve things I like to do. So it's like, we're quite driven. And then like, always, like, oh, I should be trying to do this and do that. And I want to like this. And I want to, you know, there's always a sort of drive. And I think with, when you have a child, it's been quite good for me to learn to like, just be in the moment as well jamming and not feel guilty that like, I haven't been creative, like on that day is like, oh, yeah, you can get some foam out and play on the tray or whatever, you know, it's like, you're just like, in the moment doing stuff with him and kind of discovering things of having like, these days, so yeah, you know, and he's gonna go to school in September. So it's gonna be like, this whole new chapter of like, getting sort of, you know, different time back and stuff. Chapter.

Yeah, it's exciting to look forward to that too.

Because yeah, definitely. Yeah. Five days, five days.

Louise Agnew, Australian photographer.

A lot of people believe and I added to that, once you're a mother, then you're complete. So there's this idea, this idea that becoming a mother will solve everything. But then once you become a mother, you don't feel like you're doing that job well enough all of the time. So therefore, you're not complete. And you have to keep this cycle of Yeah, that was just a thought that popped in. Ideal that you're working towards this thing, and that's when you reach the top, but it just keeps getting higher and higher. That point.

The goalposts keep shifting, I thought it was Anjali Gan, Tasha mula, Karen Mila, and Camilla flurry representing mother Wilde, a global collective of women who believe deeply in helping mothers to Mother themselves.

I really fucking love myself. And I also really care about my well being. And feeling guilty does not serve my well being, and it does not improve me as a human in any way. Guilt is for when you're doing something wrong, something bad, something malicious. So when a mom feels guilty about going out for a date night, instead of being with her kid, you're trying to tell me that her pleasure and her well being isn't a value. Or when a mom is with her kids and she's not working. She should feel bad about that. No. How does that help her in any way?

I can try my best to be as healthy as I can and curate a beautiful childhood for my children. But at the end of the day, you can experience it in their own way. And that's not mine to choose, right. But the one thing that I can control is I'm not going to give them a mom, who is resentful, who is depleted, and who, you know, is, is, yeah, just just unfulfilled and unsatisfied in her own pursuit, and life, that part I can do. And my hope is from there, those are kind of some keys and some tools for them to do that in their own way in life.

We wanted to make sure that we had like the big dreams, you know, like the maybe the once in a lifetime dreams, but we also wanted to have the dreams like just being able to have a bath by yourself without being interrupted. So I think it's just the act of dreaming versus what the dream is. And, you know, we kind of say that as well, like, whether you go off and do it or you know, like, it's not the point, it's just reminding yourself that you know, to dream. And

then, you know, it was at a time when I was like, I had a four year old and a two year old and I was about to go on to one of many things that the spiritual curious seeker was looking for. And it was just like, Oh, these voices, and it was just like one man along the way, who was like, Oh, where are your kids? And who's looking after them? And it's like, why are you leaving them? And I remember like, oh, my gosh, he's right, why am I doing this. And then it was like, wait a minute, I have given so much already, through the pregnancies through the daily mundane things that I can ask for little bit of time away, and I didn't need the permission of my husband, they were thumbs up, didn't need the permission of my parents, they didn't know where I was going. And, and it was just culture at large that I just had to get away.

LED Australian music publicist,

if you're trying to do something, and it's not working, it's not getting to you to where you want to go. Be creative and think up a solution. Think of a different doorway. For me, you know, I could have sat here 2020 When I was like, Well, you know, being a mum is not enough for me, I want more. I've got to just wallow in self pity and feel bad for myself. And I'm the victim. You know, at the end of the day, I I've kind of rose above those thoughts and went well, Can I switch?

Course you can pocket.

I've got a certain amount of assertiveness within myself, I have the self belief. I feel empowered. Fuck it, I'm going to make it happen. And I'm going to keep building on my empire of creative projects. And I'm not gonna stop

Catherine Colette, Australian author and podcaster

I think Mum, guilt is hard to escape, on some level. What has made a massive difference for me and I would say it's probably in other writers lives as well is publication. So pre, it's like that gives something a legitimacy and a validation that all of those years where, you know, you might get an article here or a short story here and all that sort of stuff, is the real turning point in terms of perception, because I think there is a relationship and, like a real life relationship between perception and and that that kind of valuing of what you're spending your time doing. There's also an element that is in your head as well.

Danny van Australian hosts presenter and Master Chef staff,

like I remember dropping off Harlow to daycare when I was doing that job I was talking about earlier going and chopping veggies and making these organic meals for people. I felt so bad about doing that. Like, I light up when I got there. You know, I felt good. I was able to just go into a job that I didn't really have to think about too much. And it made me feel good. But God I felt bad about just dropping off at daycare and picking her up. Light really light. And I feel like Yeah, it's like do we carry this guilt? Like why do we carry this guilt? I don't know if fathers are carrying as much guilt.

I don't know. I

don't know. I don't like Yeah, it's hard. But I feel like I do I have less guilt now. I would say so I think I've, I've think I've tried to accept that, you know, things are as they are. I'm still my own person. My kids are their person. We're all just trying to do our best. But yeah, there's still guilt around.

SHAN Rong Janessa Jovic tore us violinist and music educator.

Also I won't let my identity that's part of me. I don't want that to go. I want my children look at me in the future, when they answer understand. I'm in their eyes, I'm not only their mom, I want them to see that. During the hardest time, I never give up what I love. Because playing a violin teaching is what I love. And making music, be able to play with people is what I love. And I want my children to see that even through the hardest time, I have to make choice to give my life my time and attention to them. But I never give up what I love. And I always come back to it.

Andrea Reyes, Australian mixed media visual artist and creativity coach.

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 kind of all for me, it was a very confusing period where I just didn't know what I was doing or who 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

Ms. Coleman, Australian indie musician,

I think I would love to live in a world where the term mum guilt is just not a thing. And if we're gonna have anything, it's parent guilt. And I don't even think parent guilt should be a thing, but at least that crosses genders and roles, you know, like, why, for instance, because I'm a woman should I feel really bad about, you know, the dishes piling up and you know, an unhealthy dinner. If, like, you know, a male parent really doesn't. Now I'm not saying they don't. And I'm not saying it's that simple. But yeah, like, what is it about? Like, why have we been conditioned to kind of carry that burden or that? Yeah, so yeah, if

we, if we have to feel guilty, can we all please feel guilty TKF.

Just on the women,

John Cook Father's Day episode, US conductor and educator,

but the generation of our parents. They had to give up stuff. I'm sure that you know, like, my mother never went out on our own. And my father, who was in the restaurant business was out every night. And come home till two three in the morning. So I wish they almost did some stuff for them. You know? Yeah. And that certainly is not you know, your parents or my parents reality they had to give up things that they might may have wanted to do. But I feel bad for that. You know that that was the case then. But it's not now.

Mercedes roaches us claim maker and Potter.

As a woman, it's a strange thing like the post feminist woman like we're no, we're, we're still expected to be these amazing moms. Keep a good house not look like a big mess. Right and like, show up for everybody all the time. And I think it does create a huge amount of guilt. We're like, we are never enough. There are never enough hours in the day for us to do all of the things for all the people and then I think the more than anything, we don't like there's no value on recharging for ourselves, right? Like it's almost like a like this weird luxury like, Oh, you're gonna go have quiet time for yourself for an hour and that's a priority for your life. What about your dishes, you know, and it doesn't create this like, very uncomfortable level of guilt. And it's like, Well, why don't you ask my husband about the dishes because he's a partnership. It doesn't matter how much we do. It is never ever enough.

Shweta based Indian born photographer based in the United States,

even now like every day that passes I, I see it better. I I see I see myself better now than I did then. And I was lost and I was very unhappy. And only I knew that. And I was I felt guilty that I had everything that I needed. I had a I had healthy children, you know how it is like you have a you have a happy family in a sense and And saying why do I still feel so empty? And and you know, I said, I'm a thinker. So what do I like what's going on? My children are flourishing and I was diminishing. There was something wrong there. And I think I had to acknowledge that Danny Oh, covenants

Netherlands born author based in the US,

technically I did, it looked like that on the outside, I had exactly a good list, a great husband, Healthy Kids, great neighborhood, beautiful home, good schools. And something was still missing. And I wasn't happy. And I, for the longest time, I would beat myself up. Stop being so ungrateful. Be grateful for all the gifts in your life. You should be happy, you should be happy, you should be happy, why you're not happy. But at some point, when my youngest was in preschool, I realized, stop, you got to start listening to yourself. Because if you don't make a change, now, you're going to end up being bitter and unhappy and resentful, and you do not want to go. You don't want to be that person.

Emily Johnson, US author.

It's hard. I mean, that's the you know, people think physically being a mother is hard. But there is a lot of emotional second gasoline. And you know, and I'm doing this correctly, what you know, am I a terrible mother? Am I a good mother? Am I you know, am I completely screwing my kit up for the future? And unfortunately, a lot of people don't talk about that unless their moms themselves.

Fiona Valentine, Melbourne artist, and artists business coach,

I think we're experts at coming up with guilt, over all sorts of things, and mothering right? Am I living, right? Have I done enough? Am I enough, and just recognizing that part of the journey, particularly when you pick up creativity, for some reason, creativity is just opposed. People have written books about it, it's not even just internal. It's, it's something outside of ourselves, and recognizing that gives you a bit of something in your backbone that says, this does matter. This is good for my kids, when I'm being a whole person when I'm being creative when I'm modeling joy for them.

Simone wise, South Australian visual artist,

I'm encouraged by there are a lot of artists, female artists who are going strong into their older years, or even like, fully come into themselves as artists later on. So while I do get frustrated that I don't have the time to dedicate that I would like I still feel like I've got the foundations of skills in who knows what will happen in the future, I might have more time to push things further.

Amy Siegfried, US podcaster and entrepreneur,

my mom and I talk a lot about how being a mom has shifted so much since she was since I was little till now, because a lot of the, you know, in her from her perspective, a lot of these women's movement movements have really taught us to take care of each other, versus fight each other when it really comes down to it. And so, I do think the mom guilt looks a little different. You know, I joke that, you know, we we, the cookies come out of the little package that you buy from the store, and you put them on the pan and my mother takes my son and makes them with a mixer and the whole nine yards. This is how mom does them. This is how Grammy doesn't and they're both okay. And that's okay. And we go do this where you guys don't do that. It's it's truly one of those things. And I think the challenge is probably getting out of our own heads. So much us feeling like we need to put ourselves in this box and her whatever that might be or, you know, we see people on Instagram who you know, cut their children's sandwiches into fun shapes and sizes every day. And then they also take the zoo, but somehow they work full time. And then they go and you're like how how do you possibly make dinner and go to the zoo and go to work from nine to five and then cut their sandwiches to look like the Taj Mahal? Like I don't understand how this works. So yeah, I think it's just it's setting our own perspectives of what we're able to do and what we just have to let go.

Lisa Sugarman us writer,

more and more people are starting to show their real selves on social media, which I love. And saying, I'm actually not okay. I'm actually a disaster. And I'm this and I'm bad and that's owning it and being honest. In the same way. I think moms are starting to recognize that this whole guilt thing is complete bullshit that they shouldn't buy into you because it's just going to chip away at your soul and your confidence and your self esteem. Because if you don't, and this goes back to perfection if you don't, if you don't do everything the way you think you're supposed to do it, now you're riddled with guilt. And now you're in capacity. So it doesn't know what, yeah.

Bianca, Mara, US photographer and podcaster.

The other night, my two little boys are in the tub together the most adorable thing you've ever seen. I just wanted to go on the bed and be scroll on my phone. I just wasn't I, how many times are they going to be in the battle, it's like, you go into the role of like, I know, I know, A, B, C, D E, I know why I should be there. But I'm not right now being present for me and to my needs, is to go lay down on the bed and not handcuff myself to this moment to like, keep my energy where I want it to be to feel like I can actually appreciate them when I'm in that space that I want. And I think about when I first drove the coast to California, for the first time ever, I've never been to the West Coast. I drove from LA to San Francisco. At first I was like, Hi. I was not literally but like, I just felt like I was like, Oh, I never seen such beauty in my life. I was like vibrating. By halfway up. I was like, literally nauseous and I don't think it was carsick. I was like, I can't it's too much. Like I feel like I need to, and I close my eyes. I was like, I can't see anymore. I can't I can't take it anymore. Like, I'm you know, and that's kind of what I feel like about, about guilt and about. It's this, it's the knowing, it's that wise, like I get it. I know all of the reasons why I this is amazing, but I'm just not, I'm not there. And I think the more that you can feel confident about choosing yourself in those moments, makes you even more richly there for the times where you choose that moment, you know,

that is brilliantly put, honestly. Dr. Sophie Brock, Australian motherhood studies sociologist,

what I really hope to try and do in my work and for us to do as a culture is to break open this dichotomy of, you're either a mother and you love your children, and you have this connected relationship and you've lost yourself, or you need to actually break away and step away from the mother. In order to be the self there's these two polar opposites set up and it's like actually know that there's a third way here, there's a way for us to flexibly move between our roles and to integrate our sense of self without mothering. And how much of a gift that is for our children. Right that we we don't need to break away pieces of, of who we are, and have our own authenticity in order to somehow hold up a mirage of them of who we are like that doesn't actually serve them.

Kate King, US counselor and art therapist,

I've always felt like the, like our babies, teach us the lessons that we would not learn from anyone else, we would not let anyone else get close enough and honest and vulnerable enough as we let our children get to us. And so some of our biggest issues will never come up for healing. If our kids don't reflect them back to us, you know, and control is a really big one for a lot of moms. And it's really healing to be able to finally sort of unpack it and work through the layers.

Scott Maxwell Father's Day episode, Australian musician and educator.

I know through experience that, you know, kids love kids like to sing, but sometimes they may annoy their parents. And it might be just natural for the parents to tell them, hey, you know, you sound like a dying dog or something like that, you know, and the kid might sound like a dying dog too. But that can really pay detrimental to that the psyche of that. So, a lot of the times, you know, I like to tell parents that if your kids if your kid is learning music, and it sounds horrible, then that's probably good because they're actually probably trying something that they've never done before. Some of my best singers and their parents will say that they make really silly noises a lot and that's that's experimentation of, of the voice or whatever. It is part of what my studio is still, I'm still experimenting. You know? I'm 50 years old and I can't stop Since I was 11 years old,

Steve Davis Father's Day episode, marketing consultant, comedian, educator, and podcaster.

Alexandra was born, Nadia was taken to a room to sort of recover. And I was taken back into the room and there was AJ, in a little caught. And I was quietly getting my laptop out to do work. And just as it was about to open, I was struck by fear that the first thing AJ would hear was the Microsoft music when the computer opened, and I slammed the lid, I couldn't let that be the case. And so I reached into my bag and brought out the complete works of William Shakespeare as you do, as you do, and I went over by her, and I read a sonnet to her. So that that was the first thing they actually heard. And then I opened up and I played Alexandra leaving, which is the Leonard Cohen song that she's named after.

Fleur Harris, an Australian illustrator and designer,

I realized that taking taking time for myself is important. And, you know, a couple of times, I've said to my husband, you know what, I'm gonna go and get a hotel room in the city. And I'm gonna go out for dinner by myself, and I'll be home tomorrow. Look, I've only done it a couple of times. But it's been at those points where I've thought, oh, my gosh, I am. I'm really maxed out here, like, stress wise. As or, you know. And I've gone and done that. And I've thought I haven't felt guilty about actually need is for the sake of, you know, my sanity and, and also, I'll come back, you know, better. And I almost feel like not doing those sorts of things is actually would actually be remiss of me

in being

a good member of my family. And a good mom.

Janelle Thomas, Dubai based singer and songwriter.

So then with Hendrix, I actually was back on stage six days after he was born. Oh, we had a gig that were waiting for us. And I was like, yeah, yeah, I'll be there next Monday. Yeah, I'm coming.

That is incredible. That is amazing. How did you do it? Like physically, like we did? You must have like, a good birth and everything like good after? Or was it like really?

I did. Like, I really, you know, I had great pregnancies. And the actual deliveries were a little bit tough. At times, I have babies who really enjoyed their accommodation. So they kind of had to be like, convinced to join us on Friday, you know, but then once they were out, they were perfectly healthy. I was healthy. I was moving around, you know. That being said, like I had, I had said, I'm gonna be back on stage. Everybody was going, Are you sure I was like, that is the wrong thing to say to me. I've said I'm sure you know, I'm just going to do this. Obviously, the week between birth and actually having to leave newborn baby for, you know, the six, seven hours that is required when you're when you're doing again, even if it's in town. That week was just so stressful. All I could think was I just need to pump enough. I need to be ready. I mean, one of the things that made it easier is we've had the same nanny since Theo was born. So at least she was really ready for that, you know, feels perfectly comfortable with her. So there wasn't any of that kind of stress of who's going to mind the baby like I had someone I trusted implicitly, but still. Yeah. And then on the day of just, I was getting ready for work, and I didn't have a single pair of shoes that fit because my feet are so swollen. And I thought and you know, and it's a jazz gig in a nice restaurant, and I thought I'm gonna have to go there in like, trainers that aren't even done up because I literally can like I was totally miss piggy. You know, I was just I couldn't even put my feet in anything and so I found this like, ghastly pair of slip ons that were really stretchy. And all I could think is please everybody look at my huge massive cleavage. Don't Don't look down at my terrible footwear. Just keep it all up here and then the top half. I'll be fine. Yeah, but, but I got there. And I really, we you know, we played three sets and I really spent the first two sets thinking that I was gonna take Like I was on stage thinking, this was not a great idea, I maybe shouldn't have done this. And I'd had an episiotomy. So I was still healing from stitches, so I couldn't use it. Also, you know, sitting was actually really uncomfortable. So everyone was going to want to steal. I'm like, no, no, no steal, that's worse. So I've just kind of, you know, trying not to, like, cling on to the mic stand for the first few seconds. But, you know, Felix was great. And the staff were great. It was a place that we we love we play there a long time. And so everybody just welcomed us back with open arms are so happy to see us, you know, even six months since we'd been there, because of COVID. And the audience was amazing. Like the audience were so ready for live entertainment to after COVID. So actually, the third set, good. The third set was better, and it was kind of, okay, well, this is the power of music that, but oh, yeah, I was in like the fall on adult diaper for that show. Now, when I look at it, I'm like, that was kind of a terrible idea. You know, and I can't believe that all of you guys, let me do you know, and my husband is just like, oh, yeah, like, I'm absolutely not going to tell you that you're crazy person. You know, you were doing it. So you did it.

Suzanne Kohlberg Australian writer, and coach,

my mum never had friends. She never had hobbies. I don't want to say she was just a mom. That sounds horrible. I remember looking at her. And I was thinking, I don't want to become a mom, like, honestly, your wife kind of ends, you don't have anything. And it was interesting. I met my husband, when I was 18. When we got married when I was like 22. And we were never sure on the kids thing. I could be really honest. Like, I love my kids and everything. But we weren't sure. And then we decided we wait till I was 28. And then we would decide. So we had, you know, by the time I was 2810 years together. And then we were like, Okay, we have kids got pregnant the first month, I had a very lucky journey in that respect. But it was kind of like, I remember when we got the positive pregnancy test, he was over the moon. And I was just sitting there kind of like, whoa, because I didn't think I do is like this is what we wanted. And I was like, yes, but like there was a little bit of mourning there. And then I was like, I don't have to be the mum that my mom was

Judy Richards, Australian mixed media artist.

When when you're a mum of three young children, there's plenty it isn't out there. That you stress yourself out, because your house doesn't move a certain way. Don't worry about it. Don't let the things of other people's things get to you. I don't judge people by their homes. If I want to be friends with someone, and things get on top of them. My CDs now and visit them for them don't make people because that what happens is then you stop wanting people to come to your house. Because you put yourself in a box and you go, Oh, if that's what people think I don't want them to come and visit you. I'm not good enough to have people into my mind. Yeah, that's right. And it's not this not a nice feeling to have.

Leah Franklin, Australian plant based chef and entrepreneur

member having a discussion on the humanities floor at Grant High School in year 10. And you know, you're all standing around on What's everyone doing, and you're picking your subjects and all that. And I didn't realize it was going to be such an embarrassing topic. But everyone was saying, oh, you know, what are you going to do and someone was going to be a teacher and someone was going to be a pharmacist and you did it at air and, and I set out and it came around to me and I said, I just want to be a mom. And like it was just this deathly quiet because even then, it was an unusual thing for someone in year 10 To say they wanted to just be a mum. And it was just, you know, air quotes again. Yeah, just be a man. And they said, oh, and I said yeah, I can like I just want to have the house with the fence in the whole thing. And it's it's truly all I saw for myself.

Khalifa Holland, Australian entrepreneur and business owner.

I've always loved working in what I do. But I made that I always knew my mom was very much there for us like even though we had coffee shops and that my mom was a sort of person. Get off the bus. We had a massive drive thru on a farm. Don't be riding with get inside and nominate harmala When somebody called me up before us, so I knew that if I was able to I wanted to have that fortune.

Rachel Lawson waiver us photographer and artist educator.

I thought when I didn't see people like me in TV, or movies or magazines or catalogs I didn't think that, that the problem was them and representation, I thought that the problem was me. And if I could just make myself thinner and different, then I deserved to be represented. And, like, That's bullshit. And so, now that I have like a little bit of a platform, a little bit of a way to make images, a little bit of wit, a way to share those, I'm like, and I had to start, it's one of the reasons I'm, like, pretty passionate about self portraiture, because I wanted people of different sizes, and abilities and bodies to hire me. And I felt like well, I have to start by showing mine. Like, I feel like it's one of those things that especially photographers, if you want to be telling people, like, I want you to feel comfortable in your body, you kind of have to like, walk the walk and prove it a little like they can see through your BS. And so if you haven't really done the work, to love and accept yourself, the best thing I can do is model that. And then when I show up, I kind of show up and I give people permission to be like, I get to do this to

Jillian Lauren, us best selling author and journalist,

I think it's important that your kids see that you're leading a meaningful and engaged life. You know, there's no such thing as just mom. You know, if you're meaningful and engaged, and your primary, you know, your primary activity is taking care of your children, you know, then I think that that would be wonderful and nurturing. And at the same time, that's not me, I was never going to give up my career.

Sally refun, Australia's highest selling female author and illustrator.

In the years where I did carry a lot more guilt than I allow myself to now, I used to worry a lot about working a lot, because I worked really, really, really hard. And so often I might be away on tour, or I might have to, after dinner, go back into the studio to work or, and would sometimes mean that I've missed some school things or, you know, and then I would feel bad about that. But I think all my working mothers can relate to that. But I guess what I hoped is that what I'm role modeling is that if they have a female partner in the future, there won't be an assumption that it just falls on one person to do the domestic labor or the childcare, that I can model what it's like to be an independent person in the world. I've always been financially independent, I've always, you know, worked really hard to forge a career for myself. And so even though I have sons, not daughters, I think it's as important to role model that for them, as it would be if I had daughters,

Liz Morton, US event florist podcaster and entrepreneur,

I've learned that my mom wasn't exactly a like well rounded eater, she ate a lot of spirits, a lot of the same things. So I'm finding like, as a mom, myself, that my kids eat everything that I eat. So if I'm showing them that I'm eating broccoli, and like home cooked meals, they're going to want to eat them too. So if I'm not giving them those options, they're not going to eat them. And they're not encouraged to because if I'm drinking soda, my daughter wants to drink soda. If I'm eating a nice polite with turkey bacon, she's gonna love to eat that too. So it's just a matter of introducing them to the right things and setting a good example.

Katie Callahan, US singer, songwriter and

artist, so I felt like a little bit of like a conflict, you know, in that, like, I'm gonna write about who I am and who I am includes being a woman and includes being a mother and includes like, acknowledging that I have those roles. And I'm not going to pretend like I don't because they're really important parts of my life. They dominate most of my time, you know? But those I feel like a lot of women have to pretend like it's not the case like when they're writing and, and like maybe that's a choice maybe maybe, you know, maybe you know, either other songwriters or like this is my way of reclaiming, you know, an individual identity is to write was to not write about them. Not like them. But because my, my, my, the way that I write and what I write about is so immediate, and often very responsive to where I am in my you know, environment and circumstance then they show up they keep showing up those girls and maybe not like overtly like this is the song about my daughter because only country singers can get away with that but

uh, Elise Adlam, Australian philosopher and feminist

women and mothers are really put in this catch 22 situation you can't win either way, right? If you stay home, you want to be a stay at home mom, no, you're not doing anything meaningful, you're not producing. And then you're in your, you know, even some people will say, Are your bad feminists, which is completely not true, because feminism should be about women choosing what they do with their lives, as long as they're not harming anyone else. And then on the other hand, you have, if you want to go back to work, you're abandoning your child, your, your role as a woman is to look after your child. So yeah, women really can't win in this

bed, Steven, Australian singer and songwriter,

everyone needs to be on the same team to make it work. So this year, for example, you know, we've had a baby at the beginning of the year, everyone has needed to be on board for for it to be successful, you know, so, and that's, you know, partner, System Manager, you know, all the people who are involved in the team, to be on board to make that work and to be happy to make that work. And for that to be successful.

Alex cynic is an Australian designer and engineer.

One of the reasons why we don't you know, know that much is because we don't invest in the research to learn that much. If we researched the lactating breast, like we researched other body functions, the same amount of money, we would know a lot more, there would be much more coherent programs. And, you know, part of this is, you know, we have no problem saying All women should breastfeed, and it's best for baby bla bla bla bla, but then, you know, where are the programs and funding to support having someone there in the hospital who's not run off her feet looking after all the other babies that just got born? Where's the funding to provide you homecare, like we do have these people who are super skilled and really good at what they do, but we don't have funding for them? Are these problems that can feasibly be solved? You know, in science? Are these like problems that can feasibly be solved with just a bit of cash? Yeah. And it's just you haven't chosen to prepare cash in that area? It's a little cynical, but I think it's true.

genogram, US clinical social worker, and photographer. Yeah, yeah.

So I was kind of, you know, like I said, I had taken a little bit of a break, when my kids were babies, I was kind of trying to juggle, you know, like life as a mom working in a very clinical, you know, very kind of demanding field at the time, I was in private practice work. And, you know, so it was just kind of me servicing these clients that had a lot of needs. And you know, it was a pretty high risk population, I've always worked, treating the field of eating disorders, and you can have a lot of medical complications and a lot of extra things, you kind of have to kind of keep tabs on from a medical perspective. And so I was juggling a lot at that time when my babies were small, and, you know, was just kind of increasingly able to work less and less because of difficulty with finding the right childcare. And, you know, my husband works in a job where he travels a bit and you know, commutes into the city, and sometimes it's gone long hours. And so, you know, it became obvious to me that, I just kind of felt ready to take a little break, I felt ready to kind of be home a little more and not try to do that juggle. So I was, you know, fortunate enough to be able to take a couple years, and step away from that work. And in that time, I was loving being a mom. But I think I kind of had a combination of, you know, just all of the emotions that gets stirred up when you're a mom, and you're raising kids and wanting to capture it and seeing how fast it goes. And then I think I just kind of started to get really curious about, you know, it's like that I think the expression is like the date, the years are short, but the days are long, and I had some like long days at home with two very active young boys. And I just kind of got curious about what I was interested in. That could be a part of that day that could also be kind of meaningful.

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. 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 be back on the sixth of January, with a new season of The Art of Being a mum

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