'It takes a village to raise a child', a proverb that I live by and wouldn't survive without. Moving to Sydney away from my family, I realised very quickly I needed to build and surround myself in a community of friends and other mums who would become my family here. I needed a village to help me raise my children.
Each month you will meet mums from my 'family' and others that inspire me. I hope they inspire and encourage you to follow the dreams you have as a mum and for you.
Meet my first Mumma of the Month, Jules Sebastian. You will know her as a talented stylist, television presenter, make up artist, wife to Guy Sebastian and mother to the adorable Hudson and Archer. To me, she is one of my dearest friends and 'go to' people for EVERYTHING! We grew up together in church from a young age as did Guy and I in school together and then stayed friends after. So with paths intertwined and a solid history, when we moved to Sydney we adopted each other as family instantly (it may be the Adelaide in us).
With a list of questions, this is her journey so far as she does motherhood and her career with such grace and in a way that will give you the confidence to start your dream.
Apart from being a mum, what do you do with all the free time that you don't have?
Ha! When I’m not with the babies I am usually working! How boring! My job, like most freelance positions, is never ending and there is always something to finish or work on. Lucky for me I have an awesome job with lots of variety so I am always happy to be occupied with work. When I’m not working or with the babies I’m usually sleeping, reading or watching TV. Scandal is my new obsession!! Olivia Pope is awesome! If I get a free night and stars align and my husband also has free time, then we like to go for dinner or a movie. We are super social at our place and it’s pretty much a revolving door of visitors, we love it.
How did you see yourself as a mum before you became one?
To be honest, I was really, really nervous. I was scared that I wasn’t going to know what to do with the new addition! When I had Hudson, most of my friends had babies and I was around kids all the time, but I still felt really unprepared. There is a huge difference between looking after kids and having your own! It definitely made me less selfish and more flexible. I had a very fluid life before children, but now I have more structure. I have never been the Suzy Homemaker kind of a gal, and nothing has changed! I didn’t miraculously turn into a maternal/domestic goddess just because I had kids, but I have embraced the responsibility and the fun that goes along with being a mummy!
Can you give us three rules you made pre-mum that you have now broken? Have you stuck to any?
ALL OF THEM!!! But, 3 are:
1. I bragged how my house was still going to remain ‘adult’ and I would have a nice little neat cupboard that all the kids ‘things’ would go into. There was going to be no trace of children after they had gone to bed. Now it’s the absolute and complete opposite – it is an actual explosion of kids in every room of the house! Last night I found teething ring in my bed when I climbed in! Wouldn’t have it any other way now.
2. I declared that my car was going to be sultana/milk arrowroot/toy/texta/sand/grime free. I now declare that this is a near impossible task! How do kids managed to drop everything they every bring into the car?! So funny.
3. My child was never going to hit, kick, have tantrums, be loud in public, refuse to eat vegetables, spill things, create havoc, cry, scream, break things, whine and not do everything I asked them to do whenever I asked them to do it. This was my plan of action. #fail #idontmakerulesanymore #yourenotalonemums!!
What does your day look like as a mum?
Depends on the day! I do have about 3 set aside work days during the week, but the other 2 days in the week and the weekends are usually dedicated to being with the boys. The mornings are early. Hudson is 2 almost 3 and Archer is 9 months. It changes everyday as to who is up first, but whoever it is, it’s EARLY. We all trapes downstairs for bottles, breakfast, Dora watching, playing, nappy changing, getting dressed….etc. It’s actually shocking how much time passes just doing those tasks! I try to get out and about with them in the morning to burn off some energy. Archie is still napping in the morning, so the timing is always a little tricky but we manage! We either go to the park, beach, play-date or something outdoors if the weather is lovely (if it’s not craft, drawing, movies and clock watching!!). Hudson does Little Kickers on one of those mornings so that’s fun for him. Then we head home for lunch and naps. I live for the glorious moment when they go down at the same time! It’s like heaven opens up it’s gates and shines its little light on my day!! In that time I try to get ‘things’ done…house stuff, emails, phone calls, cup of tea, dinner prep, sometimes if I’m particularly tired – a nap myself! Then, the fun begins again once the boys are awake. Sometimes if they are feeling calm I’ll keep them at home and we go swimming, jump on the trampoline or find something at home to do. But sometimes you just need to wear them out for bedtime, so I’ll take them on a local adventure down to the beach or park or for a walk in the pram. Hudson is a real adventurer and loves to look at the fish and crabs down at the rocks, so he takes his bucket and collects shells and marine life! Then we’re back home for dinner, bath and bed routine. Archie is usually down by 7, then Hudson half and hour or an hour after that. God blessed me with great sleepers so once they are down, they are pretty good at staying down. Then, I usually eat, watch some TV, do some emailing or spend time with Guy and friends. Repeat.
Can you give us mum's three tips for everyday styling?
1. You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort! Just take 5 minutes in the morning or even before you go to bed to put some extra thought into your outfit for the day. Add something you wouldn’t normally wear or an accessory that pops.
2. Invest in the basics that will last you a lifetime. I know it seems like a stretch at the time to purchase a good pair or jeans or jacket, but save up or layby and do it! They will last you longer and you will probably save yourself more in the long run because you won’t be purchasing cheap pieces that fall apart the minute you wash them!
3. Make some time in the day that makes you happy style wise. For myself, I always feel better when I put a face of make up on. I always make the time to do it – even if that means Hudson putting half a roll of toilet paper down the toilet while I’m doing it – I know I will be my best self if I feel good about myself. Whatever it is for you, make the time to do it!
What are your favourite make up products for everyday use? Any tips?
Ahh, so many! My skincare routine (absolute imperative!!) is Dermalogica – cleans, tone, moisturise, eye cream daily then a mask once a week. I use a whole bunch of different brands of make up but I am pretty basic with what I wear. Foundation, powder, blush (my fav), eye shadow for eyebrow definition, neutral eye shadow and loads of mascara! I have small eyes (fat eyelids!) so I curl my lases and load them with black mascara. Mac zoom is my fav.
My tip would be to have your home make up kit clean and tidy and at easy reach wherever you get ready. It will cut out a lot of time rummaging around to find everything when you are in a hurry to get out the door. Also, if possible, try and do your make up in natural light so you can see exactly what your make up will look like when you are standing in the playground!
What do you love most about being a mum?
Cuddles! I live for smooches and cuddles with my babies. My most favorite time of the day is just after bath time when they are both clean and smell like heaven, and have wound down for the day, they each have their bottles and just want to chill on the couch and have a ‘nuggle’ as Hudson calls it. I love seeing my boys happy and smiling and enjoying whatever they are doing in the moment. The joy of a child is like no other and brings me so much happiness. I just want to cry!
What are some of your challenges as a mum?
Oh where do I start?! I find being a mum super challenging but equally as rewarding too. I think being a working mum throws in it’s own challenges and it is always a juggle and a balancing act. I’m almost 3 years into motherhood and I am still working it all out. I find the ‘mothers guilt’ one of the hardest things to deal with. I am forever feeling the guilt about pretty much everything and I’ve been told it never goes away! The most important thing in my life is my children and I want nothing but the best for them always, so I sometimes find it hard to be away from them, but I know I am a better mother to them if I am working doing things I love so I have to conquer the challenge and be ok with the balance.
Who are your mum people and how have they influenced you as a mum?
I have excellent mentors and mums around me and I have mums from every walk of life to inspire, challenge and give me the best advice on being a mum. I have full time mum friends, part time working mum friends and full time career driven mum friends. They all play a very important part in my life and have deposited some priceless lessons in my motherhood journey so far. I find women in general extremely inspiring and now that I am a mother myself, I have extreme respect for other mothers. I remember when I first had Hudson and I would see a mum walking down the street with her pram, I used to internally applaud her for even getting outside of the 4 walls of her house! I think having a shower daily is a huge achievement for us girls far less having multiple kids, a social life, a husband, life commitments or a career. We are superwomen. I believe it. There is something magical about being a woman and I find inspiration in other women’s stories, lives and strength. My friends have helped me out so much with having kids. I have been through some highs and lows being a mum and my friends normalize every situation and make me feel like I’m not alone!
Tell us a mum moment of yours (funniest, grossest, sweetest etc)
Actually, the other day, we were driving to church and listening to some music in the car. Both Hudson and Archer were in the back and Hudson said to me, ‘Mummy, Archie makes the Angels happy..’ I turned and said ‘Pardon Huddie?’ and he said ‘Archie makes the Angels happy..’ I couldn’t believe my ears! I of course started crying like a blubbering mess and reflected on the absolute innocence and purity of a child having a little moment like that. The irony of this is that Hudson is the wildest, most outgoing, energetic human I have ever known. He is hardly still, and he is only 2 years old so hearing this come out of his mouth made my jaw drop. He loves his little brother so much and it makes me so proud to see him loving on him so much. He has such a kind heart towards him and makes him laugh all the time. Archer truly is my little gift from God. He is the sweetest little thing you’ve ever seen and makes my heart warm. I am overwhelmed by my kids and their sweet little natures. Couldn’t be a prouder mummy!
What would you say to a mum who wants to do something for themselves outside of mum world?
Two words – DO IT! Make a way. Find a path. Carve out the time and allow yourself to do something that isn’t all playing on the floor and going to the park! Just because you do something outside of being a mum, does not make you any less of a mum! It doesn’t mean you have to go and become the Prime Minster (or you can, up to you!), you might just go to the movies or get your nails done but I think it’s important to do something for yourself. It’s healthy and good for your soul.
Stay up-to-date with Jules' fashion tips and life by subscribing to her blog at www.julessebastian.com