Chelsea Thorpe, Gene Walker. Primrose Star, Coco Violette & Orla Buttercup.
My husband and I met when he owned an art gallery and my sister and I were opening a cafe. This is very telling for our little family as even though we are no longer involved in either of those business we are both very passionate about our hobbies. Gene is an artist/ painter on the side of his marketing job and I recently sold my homeware store to concentrate on Orla and the girls. We both like to keep busy so the girls have so far slotted beautifully into our lives. So we are a happy, busy family of 5!
A small town on the East Coast of New Zealand called Gisborne.
I am currently a stay at home mum.
5 favourite things/items?
1. If I was to list my girls and husband that will take up too many so they will all be my number 1!
2. I love the girls Steiner/Forest childcare…sorry a little odd but it has been so important to us and will continue to be as a school will be opening in 2018 (fingers crossed)
3. My crepe plate (god another odd one!) I either make pikelets, pancakes or crepes everyday for either breakfast or afternoon tea and it just makes it so much easier.
4. Natural fibres- clothes, bedding every where. I have always been obsessed with silks, cotton, wool and linens…just so right.
5. My file of house plans and ideas. It will happen one day and every time I look at it, it just seems a little closer and less like a dream and more of a reality.
What are you most passionate about?
I become very excited with projects. Give me a project and I get a little obsessed. Currently we are designing and soon to be building our own home so at the moment that is my thing!
Do you have any hobbies/things you do in your downtime?
I have always designed and made clothing, custom wedding dresses and I also had a little girls clothing label named ‘Sweet Jane Petite’. Sewing and creating clothing has always been my hobby, but once they become a business it became very demanding so it has been put on hold for now but I do have a few ideas in the pipe-line which will hopefully still allow me to call it a hobby as opposed to a job.
How would you describe your family?
Wild yet loving. We are a mad mixture of calmness that explodes into craziness (often) and bold personalities which often clash but we all need and love each other more than anything so yes I think wild yet loving is correct.
How did becoming a mother change you?
I had to learn to slow down, to take a deep breath and just accept that it’s ok to be late occasionally (still hate it), that the house can be a mess and thats ok (not ok) and that hugs and
kind words solve many problems.
What’s the best part about being a mother?
The smiles, the hugs, the milestones. The love.
Naming your children is always so difficult (or maybe it was just me!) Was it easy to pick your child’s name and why did choose it?
I have this theory that names just are… with all three of the girls we didn’t over analyse or over think it. I think with all of them as soon as their name was said it just stuck and couldn’t be changed. I have other names that I loved more but they just were not right for our girls.
Has your personal style changed since becoming mother? If so how?
I don’t feel as if it has. I still wear dresses often, I wear black far more than I should and if I want to wear heels I do but I do feel as through I am having a little closet crisis at the moment so we will see!
Is there anything about motherhood that has surprised you?
The challenge and pressure to keep my girls happy and well.
Primrose is a very intense and strong-willed 6 year old. Since the moment she was born (breach of course) the challenge to keep her safe, happy and well was all consuming. Coco had a few illnesses in her first two years which she was in hospital for which made me realise not only how strong Coco was but also how much stronger I am when you had your little love to fight for.
And I suppose the expectation of parenting is so vastly different from the reality that it surprises me everyday!
Favourite thing to do as a family?
We used to love exploring new towns and getting out of our one but I am loving the ritual of making big delicious breakfasts on the weekends and having what Primrose calls family days and Saturday evenings when we watch a family movie with treats. It is the small things right.
What has been the most memorable moment for you in motherhood so far?
Knowing that my babes arrived in the world safe and sound after each delivery.
I always found the end of my pregnancies very stressful. Primrose was breach so she was delivered via C-section which involved weeks of lying upside down and accupunture to try to get her to turn. Coco was 10 days overdue and with the fear of having a (v-bac) natural birth after a C-section I was very anxious. I was right to be as I had a very long and hard labour and she was 9.4 pounds. Orla was 9 days over so with the expectation of a similar birth to Coco’s I was super keen to get her out as soon as possible but I had a lovely quick birth with her and she was 7.14 pounds so not too big.
Moments of motherhood I will never forget!
What are some baby essentials every new mother needs?
Muslins and wraps. If I could only choose two things that would be it! Muslins to mop up Orla’s spills. Honestly it was out of control for the first 6 weeks. And stretchy cotton wraps for swaddling, which is so calming, oh yes and cotton breast pads. That milk just won’t stop flowing!
What are some of your favourite shops/websites for baby wear?
I am a huge fan of Nature Baby. We sold it in the store so I became a little obsessed with it and since Orla is my first winter baby I am going a little crazy on hand-knits.
I also love beaumondebabe.com for special pieces jamiekay.co.nz/ for basics and littleco.co.nz/ for other bits and pieces.
What is the one thing you want to teach your children?
To be kind, respectful and loving (so much harder than you expect).
Have any advice for newly mothers/mothers to be?
Get dressed. Everyday get out of bed and put on clothes. Real clothes that make you feel you can welcome a visitor into your home if they turn up on your doorstep. And have a plan, weather you go for a quick walk and grab a coffee or get the load of washing folded and put away (woah) just try and do one normal thing each day weather you feel totally out of it or not, I always feel so much better for having achieved something tangible. Also trust yourself and be flexible.